Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Back-Up Plan

This is one time when saying I'm backed up and loving it doesn't mean I'm addicted to Imodium! {winkwink}

As I may have mentioned previously, my trusty OLD (circa 2007) Windows XT desktop died last fall when the motherboard decided to fry itself. Although I had recently done a data backup to my portable hard drive, I opted to buy another portable hd and have the local computer shop back up my hard drive again, thinking at the time it was just the graphics card that had fried since it had done it once already. My pan was to just transfer the data to my Gateway laptop and move on with life.

Luckily, the shop guy was able to do a backup, but I was panicked when I couldn't read my Outlook Express and Address Book data. Turns out that when you migrate from XT to Windows Vista or 7, you cannot import that data. I would have had to have upgraded to Vista or 7 on the old desktop, which I would have been more than willing to do, except that my motherboard had other plans and I wasn't willing to fork out $400 for a refurbished (and hard to find) replacement. So, I had to accept the sad fact that my contacts and emails were gone forever. I transferred what I could to my Gateway and made plans to check out online backup.

Actually, my files really weren't gone. They are still sitting in my backups, merely waiting for the right program to come and wake them from slumber. I do have a 2000 model Gateway laptop that I think still may work and is probably running Windows 98, but I have temporarily misplaced's in a box somewhere waiting for me to find it. And when I do, look out.)

Since that very traumatic month in my life, I've discovered that life did go on, much easier than I'd feared. I really didn't miss much of anything aside from the addresses of a handful of online friends. So, I became less enthusiastic about checking out Carbonite, the online backup service that I'd researched and decided to go with. Finally, after a meltdown with The Hubster over our photos and my nonexistent scrapbooks he never could look at, a plan was developed jointly, and #1 on the list of to-dos was "Back up to Carbonite".

So, for the last week I have been doing that. The first 4-5 days I was doubting the exercise. 50 gigs takes forever to back up even with high speed cable internet. But then I got a wild hair and decided to pay for a year subscription (I began the backup on their 30-day trial.).

Well, guess what? The backup *suddenly* began to go much faster and I finished Monday. And that's the hard part, because the program works in the background and immediately backs up anything new or changed. So, I guess I have 2 bits of advice for anyone considering Carbonite: pay before starting your backup, and don't freak out about it taking a while the first time you do it, because unless or until you have to restore all of your files (if you get a new computer or hard drive), you won't have to endure that again.

Anyway, I really underestimated how plain old good it feels to have this done. I feel safer, lighter (even more so, I've already lost 3 of the 5 pounds I'd gained leading up to that gastric attack I had recently).  I feel like I don't have to worry one wit about losing any more data. That is such an awesome feeling! And for $55 a year, it's an awesomely inexpensive feeling, too, for what I get. Most anywhere, paying to feel this good would surely cost several hundred to a thousand bucks, no?

One nagging thought remained, though: exactly how would the restore work? Well, today, as if to read my mind, Carbonite sent me an email, with this in it:

Congratulations! Your initial backup is complete. Now, you can rest easy knowing your irreplaceable files are backed up safely offsite. From now on anytime you add or change a file, it will be backed up automatically in the background – you won’t even notice it happening.

Want to see how easy it is to get your files back when you need them? Try restoring a file from your backup by following these easy steps:
1.Create a new document that you will use to test a restore. Save and close the document.
2.Let Carbonite back up the file. You’ll know it’s backed up when there’s a green dot next to the file. If you want to back it up right away, right click the file and select “Back up this file as soon as possible” from the Carbonite menu.
3.Delete the file from your computer.
4.Double-click on the lock icon in your system tray to open the Carbonite InfoCenter.
5.In the restore tab, click on "Search for files to restore."
6.Type in the name (or part of the name) of the file you deleted. Locate it and select "Restore."
7.Check to make sure the file has been restored.

Now, I feel even better! Obviously, I highly recommend Carbonite. So far, so very good. The removal of worry is in my opine worth every penny and then some.