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Need computer tech brain trust assistance

I walked into my office this morning to hear grinding*. It was coming from my old computer. This is a machine at least 6 years old, so I don't plan to do anything to continue life support. What I do want to do is to get the data off of it. What method do people recommend for backups these days? Both the old computer and my current one are Windows XP.

* And not a good grinding noise, either. As the old saying goes, "Nine megs for the secretaries fair, Seven megs for the hackers scarce, Five megs for the grads in smokey lairs, Three megs for system source. One disk to rule them all, One disk to bind them, One disk to hold the files, And in the darkness grind them."


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
Do you mean software or hardware relating to backups?
Mar. 20th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
To attempt to access the data on the grinding drive, you need a working computer, the grinding hard drive, and one of

Please know, though, that once a drive starts grinding, you might not be able to get data from it. You will be able to hook the grinder up to a working computer with the adapter kit I linked to, and still not get anywhere. If that happens, you're looking at either a) giving up all your data, or b) sending the drive off to a clean room data recovery lab ($1000+ charge for that).
Mar. 20th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC)
For backup of one computer's documents and files, I'd say try this.
Mar. 20th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
Don't forget the beeps when backing up.

Seriously though, most of the portable USB/FireWire harddrives on the market today have a rudimentary backup program bundled with them. They're good enough for backing up data stored in the usual and obvious places, and can generally be configured to back up whole drives if necessary.

Majorgeeks.com provides a number of software solutions you can download. This can be especially useful if you can map a drive from one machine to another.
Mar. 20th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
My new work computer has a built-in backup HD. Everything you do to the C: drive is automatically mirrored to the D: drive.
Mar. 20th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
Yay for good old fashioned hot-mirroring!
Mar. 20th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
Depends what you got. Is the drive still accessible (dying, but not yet dead)? If so, get the data off ASAP. If you're on a network, just dump all the data into a shared folder on another machine. If you have a big enough thumb drive, copy all of the data onto that (if the thumb drive isn't large enough, you might have to make multiple trips transfering data via the thumb drive to another computer). If you have a DVD burner, you can backup the data 4.7GB at a time on DVD-Rs. (Which is several times more efficient than backing up a lot of data on CD-ROMs.)
Mar. 20th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
If your hard drive is not accessible anymore, you could try moving it into another PC. If you don't have any of the data transfer capabilities I listed above, you may have to beg, borrow, or buy them.

If the hard drive is simply dead, it may be too late. I lost a lot when my HD died in November (with absolutely no advance warning!)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )