WMExperts Prize-A-Day, Day 19

...And we're back! Sorry for the hiatus on Friday, hopefully you managed without your daily Prize-A-Day fix. Perhaps it was good preparation, though as the last Prize-A-Day Contest is tomorrow.

The prize for the penultimate (I'll take any excuse to use that word) Prize-A-Day is a free copy of Spb Backup, which is far and away my favorite backup app for WM.

How to Win

Ever lost data on your mobile device? On your computer itself? Failed to backup? Haven't we all? Comment on this entry with your horror stories and your advice: how do you back up your critical data?

Don't Forget: every entry doubles as an entry for the Grand Prize and the two Second Prizes - A Smartphone of your choice plus $300 to spend in the WMExperts store and a couple of Slingbox Pros. Since there are only two days left in the Prize-A-Day contest, be sure to get your entries in!

(Full contest rules are here)

WC Staff
  • I have been fairly lucky with backups. Yes we all run in to a time when something is gone but my backup strategy is simple. I backup my systems at home to a RAID 5 NAS using nothing more then windows backup. I will say this, it has saved me more then once.
  • Horror story from previous device: My SMT5600 rebooted itself one morning and popped up with a prompt: "Resetting device. Press OK to continue." The only option was "OK"... no cancel or anything. After hitting ok, it promptly did a master reset... lost everything! Had to go through three days of fighting with Cingular to get all my WAP and GPRS settings correct again.
    Current device: Call Cingular for support... if it isn't in their knowledge base, they do a master reset. Of course, they neglected to tell me that the first time they did it... "Just hold down that key while it restarts". Twits! I'm on my third master reset now.
    In both cases, I thankfully have Outlook to back up all my contacts. Everything else gets reinstalled and registered from scratch. :(
  • I had a Treo 650 (Palm OS) and made periodic backups using BackupBuddyVFS (which backs up all my data to the memory card), but I hadn't made a backup in a few weeks. I dropped my Treo while at the gym, and the LCD cracked into a million pieces. Of course, that meant that I was no longer able to navigate the OS to make a current backup. To make a long story short, I ended up having to buy desktop backup software, so I could backup my data without needing on-phone intervention. Good thing too, since I later lost my Treo 650 completely, and it turns out that the SD card backup is pretty useless in that situation too.
  • I back up my WM5 device using SPB backup - I just store the backup on my memory card and I copy that over to a PC every few days.
    As for PC backups, I use XP Pro so I use the integrated backup utility to create backups (once every blue moon) to my external drive. Hopefully Windows Home Server will help me out with this in the very near future.
  • I use Sprite backup and it works fairly well. I've been lucky enough to never have to restore from one my backups.
  • I schedule backups for Sunday mornings at 4am. I only do them once a week because I figure I'll be fine w/ that, and if I do lose it, then the important stuff is still restorable from the desktop. But scheduled backups are key - you don't have to think about it to have a fairly recent copy available.
  • Anybody remember the days of the Palm Vx? Well, my backup story starts there. Let's say that I have had my fair share of data loss due to not backing things up. In fact the last time my work laptop crashed, I said to myself before I left on a business trip "should I back up . . .naaaa, I'll just do it when I get back". . ..boom, crash, datalost.
    The best story is when you had a upgrade on the old Palm OS. After installing the patch, the device had a glitch in that it would not recognize the items that were already synced. This created a duplicate of every calendar and contact, basically every PIM entry. Hmmmmm, I thought I was a smart guy and figured if I just synced again the software would reconcile the mistake. Boom, quadrupled everything.
    That was the worst time I had any compromised data, even worse than loosing 30-60 days of data due to a crash. I had to go in and delete 3 out of every 4 entries in all PIM applications. What a nightmere. The only thing that had ever taken me longer was when I burned every song I have on CD into iTunes (over 800 CDs).
  • In the 9 years I have been using a palm device I have never once lost data. Even when we used to have to change the AAA's in 60 seconds or lose everything.
    Best advice, sync early, sync often.
  • I'm a Sprite Backup guy. It was free and seems to do what I need. I problably don't use it as often as I should and will learn a lesson one day.
  • I end up regularly syncing with Outlook, along with keeping a chunk of data on my miniSD card. I think my general rule of thumb is to be willing to lose everything that's on the internal storage of the phone itself if it's more than a day old, so I try really hard to be good about syncing regularly.
  • I rarely use the backups I save. Every so often I'll try a new rom image from the xda site but I've stopped doing that because it's just too much of a pain.
  • SD Card backups about once every 4 or 5 days and the SD card copied to my PC about once a month or so. That, plus a daily sync gives me some peace of mind, even if it's false :) I figure if it goes really bad I'm only out a few days' info.
  • I sync with Outlook and trust that to be my backup. I know I SHOULD but haven't. Occasionally, it's burned me but usually what I need is my e-mail, which is easy to re-setup if I remember the settings. I've started to keep cab install files on a CF card in case I need to re-install away from my desk.
  • I too have relied on Outlook to be my backup but I didn't think about some of the other applications and their databases stored on the phone. I had a recent phone meltdown meltdown and discovered I'd lost some very important lists. When I get my new phone I'm definitely going to use a backup solution to supplement Outlook.
    ...Joe K.
  • I just use the built-in back up function to an SD card. IT is probably not the most thorough or fail-safe method, and I woudl love to try something else. I am sure that I will pay for my strategy (or lack thereof) someday!
  • To me it's a little ironic...I back up my 750 about once a week or so but backups on my work laptop..maybe once, twice ever...not sure why and I know I should do it more, I guess it's the "it won't happen to me" syndrome...and until your PC crashes ignorance is bliss :)