About Anything

The personal blog of Al Stevens. Focus is overrated.

Carbonite — two years of files on my disk and I’m not worried

with one comment

Until about two years ago, I backed up important data only if I found myself waking up at night and then I didn’t do a very good job of it. Copying key folders to a file server or burning a DVD were parts of my haphazard solution. When I did need to recover a file, it was always hit-or-miss, digging through the various copies. For some projects, I did use a version control system (subversion), but the overhead and discipline required limited its use to software developments. Everything else, Office files, images, text files and email sat vulnerable to a mistake by me or a disk failure.

Then I installed Carbonite. It’s not free — it costs roughly $50 per year, but it’s so easy to use and provides so much peace of mind  that I don’t give the price a second thought.  It integrates with XP as if it came with it — actually as if someone other the Microsoft designed it. Right click a file or folder to back it up or remove it from the backup and you’re done. To restore a missing file open up the Carbonite directory and select the file — you can restore it, or a previous version.

Restoring a file is not instantaneous — it can take several minutes, or even longer for a big file, but it does come back, usually faster than searching through a bunch of DVD’s or directories on a server for the right copy.

Fortunately, I’ve not yet needed to recover the entire file system ,but I did buy a new laptop and used Carbonite to transfer most of my old files. This was remarkably easy — I uninstalled Carbonite from my old laptop, installed it on the new one, registered my new laptop and the Carbonite directory appeared. It took only a few minutes to select the files I wanted restored and by the end of the day, they were all there, along with easy access to their backups.

It’s available at www.carbonite.com

Written by Al Stevens

March 25th, 2008 at 4:55 pm