Essentialism when setting up recording computer (again)

I may rant a bit here about why I had two computers “die” in just over a week, but I’ll try to not write a book like holster’s mix contest rules. :grin: I still don’t know what happened, but Old Faithful acted weird and gave up the ghost and couldn’t be saved. It might have been a drive gone bad, or some other problem. Blue screens and reboots etc. Luckily I had a recent backup with virtually any files I will need again. Then, another PC I had been using as a spare got configured to be my temporary machine while I looked into getting Old Faithful resurrected. It was on Windows 10 but wasn’t used for audio (yet). Then the other morning it just froze booting into Windows and wouldn’t do a thing. Nothing helped. Weird.

I did try to look on the bright side of setting up Old Faithful with a new (system) hard drive and fresh install of Windows 7. The thought of installing a crap-ton of applications and restoring files wasn’t the most appealing … maybe I had collected too much flotsam and jetsam on the old one? So I’m trying to look at the basics and what do I really need, according to a philosophy I’m attempting to live by called “Essentialism”. It’s basically doing whatever your priorities are and ignoring just about everything else.

A new priority when I get the basic install set is some kind of drive cloning service or software to have that image ready to reload in case of fiasco. And maybe to periodically clone it with the latest configuration. I had a Raid 1 when I first got the computer, a mirror system drive that would have been a snap to switch over to (Win 7 secondary plex), but that drive got corrupted or died after a couple years.

What’s a good service to do drive cloning for backup and disaster recovery? Any other ideas or tips on keeping machine config simple and preparing for the worst?

Well I really don’t like the idea of it but the cloud thing is probably the safest in case you get robbed or have a house fire you won’t be starting your whole life from scratch, so off-site backup makes sense.

I don’t have a recommendation, haven’t looked into it, I should do it soon. Apple does a good job with this I hear.

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Yeah, cloud maybe. It could also be on a local separate disc. I tend to think a full user files backup on the cloud might be the most useful (though hesitate on that due to security/privacy issues) so they can be retrieved anytime/anywhere. The local clone would be for the specific machine only, so it becomes useless if you have to replace the machine (except with an exact model replacement).

I think I have heard of Acronis, Macrium, Clonezilla, EaseUS, and maybe a few others.


You like those? lol. It’s all the nonsense to cover ourselves. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I hope you weren’t kidding about our contest causing death, can’t wait for the gladiator fight.

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It’s a valid question for all of us.

You can even clone a PC and install that cleanly on a different model PC easily.

There are softwares that will reinstall your programs and files from one PC to another, and I suspect one might even go Win 7 to Win 10, maybe. That is the what I’m looking for, too! was suggested as free, but there are pay options that may be better.

It would seem we all need something that can reinstall from backups on an external hard drive, so first we keep the nice backup and then use software to fully reinstall on a new PC.

Good luck, @Stan_Halen! We’ll keep the light on for you, my friend.

PS: It’s almost Black Friday/Cyber Monday, too!

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You can just ghost the entire system onto a seperate hard drive.
You can then keep the second hard drive in the comp and only boot from it if you have problems.
There are many ways
To be honest just backing up your files and settings is all u need unless you run loads of stuff from the same pc.
Maybe back up to a third portable hd all your files and keep them somewhere else.
I hate the digital world for its nasty blue screen of death attacks!
At least in an analog world you could fix things yourself with a bit of tape, glue or solder :+1:

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I cloned my entire hard drive onto another hard drive, that way if windows goes corrupt incan just boot from that. Its only the actual windows op system and programs i have all my files backed up onto disc or portable hd.
You can also just create an image file of your entire system and save it as a zip file. But if your op system goes down you still need to get thay sorted before u can run the zip lol. But its a goid safe back up


Better to cover all the bases than leave loopholes. I do admire the thoroughness.

Yes I guess that’s true, there would probably be some driver conflicts from different hardware, but as long as you could boot to windows and have internet access you could resolve them.

I think there have been several of those around for a long time. I have always done it manually, didn’t want to trust a program to do it for me the way I wanted it done. If you want everything transferred those might be fine, they probably have some intelligent algorithms to set it up decently and not have problems. One thing I do try to do is when I get into this situation of changing computers I try to “clean house” as it were and eliminate some clutter and excess that I have accumulated over several years. Kind of like moving house; just take what you need and get rid of the rest. Inf fact, that was part of the premise of the thread. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for the suggestions! Yes, I might get something on sale just in time.

As mentioned, I started out on the new computer with a Raid 1 setup - a second hard drive “mirror” of the OS. It constantly sync’d the mirror drive to the ‘master’ so I could have literally booted to the other drive and been up and running in seconds. Not many people seem to do that, and it’s really not that hard to do at all (though a bit technical mindedness needed I guess), but it also may be hard on that mirror drive? My mirror drive died or got (a) corrupted (mirror) after about 2 years. I wouldn’t think it’s harder on the mirror drive than the system drive, but the system drive may have crapped out too after 4 years.

I do run loads of stuff. At least it seems like it. And the studio config itself involves a lot.

I considered that, saving just a basic Windows setup first and then loading the rest. But I’m trying to get up and running first and then get the backup/clone thing sorted. I think I’d rather have a full backup/clone to have everything I need, and then tweak a new setup from there if something changes over time. Yes, getting the PC up and running has to happen, and in this case I would still have to get a new hard drive (probably) … but I could have done that straightaway and pulled down the clone image right away and be off and running in little time. Probably less time than it took for 4 years of Windows Updates!

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So true, dude! Operating system and DAW changes have dictated my software needs. Even upgrading my soundcard obsolesced my midi and many cool soundfonts and VST plugins. I am very happy with Reaper and its relatively simple setup, and I hope my next upgrade, crash or not, will go well.

You can’t go backward on RAM and hard drive or speed either. You might even want a little more, or a lot. And you want a better backup plan! But first, get something up would be so swell.

Once I drove up to Dallas to record with friend Mr. Troll, so I hauled my PC, mixer board, effects box, mic, wires, etc., and after some duress I managed to get it to work. Had a terrible time getting all the settings and wires back to normal when I got back home! But that was my biggest fantasy setup, everything strapped in a suitcase. Maybe one day…