Posts tagged windows
While looking for ways to make my very old PC to run faster, I purchased an Asus GT 430 graphics card. The first few tests are great, but it’s not fair to publish my results yet as it’s in an old Asus A8N motherboard with an AMD 3200 processor; it’s old tech so until I get a new system to build I won’t do any proper testing.
It is shocking how many people still do not have a computer backup system in place. Fair enough, when it comes to complaincency I’m terrible at business administration (my filing is way behind), but in my mind backing up critical files is something that cannot be delayed.
If you are a Windows user, Microsoft has a nice robust system imaginatively called WINDOWS BACKUP AND RESTORE. It can be automated, and your data can be backed up onto a network location. I am currently archiving an old Windows 7 PC to my Synology DS1010 NAS. I hit a small problem when my PC went to sleep in mid backup, but I started it backup again without any hitches.
For Apple users there is Apple’s TIME MACHINE. It is a very simple and elegant archiving solution. But it’s greatest trick is the ability to go back to several different versions of the same file. What that means is not only can you retrieve the latest version of, for example, your Photoshop edit but you can retrieve various versions going back as only as several months providing you have the storage space.
These two products are free, easy, automated and should give some peace of mind. I could go on and on about this, but I believe everybody knows backing up your information is important but not everyone does it.
For home users, it may not be “critical” to archive, but with so many precious photos of family and friends stored on computers these days, there is nothing worse than your computer developing a virus or hardware issues.
For professionals, it is bad business to not have a backup solution for your computers. It’s irresponsible not to invest in hardware to store important data somewhere off the main computers.
Finally, we are at the very beginning Cloud computing. Storing your valuable data on the internet, as opposed to local hard drives, will become common place so perhaps the need for regimented archiving may not be necessary. But until that time, backup your work people! Don’t make me come over there and sort you out!!
I have created another dilemma for myself in my search for the best backup solution although secretly I love this stuff, any excuse to do something rally geeky.
With my recent purchase of the Synology DS1010+ I’m able to make it work in an apple environment (more on that later) so I’m selling my Drobo V2 which I have been very happy with but didn’t need it anymore since the DS1010+. So I will have four 1TB hard drives looking for a home in this case my brilliant Antec 300 case (best mid size case ever as far as I’m concerned). Housing the four 1TB drives is one thing but what operating system do I install?
My two options are Windows 7 or FreeNas. These are my pros and cons for each. Although the decision does seem simple I wanted the system to be primarily a backup solution:
MAC PRO (primary files) –> SYNOLOGY DS1010+ (backup) –> OLD PC (secondary backup)
I have played with FreeNas in the past. When it works it’s great but when it doesn’t it suffers from everything LINUX based, it’s a real pain in the neck to track the problem and fix. With Windows 7 it’s still not that clear cut. The system can be slow, it’s more demanding on CPU and I’ve not fully tested RAID 5 as a reliable backup solution. I could buy a RAID card, but I don’t see the need to spend another £100+ when I’m about to move away from the Drobo.
In the end, I felt all the advantages that Windows 7 had to offer outweighed FreeNas. I had already purchased a Windows 7 license anyway so the monetary factor was not an issue. The pros are heavy; websites, emails, editing, gaming as well as backup completely outweighed FreeNas in every other regard.
Right now, I’m archiving files off my Drobo onto this Windows 7 machine, it’s not superfast but it gets the job done. Once I’ve completed the copy I will remove the drives out of the Drobo and insert them into the PC; I shall try to configure it for RAID 5 but I have never tried it before so it’ll be a first for me! I will post transfer speeds when that’s done.
After many days of research, investigation, trial and error I have one conclusion when it comes to 700gb+ archive solution. But before I get to that these are my pros and cons for each candidate.
I spent most of my time with Freenas, it’s free and the OS is robust, but I struggled with it. Every time I got it running it kept coming up with new problems after a few days especially with the Raid 5 configuration; it seemed it always rebuilding itself. The final straw was when I had one drive ‘apparently’ fail in the Raid 5 but it reported the drive was online! It was too annoying in the end for the level sophistication and capacity I needed.
I like Ubuntu, I’m a huge fan but I had to admit to myself it was because of the geek in me. I cannot fault it other than the fact it is not as established as Windows or OS X.
If I were to describe an Operating System that was reliable, stable and quick you would probably think Linux or OS X. In fact I’m trialing the Windows 7 Beta. I initially had a hard drive fault which I mistakenly blamed Windows 7 for. The SATA drive was corrupted which meant I mis-diagnosed the problem. I have put Windows 7 thought a battery of tests especially with the hard drives. The 4 x 1TB Western Digital drives are all running perfectly. Sharing is easy and it means I can run things like Lightroom and (cough) games on the old machine! Far more versatile than Ubuntu and Freenas.
So, there you have it. My choice for backup server is Windows 7 (beta). This version expires in August but it’s a good sign when a Beta version is showing good signs of a stable Operating System!
See also FREENAS