Archive

Archive for November, 2010

Configuring Cobian for Online / FTP Backup

November 24th, 2010 1 comment

1. First, install Cobian Backup as shown here.

2. After installation of Cobian Backup is complete, configure it as shown here.

3. The third step is to create an FTP account with a free or paid ftp server service. There were many free ftp servers in the past but almost all have started charging for their service. Only drivehq is the one known at this time, which doesn’t charge for ftp. Free FTP space is also available with free website hosting services, but they may not let you upload files for backing up. Even if they allow, they may delete the content if its not according to their terms and conditions.

4. Signup with drivehq. It’s a one-step, free signup and a very reliable service. You’ll get 1GB of free FTP space. Click here for the list of features.

5. If you don’t want to go with a free ftp service, you have two options – you can get a cheap, paid FTP service at cheapftpspace or you can get 1GB FTP space free at transferum, for a one time activation fee of USD $15. Transferum used to charge just US $1 for the activation, a few months ago but recently they increased the price. Please read the details on this page at transferum.

6. After paying the 15 USD fee, just send an email to free_account@transferum.com with your desired username and email address. You’d be notified, once the account is created. The password would be sent in the email.

7. Now, back to configuring Cobain Backup. In the Files setting, where you add the source and destination, click on FTP for destination.

Configuring_Cobian5

8. This example assumes that you have an FTP account with transferum. Replace the settings according to your FTP server documentation. Configure the FTP settings as shown. Use your FTP account username and password. Leave the working directory blank and check the checkbox that says Passive transfers. This is all you have to do. Leave the other settings as they are. You can now click the “Test” button to test the connection. A test file will be created in your ftp account and a status message would be shown. Now, click OK to save the settings.

Cobian_ftp_settings

9. Configure the rest of Cobian Backup, as shown on the Cobian Local Backup configuration page.

If you want help in installing Cobian Backup, click here.

If you want to know all about backups, click here.

If you want to know how to restore data from a backup made by Cobian backup, click here.

 

Configuring Cobian for Local Backup

November 24th, 2010 2 comments

1. If you haven’t already installed Cobian Backup, install it first. View this page on how to install it.

2. Double click the Cobian Backup tray icon or right-click it and click Open. You’ll see the following screen. There are no default backup tasks. You’ll have to create a task, the first time you open Cobian Backup.

Configuring_Cobian1

3. Click the Task menu and then click New Task.

Configuring_Cobian2

4. On the next screen, give this task any name of your choice. For example, My Backup 1. In the backup type, select one of Full, Incremental or Differential. Even if you select Incremental or Differential, the first backup is always a full backup. Click here to know more about the different backup types.

You can select the number of full backup copies to keep and after how many incremental or differential backups, a full backup should be made. 10 is a good number, but if your backup device has low disk space, you can change these numbers accordingly.

Configuring_Cobian3

5. Now, on the left hand side, click the “Files” setting. Here, you add the source files or directories and the destination, where you want to save these backups. You can add individual files or you can add directories and sub-directories. You can also drag and drop files and folders into the source and destination and the paths would be saved.

 Configuring_Cobian4 Configuring_Cobian5

6. After you have added the source and destination, the paths to those files and directories would be shown as seen below.

Configuring_Cobian6

7. Now, click the “Schedule” setting on the left hand pane. On the right hand pane, in the Schedule type drop-down list, select one of the schedules, how often you want your backup task to run. A daily or weekly backup, as per your need.

Configuring_Cobian7

8. If you want your backup to be more frequent, you can click the Schedule type named Timer. Then, specify a number in the Timer box. It is in minutes, so 60 means run the backup task every hour, 120 means every two hours, and so on. Hourly is a good choice for people who create or save lots of data every hour and don’t want to lose it.

Configuring_Cobian8

9. Now, on the left side pane, select the “Exclusions” setting. On the right side pane, you can add files and directories to include in the backup or exclude from the backup. You can also include a mask like *.zip to include or exclude all .zip files from the backup task. The exclusions are important here. Note that if you use inclusions, the backup will contain only the files that you include here. Every other file would be excluded. So, don’t touch inclusions.

Configuring_Cobian9

10. The following screen shows a list of exclusions added as masks. These files won’t be backed up, even if they were in the source folder (My Documents, in the above case).

Configuring_Cobian10

11. You’re done with all the settings and can click on OK. The following screen shows the details or properties of the backup task you just created.

Configuring_Cobian11

12. You can right-click the task in the left pane and click ‘Run selected tasks”, to run the backup immediately. The first time, a full backup will be made, so it can take some time to backup all the files and folders you selected in the source.

Configuring_Cobian12

13. This screen shows the backup task running, that we just created. You can see the status messages in the right pane, the files being backed up and two progress bars at the bottom. After the backup is done, you can close this window. The next time, it will run silently and you don’t have to run it manually. Whenever Cobian runs the backup task as per the schedule, it’s icon in the system tray will be animated, so you can know that Cobian is running the backup task (unless the icon is hidden).

Configuring_Cobian13

If you want to know all about backups, click here.

If you want help in installing Cobian Backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for online / FTP backup, click here.

If you want to know how to restore data from a backup made by Cobian backup, click here.

Cobian Backup 10 Installation

November 22nd, 2010 4 comments

1. Download Cobian Backup 10 from CobianSoft, if you haven’t already done so.

2. Run the cbsetup.exe file that you just downloaded by double-clicking on it. Cobian Backup 10 Setup will start, as shown below. Click Next to proceed with Cobian Backup installation.

Cobian_Setup1

3. Click the I accept radio button on the license agreement page and click Next.

Cobian_Setup2

4. On the next screen, there’s an option about installing the volume shadow copy requester. This will backup even the files that are open. Open files are not backed up otherwise. But to use this volume shadow copy service, you need .Net 3.5 installed. If you don’t have it already, Cobian Backup Setup will inform you on the screen below. If you have it, there won’t be any such message. Click the “Install Volume Shadow Copy requester” checkbox, if it is unchecked and then click Next.

Cobian_Setup3

5. On the next screen, you should let the installation type remain as a service. Change the Service Options to use your account username and password. This is useful if you also want to add a backup task to backup your files to an FTP account. If you won’t be using Cobian to backup online, you can let the default setting remain. Click Next.

Cobian_Setup4

6. Click the Next button on the following screen to install Cobian Backup.

Cobian_Setup5

7. Cobian Backup gives an “Installation completed successfully” message. Click Done to exit setup.

Cobian_Setup6

8. Cobian Backup will start and you’ll see the following message pop up near the system tray.

Cobian_Setup7

If you want to know all about backups, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for local backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for online/FTP backup, click here.

If you want to know how to restore data from a backup made by Cobian backup, click here.

All About Backups

November 22nd, 2010 1 comment

What is a Backup?

A backup is a copy of your data, which can later be restored when the original data is lost or corrupted for any reason.

Why to Backup?

Everyone has experienced data loss at one time or the other. When data is lost,  you may be in need of some important files from that data. If you compare the time and money that goes into trying to get the data back, to spending a little time regularly to backup your data, you’ll start backing up your data too. Just a little time spent regularly for backing up, pays off when you lose data.

One of the reasons why people don’t backup is that they think nothing will happen to their computer. But, every computer and hard drive will die or become corrupted someday in the future. It cannot be said when that will happen.

Another reason why people don’t backup is that they are just lazy. They don’t want to backup at the end of a tiring day. They also tend to think that when they come back the next day, their data would be safe.

Another reason for not backing up is spending on expensive backup devices. Even if one wants to buy a backup device, which device should one buy or which one is the best is a question for them which confuses them.

And there’s one more reason why people don’t want to backup – what type of backup to use? People are confused when they hear that there are many types of backups. They aren’t clear as to which type of backup is suitable for them. And they don’t want to sit and learn about something, just to be able to backup!

These reasons make people tend not to backup at all. But, sooner or later, they are bound to repent and after losing some valuable data, they’ll spend on some kind of backup device. Whatever your backup device is, or whatever the backup type, some kind of backup is better than no backup at all.

What are the Causes of Data Loss?

There can be one or more of the following that can cause data loss:

  • Hardware Failure, including hard drive failure
  • Software Problems
  • File or Folder Corruption
  • Accidental File Deletion
  • Accidental Hard Drive Formatting
  • Viruses
  • Theft
  • Disasters

When to Backup?

The time to backup is now, not tomorrow or later. When you aren’t sure that your computer would be functional tomorrow, is it safe to leave it without backing up your valuable data, for which you have spent a lot many hours? So, better backup now than repent later. Another good time to backup your data is when you are about to make some changes to the operating system, install or uninstall new hardware or a software program, or do anything that may affect the computer.

How often to Backup?

You should backup up important files as often as possible. In the past, creating a backup was a time-consuming and tedious task. But today, there are many good backup solutions available. Good backup programs provide automating the backups. You don’t have to spend time on manually backing up daily. The programs do that for you, every hour or every day – whatever you set them to, once.

It also depends on what amount of data you create and how often. If you create new data daily, then doing a daily backup is a good idea. If you are creating lots of data every hour, then it would be better to choose an hourly backup plan.

How to Backup?

  • Manual backup You manually select the files and folders to backup and copy them to the destination device like a CD/DVD or to a USB Flash drive. Manual backups are time-consuming and a task which most people like to avoid doing daily. Manual backups can be useful in case of doing a full backup of your hard disk, using an imaging software program like Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image. But this is not required frequently, and you can do it once in a while, if you are using an automated backup program.
  • Semi-automated backup Backup programs do the backup automatically, but you have to remember and run the program manually to do the backup. If you forget to run the program someday, your data won’t be backed up on that day and there’s a possibility of losing this data the next day.
  • Automated backup Automated backups are created regularly and automatically, without your interaction with the backup program. The backup program does everything regularly and efficiently, in the background, once it is configured to do so. This is set once and forget it type of backup, and you don’t have to worry about your data, once you’ve configured it.

What to Backup?

You can backup only the important files. Any files that cannot be replaced and you can’t afford to lose, should be backed up. This includes your typed documents, emails, photos, recorded videos and any such thing that you cannot afford to lose.

Before you configure your backup program, you should go through all the folders on your hard drive and make a list of the ones that you want to include in the backup. This may include folders and files with any personal data, important software and music files that you don’t want to lose, documents, email, address books, bookmarks or favorites, etc.

When you lose data, due to reasons like a corrupt hard drive or an operating system corruption, you have to spend precious time to reinstall the operating system, the drivers, software programs and then restoring the already backed up data. This may even take up a whole day or more.

Using some disc imaging programs like Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image, you can create an image of the hard drive or of different partitions, and keep them on the backup media. Then, when you need to restore your operating system and data, you only have to restore the image from the backup. This is much faster than manually installing the OS and restoring your data.

Difference between Full, Differential, Incremental and Mirror Backups

  • Full Backup A full backup is a complete backup. It includes everything that you want to backup. Restoring a full backup is fast because you have to restore only from one set of backup. The drawback is that the full backup itself takes time and is slower than other types of backup. Another drawback of a full backup is, it takes more space on the target device to store full backups. Since your backup program will usually store multiple backups on the target device, there will be many full backups, taking up a high amount of storage space.
  • Differential Backup A differential backup is a backup of only those files that have changed since the last full backup. The files which are not changed after the last full backup will not be backed up.If you do a differential backup more than once, each time, it will backup all the files, which were changed since the last full backup. It will take backup of those files even if those changed files were backed up in a previous differential backup.Backups are faster than a full backup, since only a few changed files are backed up. Also, it takes little space even for multiple differential backups on the target device. For restoring all the data, you need the last full backup plus the last differential backup. Differential backups are a little slower to restore, than restoring from a full backup, but faster and less confusing than incremental backups. But, a the time taken for a differential backup is a little more than an incremental backup.
  • Incremental Backup An incremental backup is a backup of only those files that have changed since the last backup of any type (full, differential or incremental).For example, if you took a full backup on Sunday and an incremental backup on Monday, the incremental backup would contain any files changed after the Sunday’s full backup. If you took another incremental backup on Tuesday, it would only contain the files changed after the Monday’s incremental backup.Incremental backups are the fastest and take the least amount of storage on the target device. But, restoring is the slowest because you have to restore from the full backup plus from all the incremental backups. It may also be confusing when doing a restore, for some people.
  • Mirror Backup Some backup programs provide another option than the above three. This is nothing but a mirror copy of the folder or directory that you specify to backup. After whatever time you specify, the program will copy any files that were changed since the last time, to this mirror backup folder on the target device.A mirror backup is similar to a full backup, except that the files are not compressed, so you can access the backup folder anytime by opening Windows Explorer.  Because the files aren’t compressed, this is the fastest backup method. Restoring is also the fastest, because you only have to copy the folder back to the original location. The drawback is that the storage space needed is more than all other backup types.

Where to Store Backups?

  • On-Site Storage This is the most easiest and common place of storing your backups. In simple words, this means to keep your backups in your home or office, at a safe place. This may be fine for normal users, but if your backups contain extremely sensitive and valuable data, disasters like floods or fire in your area can make your backups useless.
  • Offsite Storage This method of storing is very good for protecting your data. If there is any kind of disaster in your area, you can still get your data back, if it is lost.
  • Online Storage This is also a kind of offsite storage, and very good for protecting your data. But you don’t have to spend on any extra devices for storage. You can also access your backup immediately using an Internet connection. There are free online backup services available, and provide space from 1 – 2 GB. This much is enough for backing up normal documents and images. You can buy more space, if needed.

Two examples of free online backup services are: http://mozy.com and http://www.idrive.com/

To know more about online storage and online backup, view this page.

Where to Backup?

  • Floppy Disk A few years ago, when someone mentioned about data backup for personal computers, all that people would think was the 3.5” floppy disk. Nowadays the floppy drive itself is obsolete and you can’t even find it on new computers. Even old computer users have removed it, since floppies are very less reliable and have very low storage space.
  • CDs/DVDs Blank writable CDs can hold up to 700 MB of data. These are very cheap. You can also get re-writable CDs which cost just a little more and data on them can be erased many times.On the other hand, you can also use DVDs or re-writable DVDs which hold about 4.7 GB of data. New type of double-sided DVDs can hold much more data. These re-writable discs can be used multiple times for backing up your data.
  • A Second Hard Drive You can use an additional hard drive for saving backups. You can also get external or portable hard drives which connect via USB to backup your data. These are very easy to carry around.
  • USB/Pen/Flash Drives These are extremely cheap these days, replace the old floppies, hold large amount of data, are much more reliable than floppies and can be carried around extremely easily. There are even mini-sized versions called as thumb drives. They are readily available up to 64 GB and 256 GB versions are expected sometime later this year.If you use them for data backup, make sure that you use two instead of one. Even the ones that have lifetime warranty can fail soon. If you want a better backup option, spend a little more and buy an external/portable hard drive.
  • Network This is similar to backing up your data to another hard drive. It’s fast and reliable. If the other computer has a high-capacity hard drive, you can store a large amount of backup data on this networked computer. Also, you don’t have to spend on backup devices. The drawback is that you should know how to network computers and use network resources. If there are any network problems, you may not be able to backup.
  • Magnetic Tapes These are normally used by organizations to store large amount of data. You won’t find them with normal computer users, and most users don’t even know what they are. The cost of the device is quite high. They are slower than other devices, when you want to retrieve particular data files, because data is accessed sequentially. They also have a shorter life-span than other devices. They were the only backup medium at one time, for large organizations. But now there are other devices available. Normal computer users won’t want to select this as the backup medium.

Which is the best, free software program to use for backup?

If you search Google with the keywords “free backup software”, you’d get more than 71,000,000 hits. There are many good backup programs and they widely vary in features and ease of use. Many people, however have found Cobian Backup from CobianSoft to be a nice, feature-rich and easy to use backup program. It can backup to local backup devices as well as online / ftp accounts.

If you want help in installing Cobian Backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for local backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for online/FTP backup, click here.

If you want to know how to restore data from a backup made by Cobian backup, click here.

How To Write or Burn Drivers as an ISO Image to CD or DVD?

November 19th, 2010 No comments

From Wikipedia, an ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc (CD/DVD) in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This format is supported by many software vendors. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .ISO.

They may also have an extension of .IMG or .NRG (Nero’s proprietary disc image format). ISO files are actual mirror images or ghost images of complete CDs or DVDs. ISO images can be written or burned on to discs, using many disc writing/recording programs like Nero, Roxio’s Easy CD Creator, etc.

When you download a file with an extension of .ISO or .IMG, and double click on it to open, if you don’t have a disc image writing program like the ones mentioned above, Windows shows a dialogue box, asking you to choose a program to use for writing/burning the image file.

Windows cannot open this file
Windows cannot open this file

To use the programs contained in the ISO file, you have to write or burn it on to a CD or a DVD (depending on the size of the ISO file). If you don’t have a disc writing program like Nero or Easy CD Creator, download and install a free program like ImgBurn. It’s completely free to use.

Writing or burning an ISO image file to disc is a little bit different than writing or burning normal data files. But you only have to click the right button in the program to do this for you. You don’t have to worry about how the program works. Examples of ISO files are operating system downloads, like the many Linux distros, and any other bootable discs like the Kaspersky Antivirus Rescue CD ISO.

How to burn .ISO or .IMG files with ImgBurn?

Below, you can find detailed instructions, how to download, install and use the Imgburn program to burn ISO image files to a blank disc.

1. Download the free ImgBurn program for burning ISO image files, from here. After downloading it, double-click to run it. You’ll get the Windows’ Open File Security Warning dialogue box. Click on Run.

Download free ImgBurn
Download free ImgBurn

2. The ImgBurn setup Wizard starts. Click Next.

ImgBurn setup Wizard

ImgBurn Setup Wizard

3. Click the “I accept …” checkbox on the License Agreement page and click Next.

Accept License Agreement
Accept License Agreement

4. Click Next to accept the default type of install.

Click Next to accept the default options

Click Next to accept the default options

5. Click Next to accept the default install location.

Click Next to accept the default install location
Click Next to accept the default install location

6. Click Next for the default start menu folder.

Click Next for the default start menu folder
Click Next for the default start menu folder

7. Click Finish to complete the installation and run ImgBurn.

Complete the installation and run ImgBurn
Complete the installation and run ImgBurn

8. This is the how the ImgBurn program looks. You may close the ImgBurn log, but it’s nice to leave it open, since it gives details of what the program is doing. Click the “Write image file to disc” button.

Write image file to disc

9. On the next screen, select the ISO file, which you want to burn, using the folder button near the top. You can uncheck the Verify check box. If you want to burn more than one disc, you can select the number of copies on the right. Then click on the big Write button (the green colored play button) to write the image to disc.

Click the Write button

Click the Write button

10. ImgBurn starts writing the image file to disc and shows the progress bars as seen below. It also gives some status messages about the write operation, in the log below. If you want to eject the disc after writing, you can select the checkbox labeled “Eject tray”. There are other options which you may want to select on the following screen.

Disc Write progress

Disc Write progress

11. After the disc writing is complete, ImgBurn gives an “Operation Completed Successfully” message and if you have working sound and speakers, music will be heard for a few seconds.

Operation Completed Successfully
Operation Completed Successfully

12. The ISO file is written to the disc and you can check the disc. You may need to eject the disc before you can see its contents.

There’s another method to burn ISO files to disc, detailed below.

Using ISO Recorder powertoy to burn ISO files to disc.

ISO Recorder is a free Windows tool using which, you can write or burn ISO image files to CDs/DVDs, using a simple right click on the ISO file in My Computer or Windows Explorer. Just like you write files to a disc, right from within Windows Explorer, you can do the same for ISO files.

To download this tool or for more information, visit the author’s Web page.

After you have downloaded ISO Recorder from the above page, here are the steps to install it:

1. Open the folder where you downloaded ISO Recorder and double-click it to install.

Download ISO Recorder Power Toy
Download ISO Recorder Power Toy

2. ISO Recorder Setup Wizard runs as shown. Click the Next button.

ISO Recorder Setup Wizard
ISO Recorder Setup Wizard

3. Click the radio button labeled, “I Agree” and then click Next.

Accept License Agreement
Accept License Agreement

4. Select “Everyone”, if you want to install it for all user accounts on your computer. If you are the only user, just click Next.

Select Installation Folder
Select Installation Folder

5. Confirm the installation and click Next to begin installation. Then, click the Close button.

Steps to create a CD after you have installed ISO Recorder

  1. Insert a blank CD or DVD in your CD-RW or DVD-RW drive.
  2. Open the folder containing the ISO file in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
  3. Right-click the downloaded ISO file and click Copy image to CD, to open ISO Recorder.
    Copy ISO Image to CD
    Copy ISO Image to CD

4. This opens the ISO Recorder Wizard. Since you already selected the ISO file by right-clicking it, the path to the file is displayed in the “Image file” box. If you want to select a different ISO file, you can do so by using the “” button. Click Next to write the ISO file to the CD/DVD.

CD Recording Wizard
CD Recording Wizard

5. The CD Recording Wizard shows a progress bar and when it is finished, after a few seconds, the CD ejects. Click Finish, and you’re done. You may re-insert the CD back into the drive, to check its contents.

CD Recording Progress
CD Recording Progress

This tool is only able to write or burn .ISO files but you may be able to burn .IMG files by changing their extension to .ISO, before burning them. You can also copy CD to CD instead of burning an ISO file to a CD.

Delta Series Win 9x Driver Update

November 17th, 2010 No comments

The Delta Series Win 9x is a VXD Multiclient ASIO/MME/EASI/GSIF Drivers. This Direct Sound now supports 1 for each stereo pair multiple ports all on a single card.

This version 4.1.22.38_test1 of Delta Series Win 9x was launched on Novermber 17, 2010. This supports Windows 95 and 98 operating systems.

Click here to update your Delta Series Win 9x Drivers.

Categories: Hardware, Sound & Audio Tags: