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  • OneCare Backup FAQ



    Welcome to the OneCare backup forum.  We have prepared this frequently asked question section to answer the most frequently asked questions in the forum.  We hope this helps clarify issues that have been asked by prior users.


    1.      Why am I disallowed to backup to an internal drive, even if it is a separate drive?


    We feel it is not proper protection for your data to allow a backup of your data to be targeted to the same drive that contains the data.  If the disk failed, the data and the backup would both be lost.  If you have two hard disks in your machine, we still disallow this action.  This is because our design center is for a user that may not completely understand the nature of the problem addressed here.  If we checked the second disk and saw there was no data on the disk and therefore allowed the user to target the second disk, there is nothing that would keep data from being written to the second disk subsequently.  We feel it is important to protect the data and not allow a case that could result in data loss.


    This said, we have heard your feedback and we are moving in a direction that will prevent data loss from our users and still allow advanced user that understand the risks take this action.  In 2.0, we allow network share to be created locally and then a backup can be targeted to this network share.  We feel that this is a way advanced users can have the support that they desire and other users are protected from possible data loss.


    We currently support this in centralized backup and we are moving in the 2.0 version to support this work around in the local (non-centralized) backup.  This capability should be available by the final release.


    2.      Can I exclude folders from my backup?  Why can I not include folders in my backup?


    Folder inclusion has been dropped in lieu of a rules change in 2.0.  In 1.5 we allowed a user to include folders.  This would ensure that all files in this folder were backed up, even if they did not pass the file selection rules.  We felt this complexity was unwarranted so we made the following changes in the rules to ensure files that were unrecognized by our rules engine were not inadvertently skipped.  The summary of the rules are as follows:


    a.       We scan all folders looking for file matches to the selected file categories.  If the files match the select category, they are backed up.  If the file match system/application file category they are excluded.  If the files match neither category, they are included.  This means that we will backup all files that are know data types, exclude all files that are known system and application types and backup all file that are unknown to us.  This ensures that if a new data type appears, or you have created your own file extensions, the files will be backed up.

    b.      We do not scan the windows system folder.

    c.       We look for specific file types in the program files folders because some applications still store data in their program folder. (This is much less prevalent today, but we still check to ensure.)


    Folder exclusion is still supported.  The link is located at the bottom of the file category page.  If you select folder exclusion the selected folder will not be scanned and NO files from that folder will be backed up. 


    There are separate rules and folders for on-line backup and centralized or local backup.  The selections may differ between the two backup features.


    Since there have been rules changes, the volume of files backup will likely increase after moving to 2.0.  We feel that this is a positive step in ensuring that the important data you have is protected.


    3.      Do you support versioning?


    No.  This is a feature that is frequently requested and we are working on it.


    4.      Why is the online backup for photos only?


    Photos are the most irreplaceable data on the computer.  Most other data can be recovered from other sources.  If photos are lost, they are lost forever.  As we discussed the priority and value of the data to be stored in a small on-line space, and the usability questions concerning the selection of data to be transferred on-line as well as the current bandwidth limitations to most homes, we decided that focusing on the highest value data type is the proper approach to serve our users at this point in time.  We certainly intend to allow for larger on-line space and additional data types to be supported in future releases.


    5.      Why are more files being backed up since I installed version 2.0?


    We are being more inclusive in the unknown file types in the 2.0 version.  We now backup uncategorized file types where the 1.5 version did not back them up unless you explicitly included them with the include folder option.


    6.      How is centralized backup different from the 1.5 version of backup?


    Two key features supported in centralized backup is the ability to purchase just one backup device to serve multiple computers in your circle and a very simple configuration UI that allows a user to setup a backup for all computers with a single click.  By adding a NAS device or USB/1394 removable disk on one PC in your circle, the entire circle can be configured for a secure backup that happens on a periodic basis.  The process is completely automatic.  There is no need to buy CD or DVD media and perform a backup manually on each computer, you simply plug in the central backup device and select the defaults and all computers in your circle will begin to backup to the central backup device automatically.  When a new computer is added to your circle, it also begins to perform backups per the circle “backup plan”


    This backup is very easy to setup and you have complete protection of your important data on all computers.


    In a cost analysis, the USB disk is less expensive over time than purchasing CD/DVD media and there are no manual backup processes that need to be accomplished on each computer. 


    7.      Why don’t you allow centralized backup to be done on a CD or DVD type media?


    Our design goals were to accomplish a backup that required no user interaction, no knowledge of networking, storage technologies or even knowledge of where or what types of data one has stored on their computer.  We desired to have a backup that just worked for people that are not computer scientists, just regular folk.


    CD and DVD backups are not suitable to all of these design goals.


    We did not remove the manual CD/DVD backup capability.  You still may continue to use this capability by excluding a machine or all machines from the centralized backup. 


    8.      I have read about on-line backup.  What is it and why can’t I find it in the product?


    On-line photo backup is a feature that is coming in version 2.0.  It is a different type of backup feature.  On-line photo backup backs up your pictures at MSN storage and safely retains them.  No matter what happens to your computer, fire, theft or flood, your precious digital photo album will be safe and can be recovered.


    We are currently offering this feature in the beta, but it is under a special email offer.  Look for this offer soon and give this feature a try.  We will be sending free Beta test tokens to beta users throughout the next few weeks.


    Pictures are trickled up to MSN over a period of several days and can be restored at will.


    These pictures are not shared and not accessible by any other person without your MSN password.  They are safely archived and only for your personal use.


    9.      How do I view or manage my on-line pictures?


    When you sign up for the On-Line Backup you get several more links in your backup UI.  These include on-line management and status links.  The on-line status allows you to delete some or all of your photos and check the available space.


    10.  I have a USB/1394 disk, but OneCare says its not suitable for centralized backup, why?


    You need to have 25 GB of free space on the disk.


    11.  Why OneCare does not allow me to configure my eSATA drive for backup?


    Currently, OneCare do not support backup to internal drives and eSATA drives appear as internal drive. But we are going to allow backup to a network share on the same PC in the final release. You can create a network share on the eSATA drive and use it for backup.


    12.  Does OneCare 2.0 support Windows Home Server?


    Yes, it supports Windows Home Server. The user can turn off the OneCare backup or can continue to perform backup using OneCare and also using Windows Home Server. Currently it supports the following scenario: when it detects the PC is also backing up to WHS, OneCare puts an action item. On clicking the action item, you can configure OneCare backup to disable OneCare backup or continue backup on both OneCare and WHS.


    This action item will come only once because OneCare does not want to nag the user often.


     13.  Can I use the Windows Home Server's Shared folders for OneCare backup?


    Though technically you may able to perform that, we do not recommend it.

    Friday, July 27, 2007 1:31 PM