Author Topic: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet  (Read 3449 times)

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Offline thepenguin77

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Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« on: April 09, 2014, 11:44:53 pm »

I just recently figured this out, and it's so stupidly easy that I have to share it.

1. You're going to need dropbox. If you don't have it, install it.
2. Open an elevated command prompt. (Start > Programs > accessories > right click on Command Prompt > run as admin)
3. Determine the location of your calculator sources (For me it's "C:\asm\source")
4. Determine the location of your dropbox folder (For me it's "C:\users\brian\dropbox")
5. Decide on a name for your backup folder (I picked "C:\users\brian\dropbox\calc_src")
5. In command prompt, type
   mklink /j "backup_folder" "source_folder"
I typed:
   mklink /j "C:\users\brian\dropbox\calc_src" "C:\asm\source"

And you're done!

What this does is it creates a symlink from your dropbox folder to your sources folder. Basically, dropbox thinks that your source folder is in the dropbox folder and keeps it up to date with the server. This means that all of your calculator sources will be no more than a few minutes out of date.


I had this idea because this morning, my friend's computer got completely wiped by a chinese virus. It's one of those things where you think it could never happen, but then it does.

Also, this won't work with google drive because it can't handle the symlinks.
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Offline Juju

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2014, 11:49:35 pm »
It's genius. And you save quite a lot of space if you need to put your files outside your Dropbox folder. That or you put all your files directly in your Dropbox folder if you don't need to.

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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 11:56:03 pm »
That is quite interesting, thanks for sharing :)
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Offline Eeems

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 12:05:39 am »
You should see the mess of directory links I have between my HDD and my SSD.
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Offline Streetwalrus

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 01:00:41 am »
YeahI used to do that but now I don't bother anymore. The calc folder is inside my Dropbox and that's all. :P

Offline Runer112

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 07:15:39 am »
I've done this for years. As an added bonus, if you view the files on the dropbox website, you can right click one to restore it to a previous version (saved back to couple months?), acting as an automatic primitive form of version control for all your files.


Also, for those using Windows who want to get a bit dirty, you can actually back up your entire Documents folder, which is what I did. This has the added bonus that all your files still look like they're in the right place, and you and your programs can continue to use your Documents folder, but all changes are instantly reflected on Dropbox. You can't make this change when you're logged in normally, as you'd have to move, rename, or delete your existing Documents folder to make the link and Windows won't let you do that, but you can get around that by booting into "repair your computer" mode in Windows 7/8 (possibly lower versions?) and doing it from a command prompt there.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 07:23:47 am by Runer112 »

Offline aeTIos

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 09:55:09 am »
Wait, but your dropbox space still applies, no? My documents folder is way huge. Like way over my dropbox capacity, which is already almost topped. :P
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Offline Lunar Fire

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 10:06:59 am »
I had to do something similar at work. A team wanted to share a common Adobe Digital Editions library, but ADE forces the library to your Documents folder. So I made a symlink towards a directory on the company's servers that holds the actual library.

I should do this with my Documents folder on my laptop. I have 50GB of available space on by Dropbox, so I might as well make use of it.

EDIT: I did it, I switched my Documents on my 50 GB Dropbox. It's simple really.

(For Windows 7)
1. Choose the location where you want Dropbox to place it's files, or let it take the default location. You need to take note of where it's placed.
2. Right-click your Documents folder and select Properties.
    a. In the location tab, change the path to your Dropbox folder. Press OK or Apply.
    b. A window will ask you if you want to move your Documents there. Select Yes.

Your documents will be moved in the Dropbox folder and Dropbox will sync all your files on your cloud storage. You could do the same on another computer and have a synced cloud-based Documents folder, plus a backup solution in case your files falls in an unrecoverable state.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 08:22:36 pm by Lunar Fire »
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Offline Sorunome

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 12:10:55 pm »
Pretty nice! :)
For backups I used to use rsync, though, and now I use git.
I use cron to have 'em run daily :)

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Offline Streetwalrus

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2014, 04:30:11 pm »
Oh nice idea Soru ! Once my RPi is free from using it as a WiFi hotspot at school (:P) I'll set it up for network services and as a backup server.

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 07:28:42 pm »
Oh btw, i bought a 2TB external hdd for backups and connected that one to my rpi.
No, it is not overkill to have a rpi with a 2TB hdd :P

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2014, 11:38:45 pm »
Oh btw, i bought a 2TB external hdd for backups and connected that one to my rpi.
No, it is not overkill to have a rpi with a 2TB hdd :P
That's a good idea, using a RPi as a storage server.  I think it's called a NAS or something.

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Re: Perhaps the simplest backup method yet
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2014, 03:02:26 am »
We already have a NAS at home (2x1TB in RAID1 mode). I'll have to see if you can access a git repo over NFS/Samba. My guess is it is possible. Probably even without the Pi actually.