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Crash Recovery

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I recently suffered a terrible HD crash on my coding laptop, which resulted in a loss of about 2 months of coding work. Needless to say, losing any amount of work that you are proud of certainly does suck. However, I've been able to collect a list of tasks that vanished as a result of this event and I should be back on track within a week or so.

There is something positive that came out of this crash, as I have been reminded of the importance of backup up my work. For a while I was doing pretty good, using a svn repository in addition to performing full archives of the code base with a zip file. That backup regiment has slowly tapered off, and lately I've been only zipping the code base without copying the zip up to a thumb drive or external.

In response, I've written the following script that I wanted to share that performs the backup for me. If you're really bad about backing up your work, you may want to do what I did: place the script directly on your external storage device and integrate it into the autorun. Directions on doing this are included in the scripts comments:

## file: backup.py
## author: Alex Wood
## date: 2008-06-04
## desc: Archives all files in each specified directory into a specific zip file.
## Place this script in the toplevel of a thumb drive or external harddrive
## to enable autobackup of directories, as described below.
## Copy and paste the following text into your autorun.inf text file:
## [autorun]
## open=launch.bat
## ACTION = Launch portable workspace
## Create launch.bat and add the following line:
## python backup.py

import os
import zipfile
import datetime

dirList = [
('C:\\foo', 'foo'), # directory, zip name
('C:\\bar', 'bar'), # directory, zip name

copyDest = os.getcwd()

numFiles = 0

for src in dirList:
currentPath = src[0]
# verify the source directory exists
if not os.path.isdir(currentPath):
print '%s not found' % currentPath

# zipfile name is the concatenation of the zip name (defined in dirList) and a timestamp
zipname = src[1]
zipfilename = "%s_%s.zip" % (zipname, datetime.datetime.now().strftime("%Y%m%d%H%M%S"))
file = zipfile.ZipFile(zipfilename , "w")
for (path, dirs, files) in os.walk(currentPath):
numFiles += len(files)
currentPath = path

for name in files:
print name
archiveName = str(os.path.join(path, name))
# the archive name must be relative to the root of the archive
# so strip off the C:\foo part of the path
archiveName = archiveName[len(src[0]):]
file.write(os.path.join(path, name), archiveName, zipfile.ZIP_DEFLATED)

print '%d files archived into %s' % (numFiles, zipfilename)

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