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4 TB USB Restore Drives Are Here: Yay!


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Backblaze is increasing the maximum size of our USB Hard Drive restores to use 4 TB external drives. That means when you order a USB Hard Drive restore, you can now select to restore up to 3.5 terabytes of data. That’s about a 30% increase over the previous 3 TB drives that topped out at 2.6 terabytes of data.

The price is $189, the same as before. That price includes a USB hard drive with your data, FedEx next day shipping once your data is ready, and as always you get to keep the drive. There’s no extra charge for the next day shipping and if next day shipping is not available, we’ll use the fastest means available to us via FedEx. To date we’ve shipped restore drives to Backblaze customers in all 50 states and many countries around the globe including Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, China, France, Australia, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand, Great Britain, Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, Israel, Qatar, and more. In short, you’ll get your data fast and you get to keep the drive — easy.

A few of things to know

  • As noted, the 4 TB drive maxes out at about 3.5 TB of data. If you have more data than that, you will need to order additional USB Hard Drive restores. Each drive you order is $189.
  • If you have multiple computers that you need to restore from, you will need to order one drive for each separate restore.
  • If you purchase a USB Hard Drive restore, we will ship you a drive large enough to accommodate your data. For example, if you are restoring 2.1 TB of data we could ship you a 3 TB drive. The price will be $189 no matter what size drive we send.

The different ways to restore data with Backblaze

  • Web Browser — For free, you select the files/folders you want to restore using your web browser to download the files. This is good for small amounts of data, typically 1GB or less as the web browser itself is prone to timeouts and errors.
  • Backblaze Downloader — For free, you select the files/folders you want to restore using your web browser and then download and use the Backblaze Downloader to stream and checkpoint the data download. This is similar to apps like iTunes and Netflix in how data is downloaded. Be aware that larger amounts of data will consume lots of network bandwidth and will take time.
  • USB Flash Drive — For $99, you select up to 110 GB of files/folders you want to restore and get your files on 128 GB USB flash drive. We send it to you next day express (within the US) so you get your data fast and you get to keep the drive.
  • USB External Hard Drive — For $189, you select up to 3,500,000 MB of files/folders you want to restore and get your files on an external USB hard drive large enough to hold your data, up to a 4 TB drive. Once prepared, we send it to you next day express (within the US) and you get to keep the drive..

 

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Today Show: Cryptolocker Continues To Hold Data Hostage


Last October we wrote a blog post about a new piece of ransomeware called Cryptolocker. At the time it was a relatively new virus, and was not yet affecting as many people as it is now. As of March, Geek.com reports that Cryptolocker’s “… masterminds have raked in somewhere in the neigborhood of $30 million, and that’s because around 40% of victims are paying the ransom.”

A few days ago, the Today Show ran a report on Cryptolocker as well. According to the Today Show report embedded below, “You can backup your computer and use anti-virus software, but the best defense, experts say, is caution with unknown attachments and emails.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

How Backblaze Can Help
Since Backblaze is an unlimited and continuously running online backup solution that is not locally connected to your machine, all of the data files on your computer and external hard drives get backed up and are available for restore.

That means that if you get hit with the Cryptolocker malware and your computer locks up, you can simply order a Backblaze restore with all of your data on it, reinstall your operating system and any programs that you had installed (including Backblaze), and then you’re back up and running! That means you won’t need to pay Cryptolocker hundreds if not thousands of dollars, and you’ll have all of your photos, videos, music, work documents, and anything else you’ve created safely back on your computer.

Backblaze has already saved multiple customers from losing their data to Cryptolocker:

We’d like to remind all of our users and blog readers to stay vigilant and use best-practices when using the internet and email clients. Hopefully you’ll never be hit with Cryptolocker, but we’ll be here for you if you do.

Author = Yev

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The Oscar SHOULD go to…


One of the hottest topics of the Backblaze office is what movies are out and should we go see them. Well, it’s almost time for the Oscars and we’re excited to see who is going to win in each of the categories.

In our hearts though, we believe there should be one more Oscar category:
Best Data Loss Scenes.

Below are our favorite contenders of all time:


This great clip from “Star Trek DS9″ highlights the importance of backups!


In the movie “Fireproof”, they aren’t to kind to their PCs.


Superman takes on the dastardly computer in “Superman 3″. It doesn’t end well for the computer.
Continue reading…

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Western Digital Warning Customers of Data Loss with Apple Mavericks


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Apple customers upgrading to OS X 10.9 Mavericks are complaining in droves about data loss on their Western Digital hard drives. WD has acknowledged the issue today in an email to its customers and is working to determine the root cause and a solution.

Western Digital recommendation
At this point, WD is recommending customers either:
* Hold off upgrading to Mavericks, or, if they have already upgraded,
* Uninstall WD software

To be clear, if you are fully backed up with Backblaze, you are safe.
You will be able to restore the data lost from your WD drive. If that happens to you, please immediately prepare a free download restore or order a USB hard drive or flash drive with your data. Before you prepare your restore, review the Backblaze file list for the WD drive you are restoring. If necessary, you can roll back time with Backblaze to before you installed Mavericks.

More detail on the cause
While it is not completely clear from WD or Apple the set of circumstances causing the data loss, WD at this point believes it is an issue between Mavericks and Western Digital’s WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare software applications.

In reading through the threads on the WD forums and Apple forums, it seems this has happened primarily to users that have chosen to setup their drive as RAID 0 or RAID 1. The experience for the user is that the drive appears to reset, simply become called MyBook, claim the partition is damaged, with all data gone. However, this is not yet definitive and the recommendation of not upgrading or uninstalling the WD software is the best plan for the “safe rather than sorry” approach.

Consider sharing this with friends who plan to, or have, upgraded to Mavericks.

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Recent Malware Forcing Victims to Pay For Data Retrieval


Lately, Backblaze has been seeing a few reports stating that a very specific type of ransomware, known as CryptoLocker, that takes control of a victim’s computer and holds it hostage until that victim pays to get it removed. It is known as ransomware because if Cryptolocker is not paid within a specific timeframe, it will destroy the key that is needed to unlock your computer’s data, making the data and files on your computer and any attached external or backup drives permanently inaccessible.

Backblaze is Not Anti-Virus

Some Backblaze users have been writing in to ask us if Backblaze protects them against their data being held hostage by such programs. The answer is, yes.

While Backblaze is not anti-virus or anti-malware software, in this particular case Backblaze would be useful in ensuring that the data is retrievable.  How does that work and what makes Backblaze different than an attached local backup? In cases like these, where the ransomware or malware takes control of and encrypts all the data on the user’s computer and external drives, the data is essentially locked with a very strong encryption key. The only way to unlock the data is to either break the encryption, or pay to have the key sent to you so that you can once again access your data.

We want remind our users to be very careful when opening up email attachments, and if something looks out of place, make sure you check it for malicious content before downloading and opening it.

How Backblaze Can Help

Since Backblaze is an unlimited, and continuously running online backup solution and is not locally connected to your machine, all of your backed up files would be available for restore with minimal or no data loss (depending on the last backup time before the machine was infected).

What this means is that if you are a victim of ransomare like Cryptolocker, you could order a Backblaze restore from a date before your machine got infected, and then have your computer reset back to its factory settings, essentially removing everything, including the ransomware from it. You would need to reinstall all of your programs, including Backblaze, but the data that was on your computer before the infection, including your: photos, videos, movies, music, and work document, could all be safely restored.

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You’ve Lost Data Without a Backup…Now What?


Backblaze data loss checklist

With the recovery from Hurricane Sandy just now starting, the full scope of what has been lost is coming in to view. One of the many challenges you may have will be trying to recover the data on your damaged or destroyed laptop or desktop computer. If you are a Backblaze customer and need to restore your data, please see our Hurricane Sandy blog post for information and instructions on how to do so.

If you are not a customer of Backblaze or another online backup service, you are now faced with the task of trying to reassemble the photos, movies, documents, spreadsheets and more that were lost. If you still have a local backup, great, but just in case we’ve assembled a list of places you can look to attempt to recover some of your data. No one source will most likely have everything you want, but hopefully between these sources, you’ll be able to recover the data most important to you:

  1. Shutterfly/Flickr/Picasa/Snapfish/Photobucket – Some of these services have been around for a long time. If you had accounts there and uploaded photos to them, they may be good places to retrieve some of your photos.
  2. Physical media – Start with the Flash drives, SD cards, CDs and other media you may still have around. Include those you may have given to friends and relatives.
  3. Physical devices – Check your digital camera, smartphones, etc. as they often contain images that you can restore.
  4. Dropbox – If you are using a sharing/synching service such as Dropbox, some of your data may be there. How much data you find will depend on what you put there and your account limits.
  5. Social Media – Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Tumblr/Pinterest/Youtube – If you uploaded lots of your favorite photos/videos, they should be recoverable from your posts. (Often you will not be able to recover the original, full-resolution version, but you can download a smaller size.)
  6. iTunes – If you had iCloud or an iTunes account, the majority of your music library purchased from iTunes should be available to re-download.
  7. Email attachments – This may sound like an odd one, but if you were an avid “attacher”, you may be able to recover documents, presentations, and photographs from either your own email attachments or from email you have sent to others.

If your machine was damaged, but you still have access to it, there are many data restoration companies that can try to recover data from damaged hard drives. Here are a few:

(Backblaze is not affiliated with any of these organizations).

We hope this helps in recovering some of your lost data and memories.

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Hurricane Sandy and Data Loss Assistance


Backblaze would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. We hope your recovery and return to any semblance of “normalcy” is swift.

Many of our customers are located in the areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy and thus many of you may need to recover lost data from our online backup service over the coming weeks. Our goal is to make that as easy and seamless as possible.

We have setup a dedicated email address for customers who lost data in Hurricane Sandy and need help recovering their data: sandy@backblaze.com (For everyone else and requests unrelated to restoring data, please contact the Backblaze Support team by visiting: help.backblaze.com and submit a support request or watch our restore tutorial video).

Additionally, while you can always download your data for free, if you are in the FEMA Disaster Declared Area (affected areas in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey) and need your data sent via FedEx on a USB Hard Drive or USB Flash Drive, we will provide a 50% discount on these services through the end of November. To use this discount, please order your data restore and email sandy@backblaze.com with your information to receive a 50% refund.

Again, our thoughts are with those impacted and hope your life can get back to normal quickly.

If you would like to make a donation to assist those affected by Hurricane Sandy, please contact the American Red Cross or donate to the relief organization of your choice.

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10 spooky data loss stories


Recently Yev, our resident keeper of the meme, asked our community to tell us their scariest stories on data loss. From the avalanche of bone chilling stories we picked 10 we thought would tingle your spine without scaring you breathless. Some folks had online backup, others did not, but all are scary. You’ve been warned, read on if you dare…(Insert sinister music here).

“I work as a graphic designer for a TV-Station. Some years ago, early in the morning (not my time), I thought it was a good idea to make some manual backups of my work. I started to transfer all of our onair designs and graphic elements to the backup drive. After a few minutes, I realized, that I was deleting them instead of moving. My face turned white and I was shocked. Thanks to a rescue software, I was able to recover nearly 80% of the files but I spent more than a day to rearrange the folder structure. That was the moment, I started to learn everything I could about backup solutions.” —Pascal

“I was doing my initial back up with just over 1TB of data, I went out for a couple of hours and came back to find that we’d had a power surge that pretty much fried my new back up drive and all of the drives in my pc… fortunately i had all my stuff backed up on a couple of smaller drives. but it was still the scariest moment in my life. feel much safer with backblaze!” —Ed

“Driving back from a beach in rural Nicaragua we were robbed by a highwayman. he had a tshirt over his face, and stuck a machete in my girlfriend’s face and demanded money. Sadly, we only had $6 which just made him angry. He demanded my backpack… which had my unbacked up computer. A sad day indeed.” —Dave

“It was in a time before I knew of BackBlaze. In my times of PC repair and troubleshooting. A frantic user enters and is clearly distraught. A flash drive is practically thrown my way, in pieces… I do my best to see if there is anything I can do, but we both know how this is going to end. As I go to tell her the bad news, tears begin to gush as she realizes the gravity of loosing……. her dissertation. All the time she’d spent. All the research. Hundreds of pages. Tens of thousands of words. No backup. Gone.” —Joshua

“I use TimeMachine and Backblaze on my MacBook Pro. Back in August, after upgrading to Mountain Lion, my MacBook started crashing sporadically. During these crashes that got more frequent within one week, my TimeMachine backup went corrupt, and then within another day, it crashed for good and my computer wouldn’t even boot up. Fortunately, Backblaze had me covered and 300 GB of data saved for me. Without that, I would be in very sad shape… Now the thought of that is scary :)” —Jared

“I was talked into being the wedding photographer for my sister-in-law’s wedding. After shooting the wedding I uploaded the photos to my main harddrive. I had an external drive that was set to backup my files nightly. I then formatted my memory cards because I had another shoot to do on Sunday. When I can home from work Monday evening I could hear a loud sound from down the hall. As soon as I entered my office I knew the harddrive was toast. The logic board had fried and it had been spinning as max RPM all day. The head had impacted the disks and it was beyond saving. I went to my backup drive, and to my horror my data had not been backing up properly for weeks. I had to tell my sister-in-law that her wedding pictures were lost forever. I now have BackBlaze do my backups automatically for me. I will never have to make THAT phone call again.” —David

“I once lost 60GB of photos because my laptop hard drive died. The saddest part is that I decided to delete my backup an hour earlier to free up space for a large file transfer. After the transfer I was going to re-backup my photos. During the data transfer my laptop hard drive died. I never saw those photos again.” —Ryan

“My almost data loss story happened yesterday when a full glass of water fell on my laptop! I was almost crazy because I could not lose my data and I had no backup of everything. But after I calmed down, grabbed a dryer and after a lot of failed attempts finally started my laptop.” —Francisco

“I wanted to reinstall the operating system on my Macbook Pro once, so I backed all my data to an external harddrive, wiped the laptop clean, reinstalled the OS, and went to reimport my data. Unexpectedly, the reimport step wasn’t working correctly, and my data was floating on an external, unable to get back onto my laptop. Thankfully my friends and I found a fix, but my heart stopped for a few minutes when I was panicking over whether I’d need a new OS or a new laptop, and how long it would take before I could see my files again.”
-Elaina

“Nearly one year ago I was awoken suddenly from a deep sleep by a creaking sound downstairs. I often hear our cats rustle about the house, but this sound was distinctly different as though there was a larger movement. I’m usually the one checking on weird sounds for my wife just to reassure her that everything’s okay. But this sound didn’t awake her, and it had me a little startled. It was dark in the house, except for a halloween moonlight that peeked it’s way through a skylight. I slowly made my way downstairs to investigate. My heart was pounding — I gripped tightly on the banister. A few steps from the bottom, I heard the sound again, this time more pronounced. I froze in my tracks, not knowing whether to shout out in fear or sneak even more carefully. Finally I reached the bottom and rounded the corner to peer into the front room of our house. There in the moonlight was a large figure, human-like yet monstrously tall and wide. It was wearing a black jacket and a black mask. It was twice my size. I didn’t move, and I couldn’t move. Suddenly the figure spoke, and it said, ‘I’m taking this.’ I saw it had our family PC in it’s arms with the power cord hanging down to the ground. ‘Just let me leave, and there will be no trouble,’ the figure continued in a deep, determined voice. I stepped back and let the figure leave — I just wanted the situation to end without incident. Out the figure went, PC in hand, all my life’s data with it. For a moment I panicked, called 911, and scrambled to check doors and windows throughout the house. But then I stopped to gather my thoughts and take a deep breath. I realized in that moment that I was safe, my family was safe, and who cares about a little old PC. All the data was safe with Backblaze.” —Paul

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