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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Oh, thumb drives!

    So, recently my computer crashed, and it got me concerned about backing up the stuff on my computer. While doing this three issues arose:

    1. Some of what I'm trying to copy to a thumb drive is kind of large, so what file format for pictures and documents takes up the least space, without impacting funtion? Obviously, saving documents as text files is the smallest, but also kills function
    2. I was moving stuff around in folders and went to delete a sub-folder that I had emptied, and accidentally deleted a different folder that I wanted to keep, and it was stuff that was not on my computer. Is there any way I can recover this?
    3. While going through pictures I had to keep going from "list" to "icons". It's irritating to keep doing it. Is there some way I can change the default from "list" to "icon"?

    Thanks in advance!
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Not sure which formats work best for minimizing space without loss of function, but are you at least putting most of your files through a compression program like winzip?

    For recovering lost files, there are programs that you can download, but it's kind of a catch-22 if you don't already have one because of how file deletion works*. Downloading one now can help you to undo future mistakes but the data you've "deleted" will be overwritten by that program when you download it.


    *When you delete a file, the file is marked as data to be overwritten. It's not actually gone until a new file overwrites it. Recovery programs look at the data marked for overwrite and give you the option to unmark and restore it. At least that's how it worked the last time I looked into the subject.
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    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Well, I guess I'm screwed on the second front then. As for a file compression program, I don't even know how to do that. I'm pretty illiterate when it comes to computers.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    Well, I guess I'm screwed on the second front then. As for a file compression program, I don't even know how to do that. I'm pretty illiterate when it comes to computers.
    You can get a trial version of winzip at winzip.com. It's pretty user friendly and integrates directly with windows. Just dump a pile of files into a folder, right-click the folder and select the compression option from the drop-menu. There are other such programs available, but winzip is what I used to use. (no comp, atm. Internet access via Nintendo Wii)

    You might consider downloading a file recovery program anyway, just in case you make that mistake again. A file shredder can also be useful if you're paranoid that someone might use the recovery program to see the files you deleted to keep them secret (like internet history for example )

    If you're curios, a file-shredder is a program that, after you've deleted a file, overwrites the deleted data several times to make the file irrecoverable.
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    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    I would recommend 7-zip as a file compression program--it has the advantage of being free, unlike WinZip, and if you use standard ZIP file compression the files it produces can be read quite happily by any other program that understands ZIP files. (7-zip does have its own .7z compression format which is generally quite a bit better than Zip, but you're obviously locking yourself in to always using that program if you use it).

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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Not really. Almost any compression software will read .7zip these days. At least, WinRAR, WinZip, and PowerArchiver will, and those are the big three.

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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    1. Some of what I'm trying to copy to a thumb drive is kind of large, so what file format for pictures and documents takes up the least space, without impacting funtion? Obviously, saving documents as text files is the smallest, but also kills function
    Just buy an external harddrive. They hold about 1 terabyte - that's 1,000 gigabytes - and cost about $100.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Epic View Post
    Just buy an external harddrive. They hold about 1 terabyte - that's 1,000 gigabytes - and cost about $100.
    The good doctor is right on this one. Even if your computer is a few years old, a thumb drive will not be large enough to do a back up of everything.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    for 15ish dollers you can get an adapter to use an internal HD as a usb,

    external's are cheep now!

    and drop box, google drive, and skype are all good for file transfer between computers and are freeish
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Epic
    Just buy an external harddrive. They hold about 1 terabyte - that's 1,000 gigabytes - and cost about $100.
    I don't have a $100. Technically speaking, I am in debt $100.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    1. Some of what I'm trying to copy to a thumb drive is kind of large, so what file format for pictures and documents takes up the least space, without impacting funtion? Obviously, saving documents as text files is the smallest, but also kills function
    For pictures, it depends in part on the type of the picture. In general: JPEGs for photos. GIFs for illustrations with large areas of flat color. Of course, JPEG compression causes a reduction in picture quality, so there is a tradeoff there. GIFs don’t lose any quality from compression, but they are limited to 256 colors, so that can cause a loss of quality. Though most pictures with more than 256 colors probably don’t qualify as an “illustration with large areas of flat color.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    For recovering lost files, there are programs that you can download, but it's kind of a catch-22 if you don't already have one because of how file deletion works*.
    How about downloading the recovery program on a different computer, then running it on the affected computer from a CD-ROM or thumb drive?


    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    I don't have a $100. Technically speaking, I am in debt $100.
    Unless you only have a handful of files you want to back up, enough thumb drives to cover your system are probably going to cost more than $100. I would recommend finding a way to scrounge up the cash.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    It would probably cost less than $100. I bought a 1 TB external drive 2 years ago and it only cost about $80 then, they'd be even cheaper now. And of course, if you don't need that much space, you could get a smaller one for even less.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shhalahr Windrider View Post
    Unless you only have a handful of files you want to back up, enough thumb drives to cover your system are probably going to cost more than $100. I would recommend finding a way to scrounge up the cash.
    Yeah, I agree with Windrider. It's a lot of money, but it's not an astronomical sum that couldn't be collected. Really, it's you best bet to make sure you have all your file backed up and it's definitely worth the money.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Unless you're getting oodles of free thumb drives, I'd just go with an external hard drive. I looked at Best Buy a few days ago, and you could get a 3 (Three!) terrabyte exteranal hard drive with USB 3.0/2.0 functionality for about a buck fifty USD(that's US $150). One terrabyte external hard drives for half that.

    Also, I don't particularly trust archiving for image files, since there's always the risk of data loss and/or image corruption.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Right now I'm using like 10% of the memory on my 4 gig thumb drive since it's heavily docs. Not only can I not afford to buy an external (remember: in debt), but I don't need one either. I'm not backing up every single thing on my computer, just docs and some images. I only asked about saving memory as a just-in-case-it-becomes-an-issue-later kind of thing.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    Right now I'm using like 10% of the memory on my 4 gig thumb drive since it's heavily docs. Not only can I not afford to buy an external (remember: in debt), but I don't need one either. I'm not backing up every single thing on my computer, just docs and some images. I only asked about saving memory as a just-in-case-it-becomes-an-issue-later kind of thing.


    I don't see how this is an issue then. If it's just docs and pics, you're going to be lucky if you reach a gig of data. Just transfer everything to a thumb drive the moment you're done working on it for a period of time.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    So you see why I keep saying "I don't need an external, drop the bloody subject"?
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    So you see why I keep saying "I don't need an external, drop the bloody subject"?
    Then why did you even bother bring it up in your first post?
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Am I not allowed to think of the future?
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahhak View Post
    Am I not allowed to think of the future?
    You are, and for the future your best option is to get an external HD.

    File compression (zip and rar being the most common) is actually pretty terrible for things that aren't text based - mostly because pictures, pdfs, and music are already compressed to a degree- so if you're looking to back up more than just schoolwork, it's really necessary to look at larger data storage than what a jump drive can provide.

    For your needs right now, getting something that can zip your files is probably the best option - there have been a few good suggestions in this thread for programs you can use. I'd also suggest backing things up on a second jump drive, since they're really easy to lose.

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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    For file compression, you don't even need to download anything, if you're running Windows (any version) just right-click on the file>send to>compressed (zipped) folder. Maybe it's not the best compression method but you're guaranteed that any Windows computer is going to be able to decompress the file without any extra software. There is still a chance for file corruption but that can happen with any compression software.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by leafman View Post
    if you're running Windows (any version)
    Not quite true. Earlier versions of Windows (I believe everything prior to XP) did not have built-in compression. So, for example, if he's on a really old computer that's running Windows 95, he'll need to find something else.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zherog View Post
    Not quite true. Earlier versions of Windows (I believe everything prior to XP) did not have built-in compression. So, for example, if he's on a really old computer that's running Windows 95, he'll need to find something else.
    Would a computer that old even have USB ports?
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    The first usb ports came out when Win95 was the hot new OS. I remember having drivers for them in Windows 3.1.

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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    The first usb ports came out when Win95 was the hot new OS. I remember having drivers for them in Windows 3.1.
    Are you sure? I'm pretty sure the first version of Windows that had USB support was Windows 95 OSR 2, although support really sucked in that version--it didn't start working properly until Windows 98. (Note that the USB specification was first released in January 1996, and I'd be surprised if someone was still producing Windows 3.1 drivers for anything that late!).

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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Just checked my old packard bell that runs '95 and it doesn't have USB ports. I was wrong about all versions of windows having that function, most versions of windows that are still in use do have it though.
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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Are you sure? I'm pretty sure the first version of Windows that had USB support was Windows 95 OSR 2, although support really sucked in that version--it didn't start working properly until Windows 98. (Note that the USB specification was first released in January 1996, and I'd be surprised if someone was still producing Windows 3.1 drivers for anything that late!).
    I'm sure. I had an expansion card in my old Aptiva for USB, which came with 3.1 drivers. I had already upgraded to 98 at the time, and have no idea how well it would have worked. Probably about as well as the underclocked 486s Packard Bell always denied having sold.

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    Default Re: Oh, thumb drives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Epic View Post
    Just buy an external harddrive. They hold about 1 terabyte - that's 1,000 gigabytes - and cost about $100.
    Actually, probably less than $100 depending on where you live. The ones around where I live are around $150, but they were a lot less back home.

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