Thursday, January 23, 2014

Are your videos safely backed up with Mozy?

When our home computer crashed, I took some comfort in knowing that my family's documents, photos and videos had been backed up with

I've been paying Mozy for years to automatically back up and remotely store the files from our computer, but it wasn't until this episode that I truly had to use it.

When I went to restore my files, I got an unpleasant surprise. Yes, my documents and photos were backed up. But the videos were not. They never were.

I was crestfallen the missing videos including many important family moments, like our kids singing in concerts, birthday parties and Christmas morning gift opening.

The videos were stored in the same folders as my photos and I assumed everything in those folders were backed up. But it turns out that by default Mozy skips video file formats (mine were .AVI and .MOV).

To avoid a fate such as mine, there are two ways you can get Mozy to save your videos. One is to open MozyHome and manually select the files you want backed up. But that's a tedious process, and you'll have to keep doing it each time you add new videos to your computer.

Here's how to have Mozy automatically save your videos:

1. Open MozyHome and click on settings

2. Click on "Backup sets."

3. In the left hand pane, you will see a list of your current backup sets. It might say, for example, "documents" and "photos."  Move the cursor to white space below those items, and right click.

4. You will see "Add backup set." Click on it.

5. Click on "add a rule."

6. Choose "include" and "file type." Then enter in the box the file extensions you want to back up, putting a space between multiple types.  For example: AVI MOV

7. Be sure to check a box to designate where Mozy should look for these files the C drive, for instance.

8. Give the set a name and click OK. You're done.

As you can see, this is not at all intuitive. I'm surprised Mozy doesn't have an easier way of doing this.

Keep in mind that videos tend to be large files, so they'll take up a lot of your Mozy backup space. 

As for my lost videos, things turned out OK. First, Mozy wasn't my only backup method. I had copied most of my pictures and videos to flash drives, so I was able to recover almost all the missing files from there.

That still left, however, videos from the most recent two months, which were stored only on the hard drive of my now-dead computer.

In a last-ditch effort, I tried to turn on the old computer again. It started, balked, and then turned itself off exactly as it had been doing the last 20 times I tried. I tried again and it did it again. But then, on the third reboot, it miraculously came all the way on.  I hurriedly attached a flash drive and copied all the files I needed.  Whew!

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