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Old 08-26-2011, 08:05 PM   #16
cygpen
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Thank you - evidently the Ubuntu over-wrote the Vista. Thank you for your help.
 
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:43 PM   #17
taylorkh
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Yes it appears that Ubuntu is using the entire disk. It also looks like you told the installer to encrypt you home directory (I think). If so, that will make backup a little more challenging. If nothing else we can figure out a process to backup your important data.

Do you have some sort of external storage available? Perhaps a USB hard drive or flash drive? Please let me know.

Thanks,

Ken
 
Old 08-28-2011, 02:54 PM   #18
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I have an 8GB flash drive.
Once again thank you
 
Old 08-28-2011, 04:40 PM   #19
taylorkh
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The 8 GB flash drive will be real helpful. I see three possible strategies depending on how adventurous you feel

Plan 1 - To backup your data to the flash drive and then burn the data to a CD or DVD for posterity and to free up the flash drive. I would do this on a weekly or biweekly basis. We can work through what directories you will want to backup in detail if you like.

Plan 2 - a little more adventurous
- do Plan 1
- Use a program called Clonzilla to make an image or picture of your hard drive and store it on the flash drive
- burn the image from the flash drive to a DVD
- this will allow you to restore to the state of your PC as it is TODAY - newer data must be backed up as it grows
- this method will not work when you drive gets filled with more and more data and becomes too big to fit on the flash drive

Plan 3 - Do Plan 1 and Plan 2 (just in case - we will be getting a bit more adventurous)
- Use a program called Gparted Live to divide the hard drive into a couple of "partitions" or areas.
- Linux, your programs, configurations and preferences will be stored on a small partition
- the rest of the disk will be made into a large partition called /data
- we will move your data (Libre office documents, email, web browser bookmarks etc.) to /data
- from now on you can burn a backup of your data directly from /data to CD or DVD
- Clonezilla can quickly make an image of the small partition containing Linux etc. to the larger /data partition. I do this monthly and can always get my PC back to the way it was working a short while back.
- You can burn this image off to a DVD for safe keeping
- Clonzilla can restore Linux, programs, preferences etc. if something gets goofed up.
- If your hard drive dies you can build a new system from the image and data CD/DVDs.

It is not necessary to do all of these right now. If you want to start with 1 or 2 just let me know. I have Ubuntu installed on a test machine similar to your PC and I can walk through this with you step by step.

Regards,

Ken
 
Old 08-28-2011, 05:34 PM   #20
cygpen
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Number 1 is more my speed.

Thank you for all your help.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 05:40 PM   #21
cygpen
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TaylorKH

One more question - what program can I use to easily backup to the flash
drive? Thank you for your patience.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 06:37 PM   #22
taylorkh
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My favorite method for backup these days would be to burn the data to CD or DVD. DVD blanks cost less than $20/100 if you get them on sale at Office Max, Office Depot, Staples or on-line at newegg.com, buy.com, meritline.com etc. Keep an eye on techbargains.com for the latest deals.

Ubuntu comes with Brasero as its disk burning software. It is easy to use. Put a blank disk in the drive. Create data project and add your files. Be sure to keep an eye on the space left on the disk. It is shown down toward the bottom of the screen. I use a program called k3b because I started using it some years ago when I had problems with whatever shipped with Ubuntu. I got used to it and just continued to use it. The only real advantage I see with k3b over Brasero is that k3b will verify the disk after it is burned. I am not sure if Brasero does that. At least I have not found a setting to tell it to do so. I would try Brasero to start with.

You said earlier that you do web browsing, email and some Libre office. I trust you are using Firefox for web. What are you using for your email program? or are you using a web mail program (yahoo, gmail or something like that)? Let me know and I will show you where the data files are stored for each. I think Plan 1 can be simplified to burning the data files directly without having to copy them to the flash drive first. Or you might copy files to the flash drive weekly and burn them monthly. I copy my data files from one hard drive to a second hard drive daily and burn to DVD monthly. I get a "free" safety deposit box at my bank as part of my checking account service so I put the monthly data there (in case a UFO lifts my house into space

Ken
 
Old 08-28-2011, 07:46 PM   #23
cygpen
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I do have blank DVD-R discs - would they work? I do use Firefox (with the safety
ad-ons) for browsing and my e-mail program is Thunderbird with a Yahoo e-address.
I have the ClamTK (I do a full scan every day) and the UFW for the firewall - am I
as safe as possible??
Thank you for your help and patience.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 08:06 PM   #24
theNbomr
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The big problem with optical media is that you have to be able to split the filesystem into media-sized chunks. This sounds easier than it is, plus it adds room for error. I use rsync to copy key directories (/home, /etc) across a LAN to another host. This can be done frequently after the initial copy, as it can be set up to only transfer stuff that is new or modified since the last backup, and usually only takes a few minutes or less depending on the volume. It also allows you to grab a copy using normal filesystem tools, since the copy is not compressed or specially encoded in any way (recovery is just copying files). It can easily be scripted to run on a periodic basis with cron. My purpose for these backups is similar to the OP's.
--- rod.

Last edited by theNbomr; 08-28-2011 at 08:09 PM.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 08:13 PM   #25
taylorkh
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DVD-R disks are fine. I am not sure what the difference is between the +R and -R disks although I learned recently that the -R will store a little bit more data - don't know why. In the early days of CDs the + and - would only work in certain drives. Then the drives decided they could handle either. I have used both with good success.

I use Adblock Plus, BetterPrivacy, Ghostery and No Script with Firefox. I tend to clean most data every time I close FF. I close and restart FF frequently to flush everything. Especially before accessing any site with financial data.

Thunderbird is great for email. I have used it for longer than I can remember.

As far as the important files to backup...

Brasero starts out pointing to your home folder. I would add the directories which are shown under the home directory unless you do not use some of them. Have a look in them and see what is there.

Then right click on the Select Files window where the files and directories are listed. Select "]X] Show Hidden Files". In Linux hidden files start with a period (.) If you create a file of any sort and start the name with a period it will be hidden. Look for the following hidden files (well directories actually) and add them. They are the Firefox and Thunderbird data.

.mozilla
.mozilla-thunderbird
.thunderbird (if you have this one)

Have a look around and see if you recognize any other files or folders which you have created and add them. Burn the project to a DVD and then have a look at the resulting DVD and make sure you can find your file in case you need them.

Ken

p.s. ClamTK is a good anti-virus although Linux viruses are rare. Still if you come across a Windows virus Clam will zap it before you pass it on to a Windows user.

A firewall is good. Configuring one in Linux can be very challenging. I have struggled with getting mine working to my liking.
 
Old 08-28-2011, 08:41 PM   #26
cygpen
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taylorkh

Thank you - I will try this tomorrow when I'm 'fresh'. I will post back how I
did.
 
Old 08-29-2011, 06:09 PM   #27
cygpen
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taylorkh

Well - I tried Brasero and despite your excellent instructions I was unable to
use it. I was unable to either 'drag' the files or 'copy and paste' them to
the blank disc. Thank you for all of your effort and help.
 
Old 08-29-2011, 07:37 PM   #28
taylorkh
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Try pressing the + button at the upper right and then navigate to the files or directories you wish to add to the project. Hold down the Ctrl key and left click on each of the files or directories to highlight them. Then press the Add button at the lower left. That should place them in the project. You can then press the + button again and go exploring for more data to add.

Ken
 
Old 08-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #29
cygpen
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taylorkh

Thank you but when I did it as you said - there wasn't any button on the lower
left side (on the lower right side there was 'burn' button).

Thank you for all of your help - but - backing-up to a DVD does not seem to be for me. Are there any super-easy back-up tools online?
 
Old 08-30-2011, 09:01 AM   #30
taylorkh
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Sorry. The + button is in the upper LEFT. It had been a long day. I just finished helping my step-son replace shingles damaged by hurricane Irene. Please don't give up. We can get Brasero to work. Let me walk through it and see if I can keep straight which is right and which is left.

When I call up Brasero I am presented with a screen which has a column of choices (on the left)

Create an new project:
Audio project
Data project
Video project
Copy disk
Burn image

I select Data project. I then insert a blank DVD. I don't have any DVD-R discs so I used a +R but I don't think that would change the way Brasero works. If you get a message when you insert the disc "You have just inserted a blank DVD..." just click cancel.

Towards the bottom of the Brasero window you should see "Blank DVD-R Disc: 4.4 GB of free space". If it says "Image file" click on the up and down pointer to the right and select "Blank DVD..."

Now lets try again to add some files. Click on the + at the upper left of the screen. You should see a file called examples.desktop. Left click once on this file and examples.desktop should become highlighted. Then press the Add button on the lower right. examples.desktop should now be listed in your data project. If not, please let me know and I will do some head scratching

Provided that worked OK you can use the same process to add other things to the project. For example, I created a document using Libre Office Writer. By default it was saved in my Documents subdirectory (or folder in Windows speak). So I again press the Brasero + button. I highlight Documents and press Add. I now see Documents listed in the project. It has a "size" of 1 item and is described as a "folder". If you have many Libre Office documents saved you will see that number listed as the size of the documents folder.

The next step after adding things to the data project is to burn the data to the DVD disc. When I press Burn (lower right) I am presented with a dialog "Properties of (_NEC_Optiarc_123 blah blah blah - the name of my DVD drive)" I leave the Burning speed at Maximum as the program will adjust automatically if necessary and leave the Temporary files location as is. I press Burn again and that does the trick.

Please give it one more try and let me know what happens. Burning CDs and DVDs it too handy a tool to give up on. If you don't like Brasero we can walk through the built in write to disc tool which is sort of like the sad excuse of a program which Windows provides for the purpose.

Ken
 
  


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