[Computer] Backup Date issues

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btenny
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[Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by btenny » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:16 pm

I used a new Seagate Backup utility (came free on the 1TB drive I bought) yesterday instead of copy and paste. It changed the dates on all the files it backed up to yesterdays date. So I lost all the dates when files were created and saved in my history on this backup copy. I have done manual backups before using copy and paste and did not lose any dates or other info. I am worried that other parts of the files were changed as well. Plus I do not want to do manual copy and paste backup any longer.

Anyone have other backup utilities that I can use and not lose data and still do the process automatically?

Thanks in advance

mouses
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Re: Backup Date issues

Post by mouses » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:18 pm

Does it have some sort of switch to preserve dates?

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LadyGeek
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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:29 pm

I retitled the thread.

The most reliable backup / restore software is the one that comes with the operating system.

I assume you're in MS Windows. Why don't you set the backup to run on a regular schedule?
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ResearchMed
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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:06 pm

btenny wrote:I used a new Seagate Backup utility (came free on the 1TB drive I bought) yesterday instead of copy and paste. It changed the dates on all the files it backed up to yesterdays date. So I lost all the dates when files were created and saved in my history on this backup copy. I have done manual backups before using copy and paste and did not lose any dates or other info. I am worried that other parts of the files were changed as well. Plus I do not want to do manual copy and paste backup any longer.

Anyone have other backup utilities that I can use and not lose data and still do the process automatically?

Thanks in advance


I've had a rescue via Carbonite for a catastrophic failure.

There were 2 options for recovery:

1) The $ way (extra $99, I think) - the fastest in my case - which was a hard drive FedEx'd to me.
The reason this was the fastest TOTAL recovery was because of my absurd (high) amount of data.
Each file was always available through the cloud throughout, but I wanted/needed the entire contents back.

2) Having everything download through the cloud (regular level backup, no extra charge), but this was clearly taking forever, even with their new higher speed (compared with their early service).

So I had them send the hard drive.

But SAME PROBLEM you have: ALL of the dates were the date they recovered everything.
And I routinely relied upon the original dates when searching for files, etc.
I had never even considered this type of problem before.

But the slower recovery, via the cloud download, had the *original* dates, thank goodness.

So after getting the hard drive, and knowing I "had it all back", I then started the slow process of downloading everything from the cloud.

NOTE: I had gotten sloppy in not keeping my own hard drive backup up to date, or none of this would have been necessary. :annoyed

I've also found Carbonite customer service/tech support to be among the best (and I don't say that lightly!).

As I reported here at the time, I had *just* decided to give BackBlaze a try... although I hadn't really expected a true comparison like this!
And when I went to retrieve my data from them, there were only empty/corrupt files. And their ONLY customer (non)service was by email, with a promised 24 hour response time. While I kept complaining that they weren't responding to the actual problem (no content), I suddenly got an email stating that due to time, my query had been closed. :shock:
I demanded my money back, and complained to Amex.
VERY glad I hadn't "counted on" BackBlaze.

RM
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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:08 pm

It is highly unlikely that the file contents were altered. Basically, there are two ways to make a copy of a file: (1) copy the bitwise contents into a new file of the same name / type and (2) copy the bitwise contents of the file and the filesystem metadata about the file into a new file of the same name / type.

So really, what happened was (1) instead of (2). Whatever backup method was used did not copy over the filesystem metadata, which contains things like creation date, last modified date, and so on. There should be an option to enable method (2) in most software.

Edit: Tried to find a guide on the options for Seagate's Dashboard product that ships with Backup Plus drives.... talk about horrible documentation. The user guide was 20 pages of not-helpful. You'll probably be better off just using some other backup solution, although my personal solution is too geeky to recommend (rsync scripts).

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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:37 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:...You'll probably be better off just using some other backup solution, although my personal solution is too geeky to recommend (rsync scripts).

Did anyone say rsync? :) Try this: SyncToy 2.1, direct from Microsoft. The latest version is from 2009, but it works just fine in Windows 7.

I use it to keep files updated between Point A and Point B. If you want to go from Point B to Point A, just create a new folder pair in the opposite direction.

In Linux, I use geeky rsync scripts.
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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by stratton » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:16 pm

There are at least two dates:

Created: initial file creation.
Modified: last time something was changed.

It probably changed "Date modified" which is the default shown in the file manager.

You can add another column to display the file "creation date" too.

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mouses
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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by mouses » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:24 pm

stratton wrote:There are at least two dates:

Created: initial file creation.
Modified: last time something was changed.

It probably changed "Date modified" which is the default shown in the file manager.

You can add another column to display the file "creation date" too.

Paul


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btenny
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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by btenny » Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:35 pm

LadyGeek. Thank you.

I tried the Windows built in File History backup last night. It seems to only run in the background so there is little data showing about progress. Just a line saying X%. It took a long time to run but that was the first time so I get that. It saved all my files and shows the file original dates along with the date the file was backed up. Good info and everything seemed to be copied. I will us this for a while and see how it goes.

I looked at the restore menus and other stuff and it seems to not have many controls. Have you or some other people actually used this program to restore data after reloading Windows or resetting a computer?

I am asking because I want to do some sort of reset on my wife's' computer (Windows 7) to improve performance. Her machine has slowed down a ton and I am wondering if reloading and reformatting the drive will improve the performance.

Thanks Again. btenny

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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:35 pm

I've done numerous restores from both Windows and Linux. The built-in Windows backup / restore works fine, it's a matter of understanding what needs to be recovered. The other advantage of using built-in utilities is that they come with the operating system. There might be "better" things out there, but this is the only utility that is 100% guaranteed to work.

For example, my latest Windows restore was a system image. I didn't want the files, just the entire disk contents. No problem. If I just wanted a few files, I'd just restore them.

There's no time like the present to test restoring a file. Are you sure your computer is backed up? OK, delete a file. Then, restore it. Pick something you don't care about, but the idea is to make sure you can follow the process. There's a ton of help on this, just use google.

btenny wrote:I am asking because I want to do some sort of reset on my wife's' computer (Windows 7) to improve performance. Her machine has slowed down a ton and I am wondering if reloading and reformatting the drive will improve the performance.

There are quite a number of things that will limit performance before you should look at the disk drive.

I'll bet it's running a ton of stuff. Download the free version of CCleaner and let it clean up the PC. Don't upgrade or pay for anything extra. All you need is the free version. Then, see if the performance improves.

Instead of backup / restore, run the disk defragmenter - Improve performance by defragmenting your hard disk (If this is a solid state drive, defragmenting an SSD is disabled and not needed.)
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Higman
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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by Higman » Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:00 pm

I agree with the recomendation of using CCLEANER. But I would also run RESMON. On Windows 7 click on the start button and type in "resmon". This utility will show you what is using CPU, Memory, Disk and Network. You may be able to isolate an offending background app.

For a deeper dive I recommend going to http://www.sysinternals.com and downloading Autoruns and Process Explorer. Process Explorer will give more info on what is running. Autoruns will also show how things get started. I use it to turn off many apps that needlessly run in the background. Do theses things before trying to to a Windows refresh.

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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:09 pm

^^^ I agree, but given the member's level of experience, I'd stick with the easy stuff.

I've been following Sysinternals before they become part of Microsoft.
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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:44 pm

I agree on the importance of restoring the file fully, including all of the date information. A restore that doesn't completely restore every bit of file metadata... including not only dates, but permissions and ACLs and what-have-you (and yet, resource forks on a Mac even though they are deprecated) is not at all adequate.

Yes, decent backup/restores exist and work (preserve dates and the rest of it).

Yes, people sometimes think that just restoring the file data is sufficient. It isn't.

By the way, if you've ever tried to write a program to "simply" copy a file... it's quite hard to do and involves earning quite a few APIs you didn't really know about.

What I'm about to say probably won't help you directly, but it does suggest that you may want to be sure you've understood all of Seagate's instructions and all the ways their utility works.

At the moment I'm a semi-satisfied user of Crashplan, and while I was in the trial period I tried restoring. Without much thinking about it, I used the function that restores via the web (you select directories and it packages up a zip file that you download), and when I did it that way, it lost the file dates--they were all set to the date of the restore. I was horrified and considered not buying the product. When I contacted customer support, they told me that if you use the application itself to do the restore, it would preserve everything. That seemed bizarre to me, but when I tried it, it worked.
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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:53 pm

nisiprius wrote:I agree on the importance of restoring the file fully, including all of the date information. A restore that doesn't completely restore every bit of file metadata... including not only dates, but permissions and ACLs and what-have-you (and yet, resource forks on a Mac even though they are deprecated) is not at all adequate.

Yes, decent backup/restores exist and work (preserve dates and the rest of it).

Yes, people sometimes think that just restoring the file data is sufficient. It isn't.

By the way, if you've ever tried to write a program to "simply" copy a file... it's quite hard to do and involves earning quite a few APIs you didn't really know about.

What I'm about to say probably won't help you directly, but it does suggest that you may want to be sure you've understood all of Seagate's instructions and all the ways their utility works.

At the moment I'm a semi-satisfied user of Crashplan, and while I was in the trial period I tried restoring. Without much thinking about it, I used the function that restores via the web (you select directories and it packages up a zip file that you download), and when I did it that way, it lost the file dates--they were all set to the date of the restore. I was horrified and considered not buying the product. When I contacted customer support, they told me that if you use the application itself to do the restore, it would preserve everything. That seemed bizarre to me, but when I tried it, it worked.


This seems to be the same as the situation with Carbonite, although the non-application type was via hard drive (due to total size of content).

What is it about these methods that might *require* that one way preserves dates (and perhaps other file data), but the other way (hard drive or zip file) cannot?
Presumably these companies don't think that customers would ever *prefer* losing the dates...

It just seems to a civilian like me that "shooting the files as a download from the cloud" shouldn't necessarily be better than sending the files from the same source [whichever cloud backup location they are selecting] to a hard drive (or into a zip file).

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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by Epsilon Delta » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:05 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
The most reliable backup / restore software is the one that comes with the operating system.



I can't speak for all OS's but as a general proposition this is quite wrong. At one time AT&T shipped a backup utility with system V that would quite happily back up a 30 meg drive to a 5 meg tape. Luckily my boss's account was the first one set up so his files were in the first 5 meg.

The only reliable backup / restore is one you have verified yourself.

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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by btenny » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:10 pm

Thanks for all the info. I will try some of these next week on my wife's Windows 7 computer. Right now my wife's computer is out at Best Buy Geek squad getting "fixed". We got a 3 computer repair deal for $49 when I bought my new HP machine there last fall. They saved me a ton of time by saving all my old data and porting it to my new computer. Then they reset and reloaded a fresh copy of Windows 7 to my old computer.
Hopefully they can fix her Windows Live email program that seems to "Loop out" when loading new emails. It keeps downloading forever until the message count goes up to 5-10K messages. I tried a few things but decided to let the Geeks do the fix. We will see.

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Re: [Computer] Backup Date issues

Post by Epsilon Delta » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:20 pm

nisiprius wrote:I agree on the importance of restoring the file fully, including all of the date information. A restore that doesn't completely restore every bit of file metadata... including not only dates, but permissions and ACLs and what-have-you (and yet, resource forks on a Mac even though they are deprecated) is not at all adequate.

Restoring meta information is tricky. Not all of it belongs to the user. A restore is very clearly a file access, so it is not at all clear it shouldn't reset the access times. If you dig deeper you will find some meta data that must be altered during a restore*. You will also find programs that access that meta data and will not work after a restore. You will also find programs that claim to preserve that information across the restore, but don't play well with others.

* e.g. block numbers that show where the file is stored on the disk.

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