Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Backup! Backup! Backup!


Keep Calm and Backup

I nearly came unstuck the other day. I was asked to sort out a fairly trivial problem with Firefox on a Windows 7 system. It wasn’t displaying the downloaded files information in the downloads dialog which, although not a common issue I have encountered before. The problem is a corruption within the users Firefox profile that can be cured by either deleting the profile and letting Firefox recreate it next time it starts or, as was needed in this case completely uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox whith a newer version.
I used the portable stand alone Revo Uninstaller which is a nifty freeware application that should be in any PC Tech's toolbox. It did it's job very well and I dutifully removed all traces of the old and reinstalled upgrading the latest version. What I should have done is persuaded them to install Pale Moon but that's another story (see earlier blog post).
The glue really started to melt when the user said "where's my bookmarks?", it was a bit of an "oh bugger!" moment. Now I know the bookmarks are stored in C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<somerandomcrap>\places.sqlite which of course was where I should have copied the bookmarks from but inevitably wasn't there now because I'd hosed it. So you can see why it was an "Oh bugger!" moment.
I thought about Pirfiorm's Recuva and did give it a go, alas the file had been over written. It was then I remembered I'd set this fellow up with a backup solution using a portable USB hard drive. I remembered because he'd complained earlier that his backup software couldn't find his downloads folder as he'd inadvertently moved it into his Documents folder then further moved it down another couple of levels into the depths of the file system so it was nesting with the plans for the destruction of the Arthur Dent's house! Two minutes later GFI Backup had restored the file and everyone was happy again. Just goes to show that you never know when you are going to need a backup so don't be a "pleb" sort yourself out a backup today.
Indecently I much prefer the earlier version of GFI Backup (2009) as it isn't as stripped down as later versions, it will still send email reports if you ask it to. If you can't get hold of the 2009 version then Crash Plan is the way to go. It even has a paid for cloud based service or you can back up off site to another machine but way more challenging to set up.
And I expect there will be one of these in the new year, you can give yourself Brownie Points if you do it before!

World Backup Day

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