Backing up Legacy

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Shortfuse
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:05 pm
Location: Scotland

Backing up Legacy

Post by Shortfuse » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:30 am

Hi
After a few disasters with externel hard drives ,either thinking I had backed up files and hadn't, or the hard drive itself giving up the ghost Is it a silly question to ask if a USB Flash Drive could be used instead ? If it could be used, could anyone recomend a programme either free or bought that is very simple to use ( a bit like myself )
Now that I have started Legacy for the third time and doing it properly ,sources etc , I would hate to lose it again . My tree is only in the three to four hundred family members If it was much bigger I don't think I could face starting all over

regards to all sf

Russell
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Re: Backing up Legacy

Post by Russell » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:45 am

Hi shortfuse
I don't actually use Legacy myself (I use an ancient Family tree maker ) but most genealogy programmes allow you to make a gedcom file then export it to the memory device of your choice. Since none of the external devices can be considered as truly 'permanent' I often save a copy to an external hard drive, another to a couple of memory sticks and occasionally make a CD copy so even if the most recent versions fail the CD will only be a few months out of date. Once the GEDCOM file has been created and named it is easy to select the destination and export it.
I have almost 5000 ancestors with all the scanned in paperwork and photos of headstones etc. so there is a mass of information at risk. It has paid off once a year or two ago when my hard drive failed.
I have a Linux based PC - old but reliable, with a basic genealogy set-up and it too has a basic tree saved. I know it goes beyond belt and braces but we have invested too much money in this hobby/addiction/lifestyle choice for it all to disappear in an electronic disaster.

Russell
Working on: Oman, Brock, Miller/Millar, in Caithness.
Roan/Rowan, Hastings, Sharp, Lapraik in Ayr & Kirkcudbrightshire.
Johnston, Reside, Lyle all over the place !
McGilvray(spelt 26 different ways)
Watson, Morton, Anderson, Tawse, in Kilrenny

Shortfuse
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:05 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Backing up Legacy

Post by Shortfuse » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:41 pm

Many thanks Russell for all the information, I've a couple of old computers ( one with a new hard drive ) in the attic. I never thought of using them. As this is the first time I've actually filled in a programme properly, before it was just name date and a couple of notes, i would hate to lose it. I'll have to do some reading about gedcoms etc
Many thanks again for the information sf

Currie
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Location: Australia

Re: Backing up Legacy

Post by Currie » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:11 pm

Hello Shortfuse & Russell,

I don’t greatly trust Thumb Drives, or USB Flash drives, or whatever you like to call them. Probably about a third of the ones I’ve bought have failed, usually within a month of purchase. They are useful as a third or fourth backup and as an easy way of opening your files on another computer.

It’s a bit risky having only one backup, and it’s best to have one of your backups located away from home in case the place burns down or whatever (“Fireman! Save my Hard-Drive!!!). I like playing with computers and have a collection of old ones, even my best one is an old one, and I put backups on the drives of one or two of those. I also have a small portable hard drive that I take with me when I leave home, another one at a relative’s place that is a few months out of date, and a thumb drive which has just the family history stuff on it. I also make a DVD with the family stuff every few months if I think of it, and come to think of it, I’m now thinking about backing up the family stuff to Cloud storage via SugarSync.

Most of the above is probably more to do with playing around with computers than actually backing up. I’ve never had a hard drive fail on me and some of mine are ten years old and still going strong. I think the hard drives most at risk are those more subject to heat and movement, which usually means those in laptops and those small portable hard drives that don’t get handled as gently as they should.

I think Windows 7 has its own backup system but I’ve never used it. I use a fairly simple backup program called EZback-it-up. It does a backup of nominated folders to any sort of drive that the computer recognises. I found the instructions fairly easy to follow and a lot easier than some of the Sync programs where you’re not really sure what’s being synced to what. The first backup takes a while but the following ones only copy the files that have changed. As with anything, it’s best to do your homework first and experiment with some relatively unimportant files before you attempt the real thing. There are probably more recent and better programs around but I haven’t tried them. http://www.snapfiles.com/get/ezbackitup.html

All the best,
Alan

Shortfuse
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:05 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Backing up Legacy

Post by Shortfuse » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:58 pm

Hi Alan
Many thanks for the reply. The reason I asked about the USB sticks was to be able to do a couple of back ups cheaply. The ones that I have used have been very reliable and not realy looked after very well. On the other hand in the last 15 years I've lost one in a desk top, one in a laptop and one external hard drive which although was several years old had only backed up Legacy and my sons wedding videos.The laptop gave plenty of warning it was on its way out-no problem I thought I've got it backed up, this was when I found out the external one was toast
The more I read about USB pen drives it looks like I've been lucky as there seems to be a high failure rate. I'll do as yourself and Russell do an make several back ups.
thanks again for your post sf

ps I will not talk about the Caddy and hard drive I put together,formatted and got working and left in a pub

AndrewP
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Re: Backing up Legacy

Post by AndrewP » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:20 pm

As a bit of an aside to this topic, Solid State Drives (SSDs) are supposed to be more robust than traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). My main computer, the laptop that I am using just now) had problems last summer. At that time, I chose to instal a second hard drive. I was recommended to purchase an SSD to instal the operating system on, and keep the HDD for the data. That worked well. The SSD has a far faster access time than an HDD, so made for quicker booting up of the laptop, and of the various programs I use (dominantly of the Microsoft Office series).

Ten months on, the SSD failed. The laptop would boot up, but freeze up within a minute or two of use. Some investigation showed the SSD was the culprit. Under the terms of the warranty, I returned it to the manufacturer's European branch in The Netherlands. The SSD left Scotland on Monday, arrived in the Netherlands on Tuesday. On the Wednesday, they issued a replacement SSD, which arrived at my house on the Thursday. By the end of Thursday night, I had Windows and the Microsoft Office programs re-installed and the laptop was back up and running. Since then I have been replacing the other programs that I use, starting with the firewall and anti-virus package. The good thing was that my data was all still there on the other drive, so was ready to use as soon as the relevant programs were in place.

Apart from my experience with the SSD, I still believe that in general they are more reliable than traditional HDDs. However, they are more expensive and tend to be in smaller capacities so far. On the basis of the capacity, they are fine for storing the operating system (this one is 80GB which is sufficient for my operating system and program files), but are not available within a normal budget for the capacity that most people would seek for their data drive. I expect that this will be changing all the time, and that large capacity SSDs will come down in price so that they shuld become a realistic option for a data HDD.

As a backup for my data, I use an external HDD across my home network. I use a couple of USB sticks for carrying a copy of my data with me when I am out of the house. I should really take up the final 'belt and braces' approach and keep a CD or other USB sticks either at work or in a friend's house, just in case.

All the best,

AndrewP

LesleyB
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Re: Backing up Legacy

Post by LesleyB » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:27 pm

To make a back up to an external drive using Legacy (you do not need any other software to make a back up)
Go to File > Back up Family File. Click the button to "Select Name and Locaiton for Back up" and find your external drive. Type a name for the back up file replacing the name it has been given if you prefer to give it your own style of name) Remember to date it in the file name so that you can see at a glance when it was made. e.g. my main tree backups are all called GM (for the two main surnames) then the date so if I made a back up to day it might be called: GM16_6_2012, then back in the dialog box, click the Back Up button. If you want more info on backing up you can click the Help button in that dialog box. You can at the same time click the other button to back up any multimedia (phots for example) that you have added to your Legacy file in a separate back up file - also name and date this one...e.g. GM16_6_2012media.

It may also be useful to know that Legacy also has extensive HELP files within the software; go to
Help menu > Show Help Index, and you can search for help or better still look through the TUTORIALS section on the right side of the window, which, generally are quite helpful e.g. Exercise: How to Back Up Your Family File

Note that the tree back up is a Legacy file, not a copy of the Legacy software. You do not need to export it as a gedcom if you intend to use it with Legacy. If your had drive fails and you need to start again, the back up files are the important bit - a copy of the Legacy Standard program can be downloaded from the internet and installed at no cost. The program is, if you like, the basket... a replaceable holder of your information. It is the information itself (your tree(s) ) which requires to be backed up and kept safe!

As well as an external drive (such as a thumb drive) if you have a smart phone you can install a tree app and store a copy of your tree in there as back up in gedcom format, and another option is the kind of free online storage that comes with free email addresses such as Hotmail etc (skydrive). It is always better to have a back up in a differnet building to the original, both these options make this possible without loads of extra hassle.

Best wishes
Lesley

Shortfuse
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:05 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Backing up Legacy

Post by Shortfuse » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:07 pm

Can I just say a big THANK YOU to Russell, Alan, AndrewP and Lesley. I have learned more about backing up files today than I have in the mainly disaster ridden efforts in the past.
regards to all sf
=D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

Shortfuse
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:05 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Backing up Legacy

Post by Shortfuse » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:54 am

Hello again
Just a quick update regarding backing up Legacy :-
Everything went as it smooth as silk, backed up the files using Legacy programme twice on different usb pens. I then used "ezbackitup" to copy pictures . At this point I was running out of things to back up, resorted to looking for old message lists, notes to the window cleaner etc. Then a new usb pen ( that I thought were so reliable ) refused to work. Locked up half way through the note to the plumber or something similar. So I will be keeping several types of backup from now on

once again thanks for the help sf

Russell
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:59 pm
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Re: Backing up Legacy

Post by Russell » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:34 am

Hi Shortfuse

We're all happy to pass on our experience from bitter previous experience(s). Delighted that your transfers went so smoothly although you didn't need to prove Alan's point about the potential unreliability of pen drives :D . I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the three drives I have used for a year or two now continue to perform effectively.
Now you can get down to the real business of finding every last bit of info about your ancestors. My wife prefers to make out a tree for each family -on paper so that dates, occupations, addresses are still available even if electronic methods go pear shaped.

Russell
Working on: Oman, Brock, Miller/Millar, in Caithness.
Roan/Rowan, Hastings, Sharp, Lapraik in Ayr & Kirkcudbrightshire.
Johnston, Reside, Lyle all over the place !
McGilvray(spelt 26 different ways)
Watson, Morton, Anderson, Tawse, in Kilrenny

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