Backup Gripes: Mozy (Re-)Backup

Given that the majority of my life is stored on a computer now (photos, tax returns, other important docs), it has become all the more critical for me to have safe, accessible backups of my machine. For the last year I have set up 2 tiers of backups.  The first is a weekly job that backs data up to an external hard drive connected to the machine – this is in the scenario of my machine going down or simply deleting a file I shouldn’t have.  As a second tier, I have been using Mozy’s MozyHome Unlimited for about the last year – this covers the need for off-site backup, should something happen to our home that would wipe out the computer & the drive.

Yesterday I was forced to rebuild my Vista desktop, reformatting the hard drive and doing a fresh install of the OS.  Everything came up without incident, and when it came time to restore the files I used my external drive (obviously the faster solution).  I’ve had pretty good luck in restoring my computer.

Then came time to install Mozy, revealing my gripe with them. I installed Mozy using the default settings on the same computer, that has the same machine name, on the same OS, with the files in the same location.  The files retained all of the same date-stamps as pre-backup.  I was hoping that Mozy would figure out “Oh, you’ve already got a similar backup already on our servers, would you like to scan that backup for changes?” Unfortunately not.

Mozy treated the backup as a brand new backup set, wiping out my current backed up files and attempting to upload all of my files again.  With all of the pictures and documents I have, we’re talking nearly 30 GB of bandwidth that’s going to flow through the pipes.  In the age of bandwidth-conscientious ISP’s, a 30 GB bandwidth increase isn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  At the same time, I’m wasting Mozy’s money in uploading 30GB of the same files that were already on there server.

This is obviously a lose/lose situation for the both of us.  For a backup company, I wish Mozy had a more graceful way of dealing with restored PC’s.  Now I’m going to be uploading data for the next 2 weeks.

Update: I have to give Mozy some credit. I started the large backup and it somehow failed, when I tried to re-start it, it somehow saw the rest of the files and took those into account.  Now I’m just uploading a few GB of data rather than the entire backup set.  I still wish that the Mozy interface would allow you to say “Hey, this is the same computer, use the previous backup set”.