Mozy – Good Support

It’s been a while since I mentioned Mozy, my chosen online backup service. The reason I haven’t mentioned it is that it’s been happily working away at protecting my stuff without any problems, so any report would have been a bit boring[1].

But all that changed recently. A month or so ago, I did some major manipulation of files – I converted all the RAW images in my photo library to the DNG format. That’s thousands of files, all around 8MB, all of which comes to a lot of data. I knew that Mozy would take a while to catch up with all that, so I didn’t worry when it didn’t seem to be making much progress.

Weeks passed, and I finally got round to looking at the logs. Mozy was failing to back up at all, which isn’t a good thing at all. Looking at the log file showed the interesting message:

Unhandled exception in backup: column filename is not unique

So, I emailed their support. On a Sunday. I wasn’t expecting to hear much, but I got a prompt reply telling me they were checking the “mainfest” – which is a list of files to back up which gets downloaded from their server. They told me to leave it a day or two then try again. Well, I did, but got the same error. So I emailed again. This time, they told me they’d found that the manifest had got out of step with the files on my Mac, and to try again after a day or two. I suspect the mass change of thousands of files in a short space of time must have got it a wee bit confused.

Anyway, I tried again tonight, and it’s working again. Woo hoo.

I mention this because Mozy just passed the most important test of a service. As anyone who works with any kind of complex system will know, things can and will go wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s a free service, a cheap one[2], or a business-class service costing thousands of pounds a year. Things will go wrong. The important bit is getting quality support and a prompt resolution of any problem you might have. I was impressed with the speed of the response, the fact that they immediately understood my problem and took action to sort it out.

For the price I’m paying, I’d have accepted a much slower response, and a lot more hassle to get it fixed. Mozy’s support exceeded my expectations, and I’m now even happier to recommend their service to anyone who wants an off-site, automatic backup. And remember, you can have up to 2GB of data backed up for no money at all – and that’s quite enough for a lot of people.

[1] Waits for chorus of readers shouting “that doesn’t normally stop you”
[2] For me, the unlimited backup at $5 a month is insanely cheap for the peace of mind it gives me

3 thoughts on “Mozy – Good Support

  1. Hans Jørgensen

    Hey Les
    I’m having what sounds like the exact same issue, and would like to determine if they’re taking the same course of action with me.

    Did they make any mention to you of ‘running your account through a cleaning utility’, or something to that effect?


  2. Les Post author

    What they said to me was:

    “We are running your manifest through a parser to search for errors.”

    and then

    “We have run your manifest through a parser and found that it had become out of sync with the files on your computer.”

    After that, my backups started to work again. It certainly sounds similar…

  3. Les Post author

    A bit of an update….

    A couple of months ago, Mozy started giving me a bit of bother. It got upset when I added a large volume of data to my main machine, after which it would run, do a bit of a backup then report a server-side error. After the usual restarts and even reboots[1], it still wasn’t happy, so I logged a support case. The response was a bit more “standard” this time – despite me supplying logs and full details of the actual issue, I was sent the standard list of troubleshooting steps. Now I wasn’t happy about that – I’ve done enough tech support myself to know that the first step is actually paying attention to the error report…

    It carried on for a while, but as soon as I upgraded to the beta of Mozy 1.6 (the Mac version is now happily 64 bit), not only did my backup start working, it worked better than before – faster, and doesn’t randomly stop.

    It’s still chugging away, and once again I’m happy with Mozy…

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