Please, Please, Please Backup

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See these moving parts inside the hard drive?  They can stop working in a second.  The little arm that looks like an old-fashioned turntable tone arm can get stuck to the side.  The platters can stop spinning.  The circuitry can chip or age and short out.  So please backup your hard drives.

It can be traumatic for clients to lose all their photos, files, business contacts; it’s really stressful for us when we try to retrieve them from a defunct hard drive knowing what the client could lose.  Be easy on yourself and us at Ducktoes and make backing up an everyday or every week thing.  Then we can all breath a sigh of relief.   We hate to tell people their hard drives are toast or deader than a doornail and they’ve lost everything.  Or that they have to mail their hard drive to to a clean room and spend $1200 or more and, even if they are willing, that doesn’t always work.

Go right this second and attach your external hard drive and back up your computer.  Thank you.

Or make it part of your every year computer maintenance and repair check up and bring it in to Ducktoes.  We can automate the process for you.

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Making Memories Last


Right in the middle of my children’s childhoods, digital cameras replaced film cameras.  Since then my husband and I have taken umpteen thousand photos but they are not tracked or stored with any organization.

As I’ve said before, with the advent of digital photos, I worry this next generation of kids will grow up with no or few photos of themselves as babies, children, or even as adults.

To prevent this, parents have to make the photos a priority and since parents are so rushed trying to do everything from working to grocery shopping to taking kids to sports and the dentist, the photos might not make it.  They might get lost when a hard drive dies or the external hard drive is dropped or the laptop is stolen.  They might be stored on an computer that is forgotten and never get backed up in the first place.

Adults too live such harried lives, they may not take the time to keep their photos safe and backed up.  I know many important photos are lost everyday…I see it at my shop when people bring in their computers and the hard drive has died.

Photos are irreplaceable so if they are important, we must take action to keep them.

Well, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to make sure I find, keep track of, and backup my photos.  I may even take them to Walmart or Costco and make some prints.


This is my plan:

  1. Find all the photos on cds, dvds, old sd cards, external hard drives and old computers.
  2. Organize the photos by year on my computer.
  3. Back them on one external drive and then back that drive up with another external.
  4. Put them on the cloud.  See my post on Google+.  I’ll also put them on Dropbox or other cloud backup.
  5. Print some of them out at Walmart or Costco and put them in albums.

If you would like Ducktoes help in backing up your photos, or saving them to the cloud, bring in your computer, laptop, or external, disks, flash drives, and we’ll help you keep them safe. Let’s make those memories last a lifetime.

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Auto Backup Your Holiday Photos to Google+

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Many people now use their android or iphone as their camera, sometimes their only camera.  This is easier and more convenient than carrying around a camera as well as a phone.  Yet phones often get lost, stolen, broken or dropped in a puddle or toilet and then all the photos will be lost along with it.  Or the computer hard drive you sync your photos on may crash or the computer itself get lost or stolen and all the photos along with it.  A solution to this problem is to use Google’s Auto Backup to backup your photos to Google+ and then you’ll always have them.

Here is one of my holiday photos. It is the Christmas tree at Gallerie Lafayette Department Store in Paris, France.  Auto Backup’s Auto Awesome made it twinkle.  Auto Awesome has many features including “snow” and “twinkle.”  It truly is awesome!


You’ll need a Google+ account which you can get easily.  Here’s a step-by-step guide.

You can backup the original photos at full-size or at a smaller size which is faster.  I like the doing full-size version so I have the original photo at full resolution if it gets lost.  There are also a lot of nice features for enhancing and editting the photos.  You can share them with friends and family on your Google+ page or you can keep them private just for you.  You get a lot of space for photos but if you exceed the maximum of 15 GBs you can buy more space on Google drive at a few dollars a month.

On Androids go to your Google+ app and turn on the auto backup. You can also go to the photos app and then the settings and find Auto Backup and turn it on.

On iphones touch the three bars    then the gear icon . Next go to Camera and Photos and Auto Backup.  Toggle it on.  See here for more information

Here is Google’s support page on Auto Backup.  Read it for more information.

Stop by Ducktoes any time you want support for your android or computer.  We’ll give you a few minutes lesson for free.

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No Encryption Virus Yet

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Notebook Security

Luckily we haven’t seen the encryption virus Crytolocker on a client computer in our Calgary repair shop yet. I hope we never do. This ransomware will encrypt your entire hard drive so you lose all your photos, data, and documents if you don’t pay the criminals the unencryption fee. I think the fee is $300.

Everyday we are still seeing the Cybercrime virus and Optimizer Pro and are expert in removing it. I think we could remove these two in our sleep. The Cybercrime virus is another ransomware that locks your computer until you send a gift card to the criminals. Really. The information on your locked computer says you are sending it to the RCMP or FBI or other law enforcement agency. Even if you pay your computer will stay “locked” until you bring it to a repair shop and get the virus removed. So don’t pay.

As far as the encryption virus goes, this is what you should do as a precaution: backup your drive and then disconnect your external backup from your computer so if you get the virus, the backup drive doesn’t get encrypted too. Then youcan transfer the data back to your computer if it gets encrypted. Problem solved. Also don’t open any attachments on emails especially if the emails are “phishy”, meaning if they purport to be from a reputable company but are not addressed to you but to a generic user. They might seem to be from a bank or shipping service such a Fed Ex or UPS. Do not open the attachment.

Click here if you’d like more information on the encryption virus and what you should do to prevent it.


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Backup System Image Class

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Well, one person came to the backup class.  She was very brave to come, especially out in the rain.  Her laptop got a lot of attention from my senior tech and she got a system image for free, because she got a hands-on session, which essentially we showed her how to do a system image, by doing one.  I’ve reduced the price from $120 to $60 anyway, hoping to get people to back up, but she paid zippo.  I brought out my old projector to teach a larger class but didn’t need it.

Here’s the tutorial, should you want to try on your own.  Or check that baby into the shop and we’ll do it for $60, such a steal. That is if you live in Calgary.

Even if you don’t, please, please back up your stuff, mon duckies, before you lose all your kids photos or business contacts or three-quarters of a novel or whatever is important to you.  I backed up an old computer with tons of photos, just to practice what I preach.

Back up your computer and photos

Don’t lose your family photos.

Here is my family (or part of my family) and me on the beach in Oregon from last Christmas.  This photo is precious to me and I wouldn’t want to lose it.

However, do your computer tech and yourself a favor, and backup please!! We hate to see people lose their files, photos, business contacts, accounting files, and videos. Ducktoes will probably have another class on backing up soon so sign up for it or let us do it.

For all your computer answers or solutions to your problems, contact our computer shop in Calgary.


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