HARDWARE: Computers go toes up for many reasons

Monday, September 24, 2012

Every computer user should have a Carbonite or it’s equivalent. Computers go toes up for many reasons. After your platform becomes a smoking hole, or even just a hole when it gets stolen, what are YOU left with? Other than a “woe is me” tale. Astonishing to me is how few people have ANY backup strategy. No “Plan B”. Having paid tuition at that particular division of the University of Hard Knocks, I have no intention of revisiting the panic, dismay, and frustration of losing it ALL. (Not my fault. My employer had an enterprise backup plan. My platform was ‘overlooked’. Good bye 6 months of work. Some irreplaceable.) I’ve experienced this personally — two hard drives, one power supply, and one theft. with minimal impact. So, I am a firm worshiper at the “Church of Belt and Suspenders”! I’ve got layers of recovery. All set on automatic pilot. YMMV! But don’t expect sympathy from me when yours spinns, crashes, and burns.

p.s., I’m not shilling for Carbonite but for 60$/year, why not?

>Manhattan College ITS Blog: Saving Files
>itsblog.manhattan.edu

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SERVICE: Anther horror story of an old computer failing

Monday, February 20, 2012

On Saturday, I visited an old Jasper in the hospital. He was in for an emergency tune up. Hope he’s out by now. But, to the point, he was telling me his troubles with an unbacked up old Windoze box that was giving him fits. And, his family’s designated stuckee for tech support. Last time, he went through this, I pitched Mozy, Carbonite, or Pogoplug. Reprised that song.

On Sunday, I heard from a relative who’s old unbacked up Windoze box was circling the proverbial bowl. (Seems like “unbacked up” goes with “old Windoze box”.) Reprise my backup song.

Now I realize I’m crazed about it. Two belts and two suspenders.

My photos are on three live boxes, sugarsynced, carbonited, and pogopluged.

My data is on two live boxes, dropboxed, carbonited, and pogopluged.

Special projects are on one, two, or three live boxes, dropboxed, carbonited, and pogopluged. AND, boxneted.

I’ve lost work to Microsoft’s crappy solutions before.

Sure it’s messy, but if I lose something because I fat finger something, there’s always several places to recover from.

Argh!

It’s only common sense.

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NOTRECOMMENDED: WD MYBOOKFORMAC

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

IMHO this has been a technology disaster.

Not so much the device. I had that working in minutes.

In the accompanying software. What good is a backup device without the snazzy software that will make the backups painless.

Otherwise it’s just a USB Hard DIsk. Which is nice, but there are many on the market and many much cheaper.

I have a WD Go Flex that I bought without the snazzy software and use IBACKUP with.

During the “panic attacks” I feared for my data. And despite CARBONITE and DROPBOX and GOFLEXDRIVE, the TIMEMACHINE failure scared me. So I wanted more protection.

(I’ve done bare metal restores on WINDOZE and MACBOOKAIR, they are NOT pretty. Stuff never comes back 100%.)

I bought the MYBOOKFORMAC based on the box’s promise of simple complete backup. And, I got something that was Adobe Flash dependent and browser dependent. That’s not what I bargained for.

CAVEAT EMPTOR

And, I may be wrong but in the “support email exchanges”, I think I was dealing with a softeware robot, not a real person, Even dial 1 800 a third world country is more honest. Did these guys watch WATSON on Jeopardy and think they can fool people?

# – # – #

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response. We hope we have answered your question(s). If we do not receive an update from you within 4 business days, the incident will automatically close. However, if you still need further assistance from us, please do not hesitate to update your question(s) or contact us at 1-800-ASK-4WDC and we will be happy to assist you further.

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To access your question from our support site, click here.

Subject
wd smartware doesn’t exec
Discussion Thread
Response Via Email (Carmen D) 03/29/2011 02:18 PM
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for your reply.

Once again I apologize for the inconvenience. If you decide to return the product to the store you do not need an RMA number to get a credit refund from retailer. An RMA number is used for replacement purpose with our company. If you wish to get your money back for the product from store, this is something that is handled by the retailer you purchased the product. Western Digital does not refund back money to customers, if the drive is defective or needs replacement for some other reason, we proceed with RMA options.

If you wish to replace the drive, we have two warranty replacement options available to you, Advance RMA and Standard RMA. Both options are available online from our we bsite. In an Advance RMA, we will ship you the replacement drive prior to receiving your defective drive. A credit/debit card is required to insure against the receipt your defective drive. If we do not receive your drive 30 days from the date the replacement drive was shipped, the fair market value of the replacement drive will be charged/debited to your credit/debit card. In a Standard RMA, we will ship you the replacement drive only after we have received your defective product. No credit/debit card is required in a Standard RMA.

The current turnaround time for an Advance RMA is 3 to 5 business days and 5 to 7 business days for a Standard RMA.

You may create your RMA online by visiting the links below. Please remember that an RMA number is required in order to replace your defective drive.

Title: How can I check the warranty of my drive?
URL: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=915&p_created=1047361575

Title: How can I replace a product under warranty?
URL: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=8&p_created=1003424317

Title: Where can I get packaging and shipping information for an RMA?
URL: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=683&p_created=1036445537

Current RMA turnaround: http://support.wdc.com/warranty/rmapost.asp

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Sincerely,
Carmen D
Western Digital Service and Support
http://support.wdc.com

Note: If you have not visited our community forums, please make sure to do so. You may also find answer(s) to your question(s) there.
Link to WD community forums: http://websupport.wdc.com/rn/cl.asp?i=110326-003152&e=reinkefj@gmail.com

This electronic message contains information from Western Digital and is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is confidential. The dissemination of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic transmission in error, please respond back to this e-mail or contact us by phone (http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?wdc_lang=en).

Customer By Email (Ferdinand Reinke) 03/29/2011 11:44 AM
>
> How about if you just give me an RMA and have Best Buy issue me a
> credit? This is far more than I wanted to do to get this to work.
> Nothing on the box disclosed this torture.
>
>
>
Response Via Email (Carmen D) 03/28/2011 10:23 AM
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for your reply.

I apologize for the inconvenience. Is the file downloading but once you click on the executable file is not running? Does the application get installed but is not performing the backup? Could you please send me a screen shot of where the issue is occurring and of any message that you get when your trying the installation of application.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Sincerely,
Carmen D
Western Digital Service and Support
http://support.wdc.com

Note: If you have not visited our community forums, please make sure to do so. You may also find answer(s) to your question(s) there.
Link to WD community forums: http://websupport.wdc.com/rn/cl.asp?i=110326-003152&e=reinkefj@gmail.com

This electronic message contains information from Western Digital and is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is confidential. The dissemination of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic transmission in error, please respond back to this e-mail or contact us by phone (http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?wdc_lang=en).

Customer By Email (Ferdinand Reinke) 03/28/2011 04:42 AM
>
> Are you seriously telling me that I have to install another browser?
>

Where exactly on the box does it say that? I don’t see anything, even in the
small print, that Adobe Flash or a browser other than Chrome is required?

Now what exactly do you want me to place where to execute?

>
>
>

Customer By Email (Ferdinand Reinke) 03/28/2011 04:12 AM
>
So what you are saying, that is not on the box, that this software
doesn’t execute with Chrome?

Are you seriously saying you want me to install ANOTHER browser so that
your software can execute?

What do you want me to put where and execute?
>
>
>
>

Response Via Email (Carmen D) 03/27/2011 03:04 PM
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for your reply.

I truly apologize for the inconvenience. If it is not executing in Chrome try another browser. Also try to save the executable on your computer then try to install.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Sincerely,
Carmen D
Western Digital Service and Support
http://support.wdc.com

Note: If you have not visited our community forums, please make sure to do so. You may also find answer(s) to your question(s) there.
Link to WD community forums: http://websupport.wdc.com/rn/cl.asp?i=110326-003152&e=reinkefj@gmail.com

This electronic message contains information from Western Digital and is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is confidential. The dissemination of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic transmission in error, please respond back to this e-mail or contact us by phone (http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?wdc_lang=en).

Customer By Email (Ferdinand Reinke) 03/27/2011 02:42 PM
>
> *** begin quote ***

Your Google Chrome browser already includes Adobe® Flash® Player
built-in. Google Chrome will automatically update when new versions of
Flash Player are available.

To learn more about the enhanced support for Flash Player in Chrome,
including information for developers, seethis TechNote
<http://www.adobe.com/go/flashplayerchrome>.

*** end quote ***

Still doesn’t work. I can copy files to and from the device. But none of
the promised utilities are available.
>
>
>

Response Via Email (Carmen D) 03/27/2011 09:31 AM
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support. My name is Carmen D.

I apologize for the inconvenience that you are experiencing. Please, follow the troubleshooting steps below.

1. Uninstall any versions of Smartware from your system and reboot after disconnecting the device.

Answer Title: How to uninstall WD SmartWare from Windows (7, Vista, or XP) and Mac OSX (10.4, 10.5, and 10.6)
Answer Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=5373

2. Double-check that you have all high-priority AND optional updates for MAC

3. First uninstall from your add/remove programs adobe flash player, and then reinstall. Check for latest versions
of adobe flash player here: http://adobe.com and also for the Java runtime environment

4. Reconnect the device and Update the software here:

http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/wdsmartwareupdate/Step1.asp?id=wdfMB_forMac&os=MAC

Download this updated version of the WD Smartware, and using this version, install the application, do not install the version bundled with your drive and then update to the latest version, install directly from the file downloaded from the link.

5. Try running the Smartware backup.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Sincerely,
Carmen D
Western Digital Service and Support
http://support.wdc.com

Note: If you have not visited our community forums, please make sure to do so. You may also find answer(s) to your question(s) there. Link to WD community forums at: http://websupport.wdc.com/rn/cl.asp?i=110326-003152&e=reinkefj@gmail.com

This electronic message contains information from Western Digital and is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is confidential. The dissemination of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic transmission in error, please respond back to this e-mail or contact us by phone (http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?wdc_lang=en).

Auto-Response 03/26/2011 01:07 PM
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for your email. If you need to update your question, please click the link below to update your question. Our goal is to answer your email within one (1) business day. However, sometimes due to heavy volume, it may take us a little longer to respond (Hours of Operation: M-F 8AM-5PM PST). If you have not visited our community forums, please make sure to do so. You may find the answer(s) to your question(s) there.

Link to WD community forum: http://websupport.wdc.com/rn/cl.asp?i=110326-003152&e=reinkefj@gmail.com

Link to update my question: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/acct_login.php?p_userid=reinkefj@gmail.com

Link to contact us: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1048

Our knowledge base may have some suggested answers below which may resolve your question. If no answers are listed or the answers are not helpful, please allow us one (1) business day to reply to your email.
The following answers might help you immediately. (Answers open in a separate window.)

Title: How to remove (disable / hide) WD SmartWare Virtual CD (VCD) for Windows or Mac OSX on a WD My Book or WD My Passport
Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3835

Title: WD SmartWare for Mac OSX has an inaccurate file count in the backup and retrieve tab
Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6567

Title: Backing up a large file to a drive creates an endless backup loop in WD SmartWare for Mac OSX (ver. 1.2.x.x)
Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6557

Title: After updating WD SmartWare for Mac OSX, the backup and retrieve gauges no longer properly update
Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6556

Title: Switching Users on a Mac OS X 10.4 computer after installing and running SmartWare causes an error
Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5313

Sincerely,

# – # – #

It goes back to Best Buy today.

# – # – # – # – # 2011-Mar-30 @ 08:13


TECHNOLOGY: Online storage; free, of course

Thursday, September 9, 2010

http://askbobrankin.com/online_free_storage.html?tbart

Online Free Storage

*** begin quote ***

Why do they give away free online storage space? To get you hooked on it, of course. Drug dealers give away free samples too, and start charging when a user’s habit is big enough and strong enough. Microsoft Azure offers a measly 500 MB of free online storage

as an introductory offer, while their SkyDrive gives you 25GB of space. Google Storage is offering “up to 100 GB per object (file stored) and up to 1000 buckets (places to store objects) per account” during its beta/preview period.

*** end quote ***

You really want what I call a “shadowing” type (i.e., alternatives like Dropbox | Carbonite | Mozy), where you just do your think normally and all the backing up and / or syncing is done under the covers. If you have to think about it, that’s bad. You’ll forget. Everyone does.

From an information security perspective, I’d like it to be encrypted by my platform BEFORE it is place in the directory and synced out to the cloud. Maybe in Release 2 of these services?

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HARDWARE: APPLE TIME CAPSULE died. Some backup!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

APPLE TIME CAPSULE died. Some backup!

According to the Apple website, it’s out of warranty.

I’ll take it into the Apple store and see what they say.

Argh!

I’d have expected it to outlive the MacBookAir that I bought at the same time.

Did I say “Argh!”?

I see a “NOTRECOMMENDED” coming up.

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HARDWARE: Seagate reduces warranty from 5 to 3 years. Bad move!

Monday, December 22, 2008

http://www.plaxo.com/events/show/120404522

Lockergnome Blog Network]

Chris Pirillo posted a blog entry

Seagate’s New Warranty Policy – Who Are They Kidding?

*** begin quote ***

Reported this morning on ZDNet, the Seagate company will be changing its warranty policy on many drives, beginning January, 3, 2009. The statement from the company gives a figure of only 5 % of the failures occurring in their drives between years 3 and 5 of service.

This may be so, but if it is, it shows a policy that has been decided by people who know little about perceived value and human psychology.

In many cases today, a choice between a Seagate drive and a drive, of equal size, from Western Digital or Hitachi is possible. I don’t really consider Fujitsu or Samsung drives here, as they are not widely available, or well known to the average consumer. Seagate and Western Digital are the heavy hitters here, and many don’t know the name Hitachi, and are slightly more comfortable when told that Hitachi is really what had been sold for years as IBM-branded product. In a $75 to $175 purchase, the difference of 5 to 10 dollars is hardly worth worrying about, and many times the drives are sold at equal prices.

What then, affects the decision process?

*** end quote ***

Seagate blew this one. They’ve reverted to the competition. Now the only differentiator is price. That means that disk drives are a cheap commodity. Cheapest price.

How stupid!

Sell that stock!

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TECH: BACKUP, Backup, backup. Fail at your own peril!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

http://cli.gs/7q2rBv

Back Up Your Computer to Save Time and Money

Saturday, 25th October 2008 (by J.D.)

*** begin quote ***

Here’s a public service message: Back up your computer regularly. This has more to do with your pocketbook than you might think.

Not only was I sick this week, but the hard drive on my laptop crashed. It’s gone. The Apple Geniuses (that’s what they call themselves!) cannot salvage it. I was able to pull the single most important document (the GRS spreadsheet) and a few posts-in-progress, but I lost a hell of a lot, including:

*** end quote ***

It never ceases to amaze me how pros get caught short.

And, as I have learned the hard way, back in my FBC days, you have to test the restoration.

My story was entertaining. Since it was a test! If it’d had been “for real”, the outcome might have been different. I was challenged to justify at the highest levels why the organization had to run a very expensive Thanksgiving Day test of our recovery capability. IT was a huge multimillion dollar effort. I was insistent. (That was in my younger days when I was full of “principle”.) We were under regulatory scrutiny and my plan was pulling them out of the mess that they were in. (Those were the days when folks listened to my advice as opposed to seeing my gray hair!) I refused to sign off and certify to the regulatory authority that we were in compliance with the agreement to “be recoverable”. The entire chain of command was saying it was a lock sure process. But, I insisted on a test. (In injineering skool, we waz taught about Mister Murphy and his law!) My Boss and his Boss gave me weak support, but under pressure had to admit that based on their reviews they saw no reason why a test was absolutely necessary. So, I was called up on the carpet. (It was a very lovely RED carpet.) To explain. (Get my arm twisted.) It was a subcommittee of the BoD. (I learned later that it was the Audit subcommittee.) My defense was simple: “The regulators will hold me and the Board of Directors personally liable if we cause a market meltdown by being unable to recover. Since I’m too young to be unemployed, I need a test to sign off. I’d suggest that you have more to lose financially that I do, so you might want a test too.” That simple logic carried the day.

The Head of the Largest Business unit, (a trading desk), was to go run the test. I was there as an observer. (Soon to be unemployed, if the grazillion dollars was wasted.) The Head Poobaah was one of the one’s who confidently predicted success and was upset that “his bonus was going to be reduced because of the expense of this test”. Rules of engagement were that WTC (where the data center was) is gone. A core cadre of people are in Sunguard Philly with all the back up stuff stored there and were to recover the business from that point. (It really was the simplest of the seven disaster scenarios.)

(Can you see where this is going?)

Bottom line: Test failed. AND, among the reasons for the failure, in addition to the usual media and process failures, was that the Poobaah’s trading desk had essential data store on their PCs on the trading desks that was NEVER baked up.

That incident taught me to have lots of “belts and suspenders”.

From time to time the Universe has reminded me of that lesson. Hopefully, you can learn it without the painful experience.

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