Archive for the ‘backup’ Category

Windows 7: Backing-Up

Monday, July 8th, 2013

This looks like a good article / explanation.

Windows 7: “Are you sure you want to copy this file without its properties”

Friday, March 15th, 2013

On my Windows 7 machine, while copying files (manually backing-up) from an internal drive to an external USB drive that was formatted by someone else, the following warning message appeared:

  • “Are you sure you want to copy this file without its properties”

This turned out to be due to the external disk having been formatted as FAT32 instead of NTFS as per my internal drive.


Mac Pro Disk Failure & Recovery

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Computer increasingly slow on start-up, eventually becomes sporadic in its ability to succeed, unexpected error messages…

Yes, it’s Disk Failure Time !  This time it was on my Mac Pro (desktop)

So I did these things:

  • Copied latest stuff to a portable (WD Passport) drive:
    • I copied documents, videos and downloads
    • I generated a list of installed applications, both 32-bit and 64-bit.
  • Opened up the machine to remove drives (and at the same time to hoover-out dust).
  • Procured a replacement hard drive
    • Google-search revealed my old drive to be obsolete, no longer (easily) available
    • Phoned a local computer tech wizardry shop, who fix Macs as well as PCs, and they had a suitable replacement drive (a WD SATA 1TB drive, twice the size of the old/failing one.
    • Bought that very disk.
  • Fitted the disk, as sole disk, and recovered both the Mac OS and Boot Camp > W7 partitions, according to the “DO” (not “DON’T”) branch of the instructions listed at
    • It took about an afternoon.  The longest stages were the actual restorings from backup.
  • For W7
    • The first thing I updated was the antivirus.  This was for the app as well as the database, and it wasn’t quick.  No reboot needed though.
    • Otherwise, two or three reboots were required, including first-use, windows updates critical, windows updates optional.

iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

My girlfriend has one of these, ethernet-connected to her router and thus available on her home network.  However, in order for any computer, Windows or Mac (what about linux?) to access it, it is necessary (aside from any hacky-workarounds that may possibly exist) to install the Iomega Home Storage Manager.   This makes volume(s) offered by the NAS appear, on the Mac in Finder under SHARED, or on a Windows machine as additional drive letter(s).

To acquire the Iomega Home Storage Manager, go to,1043 or else try and click on [Desktop Network Storage > Home Media Network Hard Drive].  May need to establish and login-to an iomega support account (free) first.

I wondered at first about enabling the NAS as a Mac OS Time Machine (backup) disk.  An iomega article I saw suggested that should be possible, for iomega firmware 2.0 and above.  But the disk as it stands is NTFS-formatted – because when it was set up we had only Windows machines.  Now that disk contains much material in that NTFS.  I guess it might be possible to partrition the disk e.g. to keep the existing NTFS and add alongside it a HFS+ partition for Time Machine to use.  But it’s guesswork that carries risks (of disruption/damage to existing contents).  We want an easy geeking-minimal life, so maybe better to repurpose that NAS and get a purpose-made Apple Time Capsule instead. Either way, the evening wears on, so I’ll shelve that idea/investigation for now…


Carbonite – Online Backup

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Carbonite was drawn to my attention by a colleague, Mr. True, while we were discussing cloud-based services.

So here I just web-trawled a little. From that, it sounds like:

  • One must be wary of the “small print” about throttling.
    • Then again could anyone reasonably expect massive video file type storage for such a low price?
  • One alternative is Mozy
    • Some people find this better in terms of bandwidth,  service level and applications quality
    • It has apps for both iphone and android.

  • Carbonite automatically backs up new and changed files. You don’t have to do anything
  • One of Carbonite’s key advantages is offering unlimited backup for one fixed price
    • e.g. £41.95 / Year
  • PC & Mac
  • Carbonite for iPhone allows you to browse and share files from your iPhone.
  • Carbonite uses the same technology as banks to encrypt your data making it completely secure so only you can ever see it.
  • We have our own data centers where the the disk arrays are far more reliable than your computer’s hard drive.
  • Limitations?
    • “Bandwidth throttling – Yes (35GB, 200GB)” (?)
    • “Default max file size” (?)

  • 2009-08-23, thedragonmas:
    • I have used both Carbonite and MOZY. I had Carbonite for 2+ years, worked as advertised, had over 450 gigs backed up no problem, always maxed out my connection. However, problem came from their client, which is a buggy piece of shit.
    • Switched to mozy, managed to re-back up all 450 gigs in 2 months using my Sprint EVDO Cellular (I get awesome speeds on my data card!).
    • Real problem with Carbonite is, when you select to backup “Everything” it in fact, does NOT backup everything. Such as video files, files over a certain gig size and what not, which will then need to be done manually.
      With MOZY, when I told it to backup EVERYTHING, it DID BACKUP EVERYTHING!
    • I am now a happy MOZY Customer. I am now pushing over 1tb of backed up data.
    • Only problem I have now, is if I need to restore my data, you get 30 days to restore your data before it is removed from their servers, and my present internet connection, that is not possible
  •  2009-09-11, Kramer:
    •  I was uploading about 5GB/day for the first 50GB or so and then was throttled back significantly after that.

Mobile Video Editing Hardware: Thoughts, Ideas & Dreams

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Want a mobile “suitcase” editing system, something more (and more expandable) than a laptop but not too expensive.  Primarily to be used for Adobe CS5.5 for media enhancement / editing / compositing etc.

Nearest I found was NextDimension’s range around $7000 I think (but just guesswork – could be way off – would need to get a quote).   That would (if true) be around £4500 at current rates.  Plus import…  NextDimension call such machines “flextops” (Maybe they coined the term? Google searches on it mostly come up with them.)

Apart from the (mil/broadcast-lite but me-heavy) price, it might possibly be undesirably heavy to lug around much.   If so (just guessing, not assuming), it would make more sense to go for a modular quick-setup system.  So, starting to “think different” in this direction:

  • Standard tower, capable of taking new CUDA etc. graphics cards etc. as they emerge, but no need for more than say a couple of disks, maybe if SSD could even get away with just a single disk? (For system and media – inadvisable for traditional disks of course, what about for SSD’s?  I have much to learn about SSD’s though).
  • “Laptop-Lite” to talk to it.  With robust shuttered-stereoscopic HD monitor.
  • Gigabit network to NAS fast storage (SSD and/or RAID ?).

Maybe in that case it would be far more logical/affordable to use an existing laptop as a client working together with a luggable tower server, sufficiently light and robust for frequent dis/re -connection and travel.  And remote access of course (no heavy data to be exchanged, assume that’s already sync’d).  And some means to easily swap/sync applications and projects (data) between laptop and tower, giving the option to use just the (old) laptop on its own if needed.  All such options are handy for the travelling dude (working on train, social visits etc.) who also occasionally has to do heavy processing.  Then would just need a protective suitcase for the tower, plus another one for a decent monitor for grading etc.

I certainly won’t be spending anything just yet, but it’s good to have at least some kind of “radar”.


Winclone Obselescence

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

I’ve been using Winclone, a Mac OS app, to back-up my Boot Camp – Windows 7 partition onto a HFS+ (Mac OS compatible) external disk drive.  However tonight it failed, early in the attempt, repeatedly.  Also when I asked it to look for updates, it failed to connect to the internet, whereas I could access websites OK over Safari.  Searching round, I found a later version, downloaded it, deleted the existing one (2.2) and installed the new one (2.3).

The new one similarly failed to access the internet.  On the other hand it did not fail early on in the process.  I aborted it anyhow, for reasons that will become clear (below).


  • Google: [winclone alternative]
    • Several posts stated:
      • Mixed experiences when using Winclone under Snow Leopard and the impossibility of using it (straight) under Lion)
      • To minimise problems under Snow Leopard, [Compressed] should be disabled.  Also select [.dmg] format.
      • This product (Winclone) was no longer being developed
    • Best Example:

iPhone: MobileSync Backups: How to move & purge

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

I’m doing a tidy-up of the MacBook. The application [Disk Inventory] revealed that one of my largest disk-occupying items is MobileSync Backups, which I assume to be from synchronizing iPhone with MacBook.  It consists of several roughly equally-sized files.  Overall I wonder:

  • Is there a way to store the backups somewhere else than the system disk?
  • Do the  “several roughly equally-sized files” imply I have more than one backup on the disk (in which case I’d like to purge all but the most recent).

Google: [mobilesync backup files]

MacBook Pro: Restore (Mac OS & Boot Camp) from Backup (Disk Utility & WinClone)

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Backup & Restore via Disk Utility (DU) – on Mac OS install-disk – to a fresh hard-drive:

  1. Routine:
  2. Complication: Backed-up not the whole disk but aMac OS partition alongside a Boot Camp partition.
  • DON’T: Naive use of Disk Utility (DU) to restore straight away the partition (as a sole partition) from backup doesn’t work – it won’t boot.
    • You may see a grey Mac OS screen with “No Entry/Parking” sign, or error messages about ACPI drivers not present.
    • Attempts to install (fresh or archive i.e. user file preserving mode) from install disk fail since disk is not bootable.
      • Error message: “Mac OS cannot start up from this disk”
  • DO: Try install fresh OS X from install-dvd, then use it to create Boot Camp partition (and presumably boot-selection menu) then restore (with erase) to the OS X partition (only).  To save time (hopefully), didn’t actually install Windows.
    • Both the fresh-install and the restoration of OS X took about an hour.
    • Yes it worked! Booted into Mac OS just fine.
    • Left it to “settle” a bit – e.g. until CPU level down around zero.
    • Restart in Shift-Boot mode (to refresh OS’s tables etc.) and log-in as “DefaultEverything” (dummy user created as per advice – I think from Larry Jordan).  Maybe should have done that the first time…
    • Restarted in normal user account, again left awhile.
    • Boot Camp Assistant:
      • Create a partition (e.g. divide disks space equally between the two partitions)
        • (takes a minute or two – progress bar is initially misleadingly stationary)
      • Select [Quit and install later]
        • All we wanted was the partition, to restore into.
    • Started WinClone (App, started from MacOS)
      • It appeared to first scan the backup then began to install it.  Not quick, maybe an hour for each of these (two) tasks.
      • Source partition was 232.57 GB – as compared to the destination partition of around 250 GB.
    • Alt-Booted into W7 just fine.
    • Being on the internet, it began downloading numerous system updates – furiously (like it was hard to web-browse even on another computer on the network.
    • Correspondingly, on ShutDown, W7 installed numerous (61) updates.  Took ages – so if ever repeating such a recovery, allow for this…
    • Also on subsequent start-up, updating & registering stuff – took a few minutes – wish I’d run it straight (boot camp) not within Parallels.  But it seemed “happy”.
    • (to be continued…)


Mac OS pre-update system-backup: OSX Feature

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Rescuing a damaged file from a writeable DVD

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

A physical DVD could be played but not copied, despite attempts on multiple computers (each with own drive).  The main VOB file was corrupted.  The disk appeared to the eye to be in good condition.  Wanted to copy a repaired version of that file, maybe with gaps or truncations, whatever could be salvaged.  Workaround was to do a ‘dd’.  That’s a unix command to “convert and copy a file”.  Mac OS X is based on a variant of unix, so chose to execute it from there.  The successful command was as follows:

  • dd if=/Volumes/’DVD VR’/VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_1.VOB of=tmp/vts_01_1.vob conv=noerror

Prior to this, naively-and-unsuccessfully tried Windows 7 PowerShell (PS) ‘cp’ command with ‘-Force’ option, but that was “barking up the wrong tree”.  An alternative suggestion, not attempted, was to use a streaming video processor such as VirtualDub. (more…)

Checksum-based Backup Methodology – Thoughts

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Looks like I’ve evolved a hybrid system:

  1. Proper backup / synch tool: SuperFlexibleFileSynchronizer (abbrev to “SuperFlex”).
  2. Procedural with lower-level tools: File drag-copy combined with MD5Summer.

The idea is that normally I would use SuperFlex, but for occasions where I already have manually-created (supposed) mirrors, I can retrospectively check consistency at content (not just datetime and size) level.  Have yet to experiment with SuperFlex to see if it can verify existing copies of files (as opposed to copies that it is making).

File Backup / Sync / Verification

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

I was looking for an app to assist in synchronizing of copies of file systems, for example main and back-up copies.  I chose a good-looking application available for both Windows and Mac:


FCP Project Folder Structures: Advice

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

What’s a good folder structure for FCP?  I read and heard lots of tips from great sources, but some of them (e.g. keep [.fcp] files on local drive not Media drive) sounded questionable, at least from my context, and anyway I always want to know the underlying reason for anything.  So it’s research-time again…

  • .

There are several aspects:

  • .


  • Participants
    • Individual, small team or large team
    • Standards-based, methodical or haphazard
  • Application(s)
    • Apple (FCS etc.) -centric?
    • Combination of several apps e.g. several makes of NLE
  • Media
    • File size and value.
  • Storage system(s)?
    • Local
      • Normal or (relatively) slow drive
      • Fast drive e.g. RAID
    • Remote (probably shared).
      • Exceedingly Slow (e.g. web via standard broadband)
      • Slow (e.g. NAS such as WD MyBook)
      • Fast but with possible latency (e.g. “Fibre Channel” / SAN)
    • Integrated
      • Final Cut Server giving seamless access to all storage including near-line (easily-retrievable archive)?


  • Tidy organization
    • Easy to find stuff, including serendipitously.
    • Easy to manage stuff, e.g. archiving / shelving and reinstating.
  • Performance
    • User-level.
      • Keep
    • System-level
  • Security

My Conclusions (so far):

  • The typical professional situation involves multiple users on a SAN.   In this case:
    • Each user should configure their apps (e.g. FCP) to save small and transient files to local disk.
      • Local disk has less latency and minimization of small-file traffic on SAN improves its performance to all users.
    • An individual (or item) -specific project file, which counts as a “small and transient file”, should not be saved routinely or automatically to shared media server but only saved there on an occasional basis (e.g. at end of day or project).
      • Restricting this operation to end-of-project might “discourage” users from corrupting each other’s files, though really that’s what Permissions are for (in Mac OS X / unix).
  • Much advice relates to the “typical professional situation”, not all of it is appropriate to other situations.
  • .


Exclude Virtual Machines from Time Machine Backups

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Regarding Time Machine and Virtual Machines of Parallels, ensure these VMs are excluded from Time Machine’s source volumes.   That can be done in the Config dialogs of the VMs themselves.

Mac – Time Machine backup volumes (eg straight disks vs. Time Capsule)

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

What’s the best backup strategy when using Time Machine?  Want ease of life and low cost.  Sometimes I have more than one instance of Mac OS on my Mac, e.g. on different hard drives, and these require to be backed-up onto their own unique volumes.   The following represents my best understanding of the matter so far, based on web-trawling and received expert advice, but I am a beginner, still trying to orient myself in the world of Macs.

  1. Time Capsule
    • Acts as network hub with WiFi and own backup volume plus the ability to connect (via USB) to shared printer/USB drive etc.
      • You can for example plug it into your broadband modem or router
    • Can support Time Machine from multiple Macs, provided they are named differently; it automatically creates similarly-named folders for each Mac.
    • It costs about £235 for a 1TB unit.
  2.  Generic network (NAS) drive
    • Where there is already a network in place, this can simply be connected (via Ethernet) to one of its hubs (e.g. a router).
    • To allow for multiple Macs, one would presumably have to manually divide the disk into separate partitions, each of which would serve as a unique backup volume for a single given Mac.  Care needed not to accidentally mix them up / overwrite.
    • Cost is about £100 for a 0.5 to 1TB units(depending on make & supplier)
  3. USBdrive
    • Could be connected directly to USB port on the Mac in question.  Or, could be connected to a network hub with USB ports (making it like a network drive).
    • Regarding multiple Macs, same argument as for network drives?
    • Cost can be as low as £47 for a 0.5TB device.

Not sure about the multiple Macs sharing a common backup device.   If one had already started using a storage device for a particular set of Macs (maybe only one Mac), then at a later stage required to add support for a further Mac, would this be straightforward?

  1. For a Time Capsule, would one simply point the new machine at it and it would get added automatically?
  2. For a plain (non Time Capsule) disk, would it be possible to add a new partition?   Would that be straightforward or would some special measures be needed e.g. to adapt to the repositioning of blocks that can occur during partitioning?  Presumably it would make no difference if it was a network drive or USB drive (?)

Some things (I imagine) in favour of a straight USB drive over a Time Capsule:

  1. It can be small (even pocket-sized) and light, hence easily carried to various locations, whereas the Time Capsule appears more intended for being left in a base location, where it can serve as a WiFi router.
  2. Although a Time Capsule will automatically create folders for each uniquely-named Mac, what happens if it encounters two Macs of the same name, i.e. could one of them corrupt the other one’s existing backup data?


  1. Can a Time Machine backup volume itself be backed up (or cloned) ?
  2. When a Time Machine backup volume gets full, the oldest backups are deleted.  Is there a way to keep certain “milestone” backups as permanent?  For example the machine’s initial clean installation or, just after this, when updated and user-configured.