Re: Backup app for W10 (Re: [DXLab] Windows 10 Blackscreen

Dave AA6YQ

+ AA6YQ comments bellow

On Sat, Feb 23, 2019 at 1:12 PM w6de <w6de@...> wrote:

Every computer system will fail someday. Usually the disks fail
before the computer itself--but the computer WILL EVENTUALLY FAIL!
You should consider a computer system as a consumable and plan on
replacing it before it does fail. At six years old it is already
obsolete and already giving you issues, you should replace the
computer now, rather than waiting for the disaster to arrive. he
I can't live with that level of fear. I *won't*.

I ran a 2006 Dell P670 tower at N5UWY from about 2014 until 2017 (it was a cast-off from work). Replaced it with a NUC, which was a revelation on several levels (it's mounted on the VESA mount on the back of my display now). I don't fear it's doom any more than I did the Dell.

Since neither PC was my daily driver (that's a 2015 Macbook Pro with a Retina display) I only ever backed up my DXKeeper DB and my TQSL certificates (and config) because these days both applications make it far too easy to back up that stuff (to Dropbox in my case).

I don't fear my Macbook's impending doom either, but that I *do* back it up because Time Machine makes it way too easy.

Now then ... what is the Time Machine equivalent of Windows 10? Time Machine is just part of OS X and has been for years at this point.
It's always backing your stuff up but it only protects you against accidental deletions until you plug in an external disk. When you do that, it makes a bigger backup that is obviously not on the same disk (like the all-the-time backups) giving you some resiliency against the failure that keeps some of you up all night. The restore interface is fabulous, too.

If I can find a similar application for Windows 10, I will very likely use it. But what is it?

+ A continuous automatic backup mechanism pretty much has to be provided by an Operating System service. I'm not aware of Microsoft providing this capability.

+ I suggest the following actions to reduce your fear:

1. terminate all DXLab applications except the Launcher, and direct the Launcher to populate a Workspace with your DXLab application settings

2. direct TQSL to backup its settings to a .tbk file

3. Configure a local backup and recovery application to create a daily backup to an external drive of
- the Workspace created in step 1
- the .tbk file created in step 3, your log file(s)
- the Override List (if used),
- the Special Callsign List (if used)
- and band or mode definition files you've customized

4. Configure the local backup and recovery application's retention policy to balance risk with disk space consumption (at minimum, I recommend a 7-day retention)

5. Configure an off-site backup and recovery application to create a daily backup of the files listed in step 3 on a cloud-hosted site, with a retention policy that balances risk with space consumption

6. after making any permanent change to a DXLab application, terminate that application and direct the Launcher to update the Workspace created in step 1 with the application's settings

+ The details are here:


+ This will enable you to recover without data loss from computer failure (computer won't power up, damaged hard drive, Windows won't boot, can't access files) and from local disasters (flood, fire, etc.)

+ Recovery from a serious failure will require repairing or replacing failed hardware, re-installing Windows, re-installing DXLab applications, restoring files saved in step 3 above, and directing the Launcher to restore the DXLab application settings save in steps 1 and 6. The recovery process can be accelerated by replacing step 3 above with a daily "image backup" to an external drive; this reduces recovery to "copy the most recent image backup from the external drive to your computer's hard drive" and boot Windows.

+ There are other steps one can take to reduce the probability of catastrophic failure, e.g.

1. power your computer from an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) that protects against voltage transients

2. install proper lighting protection

3. use RAID (redundant) disk arrays that tolerate a single drive failure


Dave, AA6YQ

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