A Testimonial

In case you haven’t read all my posts, I’m going to confess to being something of a whiner. That’s right. I’ll own it. I’m a big baby. When I’m upset, there’s carping and complaining. Those who love me and listen are long suffering. Really.

For the past couple of weeks, my laptop has been dying.  A long, slow death.  I love that machine.  I got it as a birthday present.  Sure, it’s way too heavy… more luggable than portable, but still!  It has all my stuff on it.  And it starts overheating.  And I begin to get the ‘blue screen of death’–and who’s seen that since the mid 90’s?  So, I know the end is near.  Do I panic?  No.  My DH and I go to the local mall to an electronics store that has good deals and buy a new one.  It’s cheaper, lighter and has more capacity.  Now for the true test.

Restoring the data.

When I bought my last laptop, I spent hours and hours restoring data that was burned to CDs from the older machine.  What I didn’t know when I was making those backups was that the default attribute for a file burned to CD is ‘read only’.  That meant every single document had to be clicked on and the attribute changed for it to be editable.  What a nightmare.  I’m sure that little house in California is still ringing with the echos of my sailor speak.  At the end of that debacle, I subscribed to an online backup tool called Carbonite.  This software promises to back up your files and then keep track when you put new stuff out there and back it up.  When you change something, it notices and backs it up.  As long as you have internet connectivity, it’s done as a background operation.  When you are not connected, it keeps track of what changes and when you do connect, it backs it up.  That’s what I wanted, a backup I didn’t have to think about.  So I subscribed.

I’ve used this laptop exclusively for three years.  The whole time, Carbonite has been keeping me backed up.

I got home with the cheaper, lighter laptop and opened an Internet browser window, logged on to Carbonite and selected a full restore.  Then I stepped away and watched.  Really I panicked.  You know how on those file copy windows, you’ll get a time message?  This restore said “a few days”.  For real.  I almost screamed.  So, I walked away.  What else was I going to do?  I opened up the old laptop on the kitchen counter (the granite seems to help as a heat sink and it doesn’t overheat as much) and played an audio book and quilted.  In the time my laptop was restoring, I did the top for a king sized quilt.  “Few Days” = three days and nights.

Yesterday afternoon, it completed.  This morning, I picked up the new machine and started downloading the software that I use: iTunes, Picasa, Trillian.  Then I started looking around.  When I opened the newly downloaded Picasa, ALL my pictures were there.  All the folders and organization was there.  When I opened iTunes, all my audio books were present and accounted for.  All of them.

So even though Carbonite took days to complete the restore, and I never expected that kind of time, it worked like a champ.  You know that old insurance commercial that ends with “like it never happened?”  That’s what this shift from old computer to new feels like.  I’m sure I will spend several more hours finding things I need and downloading software, but my stuff is all here and accounted for.

Bless you Carbonite programmers.  Best $65 I ever spent.  So, a problem that would have made me whine and complain for weeks on end is solved quickly and efficiently.  I’m pretty sure DH is as glad as I am.  Now, he doesn’t have to listen to me carp.

–Sandee Wagner

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12 thoughts on “A Testimonial

    • Meg, other than taking so freaking long to restore, this was as painless as it got. The pop up window even told me to go change my power settings to not ‘sleep’ while restoring files to keep it from timing out. It was really easy. spw

  1. I’ve never heard of Carbonite. We use Seagate, which is an external system I have to plug in and tell it to save. Although, Ashley uses the same thing and she has hers programed to automatically update every day (meaning she keeps hers plugged in all the time). I need to figure out how to do that cause just when you least expect it, and at the worst possible time, the little darlin’ computers will crash on you. 😦

    Thanks for the info and glad you have all your stuff restored on the new PC.

    • I had a friend who used that system. When his house was robbed, they grabbed the PC AND the external back up drive. So, I like the ‘off site’ storage option that Internet backups give me. Plus, nothing to steal. spw

  2. I’ve got to do something, and fast. My desktop has been awful cranky the past few months. I get about a hundred “program not responding” messages a day. I’ve backed up all my photos, documents and music, but on flash drives and CDs. I’d like to have them all someplace central.

    When I got this computer, I bought a program that was supposed to transfer all the date from old to new. Worked great on the netbook. Wouldn’t do a freaking thing on the desktop. So I spent weeks transferring stuff to flash drive, then to the other computer. I was never convinced I got it all done. 🙂

    • Marilyn,

      I am sorry to say that this would not be a great idea for you since it requires Internet (high speed, not dial up) connectivity. Probably, you need to keep dragging your stuff onto a thumb drive and keeping it in your purse. spw

  3. This was fascinating, Sandee. I was thrilled for you and sold on Carbonite. I have a backup unit (don’t know much about it, a friend helped me buy it and she set it up) but it backups automatically once a week. That daily thing that Ashlee uses sounds even better. Maybe I should have mine changed.

    Good post.
    Jackie

  4. Just had to replace my hardrive on my laptop, but I paid to have all my data transferred. Ecch! Should have done it myself. At least, all the contest stuff and my writings are in my Dropbox. I just hate having to restore my laptop so I’m comfortable with it. Oh, and I use an external hard drive for the C-drive once a month, but will probably up that to weekly. And the external is ALWAYS in my purse.

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