Monday, June 30, 2008

Backing Up to prevent reinstall hell

Well, yesterday I reinstalled windows Vista and Ubuntu for the 3rd time. I don't know what happened, but I'm pretty sure it was a cross between my fluffing the install of Ubuntu last time, so that it ended up on a weirdly high numbered partition (oops) and the Vista updates that had installed the last time I turned my laptop off.

Anyway, partitions suddenly had disappeared, and even the Super Grub Disk couldn't help me... I couldn't even find my Ubuntu files to back them up, so I lost everything from the past month.

On the upside, the install went quicker than before and my blog post about my issues from the 2nd time came in very handy.

Oh and the pink shadows issue is gone with this new install, i didn't have to put the fix in at all. There must be new nVidia drivers.

Actually it was a weird install; I used a disc that came with a Linux Format magazine and it had all sorts of KDE apps on it and tonnes of stuff in the menus that didn't belong there at all. Still, it had loads of stuff preinstalled that I would have spent the evening installing so that was pleasant.

So I spent the evening sussing out backup options to prevent this from being an issue again! I have been backing up evolution (it has a built in backup facility) to a folder on my desktop which I hope will cause me to remember to copy it to my external HD from time to time. The email really was the heartbreaker in all of this, setting up the folders and filters took ages.

The other heartbreaker was firefox... my add-ons and especially my bookmarks. I have LOADS of bookmarks and I love them. So I searched and discovered Foxmarks which saves my bookmarks on a server and allows me to have the same bookmarks on both computers, but most importantly, allows me to restore my bookmarks if I have to reinstall again. Brilliant. Firefox should make this a permanent part of the package. I know Opera have a similar feature (I use Opera mini on my mobile phones).

And for the rest of the stuff, I have downloaded Simple Backup Solution and configured it to back up to a samba share. Fingers crossed!

I rarely use my Windows install but there are some times it's handy, like when IT want to check my computer at work or if I'm on a dodgey wifi connection, Windows reconnects better than Ubuntu. Also the Nokia SDKs only seem to work on Windows so I have to use them sometimes too! But, there's nothing there I really care about if I lose. Anything I do on Windows I move to the external drive immediately anyway because I'll likely be needing it later when I'm in Ubuntu. So not worried about a backup solution for that.

I'll be happy if I never have to go through this again!

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