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Disaster Strikes! Backup your data
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Disaster Strikes! Backup your data

  #1 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
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Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
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Disaster Strikes! Backup your data

The scenario:

You walk into your office, and your computer is dead. The system won't boot. The hard drives are completely worthless.

Forget about salvaging data off the HDD's -- they're gone. It's over. The drives have given up the ghost. Done. Toast. Finished.

Now, the question:

What would you do if your computer just crashed suddenly and without warning, and you lost everything on the computer with no hopes of salvaging any data that was stored on the hard drives.

I know there are a lot of techs in the forum. So let's just forget about RAID or trying to recover data from the drives, moving the drive to another computer, sending it out for professional recovery, or any of that. It doesn't matter if you were using SSD's or regular mechanical drives, for the purpose of this thread we will assume the data is permanently gone.

So for the average user, what do you do? Think about what you may have lost:

- Local emails (Outlook, Thunderbird clients)
- Pictures, videos, albums
- Music library
- Trading software
- Historical tick data
- Strategies, Indicators
- Software license codes you own
- Bookmarks in your browser
- Passwords and user names to all your sites

Always be prepared
If any of the data on your computer is important to you, then you need to have a backup.

Most common backups are to external USB drives, or eSATA drives. You attach them to the computer, and run some software to backup critical files to the external drive. This scenario should work great for the average home user, unless a real disaster strikes like a flood or tornado and you were unable to physically move the storage media to a safe place.

Let's say you have an external USB drive, or maybe you backup to a remote server. The next question is: How often? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Let's say your last backup was a week or more ago, are you OK with losing whatever work you've done on your computer in the last week?

Then of course, the next question is: What are you backing up? Simply having an external backup drive and backing up often is not enough, not if you aren't even backing up the right files. Some backup programs may by default exclude important directories to you. For example, Sierra Charts ignores Windows best practices and by default installs itself to the root of your C: drive. 99% of backup software would never include this location in its default backup set. The same can be said of MultiCharts. MultiCharts saves its files in a non-traditional "ProgramData" directory, while not as bad as the root of the drive like Sierra Chart, it is still a path that most backup software will exclude from default backups.

The fact is, most backup software only backs up your "Documents" directory by default. So if you use NinjaTrader, you are covered. But if you use MC or SC, not so much. What about if you use local email clients like Outlook or Thunderbird? By default, a few backup applications will not include those directories either, which are buried in your %appdata% directory in your profile.

My point with this post is just to try and help some of you out. Disk drives are cheap. Your time isn't. You should invest a few minutes and a few dollars now to come up with a solid backup plan to save you from the day you lose everything.

If anyone has specific ideas or recommendations for backup drives, software, or even internet cloud backup suites, feel free to post them here. (reminder: we do not allow referral links)

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.


Last edited by Big Mike; December 28th, 2011 at 10:22 PM.
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  #2 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 46,238 since Jun 2009
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My personal solution is more complex than the average user needs.

I have a remote media server with 8TB of storage that I use to house not just my media, but also a backup of critical files from my primary workstation.

I use a free piece of software called Syncrify. It is basically rsync over HTTP. There is a server side component, and a client side component. On my Debian 6 server, I am running the server component, and on my Windows 7 x64 client I have the client component.

Nightly the Syncrify client will scan my workstation for any changed files, and send that changed data across my local gigabit network to the media server. The whole process takes just a couple of minutes, since very little data changes on a daily basis.

If you want to buy Syncrify, you can also enable snapshotting on the server side. Or you could just do it natively in your server file system, like with ZFS or Btrfs. Since I am mainly just interested in disaster recovery, I don't care about snapshots so much on the server, as my Windows 7 client already has snapshots on the NTFS file system ("Previous Versions" in Windows speak).

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.


Last edited by Big Mike; December 28th, 2011 at 09:56 PM.
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  #3 (permalink)
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Posts: 46,238 since Jun 2009
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Here is a link to Newegg's external hard drives:

Newegg.com - External Hard Drives

On the left you can select the size and interface. If you know your computer supports it, eSATA will be faster than USB.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

Reply With Quote
 
  #4 (permalink)
Elite Member
Aurora, Il USA
 
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Platform: TradeStation
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Thanks for bringing this up Mike.
I have an extenal HD and occasionally I also put what I stuff consider critcal on a couple cds. That's all I need really......but it's good to be reminded to make sure everything is up to date.

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  #5 (permalink)
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Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker/Data: Futures Broker
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Posts: 1,597 since Feb 2011
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Carbonite


Big Mike View Post
My point with this post is just to try and help some of you out. Disk drives are cheap. Your time isn't. You should invest a few minutes and a few dollars now to come up with a solid backup plan to save you from the day you lose everything.


If anyone has specific ideas or recommendations for backup drives, software, or even internet cloud backup suites, feel free to post them here. (reminder: we do not allow referral links)

Mike


I use Carbonite. 60 bucks a year. Well worth it for the peace of mind. Online Backup ? Data & File Backup Software | Carbonite

I can acess my backup files from any other computer i might be on. This has come in handy when working on a remote computer where I needed to get some code.

One thing about Carbonite; it does not backup 100% of your harddrive. Only what it thinks in the most important files are. For example: It will not backup MP3's unless you tell it to.

Ninja directory where strategies and indicators are stored is completely backed up automatically. 10 minutes after I create a new strategy it is backed up to the cloud. Love it!

SD

nosce te ipsum

You make your own opportunities in life.
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  #6 (permalink)
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Posts: 46,238 since Jun 2009
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Did you build the computer yourself, or did you buy it (Dell, HP, etc)?

If you bought it from an OEM, then most likely it did not include original Windows media to install the OS. It only includes "recovery media". So keep in mind that even if you are backing up all your precious data, you still need to re-install the operating system after you fix the problem. How long will you be "out of commission" until you get back online?

If you built it yourself, hopefully you still have the original install media --- and that it wasn't an "upgrade" version which requires a previous copy of Windows to exist on the HDD, since you'd be replacing the HDD in this scenario with a new (empty) one.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

Reply With Quote
 
  #7 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 46,238 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,350 given, 83,214 received

Good deal. I've tried Acronis online backup and Mozy online backup. Both were quite terrible, with huge shortcomings like not supporting files over 2GB in size and some other quite ridiculous (in this day) problems.

I eventually cancelled both, as it was just not reliable.

The other issue was fast forward to the scenario in post #1. How do you get all your data back from the cloud? In my case, I was storing hundreds of GB in the cloud. And their servers were so slow it would take days and days of downloading in order to get all that data back on my system.

I think that for the average user who is only backing up maybe 10-20GB, the cloud makes a lot of sense.

I've heard that Windows 8 is moving into the cloud in a big way. That is the only thing I like about what I've heard about Win8 so far. Everything else seems really terrible, and it seems like I will be staying on Windows 7 for a long time to come.

But no doubt, the cloud is where it's at.

It is worth mentioning that Dropbox is working on a similar solution to not just share files (like they do now), but act as a backup for your important folders.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

Reply With Quote
 
  #8 (permalink)
Elite Member
Cincinnati Ohio
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker/Data: Futures Broker
Favorite Futures: AUD
 
Silver Dragon's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,597 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 3,860 given, 3,318 received

Windows7 OEM


Big Mike View Post
Did you build the computer yourself, or did you buy it (Dell, HP, etc)?

If you bought it from an OEM, then most likely it did not include original Windows media to install the OS. It only includes "recovery media". So keep in mind that even if you are backing up all your precious data, you still need to re-install the operating system after you fix the problem. How long will you be "out of commission" until you get back online?

If you built it yourself, hopefully you still have the original install media --- and that it wasn't an "upgrade" version which requires a previous copy of Windows to exist on the HDD, since you'd be replacing the HDD in this scenario with a new (empty) one.

Mike

If you did buy a OEM and only have the recovery media, you can purchase windows7 Professional OEM disk from Newegg. Runs 140 bucks for 32 bit and 189 for 64 bit. This is much cheaper then the retail version which costs 299 and up.

Only difference between retail and OEM is it does not come with Microsoft support.

Newegg.com - Operating Systems, OS Software, Microsoft Windows 7


SD

nosce te ipsum

You make your own opportunities in life.
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  #9 (permalink)
Elite Member
Washington DC
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
 
Posts: 214 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 110 given, 115 received

I think I am more thorough than most. But I absolutely can't afford to lose data, nor can I afford downtime.

I have two desktops, and a desktop replacement laptop. All three machines have identical setup's and folder names. The laptop is just for emergency use.

On both desktops, I run an imaging program from Storagecraft, called Shadowprotect. It has a feature called continuous incrementals, and it takes an incremental image every 30 minutes in about 7 minutes. At the end of the day it collapses them into a daily. I just let it run. From these I can restore the computer from the image to previous points in time, as well as mount the images and pull data from them. These images are stored on a 2nd internal drive, and also synced to an external drive.

Then I use a synchronize program to sync to two external drives on the primary business machine. I then sync two the other machines external drive, and c: drive. The reason I do this is just because of what has happened. Turn on the main business machine in the am and it's dead. I can just go to the 2nd one and continue uninterrupted.

Finally I have cloud storage via two different companies. I use Idrive and Jungledisk. I picked these as they both offer private encrytion and satisfactory retentions policy's. Both retain multiple versions. They were chosen with geographical considerations. Idrive servers are in California and Jungledisk in Atlanta and Chicago. Although Jungledisk might seem like a strange name, the company behind them is Rackspace which is well known to the corporate world.


IMPORTANT POINT. All these backup methods have had the restore capability tested and proven. Without testing the restore, you have no backup.

Pete

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  #10 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 46,238 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,350 given, 83,214 received


Great feedback, thanks for sharing guys. Hopefully it will help save someone some trouble.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

Reply With Quote

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