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Venting - Win8 Crash

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by jebatty, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Northern MN
    New computer with Win8. The good news, much much faster than my old computer with WinXP; HDMI output and high end audio, very fast boot up; goes to sleep and uses practically no power, awakes fast.

    The BAD BAD news.What good are backup programs that don't backup data files??? Argh!!!

    Supplied app BingWeather quit working in part first of all; also got a strange notice to update Firefox, didn't do the update, but it was difficult to get out of the site that delivered the notice. Then HP Assistant reported hard drive error and need to fix and reboot, and with that Win8 wouldn't load again, reported BingWeather file corrupted but could not recover. Windows Defender was the firewall and virus software.

    I was pretty sure I still was OK. First effort was a System Restore Point restore, but only one was shown to be available. I ran that but it did not complete due to the BingWeather file corruption. No other system restore point.

    I had a new Seagate 1.5TB external backup drive with Seagate's automatic continuous backup of data files, felt pretty good about that. Ran HP Recovery with the backup option. A 2nd backup of data files can't hurt. Recovery of Win8 went OK, and then the Seagate and HP backup restore -- probably good for many things, but absolutely unforgivable in major respects:

    -- did not backup *.wpd files (WordPefect document files). WTF?
    -- did not backup APPDATA files for programs. Really? These are critical. I didn't overly mind having to reload programs, but without the APPDATA files, my non-Windows apps were empty shells like brand new programs: no profile, emails or address books backed up from Thunderbird; no bookmarks backed up from Firefox; no calendar data files backed up from my old Palm software; no google.places backed up from Google Earth.

    And then the learning curve and struggle to find out where programs kept their data in Win8, as I was able to extract the data from my old WinXP computer, but it took forever to find out where those data files had to go and how to load them so that the programs could access them. Fortunately, I finally figured this out and was able to do this and only a few days had gone by since I switched over to the new HP from the old computer. So I lost several days of emails, lost a big project I had done in Google Earth, and lost recent additions to contacts, calendar and tasks in the old Palm program.

    Lessons learned:
    -- Force some System Restore Points. That might help.
    -- Find out where programs store their data and manually backup the APPDATA or similar files.
    -- If programs can export their internal data, export and save that separately.
    -- Get and keep the password and SyncKey in Firefox, and force a sync from time to time to keep the sync current. That saved me in recovering my bookmarks.
    -- Software developers should cut out the proprietary crap and have uniform standards for backup and recovery of their data files.
    -- Programs that advertise backup of data files give false security, because at least the two I mentioned don't backkup critical and important data files, and I suspect others also do not.

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  2. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    Look into a program to clone your existing hard drive onto your backup hard drive. It will be an identical copy or EVERYTHING.

    I went through the same hassle with seagate and windows backup programs only to find them both useless.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'm not getting the connection to Win8. This sounds like this was more a hardware failure (bad drive sector?). That is odd about the selective backup, but that is an HP backup issue. Maybe see if there are options in the backup program to save personal info? If not, use Windows backup. You can point it to a directory and tell it to save all contents.
  4. vinny11950

    vinny11950 Minister of Fire

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    May 17, 2010
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    Loc:
    Eastern Long Island, NY
    All those little programs that HP or Dell or anyone else installs at the factory build are a pain in the butt. They are intrusive, poorly designed, and trying to sell you a service you don't need. I uninstall them all first thing when I get a new computer. All you need is Windows and a good security virus software.

    Just create one folder on your desktop and then dump all your critical files there. Then back that up to an external drive every so often. You can encript it if you have sensitive information. But do not keep the external drive hooked up because having it run constantly will increase the chances it will fail.

    Good luck.
    PapaDave and begreen like this.
  5. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Nova Scotia
    I use Acronis True Image. It works well.

    That, along with a second identical computer, a HD dock, and a couple extra HDs are what I eventually evolved to in preparation for my next big computer meltdown. Plus the standard stuff like keeping your data together in one place as much as possible & copying that to a thumb drive or the like once in a while. I haven't made any serious program additions for quite a while - but when I do I clone my drive before I do it.
  6. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Northern MN
    Here's my brief discussion with Seagate:

    John - very disappointed in Seagate's backup program. The video and advertising are misleading if not fraudulent by saying "backup all your data automatically." Did NOT backup any *.wpd files data files (WordPerfect word processing files); did not backup Google Earth "My Places" data files; did not backup my calendar, task, and contacts data files; did not backup all data files stored in the APPDATA directory; did not backup my email and bookmarks files; and I am sure it did not backup other important data files. And by the way, wy9a4bz0.default is a data file directory for my emails. I only hope the Backup Plus hard drive proves to be dependable, because the backup program itself is worthless.

    I have discussed the failure of the backup program on a user web forum so that others know that Seagate's backup program fails to do what it says. And it would be so simple to substantially advise users of what the backup program actually backs up by stating file types (*.xxx) backed up and/or by stating that it only backs up certain named file types in certain named directories.

    Jim

    On 6/24/2013 1:10 PM, Seagate Support wrote:
    Dear James Ballenthin:

    Thank you for contacting Seagate Support.

    I understand that you are trying to locate a file in your backup and is not able to find it. The file 'wy9a4bz0.default' is a system related file. Could be related to windows, or certain applications. Seagate Dashboard doesn't backup seagate related files. You may want to manually copy that file.

    For additional assistance, feel free to contact us at: www.seagate.com/about/contact-us/technical-support/


    Regards,

    John
    Seagate Support
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Jim - I used Seagate backup years ago. It was a pain to use. At the end of every backup, it would give a list of files that it "couldn't" backup (in use). It is a pretty sucky program and not overly intuitive for Joe Blow.

    Go to a mirrored drive and fugitaboutit. On my network - my big server is running a raid5 with hot swappable drives for the reasons you mention. The new box I have on order is also a raid5 but will be running 8 drives.

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