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AshleyEpidemic
11-21-2013, 08:42 PM
Until today, I thought it was something reasonable to do. Don't get me wrong, I was hesistant at first. I simply copied my files to my hard drive from my flash drive. The cloud worked beautifully at first. If I forgot my flashdrive I could pick up right where I left off.

Then I realized it hadn't updated in a long time and I did my update. It asked would you like to merge files. Yes, please I said. No. It overwrote 4 months of work. Thankfully I'm obsessive and I had pdfs of my work. Unfortunately any of my plot change notes are gone. But at least I can retype the 2/3 of my novel that disappeared and the 2 rounds of revisions. I will never be able to find some of my golden lines again.
For the first time in 3 months, I'm happy I was being a little lazy and working at a much slower pace than usual or I would have lost much more.

Maybe it will be a good thing forcing me to retype and think about every line. Knowing me it will be more tedious busy work than anything though. Oh well.

I was curious how you back up your work?

ETA: Scratch that, looks like I'll be rewriting everything after chapter 20. At least, the first chapters are solid. I think I may have to scrap this project which is unfortunate because I had high hopes for it.

Torgo
11-21-2013, 08:46 PM
Any cloud service that asks impenetrable things like 'do you want to merge files' isn't worth using, if you ask me. God knows what that means - it sounds like something Apple would think of.

Dropbox is how I keep stuff backed up. There, you just have a bunch of files you treat like anything else on your desktop, but which are backed up automatically to their servers. It also has, I believe, a certain amount of version control built in - it keeps previous versions of things. (I think this also happens in Windows these days - anyone have the info?)

AshleyEpidemic
11-21-2013, 08:54 PM
I was actually using Box because my dropbox was full. But it also worked as a local file on my machine. My problem was I sync'd it to my flash drive since I don't save to my HD after all my many crashes.

Torgo
11-21-2013, 08:56 PM
I was actually using Box because my dropbox was full. But it also worked as a local file on my machine. My problem was I sync'd it to my flash drive since I don't save to my HD after all my many crashes.

Maybe try Google? They have a pretty good cloud service.

asroc
11-21-2013, 08:59 PM
I've got Scrivener set up to save to Dropbox automatically and it backs up to my hard drive every time I close it.

robjvargas
11-21-2013, 09:03 PM
I've subscribed to Microsoft's Office365 (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/) Home service. That gives me Skydrive access, as well as license to a local *and* a Web-based version of MS Word, among other things.

This isn't unique to SkyDrive, but it's on my PC sort of like a regular folder. I save to a removable drive. SkyDrive has an automated sync utility, but it won't work with removable drives. So once ever few days, I simply copy my folder from my removable drive to SkyDrive using drag-and-drop.

Because I sync manually, I have to remember which folder has the newest edits, and be sure not to copy from the older to the newer. Skydrivve (most cloud systems that I've looked at, actually) could handle this for me were I to use a folder on my PC.

I've looked at Google Drive, Amazon AWS, DropBox, Rapidshare (which is not, technically, cloud storage), and SkyDrive. They're all good. I know there are others.

Office365 and Drive are my top two, because of the included applications. Google's Document app isn't quite as good (IMO) as Word, basically for its formatting. But Google's app saves on the fly. I tried Google's offline option, but I got "the hourglass" when I didn't have WiFi. Since I'm OK with the Office Ribbon, I uninstalled and went with Office365.

AshleyEpidemic
11-21-2013, 09:14 PM
I've got Scrivener set up to save to Dropbox automatically and it backs up to my hard drive every time I close it.

I think you may have just saved my life. In my attempt to find this feature, I stumbled upon the local back ups of the files on my machine. Months of work have now been saved because of Scrivener. I can't imagine what I'd do if I wasn't using the program in the case.

I'm still terribly curious about how people back up, especially those who do not use automated cloud services.

Shadow_Ferret
11-21-2013, 10:32 PM
I have several cloud virtual drives on my computer. I've used dropbox for years, so the majority of my writing files are there. I have Google, which I used to hold my current projects because Google Docs let me access and work on them from any location. Now however, I have Skydrive and Office365, so that's where I keep my current WIPs.

asroc
11-21-2013, 10:34 PM
I think you may have just saved my life. In my attempt to find this feature, I stumbled upon the local back ups of the files on my machine. Months of work have no been saved because of Scrivener. I can't imagine what I'd do if I wasn't using the program in the case.

Glad I could help. :)

Little Anonymous Me
11-21-2013, 10:52 PM
I'm glad you found back ups!! :)

I save different stages of the draft in different word processors, just in case on decides to go insane and corrupt that particular type of file. Then I save it to Google Drive (I often write in GD, honestly). Then email a copy to my beta or myself. I used to save on sticks, but I lost one for several days and that's made me shy away from them a bit. The thought of some stranger plugging in my USB and seeing my books and word building makes me squirm.

Wow. Looking at that list makes me look kinda crazy! :tongue I once lost an entire folder of writing--shorts, ideas, poems--to a computer that died and never came back, and after that...having 4 copies feels nice.

jjdebenedictis
11-21-2013, 10:56 PM
I use Dropbox too. I have my local files, but at the end of the writing session, I save to Dropbox also.

Yes, Dropbox does have version control, I believe. You can log into their server and look at some of the older versions, so if you accidentally over-write something, you still have time to go back and rescue the previous version.

Edit: And congratulations on finding the existing files! YAY for data recovery! :)

robjvargas
11-21-2013, 11:02 PM
The thought of some stranger plugging in my USB and seeing my books and word building makes me squirm.
Two possible answers for that. Different methods of the same process: Encryption.

If you're a Windows user, starting with Windows XP, (and native in Vista and later) is the Bitlocker encryption tool. engage Bitlocker, set a password, and no one can read the encrypted files without the password. The password can be cracked, though, so I rotate a new password every 3 months or so.

Even better, IMO, is the open-source utility called Truecrypt (http://www.truecrypt.org). You're not restricted to Windows, there's a variety of ways to protect the encrypted data, and pretty easy to use.

If you want to get REAL fancy, there's even an option to hid encryption within encryption. You set the "outer" encryption with a "duress" password, and it unlocks that outer encryption with whatever useless mumbo-jumbo you want to put there. Use the "real" password, and the "inner" encryption is unlocked, with whatever it is you're really trying to protect. And the outer stuff won't even show that the hidden "inner" encryption is even there. I remember one super-difficult password to get to the real stuff, and my work, plus a password keeper utility, is there. The "duress" encryption has a few nudie pics to make it look like I really did want to hide that.

Due to some recent shenanigans, Truecrypt is no longer available for download, and there is some doubt about the security of the software. I'm leaving this visible for context, but can no longer advise using Truecrypt.

thebird
11-22-2013, 06:52 AM
I've got Scrivener set up to save to Dropbox automatically and it backs up to my hard drive every time I close it.

Would you mind sharing how you did this? Was it a setting in Scrivener or Dropbox that gave you this option? I'm looking around but can't seem to find it...

merrihiatt
11-22-2013, 07:11 AM
I save to my laptop. Save a back-up file to my laptop. Send the revised file as an email attachment to two of my email addresses (separate providers), along with the title and date in the subject line for easy retrieval later. I check my email and save them to a folder. I also have a zip drive that I update once or twice a month.

Worst case scenario, I'd lose one writing session (not that I want to lose any!).

Becky Black
11-22-2013, 01:37 PM
I backup onto a USB key, which I then take pretty much everywhere. So if I'm out and about with my netbook I don't have to get net access to get at my WIP.

But I also use Google Drive. I don't do it automated, I just decide when I want to upload files. And I keep all the previous versions. Before I started using G Drive I used to send the latest copy to my Gmail, since that has so much space to store it.

It's a long time since I've lost anything. *Jinx*

My notes are currently all on Evernote, so that's synced into the cloud so I can access the most current notes on my laptop at home, my netbook and my tablet. Means I need net access to sync, but there aren't many places I go that don't have wifi I can use!

Jamesaritchie
11-22-2013, 08:13 PM
I use SkyDrive and two DVDs.

MookyMcD
11-22-2013, 08:47 PM
I'm with Marri on the e-mail thing for drafts. I regularly send an e-mail from a hotmail account to a gmail account. Short of the apocalypse, I should be fine.

Jozzy
11-22-2013, 09:07 PM
I zip files to the same computer, copy files to multiple other computers, copy files to flash drives, backup to drop box, email myself, print CDs and take them to a safe deposit box (rarely).

I don't always do every step, but if I've done a week of work I will make sure I have it in at least 5 places. It only takes a few minutes to do that, except when I go to the bank.

kaitie
11-22-2013, 10:56 PM
I've got Scrivener set up to save to Dropbox automatically and it backs up to my hard drive every time I close it.

I do this as well. The cool thing about it is I have my work computer saving to the same place. If I get a bit of time at work, I'm able to come home and open the file and start right where I left off. It's pretty awesome. :)

kaitie
11-22-2013, 10:57 PM
I'm with Marri on the e-mail thing for drafts. I regularly send an e-mail from a hotmail account to a gmail account. Short of the apocalypse, I should be fine.

You just had to go and jinx it, didn't you.

MookyMcD
11-22-2013, 11:10 PM
You just had to go and jinx it, didn't you.

Let's just say that if my work desktop and my home desktop and google and microsoft all go down simultaneously, I'll probably put editing on hold for a bit while I gather weapons, ammo, food, and water. And maybe some board games.

blacbird
11-23-2013, 01:00 AM
Never make ANYTHING your single only means of backing up files, and that most explicitly includes "the cloud." Thumb drives are ridiculously cheap. Get two or three, keep at least one in a location remote from your computer: in your place of work, in your car, in a storage shed, in a bank vault, just somewhere else. Then use "the cloud", if you wish. If you have access to more than one computer, use the other as a place for copies of important material. External hard drives aren't very expensive, either, though I've had bad luck with those failing rather quickly; never had a thumb drive do that.

And if it's really reallly realllllly important, print a hard copy or two, and store those in separate places.

Point is, be paranoid about important files. It's worth the little extra energy to maintain that paranoia.

Shadow_Ferret
11-23-2013, 03:29 AM
Thumb drives are ridiculously cheap. Get two or three, keep at least one in a location remote from your computer: in your place of work, in your car, in a storage shed, in a bank vault, just somewhere else.

I've had so many thumb drives fail on me where the information becomes corrupt and unusable, I've stopped using them completely. They just seem totally unreliable.

Captcha
11-23-2013, 03:39 AM
Yeah, I've had better luck with external hard drives than with thumb drives.

I use Dropbox for automatic saves and version control. About once a week I back up to an external hard drive. Whenever I finish a major portion of a project I e-mail it to myself.

I feel pretty safe.

blacbird
11-23-2013, 05:24 AM
I've had so many thumb drives fail on me where the information becomes corrupt and unusable, I've stopped using them completely. They just seem totally unreliable.

I know this has been the experience of many people. Mine has simply been exactly the opposite. I think I have three dead external hard drives buried in a drawer of my desk. None lasted even a year.

Never had a thumb drive fail. Two years ago I bought two 4-gig thumbs on sale at $5 each. One I use ever day, sometimes multiple times, mainly for file transfer and sharing with my business partner, the other gets used about once a month just for backup. Both continue to work perfectly. In addition to which I have now a large 32-gig one I bought this summer for $20, which is my major business file backup. Plus a couple of 8-gig ones dedicated to special sets of files, which I've had for about 3 years. All work perfectly.

But we're both correct to point out that these physical devices do fail from time to time, always without warning and unpredictably. Which is exactly why I recommend multiple means of file backup. Backing things up in a single manner is better than not backing up at all, but not by a big margin.

caw

jjdebenedictis
11-23-2013, 08:38 AM
I've never had a thumb drive fail either. Are you ejecting them properly or just yanking them out of the computer?

For those who don't know, thumb drives don't necessarily write the information to file when you click "save". They often cache a bunch of stuff to do, and then do it all at once, including saving your data to the drive. So if you pull the thumb drive out when there's still data not properly saved, you do risk corrupting your files.

To properly eject the drive when you're using Windows, double-click the little green/grey icon on the taskbar in the lower right-hand side that says "Safely Remove Hardware" when you hover your mouse over it. That opens a dialogue box where you can select your thumb drive, and then click "Stop". There's a second dialogue box after that; just select your thumb drive again and click "OK". You'll get a message saying it's now safe to unplug your drive.

eqb
11-23-2013, 05:12 PM
For my off-site backup, I use Dropbox. For local backups, I save my document and email folders to an external hard drive, then (because I'm using a Mac), I use the Time Machine application to make a backup of the hard drive contents to that same external device.

I used also keep a thumbdrive backup, but that habit got lost while we were moving house a couple times and I lost track of my thumbdrive supply.

bearilou
11-23-2013, 06:38 PM
Never make ANYTHING your single only means of backing up files, and that most explicitly includes "the cloud." Thumb drives are ridiculously cheap. Get two or three, keep at least one in a location remote from your computer: in your place of work, in your car, in a storage shed, in a bank vault, just somewhere else.

They are. My issue is making sure they're ALL updated. It does me little good to have worked for a few days, written thousands of words only to lose it and have it backed up nowhere else.

Also:


I've had so many thumb drives fail on me where the information becomes corrupt and unusable, I've stopped using them completely. They just seem totally unreliable.

Same here. Except the information wasn't corrupt, the thumb drive failed completely. Information was trapped on it and I couldn't get it off. Thankfully, I'd backed up to a couple of places and only lost a couple of pages.


I've never had a thumb drive fail either. Are you ejecting them properly or just yanking them out of the computer?

I know I was. I'm meticulous about making sure it's safe to eject and yet I've had 3 fail on me in the past two years.

I've also had two external hard drives fail on me in the past two years as well.

And I can't use a cloud service because of my extremely limited internet access and remote location prevents me from popping down to the McD's to use their free WiFi.

So I'm just meticulous about saving to several locations across three computers, a small handful of thumb drives and emails to several places.

muse
11-23-2013, 11:55 PM
I am compulsive about backups. I work on a USB stick (thumb drive.), which backs up to my laptop hard drive, and also Drop Box. I have never had one fail on me yet. *Touches wood.* I manually back up to GDocs, Sugar Sync, Box and Sky Drive. And I also back up my laptop once a month to an external hard drive, plus I email myself a copy of each revised edit of any WIP.

Oh, and I also print out a copy of every finished edit.

Did I mention I was compulsive?:D

SBibb
11-24-2013, 01:38 AM
I'm paranoid about loosing story work, so each new day I do work on a story is a different story file.

Example: Manuscript Draft 1_5.rtf; Manuscript 1_6.rtf....)

I save it either to my harddrive or my external, and then at the end of the day, I e-mail it to myself... just in case something should happen.

Granted, it's a bit tedious, but worth it, I think.

robjvargas
11-24-2013, 10:26 AM
Remember, folks, email is an inherently "trusting" system. It can be spoofed, fooled, tricked, copied.

There is no reason, technologically, that it's more or less reliable than cloud storage. And if the cloud provider uses HTTPS or some other encrypted protocol to save, then cloud is more secure.

asroc
11-24-2013, 08:43 PM
Would you mind sharing how you did this? Was it a setting in Scrivener or Dropbox that gave you this option? I'm looking around but can't seem to find it...

I just keep the actual Scrivener file in my Dropbox folder, so it opens, closes and saves right in there. You can set up the local backup under Preferences -> Backup. Check "Turn on automatic backups." You can specify where you want it to save to and when (on open or on close or manually).

I'm on a Mac, so if you're on Windows things may be different.

EMaree
11-24-2013, 09:19 PM
I'm paranoid about loosing story work, so each new day I do work on a story is a different story file.

Example: Manuscript Draft 1_5.rtf; Manuscript 1_6.rtf....)

I save it either to my harddrive or my external, and then at the end of the day, I e-mail it to myself... just in case something should happen.

Granted, it's a bit tedious, but worth it, I think.

This is what I do. New name for each day, saved to hard disk, then backed up to e-mail (aka 'the Cloud' since GMail is all Cloud-based).

Manuel Royal
11-25-2013, 01:37 AM
Who the hell started referring to online servers as "the cloud"? I use Mozy.

EMaree
11-25-2013, 03:05 AM
Who the hell started referring to online servers as "the cloud"? I use Mozy.

You might approve of this Chrome plug-in (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cloud-to-butt-plus/apmlngnhgbnjpajelfkmabhkfapgnoai?hl=en).

Captcha
11-25-2013, 03:29 AM
You might approve of this Chrome plug-in (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cloud-to-butt-plus/apmlngnhgbnjpajelfkmabhkfapgnoai?hl=en).

I'm never sure whether to be tickled or appalled by human creativity! I'm going to go with "tickled" on this one, I think!

EMaree
11-25-2013, 04:01 AM
I've been meaning to install that plug-in for ages. I just did, and it makes this thread beautiful. :D

Kay
11-25-2013, 04:41 AM
I use 2 flash drives and email a copy to myself periodically, but I also like to email a copy to my kindle too. That gives me the added benefit of seeing my work as an ebook.

ETA: Yes, I know sending it to my kindle doesn't make it a real ebook. I do like to pretend, though.

EMaree
11-25-2013, 09:48 PM
Crystal, I do that sometimes too, especially when revising. :D It's great to see it there like a "real" book.

AshleyEpidemic
11-26-2013, 01:18 AM
I'm seriously considering having a back up flash drive to update every few days. The hardest part will be remembering where I put it. I have a hard enough time with the one. I only back up to my external HD once a month and I slacked because I recently moved and I still haven't even located my TV remote.

robjvargas
11-26-2013, 03:09 AM
I'm seriously considering having a back up flash drive to update every few days. The hardest part will be remembering where I put it. I have a hard enough time with the one. I only back up to my external HD once a month and I slacked because I recently moved and I still haven't even located my TV remote.

Keep it at work? Mind you, I have a desk job, so I can do that. Whip out my little netbook on my lunch hour and back up whatever folders I want to the flash drive then. At that point, not only is it safe from a disaster at home, but at home I use Skydrive for a tertiary location.

A disaster that takes out all three is going to leave me unconcerned with my literary work.

...

Nah, I'd look for the drive for sure. :D

blacbird
11-26-2013, 09:37 AM
I'm seriously considering having a back up flash drive to update every few days. The hardest part will be remembering where I put it. I have a hard enough time with the one. I only back up to my external HD once a month and I slacked because I recently moved and I still haven't even located my TV remote.

Every few days??????????? Seriously, you're asking for trouble, somewhere down the line. I back up everything I've worked on at the end of every work day, often at lunch break as well. It's ridiculously simple to do, takes virtually no significant time, and if even once you lose anything through failure to do so, you'll understand what I'm saying. If you can keep track of your keys, you can keep track of a flash drive. In fact, you can get flash drives that fit on a key ring. Keep one in the glove box of your car, in your purse or wallet, etc.

Do not whine here, ever, about losing files through failure to back them up. Ain't gonna get much sympathy.

caw

AshleyEpidemic
11-26-2013, 07:08 PM
Keep it at work? Mind you, I have a desk job, so I can do that. Whip out my little netbook on my lunch hour and back up whatever folders I want to the flash drive then. At that point, not only is it safe from a disaster at home, but at home I use Skydrive for a tertiary location.

A disaster that takes out all three is going to leave me unconcerned with my literary work.

...

Nah, I'd look for the drive for sure. :D
Keeping one at work really is a great idea. I need to try it. That way I have my two copies that are explicitly for home and my flash drive I carry around and work with. There are a million unused flash drives in my house that my roommate gets for free. I'll have to try to get one again.

LindaJeanne
11-26-2013, 07:40 PM
Locally, a two-drive RAID 1 setup, so the backups are automatic and continuous.

Offsite, in addition to local:

Writing and graphic files on DropBox
For source code and related files, I set up a git repository on my webhost. I'm considering using it for writing, as well.
Website mockups and moodboards on Mural.ly
Reference information in Evernote


In addition to my desktop, dropbox, & git, most current projects end up on my tablet. Finished projects get archived multiple places.

Bonus: I can access just about anything from just about anywhere.

djf881
12-08-2013, 11:13 AM
Yeah. I just e-mail the file to myself to back it up. That way I can revert to pretty much any version I want.

chompers
12-08-2013, 12:05 PM
I use Yarny to write. It's all cloud-based and automatically saves each time I pause. You can view prior versions if you want. It also has a feature to download your work into Word or epub, so I do that and save a copy on my computer too. Did I mention it's free?

DancingMaenid
12-08-2013, 12:19 PM
For those of you who use Google Docs/Drive to back stuff up, do you find you have to save larger projects in multiple files? I've found in the past that trying to save stuff longer than 20k or so starts to cause trouble. Maybe not with the saving itself, but if I try to add anything to file, it gets sluggish and doesn't respond well.

I have Dropbox, but have never used it much. I'll have to give it a try for backing up my stuff. I use flash drives now, and I haven't had any problems. But I'd like to back up in the cloud more, too.

Becky Black
12-09-2013, 03:05 AM
I don't have any problems just uploading files to Google Drive to store them. Got some large files on there. But I don't actually open them up and write in them there, because in the past I have had issues with larger files and I just find it very laggy and annoying.

DancingMaenid
12-09-2013, 03:45 AM
I don't have any problems just uploading files to Google Drive to store them. Got some large files on there. But I don't actually open them up and write in them there, because in the past I have had issues with larger files and I just find it very laggy and annoying.

I used to try to write in them, because it was the most convenient way for me to write while on public computers. But yeah, I had a lot of problems with lagging.

jaksen
12-09-2013, 04:33 AM
You all do know if we're hit by an electromagnetic pulse everything is gone.

Except what you printed out or had published, on paper.

djf881
12-09-2013, 05:14 AM
You all do know if we're hit by an electromagnetic pulse everything is gone.

Except what you printed out or had published, on paper.

In the blistering cold and tomb-like silence that will follow the nuclear apocalypse, the only thing that will keep you warm or give you hope is your vampire-on-centaur erotic manuscript-in-progress.

robjvargas
12-09-2013, 05:30 AM
You all do know if we're hit by an electromagnetic pulse everything is gone.

Except what you printed out or had published, on paper.

Maybe not. Flash drives aren't as vulnerable to electromagnetic effects (http://it.med.miami.edu/x890.xml). Not invulnerable. But it takes MUCH more electromagnetic energy to harm a flash drive than a "spinning platter" hard drive (including the floppy disks that are now so rare).

Of course, everything that could *read* the drive is gone.

Superbacon
12-10-2013, 01:05 AM
You all do know if we're hit by an electromagnetic pulse everything is gone.

Except what you printed out or had published, on paper.

An EMP from a conventional source (nuclear explosion, etc) would only likely have measurable effects over a small, local region. Which makes internet-based backups very valuable. Anything producing EMP effects over the entire planet is going to give us much more to worry about than whether or not our drafts and character profiles still exist haha


Regarding general backups, I'd take advantage of whatever cloud or dropbox-style service you can find and that you like the functioning of. Every cloud service is going to work slightly differently, and obviously you don't want it to overwrite things in weird ways as described in the OP.

Whatever you do and whatever your self-written rules for backing up, you should always have an off-site backup location. Keeping an external hard-drive under your bed and another one in the linen closet is a great system; until the house burns down or you get robbed. It's very much not likely to ever happen, but uploading to a web server is a tiny amount of effort for a whole lot of redundancy.