My recent post about data loss prompted some great great advice from Tim in his comment. I decided to add more.
First about file recovery. I tried a few different programmes then paid for one called File Salvage which I could run on the office Mac. Apple Macs are frankly just wonderful machines, always ahead of Windows. File Salvage recovered much but without the file names. It just numbered all the files, and they were no longer in any order or folders. It also recovered previously deleted stuff so I had a lot of junk to sort through – thousands of files.
The good thing about some of the recovery programmes such as File Salvage is that you can download trial versions to see if it can see the lost files on your machine before you spend money on the full version. So my advice is to try many before buying.
I ended up with a folder of Word documents all without names, just numbers, almost 8,000 of them (I use OpenOffice so had loads of docs in Open Format too in another folder).
To help me out a friend of mine wrote a spreadsheet full of macros that would create a list of all the Doc files, including the first paragraph from each, and renaming each file using the first words. Unfortunately it would only run on a machine with Microsoft Office which I don’t have. It was while I waited to use a friend’s machine that I used some software I had already tried, but with different search parameters, and this time and it recovered all. This prog recovered files with their original names and in their folders and sub-folders. Wonderful, no sorting to do. The winning software for me was GetDataBack for NTFS run on a windows machine (as my lost files had been on a duel-boot machine, but in the windows system in multiple NTFS partitions.
On the subject of backup, linux has some great ones. In Windows there are many good backup programmes. I used a good one on Windows that came with my copy of Partition Magic. For while I used and excellent one I got free stuck to the cover of a computer magazine. Tim recommends Lou Backup which is free! I do prefer to look for OpenSource options first.
Now I am keen to use Crashplan. I have only tried the beta Linux version but the Mac and Windows versions are already out.
Tim recommended backups located elsewhere. This is where Crashplan does the business. It enables a machine to backup to a partner machine in a different location. It will even backup to a machine in a different building, so it would have been just the thing for my daughter and hubby who got their Mac stolen in a burglary shortly after their wedding. As soon as the linux version gets a bit better I intend to give it a go.
At least with Ubuntu (or Mac) I don’t have to worry about viruses or machine-slowing virus protection software.