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Restoring Mozy backups has been very arduous

A computer I am managing was recently stolen. I logged into my Mozy account and tried these restore methods, all of which are an exercise in frustration.

I have a very speedy internet connection and have downloaded several HD movies on iTunes and Mac OS Yosemite (a 5Gb download) in a hour or two with no problem.

First: Mozy Download Manager

Mozy Download Manager (I tried it both on Mac OS Mevericks and Mac OS Yosemite) at first told me it would take a few days to download a 48Gb backup set. However, after 3Gb, it has been blocked for days on a single 1Gb file Microsoft Data/Messages. I tried pausing and restarting the download, restarting the entire process, but to no avail. When the backup is at this 1Gb file, the "estimated time" goes from 1 day to several months and then to "unknown time remaining", and stays that way for over 24 hours.

Next: Download .tar files

I requested a series of .tar files from Mozy, and after an hour or so got an email that my .tar files were ready. There were twenty-five or so .tar files, each ranging in size from 500Mb to 2Gb. I downloaded the first four with no problem, but then the problems started. First, when you attempt to download more than four files simultaneously, the Mozy servers return a 500 error. So I waited for my first four files to download. Still, when downloading the other files, I kept getting "connection timed out" or "server connection lost" errors. Restarting the downloads seems to work, but in about half the files I download, the size of the downloaded .tar file (which is said to be completely downloaded) is less than what is expected. My files were truncated, so the untar utility could not recognize them. To further complicate matters, no hash is provided so we can check for data integrity. I gave up on this after about a day.

Next: downloading files directly using Mozy's web GUI

It is possible to navigate backed-up folders on Mozy's web GUI, and to download files under a certain size in .zip format. This is how the GUI works on Safari 8.0:

  • Select a subfolder with a reasonable file (say, 1 or 2Gb).
  • Click the "Download" button.
  • No feedback is provided, you have to wait for about 20-30 seconds. During this time (as I learned the hard way), do not click the button again, or you will launch several downloads.
  • After 20-30 seconds, a .zip file is downloaded.

Again, no hash is given to check for data integrity, and on my first try with a 2Gb file, I got a 1.1Gb .zip file which was corrupted, but was purported to be completely downloaded.

I am now trying to download some targeted important files using the GUI downloader.

Next step: try to order DVDs

According to this article, you must first log in to your account online to select files, then choose media restore as the delivery method.

I logged into my account, selected files, but there is no "Delivery method" option, only a Restore Wizard with two options: "Recommended: Download using the Mozy Restore Manager" (thanks, but I tried that already, see above), and "Download Compressed Archive" (tried that too).

The only thing that seems to work is to navigate my backed up files on Mozy's GUI and select a few small super-important files and download them directly.

I was told later by Mozy that DVDs are not shipped to Canada. It would be nice for this to be documented on their website...

Conclusion

Whatever backup method you choose, it is crucial to test, every so often, that restoring actually works for you. I made the mistake of checking that my files were actually listed on the Mozy GUI, but that, it turns out, was not enough. I cannot afford to spend more time on this matter, so I'll have to say I learned an expensive lesson: I'll consider my files as lost, as well as all the money I sent to Mozy over the years for several accounts. Next time I evaluate an online backup service:

  • I'll make sure my files are marked "backed up" by the service.
  • I'll try restoring them every two months to make sure the service works.

Update

After a few weeks back and forth with Mozy (ticket number 01320386), and a lot of manually downloading specific I have finally managed to get everything I needed.

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