Dave

Backups of the Backups

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RESET Episode 22.  Don't laugh or point fingers! I lost some photos somehow and I'll try to explain how and why on this week's edition of RESET.

 

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in the end you just 'misplaced' them, right? I can appreciate the sweat.

I lost some at one point and went through some steps to recover at which point I started the 'grandma disk'. I believe it was related to 'disk rot' / file system damage. that was the point I brought in StableBit Scanner.

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What's the old saying, two is one, one is none. 3-2-1 for your backups.

 

Anyway I do not know your specific requirements or the maintenance that pools require in your area of the world, but I have successfully been using an Astral controller that automatically triggers events based upon the PH and ORP of the pool water. If the ORP drops it uses the chlorinator (the pool is a salt water pool) to create more chlorine, pH and it will dose acid. The solar heating is now being added to the management as well so we set a temperature and the pumps/valves manage it at that. The downside of it is that there is no automatic reporting on the salt in the pool so I do not know if I need to add salt, nor does it tell me that the acid reservoir is empty. The former I have no idea to fix, the latter can be fixed with a set of scales and a microcontroller

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Good podcast, Dave - I can completely relate.  Several years ago (early 2000s) I "misplaced" some kid pictures as well.  My version of, "Where are the pictures, Mr. Backup?" was "But you're the IT guy!"  That feeling of shame, frustration, and having what you were sure of questioned is what eventually led me to your show.

I had the same experience of which machine was that on, which of these hard drives in that pile might it be on that you did.  And we also had moved a couple times.  In the end the pictures were on a damaged hard drive that (after several days of recovery scanning) spit them forth and I was reborn as a competent geek instead of feeling like a failed techie wannabe.

I always try to remind friends, family and customers that photos and video are completely irreplaceable.  You can buy music again, download movies again, re-create documents and spreadsheets, but photos are moments in time that will never again exist.  And once they're gone....

I now probably have too many backups of stuff, but know I will never again be scrambling to find stuff I know I should have backed up.  Thankfully, your show and this community have helped with that a great deal.  Thanks!

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Awesome comments guys.  It's hard to publish your failures especially when you "should know better."  I do know better as we all do right?  Just a ton of different circumstances played a part in my losing these files. Crazy.

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I did find a way to automate the "Grandma Drive".  I have a 5-bay Synology NAS here at the house.  Their smaller NAS (nasses....nasi?) are pretty inexpensive.  I have two set up -- one at our vacation house and the other at my Dad's house.  Synology's Cloudstation Server & Cloudstation Sharesync packages make it super-easy to set up automatic replication of my data to those two locations pretty much in real-time. 

So I have my data replicated to two other time-zones and never have to worry about updating that offsite backup.  No monthly backup charges either!

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Great idea. That does work well. I should get another one.

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1 hour ago, BSR said:

I did find a way to automate the "Grandma Drive".  I have a 5-bay Synology NAS here at the house.  Their smaller NAS (nasses....nasi?) are pretty inexpensive.  I have two set up -- one at our vacation house and the other at my Dad's house.  Synology's Cloudstation Server & Cloudstation Sharesync packages make it super-easy to set up automatic replication of my data to those two locations pretty much in real-time. 

So I have my data replicated to two other time-zones and never have to worry about updating that offsite backup.  No monthly backup charges either!

Did you do the initial sync locally or remotely?  either way, how much data and how long did it take?

 

I've been wanting to do this for years....

 

Also, are you anle to run the DSM updates remotely or do you have to teach 'grandma' to do it?

 

 

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I did the initial sync remotely.  Set it up and let it start sending files - it's been a couple years, so I don't remember exactly how long it took...maybe a few days.  I really only specified stuff I wanted replicated - family pictures and important documents.  I didn't bother with music and movies, so we're talking probably just under a terabyte total.

I do the DSM updates myself remotely.  There's nobody at the vacation house most of the time, and I definitely don't want my Dad trying to log into the Synology.  I just put it next to his router behind his desk and told him I'd never ask him to do more than possibly turn it off/on.  I did have to do that a couple of times, but eventually a DSM update made it more robust.  It's set to turn back on when power resumes in case of a blackout, and so far has been very reliable.

One side-benefit of the one at my Dad's house is it backs up his stuff from his laptop as well...more peace of mind because when he can't find something guess who he calls?  ;-)

 

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Just listened to the podcast and can totally relate to the fear of losing the 'once in a lifetime' photos. It's made me realise my backup strategy needs revisiting as with the advent of iPhone cameras and iCloud I've become a bit lazy with on-prem and strategic backups recently.
I used to use WHS2011 with Cloudberry to back up photos to Amazon S3, but now I rarely sync the phones to that machine to get backups done. Instead I've uploaded all my photos and videos to google photos and Flickr but to your closing point Dave - how do I make sure my kids can access this stuff in the future? A physical drive at Grandmas seems the simplest solution!


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we are all "human" as they say and subject to any number of external influences. you are doing a public service by sharing the story.

thanks for that!

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Reminds me of when I lost an entire RAID array in the early 2000's. I had partial backups but still had plenty of critical files not backed up. Ended up having to send them off to a recovery firm which cost me a pretty penny. That's when I started backing up my files religiously. Yet, at some point, I managed to lose files again. I still don't know what happened to them, but it reminded me to always stay on top of my backup strategy. 

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I dont back up at all, I just use drivepool and duplicate what I dont really want to lose over all of the drives in my array.

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I guess Ikon and I are/were Old Schoolers.  Data to Local backups, Local Backups to OffSite.  I'm not as dedicated as he was by carrying a daily copy off site but I do try and get a copy to the Safe Deposit Box on a Weekly Basis, which reminds me.

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Is anyone backing up their kids' movie collections to the cloud? I currently use Amazon Glacier and CrashPlan. Think movies are only things I'm not backing up at this point. Would hate to lose them for our nanny's sake and our overall sanity.


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