Category Archives: Storage

Mozy – Free Online Backup Service

Here is a great website offering a free 2GB online service totally free
Backup 2GB of files for free and always have a copy away from your laptop and always receoverable!

Alternatively pay $4.95 per month for an unlimited backup service!

Its very quick and easy to setup and works on Mac and Windows.

Blog backup with Gmail

If you have a small site or  a blog and want to create regular backups, you could use your Gmail account for that, but lets say it starts to clog up your inbox or even worse it starts to use up your storage space. A friend of mine does it brilliantly. A filter (rule) on Gmail will delete the email with the backup on arrival and it then gets stored in your Bin therefore not using your inbox space and storage capability while keeping it accessible for 30 days. If your site is updated daily you could even have a daily backup.

In a nutshell here is how you do it.

  1. Setup a backup cronjob on your CPanel – send backup to you Gmail account
  2. on Gmail, go to Settings > Filters
  3. create a new filter From: <your server’s email address>  – to know it you need to check the backup email you’ve just received from the cronjob.
  4. on the next step select the options “Skip the Inbox” and “Delete it”
  5. select also “apply to # conversations below” – it will apply the filter (rule) to any existing backup you already have in your inbox

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Recover Linux reiserFS with bad blocks

Crisis normally create a great environment for quick learning. Some would say that it also exposes lack of planing, which in my experience both are equally true.

Last week I had a server’s HD die on me and I suddenly had to rescue some of the newer data that for some stupid reason I had not selected for backup. I found a lot of information out there but none seemed to work untill I came across some simple instructions on using dd & reiserfsck to rescue the data from my dead HD into a .img file and mount it.

The process is slow but works nicely. Please follow the instructions here.

PS: just remember to use — instead of – before the switches otherwise it’s not going to work.

File Name Length Restrictions – Can’t Delete Files

I was trying to delete some archived files from our file server today but kept running into a “Can not delete this file” error. It didn’t give me any more details than that when I tried to delete the archived files.

I tried to change the permissions and change the ownership on the files so that I could delete them, but I still didn’t have any luck actually deleting the files.

As it turns out Windows Server 2003 has a file length restriction, well, it’s actually a file length restriction with NTFS, the file system that Windows Server 2003 uses.

File names, including the folder name, must not exceed 255 characters. Because some of our files exceeded 255 characters I was unable to delete the files, although I could manipulate it in other ways.

I solved my problem by moving the deep folders to the root of the hard drive and then deleting them. That worked without fail and I was able to delete all the files that had previously given me the “Can not delete this file” error.

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How to backup your computer’s information

– a tutorial on backups

I dont think you can ever realise how important it is to backup your files until the first time you lose them… I have had many people ask for me to recover data from a crashed computer because they have never backed up their computer. Products are being produced all the time that aim to make it easier and easier for the home user to backup their data. But today I am going to do a little tutorial for people who dont know how to back up data – not only so you can read it, but also so I can direct people who come and ask me to it so that I do not have to explain this over and over!

I hope you find this tutorial easy to follow…here we go!

1)The first step is to determine how much data (or files) you are needing to back up. Generally speaking if it is just documents (like Word or Excel) you will not need a lot of storage to back everything up. The more media files you have (photos, music and video) will mean you will need bigger storage to back up your data.
To find how much data you need to click any given folder (probably my documents because that is most likely where all your files are!) with the right mouse button and select properties, this will tell you how much data is in the file.

2)Below is a rough guide comparing how much data on the computer compared to the different mediums you can use to backup your files. (this is a simplified table – but contains the mediums most commonly used)

Amount of DataIdeal Medium of StorageUp to 700mbCDUp to 4.7gbDVD (Single Layer)abover 4.7gbExternal Hard drive

This is only a guide. In my opinion the ideal solution is to buy an external hard drive, no matter how much data you have. Currently from you can buy a 320gb external hard drive for about £65 ($130 USD) which will be plenty of space to back up files for a long time.
What I personally do in addition to using an external hard drive is back up my pictures and music to DVD – because I know I would have a horrible feeling (not to mention be upset) if I lost all of my pictures!

3) To back up to a CD or DVD is pretty much the same. It will differ depending on what software you use to burn the discs. Generally speaking you need to open the program you use to burn the discs (such as neroCD Burner XP (Free)or Roxio). then open a new session and copy all the data that you want into that session, then simply – select go (or burn) and the software will do the rest.

4) To use an external hard drive is also very simple. Some hard drives (such as Western Digital come with software that, when installed, walks you through a simple wizard that sets your options for how often you want to backup and which folders you want to back up.( you just need to remember what time your choose and make sure your hard drive and computer are connected and switched on at that point.

If your hard drive does not this software it is still simple. First open the folder showing the files you want to back up, then in another window browse to the hard drive (in windows go to >my computer and then it will be in there as something like E:\WD USB 2 , WD being the name of the company that make the hard drive) then using the right hand mouse button drag the folders and files you want backed up from the first window into the external hard drive window. When you release the mouse it will give you the option to move or copy the files – choose copy.

There is free software out there called syncback SE that I have written about before. This will also run a scheduled backup between any two folders on any two hard drives – so if the scheduled option would help you – I recommend having a look at this!

There you have it – your files safely backed up – no worries.

Free Hard Disk Space Manager for Windows

As my hard drive size has gotten bigger it has become easier to fill it up with sometimes useless stuff. Even when the stuff is not useless, it can still be hard to manage all the files on my computer’s hard drive and know how much space on the hard drive is actually being taken up.

If you are only wanting to mange your files on a local hard drive then a great program to use is TreeSize Free.

TreeSize Free Screen Shot

TreeSize Free provides you with an Explorer-like interface and can also add itself to the right-click context menu in Explorer. It’s helped me a lot in knowing when to archive my photos to CD and also when I need to clean up certain folders like my download folder. TreeSize Free will also allow you to print reports.

I have also found TreeSize Free to be great in helping me to manage our file usage on our Windows Server 2003 File Server. Although not ideal for this, JAM Software offers TreeSize Professional for this, it works adequately for our small office. TreeSize Professional allows scanning of network hard drives and has quite a few different reporting options and more information then the TreeSize Free version does.

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