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How to Back Up Your PC

March 3rd, 2013 Comments off

These days, more and more people are using computers to store memories, important documents, and various other bits of information that may need to be kept for long periods of time. Backing up a PC is essential for keeping long term (or even short term) documents around.

Whether you accidentally delete a file or lose a bunch of your data to a hard drive crash, regularly backing up your PC is always a good idea. Both Windows and Mac OS X PC have great built-in backup utilities, so it only takes a few steps to get started. Here’s what you need to do.

1. Backup On a Mac PC

Get a backup drive. This can be just about any USB external hard drive, and you can get them at most electronics stores. Try to get one that has twice as much space as your computer, so you have room for multiple backups and so you have room for all the data you might get in the future.

When you plug in your drive, your Mac will ask you if you want to use that drive as a backup disk. Hit "Use as Backup Disk". If you don’t get this prompt, you can always go to System Preferences > Time Machine to set it as a backup disk, too.

From Time Machine’s preferences, hit "Select Backup Disk" and choose your external drive.
That’s it! OS X will perform its first backup (during which you’ll want to keep your computer on), and from then on it’ll back up in the background with no work required on your part.
If you ever need to restore a file, just click on the Time Machine icon in your menu bar and hit "Enter Time Machine". From there, you can search through your old backups for the files you lost and restore them to your hard drive.

2. Backup On Windows PC

Get a backup drive. This can be just about any USB external hard drive, and you can get them at most electronics stores. Try to get one that has twice as much space as your computer, so you have room for multiple backups and so you have room for all the data you might get in the future.

When you first plug it in, Windows will actually ask you if you want to use it as a backup. Tell it that you do. If you don’t get this prompt, you can just go to the Start Menu, type "backup" in the search box, and hit Backup and Restore.

From there, click the "Set Up Backup" button. Pick the external drive you plugged in and hit Next. Windows’ default settings are probably fine, so you can just hit Next and the next screen too.

On the last screen, hit "Save Settings and Run Backup". Windows will make its first backup of your drive, during which you don’t want to turn off your computer. After that, it’ll make regular backups in the background as you work—you don’t need to deal with it again.
If you ever need to restore a file you lost, you can just go to the Start Menu, type in "backup", and go back to "Backup and Restore". You can hit the "Restore My Files" or "Restore Users Files" buttons to get those files back.

There is, of course, one downside to this method. While it’ll save you if you accidentally delete a file or have hard drive issues, it won’t save you if, say, you have a fire. For truly bulletproof backup, you’ll want to back up all your data online, so you can get it back wherever you are (and whatever happens to your hardware).

What Files Should You Backup On Your Windows PC?

The most important files to backup are probably your documents, pictures, music, and other user files, but they are not the only files that you need to backup.

  • Documents
  • Music:
  • Pictures & Videos
  • Desktop Email
  • Application Settings
  • Virtual Machines

Backup These Files More Easily: Instead of trying to find all those locations, backup your entire Users folder, which is at C:\Users\Username in Windows 7 or Vista, and C:\Documents and Settings\Username for Windows XP. This will include all of those files, unless you’ve stored them somewhere else.

Files You Should Not Bother Backing Up

There’s simply no reason to backup these directories:

  • Windows;
  • Program Files;

It’s worth noting that if you create a system image backup, you won’t have to reinstall all of your applications, and backing up these folders would still be pointless.

Seagate Unveils New New R&D Hub In Korea

February 21st, 2013 Comments off

On Feb. 20, 2013, Seagate unveils its Seagate Korea Design Center, dedicated to developing advanced 2.5-inch hard drive solutions and small form-factor products for the mobile compute market.

The new R&D Hub is located at Gwanggyo New Town, Gyeong-gi Province, is a seven-story, 26,000 square-meter building. Seagate has invested US$ 136.5Million (Approximately KRW 142.34Billion) in the Korean R&D hub and plans to continuously expand its investment. Seagate hired an additional 105 talented engineers, researchers and scientists, last year to bring the employee total to 360.

“The Seagate Korea Design Center is a significant addition to our global R&D and design centers. Technological innovation is the cornerstone of our success and the decision to locate this important strategic R&D investment in Korea reflects our confidence in the wealth of intellectual talent available here. We truly appreciate Gyeonggi Provincial office’s commitment and support for making this possible and we look forward to being a strong corporate partner in the community.” Steve Luczo, Seagate Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said.

“It is a great pleasure to have Seagate, a world leader in disk drives and storage, in Gwanggyo New Town. “We expect Seagate to be a critical engine of growth for the Gyeonggi province, while building the local research and development talent.” Moon-Soo Kim, Governor of Gyeonggi Province, said.

As part of its commitment to the Korean community, Seagate will make a donation of US$ 70,000 (Approximately KRW 73Million) to The Holt Ilsan Center (Holt Town) in Korea and present the cheque at the opening ceremony. The Holt Town, run by Holt Children’s Services Inc., provides rehabilitation, therapy and training services for disabled, ranging from toddlers to adults.

Steve Luczo, Chairman and CEO of Seagate Technology, Bob Whitmore, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, NY Park, Senior Vice President and General Manager of SKDC, as well as honorary guests including, Moon-Soo Kim, Governor of Gyeonggi Province, Jae-Young Lee, President of Gyeong-Gi Urban Innovation Corporation, Hak-Gyu Kim, Mayor of Yong-in City Municipal Government, Yeon-Hee Lee, Head of Suji Borough Office, Young-Ho Heo, Director of Gyeonggi Volunteer Center and Seh-Woong Jeong and Nam-Seong Cho, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics were at the ceremony to celebrate the opening.

Solutions For Enterprise Flash Storage by Seagate & Virident

January 31st, 2013 Comments off

Seagate and Virident announced a strategic agreement to jointly deliver solutions for the growing enterprise flash storage market. Under the agreement, Seagate will immediately offer a complete line of flash-based PCIe solutions to its OEM and distribution partners. In addition, Seagate and Virident intend to leverage their mutual strengths to create next-generation hardware and software solutions for the solid-state storage market. In conjunction with the agreement, Seagate has made a strategic equity investment in Virident, and will appoint one member to the Virident Board of Directors.

“Seagate is thrilled to team with Virident, a technology leader in one of the fastest growing markets in enterprise and cloud computing, together, we are working to develop the next-generation hardware and software solutions in the PCIe space. Our solid-state strategy is founded on both in-house development and through strategic partnerships with innovative companies to deliver the broadest portfolio in the industry. We believe that this strategic agreement immediately strengthens our leading position in the enterprise storage market by adding a broad line of Seagate flash-based PCIe solutions powered by Virident to our portfolio. We look forward to a long, productive partnership with Virident.”said Gary Gentry, senior vice president and general manager, Solid State Drives at Seagate.

“We are extremely pleased to have Seagate as a strategic partner and investor, this partnership validates Virident’s vision of pervasive flash in the performance tier and accelerates our shared vision by bringing next-generation SCM solutions to the enterprise and web datacenters worldwide. The agreement also expands Virident’s routes to market today by making our best-in-class PCIe flash products available to Seagate’s world-class channels.” said Mike Gustafson, Chief Executive Officer of Virident.

About Virident Systems
Virident Systems is a leading provider of enterprise-class Storage Class Memory (SCM) solutions that deliver unconditional, consistent performance to data-intensive applications. The inherent advantage associated with this disruptive technology revolutionizes computing by speeding application response time and optimizing datacenter efficiency for new levels of ROI. Virident Systems is backed by strategic investors, Intel®, Cisco® Systems and a storage solution provider, as well as Hercules Technology Growth Capital and venture investors Globespan Capital Partners, Sequoia Capital, Mitsui Global Investments and Artiman Ventures. For more information, visit www.virident.com.

Online Backup for Small Business

December 10th, 2012 Comments off

You’ve heard it thousands of times — backup your data. A good data backup strategy is to have two copies of your data – one local (it resides in your office or place of business) and one offsite (you pay an online data company to store it remotely on their secure servers).

Online backup is now a must have for all computer users, as we now live in a digital age where our whole digital life is store online.  Our files, photos, music, video, financials and more are all stored on our computer hard drives. But what happens if your hard drives crash? All hard drives will fail eventually and they usually happen at random when you least expect them. We no longer have CD collections, or DVD racks with our films, or photo albums of our photos, they are all stored on our hard drives. Theft, Fire, Accidental deletion, hardware failure, all these can contribute to lost files. Files which are no longer just binary text, these files are irreplaceable memories which money cannot buy back.

OnlineBackupforSmallBusiness

Online Backup for Small Business

Tips For Buying Online Backup Services:
Below are some of the main factors to consider when selecting an online data backup providers:

1. The Kind of Backup User You Are:

A service designed for home users or small businesses is quite different than one designed for the enterprise. The latter requires complex features such as ability to backup operating system files, live database, historical backup, and extremely tight encryption, while the former would be happy with a relatively low priced service that provides common features such as scheduled backup, web access, ability to send files by CD/DVD, and share files with others.

2. In general, online backup users should ask the following questions:

  • Does the service offer historical backup?
  • Can the software recover from an interrupted backup process?
  • Is there an option for a live and continuous backup? (As opposed to a scheduled backup)
  • Does the software allow network backups?
  • How about database and operating system backup? (Including registry files)
  • Can I get copies of my data on a CD-ROM for an emergency data restoration?
  • Can I edit or delete stored files?
  • Can I select a whole folder without having to select each individual file to backup?
  • Does the software allow multiple file sets to be scheduled on different times?
  • Can I include / exclude filters to include / exclude certain file types?
  • How long will my data be kept in the provider’s servers?
  • Will my data be duplicated to at least two geographically different locations?
  • Where is the data center of this company?
  • How many different versions of my data will be kept?
  • Will this company be around, say, 3 years from now?
  • Is this company an original provider or is it a re-seller?
  • What is the speed of uploading and restoring files? If this is important to me, shall I consider paying more for a fast service?
  • Does this provider support my computer systems (E.g. Mac, Linux, etc.)?

3. Security

To ensure that your data is secure while it is being transferred from your computer to the provider’s data center, most providers offer the option of encryption and password protection. In this way, only someone with your password can access your data.

In most cases a 128-bit encryption is sufficient. For some businesses that want absolute privacy, security might require a much stronger encryption. Although not very common, some providers offer a 448-bit encryption. In addition, data has to remain secure once it reaches the destination server, which means providers have to have proper policies to ensure employees do not access client data for non-authorized reasons. Most providers take the issue of security very seriously, as it is one of the reasons why computer users are hesitant to backup online.

4. Speed, Reliability and Uptime

As backups are usually a last resort way of recovering data after a disaster or system failure, backup providers don’t have much of a margin of error. The data has to be there when needed. No amount of explanation on why the data is not available will calm a user that just lost an entire computer hard drive and is trying to restore from a backup.

To ensure the provider has taken sufficient steps to keep service reliable, you should ask the following questions:

Does the backup provider have a “backup” copy of all clients’ data somewhere on a secondary data center, away from the primary?
Is the backup center equipped with uninterruptible power supply, backup generator and is it located in a safe and secure location?
What is the uptime for the data center?
How many clicks does it take before the actual backup is started?
How fast is the data center?
How much CPU or disk resources does it chew up when the backup is running?
Where is the geographic location of the data center?
Is the backup continues?
How many years has this Online Backup Service Provider been in business or does the company have solid financial resources?
How fast can files be restored?
Who are the clients of this company?
How many paying customers does the company have?

5. Quality and Accessibility of Technical Support

Does the company have a toll free number?
Is technical support available 24/7?
Does this company reveal its email address in their site or does it force me to fill in a time consuming form?
Is there an emergency user support?
Does the company have a physical address listed in their site?
What is the turn around time for email queries?
Does the company have an international presence?
Does the company publish a customer support satisfaction survey stats?
What is the wait time for phone support?

6. Cost

How much does this Online Backup Service Provider charge per GB per month?
Is there a set-up fee?
Is the cost per account or per PC?
How often and how much data are allowed for backup per day or per month?
Is there a no obligation free trial period before I sign up?
Can I cancel at any time or am I tied in for a minimum period?
What is the cost for exceeding the allowable traffic and storage quota?
Is there extra cost for telephone technical support?

7. Some these Online Backup Service Providers:

mypcbackup.com
justcloud.com
backupgenie.com
sosonlinebackup.com
zipcloud.com
sugarsync.com
mozy.com
box.com
crashplan.com
carbonite.com

Online Backup is like insurance, for a small monthly fee (Less than the cost of a Cinema Ticket) you will never have to worry about your files again. If you get a new computer and you need to restore your files and documents its literally a click of a button.

Gigabyte to Terabytes

September 26th, 2012 Comments off

For fun, here is a comparison of some old storage media with something in our data recovery lab right now.

Gigabyte-to-Terabytes

On the left is an IBM 3380 ‘direct storage access device’ circa 1980. Capacity: 1 GB. On the right, a RAID recovery on one of our lab workbenches, set up in a couple of storage cases.
Capacity: 48 TB.

The cases and the old IBM device are about the same size… ~30cm across, but of course 30 years difference.

Gigabyte:

The gigabyte is a multiple of the unit byte fordigital information storage. The prefix giga means 109 in the International System of Units (SI), therefore 1 gigabyte is1000000000 bytes. The unit symbol for the gigabyte is GB or Gbyte, but not Gb (lower case b) which is typically used for the gigabit.

Terabytes:

The terabyte is a multiple of the unit byte digital information. The prefix tera means 1012 in the International System of Units (SI), and therefore 1 terabyte is 1000000000000 bytes, or 1trillion (short scale) bytes, or 1000 gigabytes. 1 terabyte in binary prefixes is 0.9095 tebibytes, or 931.32 gibibytes. The unit symbol for the terabyte is TB or TByte, but not Tb(lower case b) which refers to terabit.

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