Today March 31 is World Backup Day

The world backup day is an initiative to make people aware on the importance of backup.


The official website of World Backup Day is at http://www.worldbackupday.com/en/



Your hard disk, smartphone or laptop may not be always loyal to you.
Computers get infected with viruses, smartphones are lost and your hard disk gets fried.

“Remember backup is a continuous process not a one off process. You must always backup your data not only on 31 March.”

WHAT IS BACKUP?
Let’s quote exactly from the website:

A backup is a second copy of all your important files — for example, your family photos, home videos, documents and emails.
Instead of storing it all in one place (like your computer), you keep another copy of everything somewhere safe.

WHY SHOULD YOU BACKUP ?
Your data is valuable.
It’s important because you might need it for personal and professional reasons.
Your ebooks, your final year dissertation, your source codes, your customer list, your child’s photos, etc


SOME STATISTICS


SO HOW DO I BACKUP?
Some people think of backup as a complicated process and believe that they just can’t do it.
While some believe they need expensive software.

The truth is:
You backup your files on an External Drive or somewhere on the Internet (Example Google Drive, DropBox).

Please note that am not endorsing any service provider am just giving some examples. There are other cloud backup providers as well.

1.Buy an External Drive (USB)
2.Connect it to your computer.
3.Copy all your important files to the External Drive (Right Click > Select Copy, then Paste on the External Drive)  or Copy all your important files to a Cloud backup Provider.
4.Congrats. That’s the simplest backup according to me.

SOME TIPS
1.Always keep your backup away in a safe place.
2.Don’t forget to backup
3.Check that your backup is OK

DISCLAIMER: Everything in this post is for informational purpose only. I am not responsible for any loss of data through improper backup procedures.

Remember: Your data won’t make jokes – It will be for real if it’s lost. So Backup !


Best practices for virtual machine snapshots in the VMware environment (KB1025279)

The following has been taken from VMware Knowledge Base - KB 1025279

  • Snapshots are not backups. A snapshot file is only a change log of the original virtual disk. Therefore, do not rely on it as a direct backup process. The virtual machine is running on the most current snapshot, not the original vmdk disk files.
  • Snapshots are not complete copies of the original vmdk disk files. Taking a snapshot does not create a complete copy of the original vmdk disk file, rather it only copies the delta disks. The change log in the snapshot file combines with the original disk files to make up the current state of the virtual machine. If the base disks are deleted, the snapshot files are useless.
  • Delta files can grow to the same size as the original base disk file, which is why the provisioned storage size of a virtual machine increases by an amount up to the original size of the virtual machine multiplied by the number of snapshots on the virtual machine.
  • The maximum supported amount of snapshots in a chain is 32. However, VMware recommends that you use only 2-3 snapshots in a chain.
  • Use no single snapshot for more than 24-72 hours. Snapshots should not be maintained over long periods of time for application or Virtual Machine version control purposes.

    • This prevents snapshots from growing so large as to cause issues when deleting/committing them to the original virtual machine disks. Take the snapshot, make the changes to the virtual machine, and delete/commit the snapshot as soon as you have verified the proper working state of the virtual machine.
    • Be especially diligent with snapshot use on high-transaction virtual machines such as email and database servers. These snapshots can very quickly grow in size, filling datastore space. Commit snapshots on these virtual machines as soon as you have verified the proper working state of the process you are testing.


  • If using a third party product that takes advantage of snapshots (such as virtual machine backup software), regularly monitor systems configured for backups to ensure that no snapshots remain active for extensive periods of time.




InstalledDriversList Tool - View Installed Drivers

About 5 minutes ago I found a nice freeware tool (InstalledDriversList) which can be used to view the installed drivers on your PC.

From the official website of InstalledDriversList:

InstalledDriversList is a simple tool for Windows that lists all device drivers that are currently installed on your system. For every device driver, the following information is displayed: Driver Name, Display Name, Description, Startup Type, Driver type, Driver Group, Filename, File Size, Modified/Created Time of the driver file, and version information of the driver file. If the driver is currently running on Windows kernel, the following information is also displayed: Base Memory Address, End Address, Memory Size, and Load Count.


This tool may be used to identify which drivers are causing trouble on Windows.

Again quoting the original text:

  • Green Icon - The driver is running on Windows kernel.
  • Yellow Icon - The driver is not running on Windows kernel.
  • Red Icon - The driver is not running on Windows kernel, but it should be loaded automatically when Windows starts. When you see a red icon, it's possible that something is wrong with the driver. Be aware that on Windows 8, there are 2 drivers of the operating system that are normally displayed with red icon.

Visit http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/installed_drivers_list.html  for more information on this tool.