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Thread: Backing Up MSTS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    USA.
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    434

    Default Backing Up MSTS

    Often times we are encouraged to back up anything of importance on your computer. For those like me who are dragging behind in our computer skills, ancient if you will, what is the best way to back up MSTS. MSTS came with two disc. Now I've added on many 3d train stuff, maple leaf tracks and now Train-Sim stuff. What is the best step by step way to back-up all my MSTS files?

    Derick

  2. #2

    Default RE: Backing Up MSTS

    Hi Derick !

    If disk space is not an issue on your computer and you have "Logical Drive Partitions" on your hard drive then the best and most reliable method of archiving MSTS is to simply COPY / PASTE it to another drive partition, which will take some time depending on the size of MSTS and it's Add-On routes folders and additional rolling stock.

    Backing-up to the same drive could lose the original as well as the copy it there is a problem with the hard disk becoming corrupted.

    After the first initial COPY / PASTE only changes need to be Backed-Up as and when.

    If not enough disk space is available then an external USB-2 drive is another reliable option to copy to. WIN-ZIP can also save space, creating a ZIP file of MSTS elsewhere.

    Backing-up to CD or DVD are other options, even more time consuming and limited to the storage capacity of the media used. They are also less reliable, being heat and magnetic sensitive media.

    Tapes are the last option I would consider !

    O t t o

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA.
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    434

    Default RE: Backing Up MSTS

    Thanks

    Derick

  4. #4

    Default RE: Backing Up MSTS

    Otto,could you explain how to copy and paste ,just the changes.For example,if you add a new loco do you make a seperate backup for the loco and for it's consist file.
    Terry
    >
    >After the first initial COPY / PASTE only changes need to be
    >Backed-Up as and when.
    >



  5. #5

    Default RE: Backing Up MSTS

    Yes Terry, that's basically the idea !

    However, make sure that you test run the downloaded stuff first before adding it to the Back-Up because some Rolling Stock also update COMMON folders and if all works as it should they also need to be backed-up.

    Unzipping everything into a temporary folder first will give you the chance to see what is about to be installed/updated !

    The same goes for anything updating the GLOBAL folders, like new releases of Xtracks, Tsection.dat, etc and new routes being added.

    I do a lot of chopping and changing with my MSTS and providing all of it works as it should prefer to BACK-UP the lot !

    Having said that I also got other copies of MSTS on external Hard Drives, giving me more than one copy to step back to ! I think they call that "Double Indemnity" ? ;-)

    Having two machines I can let one do the backing-up while I am on the Internet on the other, like right now ! ;-)

    O t t o

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    DesMoines, Washington, USA.
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    Default RE: Backing Up MSTS


    >Backing-up to the same drive could lose the original as well
    >as the copy it there is a problem with the hard disk
    >becoming corrupted.

    Backing up to a logical drive on the same spindle (i.e. physical drive) as MSTS does nothing to protect against a drive crash. IMO the backup on the same spindle as MSTS is the minimum protection one can provide short of none at all.

    Aside: I can understand why PC manufacturers sell PC's with a single drive, but I have never really understtod why people continue to operate them with one drive -- especially considering the price of drives. ISTM anyone smart enough to use a computer and single minded enough to keep flogging themselves with Dollar Bill's last cash cow ought to be able strap a drive and add it. Heck, the newer USB connected external drives don't even need strapping. End of aside.

    >If not enough disk space is available then an external USB-2
    >drive is another reliable option to copy to. WIN-ZIP can
    >also save space, creating a ZIP file of MSTS elsewhere.

    The seperate physical drive seems to me a much better solution. I don't know about the rest of the world, but in the US space ought never to be an issue. Drive space is too inexpensive. One can get an external drive suitable for holding the entire MSTS folder for about the price of an MLT route.

    IMO zip is great for the net and d/l and addressing bandwidth problems in general, but using it in a backup scheme just adds another layer of "futzing" to what ought to be a near brain-dead activity.

    >After the first initial COPY / PASTE only changes need to be
    >Backed-Up as and when.

    One could also "drag and drop" the whole MSTS folder and let it overwrite the existing one.

    >Backing-up to CD or DVD are other options, even more time
    >consuming and limited to the storage capacity of the media
    >used. They are also less reliable, being heat and magnetic
    >sensitive media.

    I'm a big fan of CD. Burners are cheap -- blank CDs are even cheaper! I regularly drop routes on CD's. When I get new engines and stock and they have gone through my checks and are ready to move to the trainset (I never unzip anything directly to the trainset) is burn them to CD. Then, if I find one with, say, an out of center centerpoint, I have a "gold copy" if I blow it up treaking with SFM (which I have been knwon to do). The entire trainset takes two CD now that I have all that MTL equipment from LS&I, Cascade Crossing, and the two SP add on packs. I do it once a quarter or so. I keep CD archives of all the things I have downloaded on CD.

    CDs are subject to heat, but with reasonable care will far outlast their need. I had a house fire back in 1999 and there was a "flashback" so hot it burnt the paper off the wallboard all the way down to the gypsum underneath. Many of my jewel cases were distorted and some we melted to the point that we had to break them open, but only two or three CDs ended up being bad. So far as I know CDs are NOT "magnetic sensitive". They also seem to go through airport screening procedures quite well.

    >Tapes are the last option I would consider !

    Agreed, unless one already has the gear. Otherwise its too expensive.

    Brad Meyer

  7. #7

    Default RE: Backing Up MSTS

    Brad, you are right about the CDs not being affected by strong magnetics. Don't know what I was thinking about then, data bits being Lasered into CDs ! ;-)

    But in 30 years of using thousands of hard drives, starting with 10 Mb Winchesters on my employers and later clients and my own computers, I have lost scores of them but have yet to come across one where all platters, cylinders and sectors of a hard drive were damaged, rendering all partitions on it inaccessible ! Including one which having been dropped on the floor, jamming the Read-Write heads, I managed to dislodge by tapping it with the rubber end of my screwdriver ! ;-)

    To somebody who hasn't got the cash to get additional hard drives, internal or external, having logical drive partitions is next best to back-up into !

    O t t o

  8. #8

    Default RE: Backing Up MSTS

    Thanks for the tips.I'm learning more and more each day.
    Terry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Guyton, GA, USA.
    Posts
    1,662

    Default RE: Backing Up MSTS

    A very good backup system is using the Grandfather-Father-Son system.

    Basically, you have three copies of what you need backed up. Make a backup ( preferably to an external drive ). For MSTS, this backup would be updated monthly ( in more critical systems, this would be backed up more often, either weekly or every other day ). I have this backup on the hard drive of another computer on my home network. Then, I make a second backup. With MSTS, I do this weekly. I send it to another computer on my home network ( we have 3 ). I keep the current copy on my computer.

    This way, if I back up a "problem" on the more frequently used copy, I can revert to the older ( Grandfather ) copy. I only make that backup when I am sure there are no problems.

    When I install something new, I first check the rolling stock and consists with ConBuilder, and I check the route with RouteRiter. After fixing all problems they find, I run the new stuff for a few days, and if everything is OK, then I will make a backup to the "Father" backup. If no new problems crop up, I make a "new" GrandFather backup at the "scheduled" time. I have not "automated" these backups for MSTS because I might get something new the day the backup is supposed to occur. I want to run it a while before overwriting my previous backup.

    This same system could be used on an external drive with two partitions. I agree about running with a single partition. I wish that computer manufacturers would set things up this way. The ideal would be for the C drive to only have the operating system, and all applications and data be on the D drive.
    Joe Morris, OVSRails Vice President
    OVSRails Engineer #2
    OVSRails
    OVSRails Forums

  10. #10

    Default RE: Backing Up MSTS

    Hi Joe !

    [font color=blue]> A very good backup system is using the Grandfather-Father-Son system. [/font]

    You sound like you too are one of the old school ! ;-)

    Takes me back to the twin-floppy IBM-PC days when we backed-up to floppies A, B and C in rotation !

    [font color=blue]> I agree about running with a single partition. I wish that computer manufacturers would set
    > things up this. The ideal would be for the C drive to only have the operating system and all
    > applications and data be on the D drive. [/font]

    I had this out with GATEWAY USA 2 years ago when I bought my Son a new WIN-XP computer for Christmas. Had a 120 Gb hard drive with just the C: partition and only about 20 Gb data on it. Had to re-install WIN-XP into a smaller Drive C: partition and then create logical drive partition afterwards.

    They offer a "Custom" facility for making up a machine to purchaser's specification, why not include how WINDOWS is being installed too ?

    Partition Magic I think it's called can also do that afterwards but I would prefer this to be done at WIN O/S system installation time.

    Take care, O t t o.


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