Mozy = No Support

About a year ago I signed up with Mozy, an off-site backup service.  For five bucks a month they back up your files on their servers, so you can restore them if you lose something.

The few times I’ve needed them it’s been a simple process.  I’d click “restore” on their software and it showed me all the files they had.  I’d pick the ones I wanted and get them back, a bit slowly, but it saved me a lot of time when I’d done something stupid, like overwrite a complex template.

This weekend I had a hard drive crash.  I bought a new hard drive and began the tedious process of rebuilding everything from scratch.

One of the first things I installed, of course, was the Mozy client.  But it doesn’t see my old files.  It just wants to back up new ones.  The only way I can get my old stuff is through a web interface.  I pick the files I want and it creates zip files of them which I can download.  It’s a tedious, clumsy, annoying and error prone process.

I have an external drive, but because of relying on Mozy hadn’t been very good with backing up to it.  The most recent stuff on it was about three months old.  I copied it back (using SyncBack, a very good, free program), but want to automatically replace more recent files sitting on Mozy’s servers.  I wrote to Mozy about my problem, and received a cut-and-paste reply from someone who obviously haddn’t read a word I had written.

I tried their online support chat, twice, but there was nobody there.  I gave it a half hour each time.  Evidently it’s just there as an adjunct to their “piss of the customer” program.

Yesterday I wrote their support again, with the subject “I’m Becoming An Extremely Unhappy Customer.”  I gave them a detailed account of what I needed to do, and what my problem was, and even included my home phone number to give them a chance to provide good customer service.  It’s now a day later and they haven’t bothered to respond.

I wonder if they use Google Alerts.  If they do, this might show up on their radar and spur them to action.

For now I’m grabbing my old files in bits and pieces and looking for a new backup service.  I’ve found dozens of them, with prices from the cheap to the ridiculous.  I’d really like to hear from you if you’ve had any experience, good or bad, with any of them.  Smartenize me.

10 Comment(s)

  1. I’m a developer at Mozy. Mozy comes with a Restore client that *can* see all your files backed up to the servers. You can use that instead of web restore if you’d like.

    And I found this through Twitter, not Google Alerts. ;-)

    Mark Suman | Aug 18, 2009 | Reply

  2. Wow.. I guess if you want Mozy support, you just tweet your problem to the Aether, and that immediately summons someone. Good to know….

    John | Aug 18, 2009 | Reply

  3. Mark, that’s the part that isn’t working for me. It worked fine before the crash, but it’s not working now. That’s the only problem, but it’s a *huge* one.

    Your support FAQs said during install there would be a “new computer” option, so I thought that might be the problem. I uninstalled and re-installed, but never got that option.

    If you can offer any suggestions here I’d appreciate it. Or, you can ask you support people to look for an e-mail from, READ it, and get back to me.

    Hittman | Aug 18, 2009 | Reply

  4. Dave,
    Following an AD on your site I checked out Amanda the free version of Zmanda Backup software.

    It claims it can back up to network/disk/tape/external drive or Amazon S3 storage service. Amazon storage charges based on activity and may be comparable to what you used before.

    Just A Thought.


    Brian Riley | Aug 18, 2009 | Reply

  5. I finally got an answer from Mozy, four days after my original request. To make the old files available from their client you’ve got to *right* click on their client icon and restore something. then the Restore option shows up as it should from then on. There wasn’t anything on their site explaining this.

    I have to choose if I want existing files to be overwritten or renamed. There is no “synchronize” option, which would ignore existing and newer files. I chose “rename” which means I’ll have the joy of going through and removing duplicates, a major PITA. But at least I got my question answered. And it only took four days!

    Hittman | Aug 19, 2009 | Reply

  6. The adventure continues. I’ve started restoring, and have deleted several hundred files that it duplicated. It’s been stuck for TWO HOURS with the messages “Finding File on Server,” and a bitrate of 0.0 BPS. There is, of cousre, no indication of *which* file it’s hung up on, so I expect to run into the problem again when I restart this.

    Man, do these guys suck.

    Hittman | Aug 19, 2009 | Reply

  7. I feel your pain, Dave. My 320GB SATA C drive started developing bad sectors recently (a month after the warranty was up), so I replaced it. I got a 750BG Caviar Black SATA. All good.

    But the Acer recovery software decided that it would rather use one of my old IDE drives for a C drive, and wiped it. I lost a bunch of stuff. And when I went to restore from CD/DVD, half of them were corrupt. Argh. I think I’m going to start copying all my files to my web server, and hope Hostgaor doesn’t eat them. I had a bunch up there anyway, so I got those back.

    Good luck getting your stuff straightened out.

    Heidi | Aug 21, 2009 | Reply

  8. It wasn’t a Samsug, was it? That’s what crapped out on me.

    I’ve got an external drive too, but had gotten lazy about backing up to it and it was two or three months out of date. (I won’t make that mistake again). That let me restore most of my files pretty quickly, and get the rest from Mozy. They’re so cheap now everyone should get one. It not only gives you two backup sources (the drive and online)but restoring from it takes minutes instead of days/weeks to get a lot of stuff back via online.

    I’m almost done – I’ve just got to retrieve some big video files I don’t care about all that much. I did loose a 1500 word chapter to the novel I’m working on, but the rest of my stuff is intact.

    The other annoyance is replacing all those little utilities, plugins, fonts, etc. that I’ve accumulated over time.

    Dave Hitt | Aug 23, 2009 | Reply

  9. I’d be happy to recommend JungleDisk, an Amazon S3 based, backup tool. It’s powerful, has lots of features, and seems to have good support.
    Although I haven’t had a major disaster since I started using JungelDisk about 3 years ago, I’m fairly confident my files can be got at. It can get a bit expensive if you have a lot of data, and it’s not the easiest tool to use – suitable only for intermediate-advanced users.

    I also have an external disk which I backup to using Microsoft’s SyncToy software. I think this offers a good balance between robustness and simplicity and is simple enough for all but the most non-techy. It’s free for windows although it is not offically supported by them, support is available on a “voluntary basis” via forums.

    Back-ups are a on-going battle. If you don’t keep on-top of it and routinely make sure all your essential data is being backed-up, and that you can get at it, it probably won’t be there when you need it.

    p.s. First time here. Like it!

    Micky | Sep 4, 2009 | Reply

  10. Believe it or not, it was a WD. I was not expecting it. But I should have been, since I bought the PC refurbished. Live and learn.

    I did manage to get a bunch of stuff back, but I still took a pretty bad hit.

    Ironically, the drive I lost used to be an external in an enclosure. I moved it internal to save desk space when I got the refurbished PC. D’oh.

    Heidi | Sep 5, 2009 | Reply

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