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Harbor_Pilot 09-20-2007 09:41 AM

I am not plugging these guys. I am plugging such a service.

The Geek Squad, at Best Buy offers on-line daily back up your hard drive, up to 25 GB, for $50 per year.

I used to think, hard drive crashes were infrequent and happened very rarely to somebody else.

I was programing, before the average heard of computers. I was on the web before got the concept. That does not imply I am smart.>/huh.gif It may imply that I am old.>/angry.gif Ah... older.>/smile.gif It does mean I played with data processing machines for a while. ...since dust was a new thing, or there abouts.>/biggrin.gif

In 20-20 hind sight, I owned a lot of computers. I tend to run them 24/7/365, and on average use them about 5 years. I run them until they die. I rarely, if ever shut them down, once I set them up and start them. Rarely do I upgrade the internal slots, or did I. Rarely; but a few times I did, and less fewer times I replaced what was in there. Usually, when I buy one (at least in the past), it came loaded, or I loaded it; loaded the available slots, with the possible add-ons, add-ins. Did you ever add a Math Co-Processer Chip? I did. It processed algorithms. They mis-named it. It cost to much at the time; I think $80. EIGHTY BUCKS! I could have bought a good talking horse back than, for that!

In hind sight, the track record is not good. I have had a significant number of computer hard drives, crash, or fail to start or reboot, or boot. That has happened in the 3- 5 year range, usually 4-5 years.

I have 3 hard drives, I want to look at, recover or destroy. Hard drive recovery starts at $259, goes up to $2,500 and comes with no guarantee.

Ah, I am not paying anything to anybody destroy them. I can take a tour of the local power plant, and lean them against a main generator, drill a few holes in them, drive over them, and toss them into a fire, and have the local gun club shoot skeet at them, cast them in concrete, and than drop them in the Marina Trench. I can render them inopreable and un-recoverable, for almost free. That is not what I wanted.

Anybody can destroy a hard drive. Just do want the owners manual tells you not to do. Except my purchase of about two weeks ago, did not come with an owners manual! That sucks! Supposedly it is all on the hard drive, and on line. ...but they don't even give you a small sticky note indicating where. I've been using this box for about two weeks, and suddenly last night, it ask me (NO it DEMANDED me) to loggin and register this machine. Do not pass GO. Nothing else works, until I do this / that.

I wanted to read something. One thing really important, I wish I had PRINTED. I wanted see a few photographs. I only really wanted about 1% maybe, 2% of what was on each hard drive. I am not sure yet about what to do with the past and history. What it costs; what's it's worth. It could cost $7,500 to recover 3 hard drives. Worse it could cost $7,500 to TRY TO RECOVER 3 hard drives.

I do know what I have done with the future: "On-Line Back UP". It seems so cheap, inexpensive in comparison.

I looked at and considered every alternative; partioning the hard drive, a second hard drive, external storage, internal stoage, memory chips, and sticks. I have - had a tape back up drive, it crashed, the drive not the tapes. The tapes are worthless without the drive.

I most dislike paying $50 per year to safeguard my stuff, my data. Because I should not have to. Because My Hard Drive, which I bought and paid for. should do that for me. History has proven it is like a tire, waiting for a nail, at the worst possible time.

I so hated to lay Fifty on the counter; but worse I despised what happneed to me. Now, everyday, it backs me up, twice - meaning on two differant and alternative systmes, securely, as I know it.

Fifty Bucks Well Spent,

Happy Camper,


Lighthouse 09-20-2007 10:16 AM

The alternative: Google for "hard drive cloning software".

JeanneP 09-20-2007 12:32 PM

My last hard drive (80Gb) cost $80 to recover the data - this past Spring. I'm amazed that the Geek Squad charges so much. The fellow who recovered mine this time is local, small computer repair/service company. The one before that was cheaper still, but that was several years ago. I'd look around if I were you.

What I do now is keep all critical data on an external hard drive - well, this is important anyway because I switch between a desktop on land and a laptop on the boat. The external hard drive is backed up to another external hard drive about once a week.

Work is done on the computer's hard drive, then transferred to the external hard drive, and finally the ultimate backup weekly.

I am looking at a different way of doing it, just not sure if it's worth it.

My internet connection isn't fast enough to back up someplace off site.

Lighthouse 09-20-2007 12:50 PM


There is free software but for me, this is too important.

MMNETSEA 09-24-2007 10:28 AM

The use of external hard drives to back up data from the PC's internal drives may be giving a false sense of security. The external drives are just as liable to fail as their internal fellows for the very same reasons.

Data storage on CD and DVD disks afford the opportunity of storing critical data - then keeping those discs in an environment where degradation of the storage surface is minimized.

The essential difference being that one medium has no mechanical/electronic component.


Nausikaa 09-24-2007 01:57 PM


Originally Posted by MMNETSEA (Post 13519)
The use of external hard drives to back up data from the PC's internal drives may be giving a false sense of security.

Having experienced my share of computiong disasters, I use two external hard drives, 500GB each. One is a mirror of the other and I feel safe. I know this is not absolutely 100% in case of virus but using Norton 360 too should make it as safe as practically possible.

Pictures and some other valuable stuff I also keep on DVDs.

Aye // Stephen

Ibrahim 10-04-2007 09:52 AM


Originally Posted by Nausikaa (Post 13522)
Pictures and some other valuable stuff I also keep on DVDs.

Aye // Stephen

I would like to advise those that backup their files/data on DVD media to rebackup those DVDs every 1.5 years or sooner. Although the DVD have a rating for 30+ years storage. That rating is based on a airconditioned storage cabinet enviroment. I used to live in Atlanta, Ga and the humidity would degrade the reliability of my DVD backups considerably. I had to backup those DVDs after a year to keep the DVDs readable. Some can argue I used cheap DVDs. Which is not true. I get the best I can when it comes to data backup.

Here's an nice article that can add clarity for storage for DVDs:

Just my 2 cents to help out.

MMNETSEA 10-04-2007 10:42 AM


Great 2 cents worth

What do you think about keeping the DVDs in ziplocks with siliaca gel ??


JeanneP 10-05-2007 12:02 AM

Four or five years ago I diligently backed up all my photos onto CDs back before there were DVD writers available. About 3 years later, those CDs couldn't be read. I don't know what the problem was, but I would have been plumb out of luck, except that I had also backed up everything onto an external hard drive, and that was readable!

Be careful, and remember that file protocols change and things readable today might not be readable on your machine 3 years hence. For this reason, backing up files onto external hard drives (2 for extra security) is preferable, since the data will be readable each time.

That's essentially what you are doing when you send files for backup to the Geek Squad. Their "server" is backing data up onto a hard drive. Used to be they used tape drives.

External backup is not foolproof, but then I don't think that anything is. I don't think that it is completely hacker proof, either, since credit card numbers from two of my banks have been compromised in the past due to hackers getting into the files. I have no doubt that it's better than 20 years ago, but bad things can still happen.

Of course, this is all academic for me anyway, since my internet access isn't fast enough to easily have off-site backup. As it is my backup onto the second hard drive can take several hours.

In a few years they predict that flash drives will be so good that one will be able to store files on flash drives - no moving parts so less chances of equipment failure losing your data, and fast backup.

Ibrahim 10-05-2007 07:52 AM


Originally Posted by MMNETSEA (Post 13883)

Great 2 cents worth

What do you think about keeping the DVDs in ziplocks with siliaca gel ??


The silica gel would help cut down on the moisture inside the ziplocks. Silica gel would of helped my humidity problem. Giving my disks the extra year or two. As JeanneP has said backing up to a external harddrive is the most relieable for people on boats. Just keep the external haddrive away from generators, fans and unshielded speakers and in a cool place. For people off boats tape bakup is the most reliable for 15+ years storage.

Doing digital is great. Almost endless Pros. The one Con though is where to store those digital videos, digital photos, etc.. That will last a good number years like old LPs, photos and films have lasted for so long. Unless you own a salt mine and have all your data pressed onto an LP record. You need to rebackup your backups when doing digital.

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