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Lost data, need proper backup solution. Worst Valentine's Ever

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[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2009
1288 posts
466 upvotes

Lost data, need proper backup solution. Worst Valentine's Ever

For Valentine's Day I lost all my wife's Outlook 2010 contacts. I was having difficulty backing up and the MS tech took control and said her profile was corrupted. He made a new one, transferred the old one, deleted it, and now the contacts and a load emails are gone. I thought file history would have them but no.

So, they are gone and I need a proper backup solution rather than file history, which I thought was doing the job. Recommendations? I feel terrible that I did not stop the clown but he said nothing would be lost after I explicitly asked about Outlook. Ones on iPhone are incomplete as didn't sync them.
44 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jan 10, 2008
13871 posts
27439 upvotes
What does it have to do with Valentine's day exactly ?
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2012
1780 posts
481 upvotes
Montreal
Philbert wrote: For Valentine's Day I lost all my wife's Outlook 2010 contacts. I was having difficulty backing up and the MS tech took control and said her profile was corrupted. He made a new one, transferred the old one, deleted it, and now the contacts and a load emails are gone. I thought file history would have them but no.

So, they are gone and I need a proper backup solution rather than file history, which I thought was doing the job. Recommendations? I feel terrible that I did not stop the clown but he said nothing would be lost after I explicitly asked about Outlook. Ones on iPhone are incomplete as didn't sync them.
Are you able to log into your outlook account from the web?
Would the data have been being saved online? Outlook and hotmail are closely alligned... any chance of her having a old hotmail addy that you could try and log into that would bring up the saved web based email data?
and best wishes with the rest of your day
I think we've all lost data, it sucks :(
Moderator
May 28, 2012
11694 posts
4235 upvotes
Saskatoon
Edited the title so it's more specific to what he's asking.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2009
1288 posts
466 upvotes
She uses Shaw webmail and there is little in her online account. What frustrates me is that I've been thinking all along that file history was useful.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2009
1288 posts
466 upvotes
I also blame Windows 10, for all these backup failures started after a December update.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
14726 posts
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Think of the Childre…
Philbert wrote: I also blame Windows 10, for all these backup failures started after a December update.
No system restore at certain checkpoint? Might help.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Deal Guru
Aug 14, 2007
11910 posts
2886 upvotes
Durham Region
How does ones profile get corrupted?

Op next time, simply back the emails before messing around.
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 20, 2009
8862 posts
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Vancouver
Are you sure your pst file wasn't backed up? It should have been if it was in the default location under Users\<username>. Do you know where to look? Did the "MS tech" delete her entire user account, or just her profile within Outlook?

Backup rules:
1. Always have a backup
2. Always have two separate backups, because the first one won't work when you need it
3. Always stop and think it through about your restore strategy before you attempt anything after a problem occurs
4. Never let an MS tech touch your system.
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2012
1780 posts
481 upvotes
Montreal
Philbert wrote: She uses Shaw webmail and there is little in her online account. What frustrates me is that I've been thinking all along that file history was useful.
If you're using Pop, unfortunately there's nothing saved on the servers :(
Would she consider using web based email solutions moving forward?
Gmail, and outlook/hotmail is easily loginable from anywhere in the world , has robust data saving and is free
Member
Oct 15, 2010
331 posts
54 upvotes
If a profile is deleted, it will be very difficult to get back the contacts but not impossible. Not worth it IMO
Also, MS techs never do phone support unless you have some sort of premium or software assurance agreement. So I highly doubt you spoke to MS.
To this date I will never understand why people continue to use the email from their ISP. Any dedicated free email provider offers a superior service in every single way shape and form. Want your old email address? Setup forwarding and be done with it.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
16730 posts
2408 upvotes
Philbert wrote: So, they are gone and I need a proper backup solution rather than file history, which I thought was doing the job. Recommendations? I feel terrible that I did not stop the clown but he said nothing would be lost after I explicitly asked about Outlook. Ones on iPhone are incomplete as didn't sync them.
Synology NAS w/ Macrium or similar backup software.


Or USB Hard Drive w/ Windows Backup.
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2012
1780 posts
481 upvotes
Montreal
element0 wrote: Any dedicated free email provider offers a superior service in every single way shape and form. Want your old email address? Setup forwarding and be done with it.
+1
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2009
1288 posts
466 upvotes
element0 wrote: If a profile is deleted, it will be very difficult to get back the contacts but not impossible. Not worth it IMO
Also, MS techs never do phone support unless you have some sort of premium or software assurance agreement. So I highly doubt you spoke to MS.
To this date I will never understand why people continue to use the email from their ISP. Any dedicated free email provider offers a superior service in every single way shape and form. Want your old email address? Setup forwarding and be done with it.
I have MS Complete and was given Tier 2 service. Regarding email, she uses Shaw for home and Google Mail for work, so some is recoverable. Plus we have similar contacts so I can forward some.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2009
1288 posts
466 upvotes
JamesA1 wrote: Are you sure your pst file wasn't backed up? It should have been if it was in the default location under Users\<username>. Do you know where to look? Did the "MS tech" delete her entire user account, or just her profile within Outlook?

Backup rules:
1. Always have a backup
2. Always have two separate backups, because the first one won't work when you need it
3. Always stop and think it through about your restore strategy before you attempt anything after a problem occurs
4. Never let an MS tech touch your system.
I thought I had a backup with file history. And I have 2 backups with pictures etc saved on external hard drives.

I don't want a server/router solution. I want to backup via my 2tb seagate and wd externals every few weeks for Outlook and iTunes. All our docs are always saved on OneDrive.

This is a pain but not end of world. I appreciate advice very much but don't need admonishment. I'm well aware that the profile move was not best idea but at time it was a problem solver. And when I've used file history in past to transfer to new computer contacts always worked fine.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 20, 2009
8862 posts
2687 upvotes
Vancouver
A limited backup is good for a cloud service, but if you're backing up to a local drive on a regular basis it might be better to use full-drive incremental backup instead. You never know exactly which files you might have to restore, or when you might have to restore an entire drive. If you use a backup tool like Acronis True Image to create a full drive image the first time, and then use incremental backup each week, it's fairly quick. You can can go back historically to any week and retrieve specific files. If your hard drive dies, you can restore the entire image to a new drive. You don't have to make difficult decisions about which files are worth backing up.

The number one mistake that people make (including me, many times), aside from not having a backup in the first place, is to act too quickly to try to solve a problem. Half the time a a hasty attempt makes things worse, and you realize that if you had only stopped to think you could have avoided that. From long experience I've decided that the best way to solve a restore issue is to go away and leave everything as it is, have a cup of coffee, relax, and then think about my options again.
Penalty Box
User avatar
Apr 25, 2013
7398 posts
1337 upvotes
One click backup is useless, but that is what the public wants and this is what MickySoft offers !

This is what you need to do periodically to backup:

1. Clone your HDD with the OS and all on another HDD with programs such as Acronis, not with a silly backup software
2. Download your Outlook archive the good old fashion way weekly: http://www.howto-outlook.com/howto/backupandrestore.htm
3. Download your browser's favorites the good old fashion way
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2009
1288 posts
466 upvotes
It does seem that the entire old user profile was copied over and I can access the folder. Some of the files are hidden and I can't find a specific contact file.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
7191 posts
1517 upvotes
Toronto
This is what I do.

I do all my important work inside a virtual machine, I use Vmware only because the VirtualBox (VB is free) has horrible usb support. I have several VMs, ranging from 20GB to 80GB. I have a backup program that backs up all my virtual machines to a NAS on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Then once a month or so I manually just copy all my virtual machines to my NAS. The automatic backups are for short term, each backup gets over written by a new backup. The manual backups I do once a month is my long term backup.

Using a VM has many advantages so many that I can not even begin to do it justice, there are also disadvantages, the primary to me are; takes up alot of backup space, programs inside a VM run ~15% slower, requires more RAM than normal, best to run the VMs from a very fast drive; my most important VM I run off a SSD, the other VMs I run off a 2x 7200RPM HDDs in Raid stripe.

Basically now, a nuclear bomb could hit my PC and I would not care. I will go down to best buy and pickup a ghetto $400 PC, in under 5 minutes; I install VMware then start my VMs directly from my NAS and I can get back to what I was doing.

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