Friday, January 09, 2009

Coping when Backblaze is not recognising a newly restored machine

BsodImage via WikipediaI've bought a year supply of Backblaze for my two laptops. It is a little utility which runs in the background and carefully backs up my content to the cloud.

It proved really handy when a virus defeated Norton (now using AVG on that machine) and in the following battle against the virus the laptop was reduced to a blue screen of death whenever it tried to start up.

My first Backblaze full backup and completed just in time. I rebuilt the machine. However, when I re-installed Backblaze it didn't recognise the machine and treated it as a new one. I could still replace my lost data but I wanted to keep on using my paid-for-account.

Thankfully Brian Wilson, Backblaze's CTO, got in touch wi th me with an easy 4 step solution to this. I thought I'd share:

Here is the procedure for transferring a license from one machine to another. In your case, it is the same physical machine, but because you re-initialized the OS it's really a "second" machine to Backblaze. Let me know if this is not clear or if you need more information!

1) Immediately download a "restore ZIP" (or several, or a restore USB drive) with *ALL* the data you need to restore from your old PC. Make sure you can unpack this and that it is safe and sound in a *NEW* directory on your new PC (for example, put a folder on your desktop called "MyOldFiles" with all the restore in it).

2) Download and install a new Backblaze client from https://www.backblaze.com on the new computer. For now it will say "trial", but we'll fix that in a step below. In the installer use the "Sign In" feature and sign into your existing email address and password with the Backblaze installer.

NOTE: BEFORE CONTINUING, make absolutely sure you have done step #1 because the next step removes all your backup data from the Backblaze datacenter!!

3) Log into the https://www.backblaze.com website and go to the "Accounts" page (see the link on the far left of the page after you login). Now VERY CAREFULLY select your *OLD* computer from the popup menu and click "Delete Computer". WARNING: this deletes *ALL* your old backups!! (And as a side effect frees up the license associated with that old computer.)

4) Now go back to the "Overview" web page. Click on the "Use License" button that has now appeared next to the name of your *NEW* machine on the overview web page.

Done! The change will be reflected in your desktop client within a few hours, don't worry if it says "trial" for a little while longer. If you are impatient, try clicking on the "Already bought? Click here." blue link in the lower right of the control panel, that should sync with the Backblaze datacenter immediately and realize Backblaze is now licensed.

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