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Old 08-17-2015, 07:56 AM   #61
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I got my data and OS (Win) automatically backed up to a separate drive. Scheduled daily via Macrium Reflect software. Plus, I do syncing of my data folder as needed (not automated). The goal is to make the the backup and recovery process not too intrusive, yet functional.
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:51 AM   #62
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I lost my computer hard drive and the backup hard drive within an hour of each other. That week was fun.
Ouch. I have been making two backups on two different external hard drives every weekend. That redundancy gives me a (probably false) sense of being infallibly backed up.

Losing everything on one's hard drive is a devastating experience.

My new Windows 10 laptop is "out for delivery", so I'll probably back up twice again this afternoon just for GP, even though I did it on Saturday. Time to re-read the articles explaining how to tweak Windows 10 options in order to keep it from stealing bandwidth, transmitting my information unbeknownst to me, and so on. Honestly I think Microsoft must have lost their (collective) minds to have arranged the defaults as they did, since nearly everyone seems to object to the expanded invasion of privacy.
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:59 AM   #63
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Files that I care about are on 4 devices or more: laptop or desktop PCs, two Windows servers, a Buffalo NAS, an Iomega NAS, and perhaps another USB drive.

Ridiculous? Yes, it surely is. And I have not kept up the synchronizing between them. Darn! I want to be just a computer user, not running IT for the household. Ridiculous! And people think all this stuff is fun?
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:04 AM   #64
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The 30 day option to go back from Windows 10 to the previous OS may tempt some to do that. I just wanted to make clear that the option that comes up on the first screen (Windows 10 or Restore) means that the "Restore"... is not System Restore, wherein previous files and programs are restored intact... but is a full restore back to the original operating system. Everything else is lost.
.................................................. ...................

A side effect of this Windows 10 problem has become a "fun" project for me. The problems led me to look through my hoard of computer"stuff"... going through the antique section of my garage and pulling out old computers to play with while pomdering the next move.

Have turned the den into a tech shop with all kinds of computers, peripherals and old hard drives etc. (special dispensation from DW for a week or so.)

Found all kinds of interesting stuff... old Emachine, w/Windows 3.11, an old 300 Baud modem, and the Hayes 2800 modem we used for years in our busiess. Fascinating... an old Windows 95 HP "laptop" runing Windows 95 and still operating. Can't figure out how to conect to the internet as the doohicky plug-in cable converter doesn't seem to work. That baby weighs about 12 pounds, and with the accessoies bag, would requre a luggage carrier for use as a business travel adjunct.

I even kept the RAM chips from many of the computers I upgraded when I was "fixin" for my Florida community friends. Two 64MB chips $75 in the 1990's.

My Coleco "Adam" finally bit the dust last year, and is no more,and the Sinclair is nowere to be found. My first 'advanced" Acer desktop cost $575 on sale at Computerland. Flying high w/128 RAM. Traded that for a broken Trailhopper cycle.

Have come to the conclusion that the reason that the reason that computers is still a profitable business is because, aside from hard drives and memory chips, there are absolutely no interchangeable parts in any computer. If anything breaks... replace... do not repair.

Ah yes... I digress, but "Tis an ill wind that blows no good"... Computers have become such a big part in life, that a lookback makes for an interesting experience.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:13 AM   #65
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Files that I care about are on 4 devices or more: laptop or desktop PCs, two Windows servers, a Buffalo NAS, an Iomega NAS, and perhaps another USB drive.

Ridiculous? Yes, it surely is. And I have not kept up the synchronizing between them. Darn! I want to be just a computer user, not running IT for the household. Ridiculous! And people think all this stuff is fun?
I am in awe of your multiple backups! Even if they are not totally synched, that is still a great idea.

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A side effect of this Windows 10 problem has become a "fun" project for me. The problems led me to look through my hoard of computer"stuff"... going through the antique section of my garage and pulling out old computers to play with while pomdering the next move.
Imoldernu, have you checked your old CD's? Maybe you used to burn backups onto CD's like I did, back in the days before external hard drives were affordable. I have no idea whether or not they are still readable, though. And in my case, I think I tossed those ancient backups when I moved this summer.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:23 AM   #66
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No. I think the time I spent moving files about could be better spent doing something else. And then, because I lost track of what I store where, I had to run an app to scan all the devices to make sure they match. That takes a lot of time, while creating another copy is done with a few mouse clicks, then letting the machines grind on it for the next few hours. Trying to find out later which is what takes a lot of time.

Oh, this photo is reported as being different between two storage places. Lemme see. Ah, I rotated one copy to portrait mode, while the other is still in the original landscape form.

I hate to be so paranoid. I should not have to be.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:30 AM   #67
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No. I think the time I spent moving files about could be better spent doing something else. And then, because I lost track of what I store where, I had to run an app to scan all the devices to make sure they match. That takes a lot of time, because creating another copy is done with a few mouse clicks, then letting the machines grind on it for the next few hours. Trying to find out later which is what takes a lot of time.

Oh, this photo is reported as being different between two storage places. Lemme see. Ah, I rotated one copy to portrait mode, while the other is still in the original landscape form.

I hate to be so paranoid. I should not have to be.
I agree.

Hmm, all the time required is something I had not considered and that is definitely food for thought. I have already bookmarked a third external storage device for future purchase, to use with my new Windows 10 computer in addition to the other two external storage devices.

Right now, I can run CCleaner, scan with Malwarebytes and Norton, and then make backups from my laptop computer onto two external devices in less than an hour. This is fairly painless as I drink my coffee and check e-mail on my iPad, early in the mornings on weekends. I don't compare the backups at all, but instead just make new ones each time. (They are not huge, and I back up via USB 3.0.) Very low tech process but it works for me.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:37 AM   #68
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Sorry to hear about your troubles imoldernu.

Being paranoid, whenever I play with OS installs, I disconnect all the drives but the one I know will be overwritten.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:51 AM   #69
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The multiple backup copies on the 2 Windows servers and the 2 NAS are intended to be duplicates of photos, MP3, financial records, etc... These can be accessed by a media player on the home network. I do not have all of them on all the time, else my electric bill would be higher than it already is.

On top of the media server duplicates, I also run complete backups (which include OS files) of my laptop and wife's machine onto one of the Windows servers. This server automatically mirrors all backups onto two different internal hard drives. Each backup instance is a full disk image backup, meaning the entire hard drive of my laptop can be restored by plugging it into the network, then booting off a CD rescue disk.

What is slick with this server backup is that although each backup instance appears as a full backup to the user, the software will not repeatedly store files that have not been changed, and in fact will even use a single copy for files that are duplicated among client machines.

So, I do not have to think about incremental backups vs. full backups. And the automatic duplication inside the server into two different physical HDs give the extra protection that is needed. I count this among the things that MS does well and correctly. Yet, they discontinued it!
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:59 AM   #70
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Another thing to add.

The Window server backup looks like a disk image backup to the user, yet he can peruse and retrieve individual files if he wants to. This is really slick. But for the files to be accessible to a media player or to another PC on the network, I need to have them on a NAS or a shareable directory on the Window servers. Hence, the multiple copies of photos and MP3s.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:08 AM   #71
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That sounds like a great set-up, NW-Bound.

I don't do a full backup at all, ever! But I don't do incremental backups either. I just fully back up the subset of stuff that Windows keeps under my username "W2R". I make sure that anything that I want to keep is stored there.

Any software can be re-installed either from disk or download, and I don't regard software configuration as a very big deal. Also I couldn't care less if I lost an old operating system. Bye bye, Windows 8.1!
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:03 AM   #72
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Update...
Still have one computer running windows 7.

The other two are now disconnected and awaiting guru son, though I am not optimistic.
One of our sons is also our computer guru. He works in IT and always keeps up with the newest technology and software. Very handy to have him around when one of us runs into something we can't handle. Sometimes he just knows what search term to use, when my own searches didn't find the solution. He fixes just about anything for the cost of a home cooked meal.

Good luck, imoldernu. I hope he can get you back to where you were.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:05 AM   #73
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When plugging in additional usb devices windows will/can reassign the letter assignments. You need to go into the computer management console, disk management and assign a letter to the drive.

You may be able to recover files from the format, assuming you have not been trying to write additional info to the drive. There are tools for doing this, try this one Recover files after format easily and safely

The UBCD ( Ultimate Boot CD )disk will not help with what you have done. The BCD error is because the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) has been corrupted. You need to get into a windows recovery environment or boot into repair this computer from the windows media. For this you can use any windows 7 DVD ( You can down load one ). More on BCD here https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2004518

I would not do windows 10 upgrade online. And having the recovery media and backup is a must before starting any upgrade process. I would use the windows 10 media creation tool, Installing Windows 10 using the media creation tool - Windows Help, this will download the windows 10 files to an iso which you can burn to DVD and use that to install/upgrade from. Windows upgrades have not gone well in the past... I always did a clean install. But the free W10 is only available via upgrade, clean install requires product key.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:25 AM   #74
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The Windows upgrade popup has been nagging me to go for it. I already made a full backup of this Win 7 laptop, but do not think I am going with this now. Prior to this, the upgrade software has already made a couple of botched attempt to download 2.7GB worth of stuff, and it does not give me confidence. The tales of other posters did not give me confidence either.

It does not look I would gain much with Win 10 to make it worthwhile. I may do it when I get bored with nothing else to do. I would be able to restore the disk image easily, so that minimizes the risk.

The darn software experience is different for every installation. The software is getting way too complex with all different permutations of hardware and add-on software, MS lost control of it long ago. You would think in the digital world with 0's and 1's, things would be predictable, or at least repeatable. Hah! It's like cancer treatments. Every patient has a different response. But why get treatments if you do not have cancer in the 1st place? I'd better stop now before I give Apple users more ammo.

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Any software can be re-installed either from disk or download, and I don't regard software configuration as a very big deal.
No, it just takes time, and I'd rather spend my time doing something else. Much of my hardware is a collection of oddball peripherals, and the hours sitting there loading and configuring software get old fast.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:52 AM   #75
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The Windows upgrade popup has been nagging me to go for it. I already made a full backup of this Win 7 laptop, but do not think I am going with this now. Prior to this, the upgrade software has already made a couple of botched attempt to download 2.7GB worth of stuff, and it does not give me confidence. The tales of other posters did not give me confidence either.

It does not look I would gain much with Win 10 to make it worthwhile. I may do it when I get bored with nothing else to do. I would be able to restore the disk image easily, so that minimizes the risk.

The darn software experience is different for every installation. The software is getting way too complex with all different permutations of hardware and add-on software, MS lost control of it long ago. You would think in the digital world with 0's and 1's, things would be predictable, or at least repeatable. Hah! It's like cancer treatments. Every patient has a different response. But why get treatments if you do not have cancer in the 1st place? I'd better stop now before I give Apple users more ammo.


No, it just takes time, and I'd rather spend my time doing something else. Much of my hardware is a collection of oddball peripherals, and the hours sitting there loading and configuring software get old fast.
It might be prudent to take a look at the SMART parameters on a drive before going forward.

I've recently done that with half a dozen old drives. After seeing the statistics on these drives (used a utility under linux), I decide it wasn't worth holding onto drives that were failing, or expected to fail rather soon.

I set up an old box with mint or kubuntu, and it has available SATA and IDE connectors. I plugged in a drive to test, booted, and used various utilities to explore the different programs that test drives. Can't say I'm very experienced doing this, but it quickly showed me what's up with any given drive.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:59 AM   #76
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I'd better stop now before I give Apple users more ammo.
I have been a staunch Microsoft/Windows supporter nearly forever, with a brief love affair with the Apple IIe back in 1989, in the research lab.

However, if this new, very-expensive-to-me Windows 10 laptop computer that I'm getting today, gives me too much trouble? I'm NOT going back to Win7 or Win8.1 since I think they will be the XP of the future before we know it. Instead, I swear I'll get a Macbook Pro.

But, that is a last ditch move for a diehard Windows fan like me. I have never had any trouble with any Windows operating system so far, including the worst ones like 8.0, Me, and Vista. So I have no reason to expect trouble with Windows 10, although the reports online are unnerving.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:13 PM   #77
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I think if you stay with mainstream hardware and add no aftermarket peripherals, your chance of getting hosed is minimized. That hardware configuration means most laptops, because it is with desktops that people can add all kinds of stuff, particularly machines that people build themselves piecemeal. But that is only my theory.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:18 PM   #78
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Ouch. I have been making two backups on two different external hard drives every weekend. That redundancy gives me a (probably false) sense of being infallibly backed up.

Losing everything on one's hard drive is a devastating experience.
Yes indeed.

From my w*rk days I keep a "critical files' backup on CD storage, updated quarterly and yearly, and an external drive that updates whenever it sees fit.

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Files that I care about are on 4 devices or more: laptop or desktop PCs, two Windows servers, a Buffalo NAS, an Iomega NAS, and perhaps another USB drive.

Ridiculous? Yes, it surely is. And I have not kept up the synchronizing between them. Darn! I want to be just a computer user, not running IT for the household. Ridiculous! And people think all this stuff is fun?
Not ridiculous, but it might be a bit more than needed. OTOH, if the data is worth it, wither in financial or peraonal value, not at all excessive.

Here are two links to ARS Technica articles on Windows 10.
This is about privacy concerns Even when told not to, Windows 10 just can’t stop talking to Microsoft | Ars Technica

and this says Windows 10 will be free to all Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for all users worldwide [Updated] | Ars Technica
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:55 PM   #79
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I believe this is outdated ( from March ). There have been several iterations from M$ on upgrade qualifications. Non genuine and the Tech preview version don't qualify. Here's a more recent reference ( and it's Myerson again)

http://www.zdnet.com/article/microso...genuine-users/
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:25 PM   #80
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Thank to all for your guidance. Appreciate the specifics on recovery... As soon as I've found and saved the stuff I can still recover, I'll take a stab at fixing the 2T drive (maybe to recover many movies and TV series saved there.)
I tried several different ways of assigning a drive letter, including the suggestions here, but sill no answer. Can't understand it. The name (Seagate Expansion) shows up, but no way to assign a descriptor letter. The disk was formatted and the UBCD startup files show on my Sony Media Player, but nowhere else, and using this as my USB boot drive doesn't work.
Gonna be a slow process, but gives me something to do. In the meantime, am reliving some of the past... with the old Windows Systems... gonna try Win 3.11 .


At this point,i'm really happy it's not a $1500 Apple... I can afford to lose my refurbs, so it's not a matter of $$$. In the meantime, turning this into an AZ experiment.
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