A first data: Should you or shouldn’t you save yourself?

Last week, I spent too many precious hours copying data. Geez! Every solution I have tried seems to generate more trouble. Here’s the problem: I have too many files generated over 10 years of PC use, going way back to Win3.1 on my first pc.

I have religiously copied and backed everything up since my first hard drive died nearly 10 years ago. Result: I have now tons of files, all over the place, with new versions, multiple copies of the same version, and so on. Originally I tried to place them in folders, only to discover that some folders ran so deep that the system couldn’t recognize them when moved. Others were in Chinese so that Win98 would stop copying the files reporting an error. Yikes! I had to copy everything again. I just do not have good data management habits in that respect.

And it’s not like I haven’t tried: I tried a 100MB zip drive, a CD-writer, a DVD writer, an extra hard drive (or two), and even an extra system. All of them worked (for a while), but now I’m overrun again with copies of pictures and albums, and it’s becoming a regular nightmare.

Now I’m hoping that a program called CloneSpy V2.3 will help me, but I’m not awfully positive on that point. I’m also planning to use software like SyncbackSE to store data automatically on another PC for all the computers I use. I have thought about using online storage (I like have a ton of space, courtesy of Dreamhost) as a backup…

But the one common thread that runs through everything is that each solution brought its own problems:

  • zip drive: slow, burdensome, occasionally failed outright (meaning 2 copies were needed)
  • Zip software: quick, effective, until I ended up with zips within zips within zips
  • CD burner: until I ended up with dozens of CDs and not a clue what was on them
  • DVD burner: couldn’t get it to burn a full DVD of data
  • Hard Disk: data was half copied several times due to errors
  • Another PC: copying files in another language caused undue stress.

So, I’m pleading for help. What in your opinion could be the answer to all my problems? I need some data guidance. And as I blog more, I think that will present a whole NEW dimension to my data nightmare… And I have started making videos seriously yet, either…

Comments, suggestions and general advice are most welcome!