Tips for 100% backup?

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kewms
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Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:43 am Post

It would be doable if you knew which specific file(s) had changed, because you could get the internal file name from the .scrivx file and then restore just that component. Or you might know that you worked on X group of files in June, and Y group of files in July, and make an educated guess about what to restore on that basis. If you needed to restore the whole thing back to an arbitrary date, though? Nearly impossible.

To Jim's comment, yes, this is another argument in favor of making ZIP backups.

Katherine
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Graybyrd
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Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:55 pm Post

I do agree most positively with the goal of promoting a safe and reliable backup process, easy, intuitive, and nearly bulletproof. The basic goal: KISS. Simple and intuitive enough to encourage its everyday use with assured reliability.

To that end, I'm of the opinion that the built-in Scrivener compressed backup system with auto-named, dated files is the answer. To be most effective, 1) the "automatic" backup feature should be enabled; 2) backup on "project save" and "backup on project close" should be checked; 3) number of backups retained set at "25"; and 4) backup storage location set to a dedicated thumb drive that is ejected and kept safely set away when projects are closed. (16 GB? 32GB? 64GB? Or a separate thumb drive for each major project?}

This approach should work for Mac, Win or Linux users equally well. I favor the thumb drive approach because it reduces possible loss due to internal drive failure, it satisfies the approach of using an external, separate drive, and it promotes conscious, deliberate, procedural backups in a visible, simple, tangible way.

Now to figure out how to avoid misplacing that thumb drive! (At my age, the memory is an "iffy" thing!)
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rdale
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Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:05 pm Post

Not sure thumb drives as your sole location (setting it as the destination) for backups are the way to go. On the mac, there's a program called Chronosync that can mirror the set of files in a folder on your hard drive with a thumb drive that's just been plugged in, and you can make it eject the thumb drive once that syncronization copy is complete.

Perhaps there's a similar utility for Windows that can keep two folders (one on your hard drive, one on a thumb drive) in sync? Seems like there was something built-in to Windows at one point called "Briefcase". Or look for backup software that can target individual folders and send the contents of those folders to an external drive for a unidirectional mirror of your backup files.
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Graybyrd
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Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:59 am Post

I can understand the hesitancy about the USB thumb drive, but the goal is KISS* for the less sophisticated user. Simple, direct, and tangible. By tangible, I mean, right there in the palm of one's hand, without searching menus and arcane file paths and confusing locations. Recall, the idea is to make it easy. Also, I've never experienced a failure with the double handful of thumb drives littering my desk for the last several years; also, convenient pouches are available for protection and carrying them

Formatted as FAT32, they are universal between Mac, Win & Linux. (Unless something has changed with the latest Mac/Win10 OS?) And it's ridiculously easy to copy the thumb contents to a second location, if desired: either to a separate drive or a dropbox folder.

Point in fact: my wife has been faithful in using this method. It's so easy and visible that she has become quite conscientious in making regular backups of her artwork, embroidery patterns, sewing files, etc. She's not lost a thumb drive backup file over the last couple of years (yet... )

Is there some inherent thumb drive problem of which I'm not aware?

*KISS: keep it simple, sir!
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kewms
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Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:01 pm Post

I would recommend using several thumb drives and rotating them, and don't allow any of them to get too full.

While they use similar technology to SSDs, they're a much more cost-driven product. This means that they may not have the same lifetime and load-balancing algorithms that SSDs do. Using several drives reduces the load on any single one, while leaving some free space makes it easier for the drive to work around any bad sectors that may develop.

I definitely agree with your point that the best backup is the one you actually use.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team