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Sick PC recovery and now as well as can be expected

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Post  plantoid 10/10/2012, 6:39 pm

Recently I had a professional company try & sort out my PC. as it was hop ,skip and jumping around when trying to get on line then coming out the internet quicker than a docker out the dock yard gates an hour after work has started .

End result they found some programme corruptions on the HD caused by doing antivirus back up on the hard disc of only 120 gig.

They rescued what they could and put these on my external 500 gig hard drive , then wiped & reformatted ( ??? ) the PC's hard drive , putting in a replacement operating system of MS vista 2006 32 bit .

What they didn't tell me was that I'd have to spend days trying to get the MS service packs one & two down loaded to bring the machine upto date.
Thankfully a friend who plays in internet security for a big national body sent me the updates off his MS acount on two discs. It then took almost four hours for both service packs to be fully set up.

After pulling the hair out my arms & legs ( I'm as bald as an egg on top ) and getting the updates done , I have finally managed to get my antivirus back on the machine ,I'm all putered out for tonight .

Tomorrrow is another day ........I only need to put six more programmes inc MS office on cd's back into the machine & I'll be back up & running on high speed gas.

I might then be able to do the October notes for Europe and some other word processing tasks .
Can any of you more technical people tell me how you store your back up's other than using the antivirus providers online data bank or on your own DVD/cd's ?

I used to have a rotating set of four DVD's for the task but found it a big chore to do it every Sunday evening especially if I was not here .
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Post  RoOsTeR 10/10/2012, 7:54 pm

Sorry to hear you've had such troubles with your machine Plantoid. I've been there several times myself. Last year, I got a hold of something that pretty much destroyed my hard drive and after all was said and done and redone and restored blah blah blah, I vowed I would never not back up my system again. I was pretty good about it....for about a month lol. I guess I will just never learn Embarassed There are lot's of different ways you can go about backing up. One of the easiest is to just use an external hard drive, and set it up on a schedule to do automatically. There are also online services you can use to accomplish the same thing. I don't know how much that would cost. External hard drives for backing up are fairly cheap considering how large you can get these days. Another option are flash drives. You can also pick these up relatively cheap with large capacities.
I can tell you all this great nifty stuff Dave, unfortunately I can't tell you much more from experience seeing as how I'm not smart enough to follow my own tips! Razz Good luck with whatever you decide and I hope you're more dedicated than I am tongue

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Post  happycamper 10/10/2012, 9:34 pm

I am a firm believer in backing up when it comes to computers. I have two 1.5 terabyte external usb drives. I backup my systems and then backup the backup (just in case). If your computer friend knows about computers, you can slipstream your service packs all onto one disc and when you need to reinstall after formatting you have everything install at one time from one dvd.
If you don't have alot of data to save, the easiest way would be to use a thumb drive as Rooster suggested. Looking on the bright side, computers always seem to run faster after they have been erased!
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Post  sceleste54 10/10/2012, 9:42 pm

What THEY said... !! operative words being BACK UP... by whatever means available... Wink
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Post  GloriaG 10/11/2012, 12:20 am

FWIW - I can tell you from experience that the automatic backup system Rooster is talking about really works.

My computer is automatically backed-up to an external hard drive every Friday night. In addition I backup critical data to a portable hard drive as needed.

In August, my desktop PC got a nasty virus - and we were able to wipe the computer and restore everything fairly easily from the external drive plus a few software discs.

The external backup wasn't very expensive, was easy to install, and can be set for frequency, start time, and what you want backed-up, i.e. data, programs (service packs), settings, etc. (I chose to save some backup space by not routinely backing up most of my larger programs like MS Photoshop.) And, just to be safe, I check mine periodically to make sure it's working properly.

For me, this has been an ideal solution. I can't get lazy and skip a backup or accidentally forget to do one.

Good luck with getting everything restored.
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Post  CapeCoddess 10/11/2012, 3:57 pm

When I DO back up, which is once a week for photos, and anytime I have an important doc or spreadsheet which is almost never, I back up to Shutterfly with the photos and Hotmail's Skydrive for the docs/spreadsheets. Both are online, like the Cloud I believe it's called, and free. This way I can grab whatever I need from any computer anywhere.

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Post  littlejo 10/11/2012, 7:07 pm

I just had about the same problem. Mine was supposedly spyware. Had to reformat and reinstall. I did the auto backup with an external HD. It is easy if you can set it up to do automatically, without input from you. That way you don't forget and don't have to be there!
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Post  plantoid 10/12/2012, 8:18 pm

Thanks guys & gals

I like the idea of another external hard drive just for back up & they are cheap enough over here.

Am I to take it that some of you leave your PC on 24/7 or are you just leaving it on on the day of backup ?

The PC has certainly had a dose of amphets . It's so fast I can actually recieved emails again without the darn thing dropping the wifi connection out. I suspected it was the modem so that is deffo a bonus not having to buy another one.
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Post  littlejo 10/12/2012, 9:09 pm

Plantoid,
I don't leave it on all the time, and I turn off the internet connection unless I'm using it. Also, I don't leave the external HD plugged in all the time. I just have a post-it note to remind me that I must leave it on and plugged in. This way, maybe, I won't have my problem for a long time, cross your fingers.
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Post  GloriaG 10/12/2012, 9:56 pm

Yes - I leave my PC and backup drive on at all times. I do turn everything off periodically to make sure it all boots correctly. Since I work from home, I find that I use the PC quite frequently during the day (and night).

I guess I should be concerned about the electric usage, but I'm not, since we've already reduced our electric bill ~40% over the last 5-years.
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Post  RoOsTeR 10/12/2012, 10:19 pm

We also leave ours on 24 7.

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Post  plantoid 10/13/2012, 7:40 pm

I think I'll put the PC & monitor on sleep mode then and sort the back up onto an external HD so it back up when I come on line on a Sunday or such .

Thanks guys & gals.
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Post  CindiLou 10/14/2012, 3:03 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:We also leave ours on 24 7.

Actually, you should turn the computer off when possible. This allows the component to cool down. Continues heat will deteriorate the components faster than turning it off and on.

Sorry, my opinion from my schooling...
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Post  plantoid 10/14/2012, 4:52 pm

Cheers CL ,
It's a toss up which you do .. On tower PC's the HD is apparently better served if it runs all the time without stop / start loads .

When a component is cold the resistance is usually increased so there are all sorts of eddy currents and varying voltage drops in the circuits and motors till things warm up to optimum temps .

Most components have a decent heat tollerance band and so long as the fans are not full of fluff or runing 24/7 because the air cooling vents are blocked or restricted should be quite adequate to handle staying on 24/7 .

Laptops are possibly more aligned to your words for they can have hot zones on some of the older models .

The big thing for the global warmists is the wasted energy used in keeping things on 24/7 and for me ....... Being tighter than a ducks butt ( water tight ) I don't like spending my money to do it. Laughing
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Post  plantoid 10/14/2012, 4:58 pm

***::+"£$%&* & %*"£+*?{> It looks like the computer shop people have also wiped thousands of photos off my external hard drive . Mad

Nearly 150 years of family history gone in seconds as we no longer have the photographs due to being flooded out and the moisture getting to the pictures. Sad
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Post  walshevak 10/14/2012, 7:14 pm

I feel you pain. I had a box of really old family pictures that got water damaged. The all stuck together.

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Post  Triciasgarden 10/16/2012, 7:54 pm

Oh wow Plantoid, that's absolutely ridiculous they didn't check for photos! I do family history and have tons of old photos also, so I totally understand your pain! My sisters and I have tried to make copies of all of them for each other so we all probably have more than a few sets going around. What you experienced is what I was afraid would happen to us. My backup family history discs disappeared while we had carpet installed and my computer had crashed. We had to move furniture upstairs, downstairs, out to the shed. I may find them one of these days but luckily I had printouts. While on Ancestry.com one day I found someone had posted photos (we had copies of some of what they had) of our joint ancestors. That may be a possibility to recover some of your photos. That will be a big job to do some searching. Is there a chance some of them were from professional studio that is still in business? We had some from a professional studio in Denmark (I wouldn't remember the name of the place though) that is still in business.

I am so sorry that happened to you! I do have to start backing up my computer regularly.
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Post  plantoid 10/17/2012, 6:00 pm

Tricia,
It is indeed a conundrum of how to store old photos in this digital age ..

Some of the early photos were on steel plates that went black when the moisture got to them . The more modern sepia photographs on paper also started to lose colour. The Black & white pictures from the mid 1950's started to weep when the gloss got damp and as previously told started to stick and tear when seperation was attempted.
Colour photos from the 1960's to 1996 lost so much colour many went olive green .
My early inkjet digital piccy prints also ran and messed up .

The laser jet powder printed pictures have held colour well , I was able to rescan them to the now wiped HD once they had been dried flat .

I'm not so sure that external HD's are the answer either , DVD & CD's appear to be on the way out and in a few years we may not be able to buy something to read them . Same with HD's and the upcoming Blue Ray discs. Solid state memory might be better but as yet I don't know too much about it.

It may well end up that everyone stores everything that we currently have as our on the PC retained data put on to one of several big hosting site system set up's So all that we end up having on our computers is a basic programme or three .
Such Hosts would make zillions from bandwidth rental's ( You heard it here first Sad )

Thanks for the tip about the professional photographers possibly keeping records , Though for the vast majority of such studio pictures the old chemists shop has long gone .
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Post  Triciasgarden 10/17/2012, 10:02 pm

Oh wow Plantoid, you really got hit bad!

Why is it that photo albums were fine (if you got your photos in them) and now we have to store them everywhere else? I had to take my photos out of the "magnetic" albums, the ones with the sticky surface and plastic covered the pages. Those are bad for photos because of their acid content. I had to use a blow dryer to soften the glue surface and use a kitchen spatula under the photo to carefully scrape it off. It worked though. Color photos don't hold as well as black and white photos do either. I will have to look into solid state memory. Sounds like how they used to advertise TVs, lol.

I have been doing word processing for more years than I should admit to so storing things on discs is easy for me. But for me it seems like CDs are so fragile and can get damaged so easily and then the photos would be gone. I like to have a "list" of what is on a CD, which was great for documents but not so easy for photos. My concern with the big hosting sites is what if they crash. They would have a backup so that would be good. But what if a relative wanted to get them, unless you leave the info with your Will, they won't know where the photos are. But it does seem like a good system all in all! I am probably over worrying.

On the photos that are stuck together, I would think that some company could get them apart safer than we could do it ourselves. That is so surprising that the photos on steel plates lasted this long and water made them go black. I wonder if the old photo studios would have some place where all their stock was stored. Again, that is if you knew the company names.

I'm glad you were able to re-scan the laser jet powder printer photos! Now you get to figure what to do with them, lol! Sorry, couldn't resist!


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