Chomper Stomping jQuery/JavaScript/CSS 3/HTML 5, Java/PHP/Python/ActionScript, Git, Chrome/Firefox Extensions, Wordpress/Game/iPhone App Development and other random techie tidbits I've collected

5Feb/101

One Click Backup w/ Sabrent & Hitachi – FAIL

I can't get a full drive backup. I've tried multiple settings.

First I tried to backup all files:

It kept failing, presumably because I was using the computer during the backup. So, i finally just backed up only the 50+ GB of images (which was my major focus) successfully, WIN! Then I went back to the task of backing up the entire C: drive. I noticed that you could just do "Newer", which I decided would allow my backup to continue from where it failed.

So, next I tried:

Still didn't work, but at least it didn't re-backup files already backed up. After deleting several files that were causing it to fail (had to go to the command line for these, because windows could not delete/recognize/open them) I again tried the backup. This time it failed on UsrClass.dat (see the actual error below):

Create date/time : 2/5/2010--8:06:21 AM
Error Report of Backup from [C:] to [Z:\Backup_Drive_C]

C:\Documents and Settings\Christopher\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows\UsrClass.dat
The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

I thought, hrm... Maybe I'll just run it again. Nope. Still failed. Ran again, still failed. Ok, so I'm going to have to actually do something about the file.

I *almost* tried switching to another product, again, but then I realized this would be my fourth product switch and maybe I should at least give Sabrent tech support a try. So I submitted the following help request through their website:

1. Purchased Sabrent SATA 3.5"/2.5" Hard Drive to USB 2.0 Docking Station.
2. Installed one click backup software
3. Placed newly formatted/partitioned empty drive in dock
4. Began backup of C: drive to drive in dock (Z:)

Expected Result:
Full Backup of C: Drive to Z: drive

Actual Result:
Failed after ~20,000 files with the following error:
Create date/time : 2/5/2010--8:06:21 AM
Error Report of Backup from [C:] to [Z:\Backup_Drive_C]

C:\Documents and Settings\Christopher\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows\UsrClass.dat
The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

http://screencast.com/t/N2E3YjdkYz

We'll see how they respond. If I can't get this to work, the next thing I'm going to try is some sort of Open Source drive duplication or backup solution that will let me copy from one drive to another. If that still doesn't work, I'll start looking at commercial, local backup options.

3Feb/100

One Click Backup w/ Sabrent & Hitachi

I've been trying to get Mozy backup to work for two months now. First of all, my harddrive is 300GB, and apparently this will take two weeks to backup over my connection. On top of that, there is no "start where you left off" feature, so anytime windows downloads an update and auto-restarts, I'm screwed. So, I can either turn that off, or never have a backup. Crap.

Let's try plan B.

Went to Frye's Electronics and picked up a Sabrent SATA 2.5"/3.5" Hard Drive to USB 2.0 Docking Station, which comes with a one click backup button. Then I grabed a Hitachi Deskstar 500GB Sata HDD. Total cost: $99.00.

End goal is to have two or three HDD, once a week I'll click the button and then grab the drive and toss it in my bag and take it to work and put it in my desk and swap it out with the drive in my desk and bring that one home. Rinse, wash, repeat. The other great thing about the dock is that it is scalable and useful. I can back up as many different computers and as much data as I want. I'm only limited by how many drives I want to buy.

So, a little trouble when trying to get the Hitachi drive to be recognized. I had to right click on "My Computer" and select "Manage". Then I clicked on "Storage" and clicked "Disk Management"; Immediately some dialog thingy popped up asking if I wanted to do such-and-such and I said yes (without snapping a screenshot, oops). This was the end result:

It sees this drive as "drive 5". Cool. Whatever.

So, now I right click on the drive and select something about "format" or "partition" (idk, couldn't get a screen-shot, there's only three options, you'll figure it out) and a dialog pops up. I captured some screen caps of what I did along the way. My choices were based on almost nothing other than gut instinct. We'll see how it works out:


(Selected "no" here because I'm planning on this being assigned dynamically because I'll theoretically be swapping multiple drives out here and I want them all to be seen as the same drive by the computer. So maybe I should have chosen "Z" or something, idk...)

At this point I closed out of the dialog assuming I was done. No Dice. When I went back in I saw it was formatting. After about 15 minutes it was only at 8%:

So, it's going to take a while. About an hour later it's done. Apparently bad call on the not assigning a drive letter. It's ok though, I just right click on the drive partition and select "Change drive letter and path..."

And hey, check it out! There it is!

Now I can easily use the software and one button backup that comes with the sabrent docking station.

This step is going to take a while...

About an hour in...

Went to bed, woke up, and my computer had crashed (it does this at least once a week, another reason Mozy wasn't working). So I checked the backup drive. Nope. Didn't get everything. Got about half of everything. Trying again...

14Nov/070

What happens if I…

headphonesusb.jpg...Stick a headphones plugin into a USB drive instead of a headphones jack?

It's dark under my desk. I can't see well, and I know that the hole is there somewhere. I for some reason had unplugged my headphones, and now I wanted them plugged back in. I just crammed the plug into the first hole it came to and my whole computer went black. Oops.

I wish I had had the headphones on so I could have heard if it made a noise or not.

I quickly pulled it back out and saw I had inadvertantly plugged into a USB slot. Whoops. After a moment or two the computer came back on and started up. It gave me a "windows shut down abnormally" (or whatever) error, and then when it came up it reconfigured my network configuration (what?). After that everything was back to normal.

So... now you know what happens if you try and stick your headphones into a usb jack. Go forth and prosper!

30Aug/072

Keeping your hot hot, and your cold cold

I'm tired of my coffee getting cold at work, and my beer/soda getting warm at home. So I've found a few options.

If you are just looking to get your drink cold, you can go to frye's and get this for $19:

It's a USB powered drink cooler. Put any beverage on that metal blue plate and it will keep it at a brisk 45degrees. It works pretty well.

If you are just looking to get your drinks warm, apparently you can get a LED lit drink warmer at target for around $4.00.

If you are looking for both, you might check this out:

http://usb.brando.com.hk/prod_detail.php?prod_id=00221