Skydrive woes. Is anywhere safe?

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Skydrive woes. Is anywhere safe?

With digital scrapbooking I am constantly updating our files and folders, so it's hard to keep everything completely backed up and up to date. I have awful luck with computers, so my main storage for my files was both Skydrive and Google drive (one organised by type, the other by theme). I also backed up weekly onto an external hard drive.

I thought Skydrive was safe as my go-to storage. Wrong! With Windows 8.1 update, it made my mail-app crash, which meant I had to do a system refresh, which meant Skydrive wouldn't sync ... everything that was available offline is stuck in the cloud, and my folders are too big to download. Then after 6 Microsoft technicians, I get through to someone at 1AM who can help me-- for a fee. Like the idiot I am, I pay because otherwise I'll have to patch my files together from different locations. All I want by this point is to run with my up-to-date files and store them elsewhere. Anyway, he 'fixed' it, but this morning? I go to open my skydrive files and half of them are damaged and unable to open! Massive patchwork job in operation-- taking some files from Google drive & some from my external hard drive.

Be warned-- innocent Windows updates can cause havoc. Oh if only I could afford a Mac...

*Keeps smiling*

My policy is: If I don´t really need to update Windows, I don´t do. I have no idea if this incident became famous worldwilde (a bug on a "security" update of Brazilian win7 version made people who instaled it unable to start Windows) but I know some people that ended up formatting their HDs before Microsoft found a fix and lost lots of data - one of them, a digiscrapper...

I don't trust Microsoft anymore, but we have little options otherwise. Macs are just too expensive! I'm considering Amazon cloud drive as my second back-up now...

I've actually considered going back to using a Linux OS. I use to use Ubuntu and Mepis when I was into building computers and using line command. I'm just too lazy now and I've invested too much money in my software to be really serious about it. I have an Amazon account but I know that nothing is 100% secure, so I have a couple different places I store my stuff. I know its not much consolation, but at least you did have your stuff available somewhere...

Oh, that Windows 8.1 update was awful. I think Microsoft jumped the gun with Windows 8....Windows 7 was great, now Windows 8.1 is continually riddled with errors and driver issues.

Really and truly nothing that is digital is completely safe from never being lost, it is just the nature of the beast.

The idea is good-- in theory-- but there are too many holes in it. They're constantly patching it up! If they're going to be the main OS provider, they should at least make one that works. What gets me is they charged me $100 to fix it, and they ended up damaging my files. Cat Armstrong's right, good job I've got half on Google and another half somewhere else!

@Emily: Computer guys have an old joke that says Windows has a good version, then a bad version, then a good version again. 7 was the good one, and 8 is the bad...


I actually use the Amazon cloud service for my digital scrapbook files. I've never had any problems with it. The thing I really like is that I have a Kindle HDX (7 inch) and I have access to all my finished scrapbook pages wherever I am via my Kindle. Because I have so many kits and such, I also upload the preview images so that I can pick whichever kit or template I want just by looking through photos on my Kindle. It makes scrapbooking so much easier!

I also have Sky Drive, and I'm not thrilled with it. Most of my files are on Dropbox, but I'm also having issues with it. As a writer who has several novels, I'm incredibly paranoid about losing my files as well, so I understand you frustrations. I tend to do DVD backups from time to time just in case....

Maria, that does sound very useful. I do save on external hard drive, but it's so hard to keep things up to date. I've got writing projects also in the works so I understand your paranoia. Skydrive has been good so far, but there are issues Microsoft refuses to acknowledge. Now I've just got to find funds to open more cloud storage elsewhere! smiley

There is a free program you can use to do automatic backups to your external drives. I use one called syncback by 2Brightsparks.

They also have a paid version, but I have found the free version works great for me. You can schedule when you want to back up, where you want to back up and what you want to back up. Once you have the schedule set up, you don't have to think about it again. Of course, you will need to have your computer on for it to run, but I leave my computer on all the time, so my stuff is backed up once a week, to two different hard drives, so I always have 3 places where my files are.
You can select if you want to keep or delete old files also, so you can still have previous versions of your files if necessary.

I don't have an EHD yet so for the time being everything I have is saved on my thumb drive and on my Dropbox account. I'll be getting an EHD in the Spring and will continue to use my Dropbox account. I always have everything saved in at least 2 places, sometimes 3 because I'm paranoid about losing everything.

I had a laptop for a little while that had Windows 8 on it, and while it was fun to play with, I didn't trust it. I ended up returning it because the laptop had issues in general so when I get a new laptop in the next few months I'm hopefully going to have the money to install Windows 7.

Google and Amazon have some of the best reputations for reliability - I know that Amazon is one of the best in the industry for file storage and many well known businesses use them (like Netflix). But, there is always the possibility for data loss or account theft, despite even the most thorough measures. That's just life; nothing is permanent.

If you're really serious about backing up your data, this is what I would suggest:
Back up your files online in at least two locations. Don't have both of them be dedicated file sharing sites (ie- don't do 4shared and mediafire). I recommend this because sites specifically for file sharing are often blocked at public access locations (like the library). You never know under what circumstances you'll need to be accessing them online, so availability and accessibility are key. I would recommend Google Drive or Amazon Cloud for at least one of them.
Don't use the Google or Amazon account that you use for everything else and make sure you have a unique password that you haven't used on anything else. This will limit the likelihood that your account will get hacked or stolen. Some people have had their gmail accounts "hacked" - because Adobe had a pretty serious leak in Sept and the email these people used for their Adobe accounts also shared the same password!
Keep a backup on an external drive. Update it frequently. If you notice any weird behavior in your drive (loud clicking on a conventional platter drive means it is about to die), make sure you're backed up elsewhere and look into getting a new drive. Drives last anywhere from 2 to 5 years. If it lasts longer, you're lucky. Solid-state drives tend to be more reliable because of no moving parts.
Burn copies of your backup monthly (or weekly, depending on how active you are). It will probably take a few DVDs or BlueRays, but it's worth it. Sometimes old tricks are the best tricks. BUT, remember that disks only last a few years, too, before they start to decay!

All computer companies are bound to make mistakes sooner or later - there isn't a single OS that is flaw free, unfortunately.
Windows seems to suffer extra problems, though, because you not only have to consider the OS but also the guts of the PC itself and who manufactured it. So often, I see manufacturers selling cheap PCs with barely enough power to handle the OS their bundled with! And it leaves a bad experience for the customer and leaves them blaming the OS.
I am frustrated that with the basic Windows 8 version, the user can't disable auto updates. That causes a LOT of problems when a bad update is released. But, seeing that I oppose Apple on an ethical level, find Android too limiting at this time, and find Linux to be too time consuming and complicated, Windows is what I am stuck with. Lol. Better the devil that I know. smiley