Patience is a Virtue

As I continue to recover my data from offsite backup, I keep thinking of ways to make the latest instance of my laptop environment better. One idea is to duplicate the offsite backup locally. I'm an impatient person.

iDrive has an option to backup files locally. I'll do a couple of practice jobs to ensure that I set everything up properly. If all goes well, I can have local backups from which to restore...next time. Because, I'm impatient.

If you use iDrive, here's a tip: be patient. During a large restore, the desktop app will show progress. At some point, it seems to be daydreaming instead of telling you what file is being copied. You may think it's frozen but it's not. I made the mistake of cancelling a restore operation. Twice. (You know, impatient!)

Cancelling a restore leaves you with a quandary: you have a bunch of partially restored folders, with no idea what's missing. To get a clue, you start comparing the website's version of what it has to your list of folders. It won't be long until you discover that Uncle Nemo's Reno Vacation Pictures are missing. While that doesn't bother you, you won't feel reassured until that blasted operation runs completely.

So, you fire up the restore operation again and go to bed.

Next morning, the blasted thing still looks frozen! But, you're going to be patient this time. Sure enough, two hours later, the Success dialog box comes up.

When this exact scenario occurred on my laptop this morning, I made a note of the file counts:


[Start Time: 2/3/2021 2:41:43 AM]

[End Time: 2/3/2021 11:31:05 AM]

[Files considered for restore: 53104]

[Files already present in the restore location: 51184]

[Files restored now: 1920]


How sad! Had I just been a little more patient during the second restore, those 1,920 files would have had a chance do be restored. It's not often you get to see a bird's-eye view of the marathon runner who quits, just as she is about to crest the hill beyond which lies the finish line. 

Okay, that was a bit meta, but you know what I mean. At least this account will serve as a cautionary tale to impatient file restorers. The elapsed time was a shade under nine hours, most of which was spent not copying 51,184 files. If I had performed like that at my old job, I would have been fired.



In retrospect, I think the reason the progress appeared frozen is that it only tells you what is being restored. That "daydreaming silence" was most likely the time periods during which it was looking at files that were already on my laptop.

On might think it would be better to show a message like: [SKIPPING Uncle Nemo Outside Moe's Tattoos.jpg]

However, as a programmer, I know that is excessive communication, which slows down the entire process.




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