Carbonite Online Backup
I’ve just been stung by the otherwise great Carbonite online backup service. Actually I should have said there I’ve been stung by my own lack of research . I’ve been running Carbonite for just over a year now backing up in the region of 70Gb of data from my machine. I’ve also had a Windows Home Server sitting under the stairs quietly making my life a little less stressful (in September last year it pulled me out of a very VERY deep hole, but that’s another post). A couple of weeks ago a nice little bubble popped up asking me to renew the service, I dutifully complied.
After due consideration, and parting with $50 I figured it was high time I rationalised my storage. It would be far better to store my 70Gb of data on WHS instead of my client PC, I could then access it from any machine in the house/office as well as from anywhere I have access to a web browser – pretty neat and very convenient.
So after coping all the data across to a shiny new ‘Jobs’ folder I downloaded the software, installed it on WHS and set up the relevant folders to backup. Set and forget that’s the beauty of Carbonite, stress levels still at an acceptably low level, smugness factor, well, pretty damn high actually…
…until that is I remote desktop into the WHS to setup a new share just yesterday. On the surface everything looks all kittens and picnics, the little Carbonite icon in the task bar is reassuringly green to let me know everything is fine*, so I move on and do my business. Just as I’m about to logout I get a phone call and I need to reference a file in the Jobs folder I’m still RD’d in so start digging through the files on the server box and every single file and folder has an orange Carbonite dot, NOT a good sign.
After finishing my call I start investigating the problem, a simple right click shows that the ‘file is pending backup when accessible due to permissions’. That’s every single file in my backup path, I HAVE NO BACKUP!
Time for a Google search.
Abridged version: I’m stuffed.
Detailed version: Carbonite doesn’t directly support WHS although it does apparently work if all your storage is on internal drives. The killer is they don’t support external drives (on any OS) and the big advantage of WHS is that you just keep plugging in USB drives and WHS sees them all as one great big lump of Gigabytes.
*You can’t blame Carbonite for not working on my particular setup, the details are there if you actually read them but the FAIL: in my view is that the task bar icon stayed green.