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How do other translators back up their files? Best way to set up an automated back up?
Thread poster: Alison Watt

Alison Watt  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:26
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 6, 2014

Hi,

I'm working on a big project at the moment. I had a horrible vision of my hard drive dying and then where would I be?!icon_eek.gif

So I wondered, how do other people tend to back up their PC? I run Windows 7.

I already have an external hard drive and do a sporadic manual back up of my important documents but I think that's a fairly basic way of doing it! Is there a way of setting up an automated process that runs the back up for you?

I would be glad to hear any suggestionsicon_smile.gif

Thanks,
Alison


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Clouding Aug 6, 2014

A lot of people seem to be using cloud storage nowadays (although I'm wary/reluctant myself). I seem to have installed Dropbox, probably when encouraged to do so by my antivirus SW, which might be useful for this purpose (but I don't know, too busy/can't be bothered to find out):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dropbox_(service)

[Edited at 2014-08-06 10:17 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-08-06 10:17 GMT]


 

Alison Watt  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:26
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Dropbox hadn't occurred to me... Aug 6, 2014

Aha, Dropbox hadn't occurred to me! That's a good idea. The other cloud solutions seem to be quite expensive.

I've done a bit of research in the meantime and it is possible to set up a wireless hard drive that functions as a drive through your router... But I think I am going to go for a standard USB external hard drive and use Windows backup.

Thank you!


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Online backup Aug 6, 2014

Use online backup. You can get unlimited space for $60 a year with Crashplan, for example. They keep all files backed up even after you delete them on your computer, and they keep several versions of them, so you can get a previous version back if you have messed up a file. Backups are incremental and daily. You can restore files instantly. Once installed and configured, all fairly easily, you have nothing to do except restore files you may need. It runs by itself, and I have not noticed performance problems with it on Windows 7.

I tried Mozy, but they delete files from their backup 30 days after you delete them on your computer, so if you need a file you accidentally deleted more than 30 days ago, it's lost forever. Their automatic backup also once suddenly stopped, and I was not notified that backups were not running. As a result, I lost a complete computer program I'd written. They also once got the insane idea to change the language of my user interface to French without asking or notifying me, and there was no way to set it back to English. No good.

I tried SOSonlinebackup, but when I needed a full restore of a computer, their system restored everything, also files that I had previously deleted on my computer, and which I didn't want back. The result was a gigantic mess where current and previously deleted files were mixed up. There was no way to avoid it. No good.

I tried Carbonite. It never worked after installation, and support was so miserable that they only got back with a 'can't-be-bothered' reply a couple of days before the end of the trial period of 10 days. No good.

The only provider I have been satisfied with so far is Crashplan.

Others may perhaps suggest a cloud solution. I don't know anything about it, so can't comment on that.

What I would not do is local backups. You'll spend precious working time organising CDs, forget to do it, and if you have a serious incident at your premises, such as fire, or even burglary, you may lose all the backups at the same time as the computer. Even if you latest backup was made two days ago, you may still lose a complete translated document, client contact details, invoicing details etc. For $60/year, there is no good excuse not to use a proper online backup solution.


 

PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:26
English to Polish
+ ...
Local backups Aug 6, 2014

FrostTrans wrote:
What I would not do is local backups.


Why not?
Backing up to an external HDD is a natural thing to do and the backup is easy to retrieve.
Cloud backup will not work if you lose your internet connection for some reason (that's assuming we are trying to protect ourselves against all possible disasters).

I would be wary of saving important work to DVD (never mind CD), because the likelihood of optical media failure is much higher than of a magnetic drive.


 

Madeleine Chevassus  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:26
Member (2010)
English to French
Dropbox: confidentiality issue? Aug 6, 2014

Hi, I suspect that Dropbox's files can be accessed by other unauthorized persons or crawlers etc.

When I work for an outsourcer with a restrictive NDA,

I backup my LapTop on an external hard drive in my study; I use Cobian backup which allows two modes: global backup or incremental backup. In the latter case, only recently updated files are archived (faster).
When the job is very critical I save more often the xliff and the target file on my USB key.

Have a good day,

Madeleine



[Edited at 2014-08-06 11:16 GMT]


 

Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 18:26
German to Swedish
+ ...
NDA Aug 6, 2014

Remember: Cloud backup may violate your NDA.

Also we may take for granted that all backed-up files that are not encrypted before uploading to the cloud are accessible to NSA and friends.


 

Roy OConnor
Local time: 18:26
German to English
RAID Aug 6, 2014

If you are only worried about hard disk crashes, you could use a RAID controller which automatically writes to two or more disks depending on which RAID level you choose. This option is probably relatively easy to apply provided you are using a desktop computer. If you mirror your files using just two disks, it slows your performance, but if you use a more complicated array of four disks, you can compensate this effect with striping the files too. This is RAID level 10.

It's a bit technical, but once set up it all works in the background. You can keep a spare disk to replace a failed one. Of course, if you inadvertently delete a file, then you lose it as in a normal system.


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:26
Member (2008)
French to English
What I do Aug 6, 2014

After having once had a devastating data loss, here's what I set up:

- installed the program AllWay Sync to perform backups automatically

- backup to a local external HDD of my entire Documents folder, updated continuously

- use Macrium Reflect once a month to back up an image of my entire hard drive. This saved me a couple of years ago when I had another hard drive crash. I was able to buy a new hard drive and reimage it from the Macrium backup image. This included all software and licenses, etc., so no reinstalls were needed. In about 4 hours after the crash I was up and running again, with no data loss.

- I work from an office, so I have another HDD at home which AllWay Sync accesses over an encrypted VPN and does another backup in my own private "cloud". This gives me both an onsite and offsite backup.

Am I paranoid? Yes, but it's proved itself.

All that said, an IT guy once pointed out to me that an automated backup system is only as good as the person who checks regularly that it's actually working. Otherwise it can fail and no one knows until you need it.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
No free lunches Aug 6, 2014

Madeleine Chevassus wrote:

Hi, I suspect that Dropbox's files can be accessed by other unauthorized persons or crawlers etc.




[Edited at 2014-08-06 11:16 GMT]


So do I. I think most free or low cost SW tends to be prone to unauthorised access or hacking, etc. This is why I don't use Dropbox - which keeps appearing on my PCs - and simply rely on backing up my work files to a pen drive.


 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:26
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Useful software Aug 6, 2014

I back up my data to an external hard drive at least once a day. I do it manually, but I use a really nifty piece of software called Vice Versa (http://www.tgrmn.com/) which I also use to synchronise files across 2 computers. This means that only the new/updated files are copied across, making the process much quicker. I highly recommend it!

 

564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:26
Danish to English
+ ...
Automatic backup to external server Aug 7, 2014

Having just once suffered a terrible computer crash, and realising that I had forgotten to do manual backups for three weeks (!), I chose to set up a deal with my IT contacts, which means that a backup is run once a day to their server. They keep backups for three months, which is more than enough for me. It costs me about €10 per month, which I consider reasonable.

 

Jean-Christophe Duc  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:26
English to French
+ ...
Depends on the quantity of data to backup Aug 7, 2014

... and whether the biggest worry is theft or crash, but an external HDD (or SSD if you can afford it) should be more than enough, and the cheapest option (most people have at least two computers/tablets.)
For small jobs, a copy on a different area of your normal drive is also adequate.
Assuming you work for an agency, you can use their ftp site for temporary backups.
Or you can be more imaginative, use the Cloud space that most phone service providers give you for free, or, why not, the SD card on your phone/camera if the files are not too big.


 

Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 01:26
Japanese to English
+ ...
My setup Aug 7, 2014

Western Digital 2 TB drive connected via Ethernet to my wireless router.

Acronis True Image 2014, which is set to incrementally back up all "documents" (SDL folders and My Documents, mainly) once a day, and perform a full disc-image backup about four times a year.

I also have all translation-related files such as TMs, termbases, invoices, etc. backed up on rewritable optical media, although due to laziness these are probably not updated as often as they should be. Ideally those discs should be stored off-site as well, in case of a fire or something here.


 

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:26
Member (2008)
English to French
Thumbs up for Dropbox Aug 7, 2014

Dropbox cannot be accessed by others unless you give them access, and then you can choose to only give them access to certain files or folders. I have a paid account and I consider it money very well spent.

Over the years it has saved my bacon many times; from computer crashes to memory corruption (since the paid account saves a month's worth of updates - those backups don't count towards your data limit - you can always roll back a TM to any point in the last 30 days) to the time I delivered the source back to the PM instead of the translation : I was at the restaurant when I saw the email so I accessed dropbox on my phone and sent her the correct file instead of having to head home to access my computer.

To counter the NDA might be against cloud storage argument - unless you exclusively fax documents or mail USB keys back and forth to your clients or have your own in-house mail server - your emails and all the files they contain are already in cloud storage.

If you suffer a fire or a robbery, external physical backups may go the same way as your main computer.


 
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