Archive for the 'Backup & Restore' Category


Online storage vs backup software

The key term “online backup service”†has 14,800 search queries globally and 480 locally in Australia each month. Data backup has a ratio of 301,000 and 8,100 locally. While “backup software” has the most search queries with a ratio of 450,000 globally and 18,000 monthly queries.

In the small business, home business, and prosumer markets onsite backup is still the most preferred method of backup. The reasons are obvious – we do not have the bandwidth or line speed to use online backup effectively in this country. A movie on iTunes in HD can be around 3.5GB and take hours to download fully, so the typical †music or picture libraries are out of the question as an online backup solution for average users. Internet bandwidth is narrow and upload/download speed varies greatly by the day or†hour, and it’s expensive. When we build and install a new computer for our customers we use a hybrid of onsite backup and Microsoft Skydrive as a workspace for documents for example.

The backup software we prefer is Genie Timeline†Home edition†2013. This version should be good for most small business/small office users. The professional edition offers added features of military grade 256-AES encryption, run backups every 3 minutes, schedule backups by date.



The Genie backup is very well designed and thought out, simplified, because people are tired of†struggling†with new programs. Computer software should work out of the box. The backup program built in to Windows 7 does not have automatic purging for example and will fill up a drive over time unless it is manually purged. This is something only IT support people know about. It’s frustrating for everyday computer users. Genie is backup software designed to simplify backup. Keeping IT simple and straightforward is the primary issue facing software developers and IT support techs. The iphone is a great example of simplifying user experience and was a catalyst for this way of thinking about user interfaces.

The program is easy to use and automated with a 3 step configuration, a protection level to indicate the health of the backup, and a timeline view to recover data from a point in time. Genie Timeline† works on both Mac and PC.


The Genie iphone and ipad app helps to keep track of your backup health and you can setup email and alerts to be sent straight through to your inbox. Set up the app with username and PIN through the settings cog inside the program on your computer.





Because USB external backup drives are not all created equal and the most common drives we see come in for data recovery, we recommend adding an†additional drive to your desktop computer, while the Western Digital Passport USB 3.0 is a portable, †reliable external drive for offsite backup. Remember not to use the WD backup software in conjunction with any other backup software.† In the event of a disaster, virus attack or hard drive crash Genie has a step by step wizard for effortless recovery.

We give this backup solution 5 out of 5 stars. It’s what we use here at Wired Office combined with Microsoft Skydrive. †Download the 30 day trial edition of Genie Home Timeline 2013 here.




How to (better) manage PST email files

email PST backup for small business

With new legal disclosure laws, and the need to cross reference past emails, people are hanging on to emails and have almost stopped deleting. Email stores in Outlook are commonly quite large and we are seeing more email disasters as a direct result. Good reliable backup for Outlook is available for Exchange connected systems, but not standalone computers. Backing up the PST (email database) is a duplication of the shell store, if the shell is damaged the backup is risky.

Mailstore Server edition†is an excellent product from Germany. It is a great solution for individuals, small offices and home offices etc because it backs up Outlook emails as a seperate database, indpendant of the PST shell. It is also searchable outside of outlook itself.

While the Mailstore Server edition†can be used for non Exchange situations there is a minimum purchase of 5 user licences which do not come cheap. The Mailstore Home edition offers the same backup facility, reliability, and is completly free (not a trial, it’s free).

Mailstore email archiving interface

The Mailstore free edition (Home edition) requires manual backup. We find if it’s manual it doesn’t get done. As time goes by users forget it is there.

However, we have created a neat way to automate the process for you. We can even save the backup into your own free 25GB of personal cloud storage so your emails will always be safe and accessible.

On your next service call ask us to implement mail archiving on your computers running Microsoft outlook at a specific time each day, and avoid email disasters.


New backup & storage solution from Vantec

Vantec external backup solutions

Storing your valuable data, videos and pictures on high quality NAS (network attached storage) devices is expensive and may be overkill for some home or small office situations. One of the problems with external USB powered backup drives is that they are simply not designed to be running 24/7. The plastic†enclosures often have no ventilation, no fans, and the hard drive inside the unit is prone to overheating.

One solution to all these woes is the new Vantec HX series external USB 3.0 powered enclosure. The hard aluminium shell draws heat away, while an active 80mm overhead fan exhausts hot air out from the case. Ventilation slots draw cool air in the bottom of the unit.



We’ve been testing this device out in our recovery lab, transferring large amounts of data to the new Western Digital RED 2TB SATA-III NAS drives. These new WD drives are designed for reliability.††WD RED†disk have WDís NASware RAID management as well as firmware and hardware improvements that make them ideally suited to work in small, 1-5 bay enclosures. They are rated for operating temperatures up to 70 degrees C (instead of 60) because the drives will operate in hot, multi-drive environments. Together with the Vantec HX bay we now have heat management, reliability, and fast USB 3.0 transfer speeds.

If you are a located in Perth Western Australia contact us for installation and setup costs.


How to resolve Windows 7 backup errors

Windows 7 has great new backup fatures in the business (professional) editions such as the ability to backup an image of the drive, in addition to file level backup. The best practice scenario is to do both, but with image backup turned off (unchecked) in the file level scheduled backup settings. Manually creating a backup image helps to mitigate risks associated with imaging an unstable system.

The new Win7 library feature allows you to add drives or folders to the library index but we have seen problems causing backup errors with reparse point folders added to the library. Win7 does not traverse reparse points but nodes added to the library as an added library item will be traversed. If you experience backup failed errors look in the library list in Windows Explorer and uncheck any added folders or external drives to test if this is causing the issue.

We have also seen backup errors occur when a folder container with music or videos is stored outside of the system designated music or video folder, such as on the desktop.


Backing up EFS Files (Encrypted) in Vista

capture-bkp.JPGIn Vista business (and Ultimate) you cannot backup files that have been encrypted using the Encrypted File System (EFS). In Vista Business you have the Backup Computer option in addition to Backup files option. The Backup Computer option takes an image of the hard disk partitions you select including the system drive, and allows you to back up all files, settings and programs, including EFS files.

The only people who can decrypt an EFS file is the person who owns the file (user account name), a nominated (recovery agent) user name, or users given NTFS level permissions. If you want to decrypt your EFS files before migrating the data from XP to a new Vista computer:

1. Use Windows Explorer to locate the encrypted file that you want to decrypt.
2. Right-click the encrypted file, and then click Properties.
3. On the General tab, click Advanced.
4. Click to clear the Encrypt contents to secure data check box, click OK, and then click OK again.

To remove EFS from a folder you must be the original user who enabled EFS (or the Recovery Agent) the process is similar. Navigate to the folder, right click and choose properties, advanced and follow the steps above.



Hard Drive Sudden Death Syndrome

Antec External Hard Drive Backup SolutionYou can save a lot of money on computer repairs and replacement of hard drives, data recovery costs or data loss by being prepared and managing backup.

One of the key issues affecting hard disk failure and sudden death is heat. This can be especially true of hard drives inside external casings with little or no heat controls.

The new Antec MX-1 external SATA drive has a patented, very quiet cooling fan (under 22dBA) so the drive can run continuosly, ready for the next scheduled backup. On the rear is a power on/off switch, USB, and E-SATA port.

Our price of $349 (inc gst) includes  SATA 640GB Hard disk capacity, delivery, and installation of e-sata port on your desktop PC so you can transfer data at blazing speeds.

The MX-1 works great with Vista business editions to create image backups so you can restore your computer in minutes in the event of system failure.