Can you believe 2 billion files restored!

by Lynnette Nolan | Feb 18, 2009

Every so often I get a briefing from our operations staff on data center statistics. Last week, I learned one number that startled even me: as of Jan 20th, we had restored over 2 billion files for our customers. I assume that most of these files would have been lost if they had not had Carbonite. Also, Carbonite's restore process has been extremely reliable. You'd think with that many files being restored that there would be some that are lost or corrupt. While these kinds of problems occurred once in a while when we were young, it doesn't seem to happen anymore. The RAID disk arrays that we use to store your data are 36 million times more reliable than the hard drive in your computer. That's one reason that online backup is far more reliable than a cheap external hard drive.

But this reliability has not completely eliminated restore issues. Even though the Carbonite service works flawlessly, data restores are still an issue with Customer Support. There are basically three problems: First, some programs, notably Outlook and Quicken, don't automatically find the restored files. So it's not uncommon for us to get calls complaining that they did a restore and they didn't get their Outlook file back. It is in fact there on your computer, but you have to go into Outlook to connect to it.

The second problem is that Carbonite defaults to backing up your Documents and Settings folder, and all subfolders. If you stick files somewhere else, such as in your Programs folder, they won't get backed up unless you tell Carbonite to do so. This is true of any backup you do, whether online or using an external hard drive or flash drive. If you don't back up the file in the first place, you won't be able to restore it when your computer dies. That's why we put the little green dots on folders and files – it makes it easy to see what is backed up and what is not.

The third problem relates to restoring files that were backed up from an XP computer onto a new Vista computer. Vista and XP don't have the same folders. We came up with a very nice "wizard" that helps you decide how you want to migrate your old XP folders to your new Vista machine. If you have to do this kind of restore, use the wizard! Some people just ignore it and then their folders are all over the place and they can't find them. BTW, Carbonite is still the only backup service that has addressed this problem.

CEO, Carbonite