Saturday, March 17, 2012

Springtime for Hitler

It's warm outside. Winter, or what is normally called winter here, is over. We only had a hand full of days that were chilly, and I doubt we had any hard freeze at all. Insects have been around the entire winter - so that means that there wasn't the usual die-off that happens every winter. It's good that we didn't have a hard freeze more recently because the plants had been tricked into thinking it was spring much too early, and if a hard freeze had happened, it would have killed them off and their spring cycle screwed up. They might not have come back for the spring, which is very bad.

And the fire ants are back.. ugh. Nasty critters.

Anyway.. I prefer a mild winter, and temps are nice now, but I'm worried that we're going to have a longer season of high temperatures then we did last year.. which was ridiculously long. The heat is hard on the dogs.

It rained quite a bit last night, so we thought we'd take the dogs to the neighborhood playground so they could run around and get muddy, then hit the showers when we got home, but it was mostly dry. Again, very odd. We'll take them to the dog park tomorrow, where the odds of Riley getting very dirty are quite high... so doggy showers will happen tomorrow.


Something weird happened with my computer. It does a daily backup, which is just a differential.. meaning it only updates what has changed since the previous day's backup. Today it's doing a full backup for some reason. I hope it isn't because it detected yesterday's backup became corrupted.

There is a bug in the Windows 7 backup utility that Microsoft refuses to recognize. If you have the backup set to only do an image, it will occasionally err on the backup and not complete. The way to fix it is to have it do both an image backup, and a full back of the source drive, which is the c: drive in my computer. With a full backup, you can restore individual files and it keeps versions of files that have changed. With an image, it's just a snapshot of the drive when the backup is done. I only need the image, since an image can be mounted and individual files pulled out, but it doesn't keep versions, which is fine. I don't need versions.

Windows just insists on having problems doing only a daily image backup. It's been a long time since I've had it only doing an image, so maybe when it's done doing the full backup today, I'll set it to image and see how it works. I know I could use a different backup program, but I'd rather not bother when the Windows backup does what I need - most of the time.

I'm pretty anal about my computer. It needs to be organized and kept very clean, both physically and data wise. I make sure it never has any viruses, the registry is regularly cleaned up, and the drives are defragmented weekly. I have daily backups in case one of my main drives blows up. Since I'm using a raid 0 configuration, it's twice as likely to have a failure since if either of the 2 drives dies, the entire data is lost.

It probably would have been better to use 3 drives in the raid, with one for parity so if one of the other 2 drives died, I could just plug in a new drive and it would rebuild the raid, meaning no backup needs to be done daily. However, that depends on the availability of the exact same replacement drive and who knows if that would be available in the future. Having an image backup means that if I have a catastrophic failure, I can plug in any new drive and restore the image and be back up and running without any loss of data.

One of these days, I'll get an SSD. I'll be able to plug it in, and restore an image to it. There's no need for that right now, but it would be cool to have the OS and commonly used apps and games on the SSD, and the raid for mass data storage, and the other drive for backing up everything.

The drive I back up to died about a month ago, and what I'm using now is an RMA replacement. It's been running about 3 weeks without any issue. Rather peculiar that it's doing a full backup today.

errr... I just checked the available space on the backup drive and there's about 20% remaining, and it usually has about 50% remaining after the daily backup is done. Something weird is going on. I'll have to take a look after it finishes to see why it's using so much space. I might end up deleting it all and letting it do a full backup tomorrow as a way to reset everything. The danger with that is that if there is a drive failure in the raid in the meantime, there would be no recovery. Small chance that would happen.

Hmmmph.. it looks like it's been a month since I replaced the drive and the full backup was done.. and now it's doing another full backup exactly one month later. That still seems odd since I've set an option that sets an upper limit on the amount of disk space the backup can use and that is well exceeded.

I wonder how people who are not IT professionals manage to not have their computers turn into a giant pile of shit?

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