Backing up last moment unf/m4v files
  • I am trying to figure out how to back up the latest possible m4v and image files so that if someone were to break in and steal, say, my computer, but not the external drive I am saving files to (which is hidden), I want to have a movie of who was breaking in at "the last second" or at least the last minute before my computer stop working (stolen). My current strategy is to save the m4v, non-.unf files, every 15 minutes. While SS is creating its next .unf file---but before it is converted to a .m4v file---I would have lost up to 15 minutes of the final files---and, most importantly, probably lost the files showing the intruder. Any solution to this? How can I save the very last moments on a hidden external drive (or ftp)? I could set the backups to every 1 minute I suppose, but that would create zillions of files. Is that the only solution? Or is motion trigger the best solution?
    Thanks, Tom
  • Hi Tom,

    What you are describing is a potential problem, because while the files are being recorded they are in this unfinished state, and if someone unplugs the Mac during this time, they may be unplayable.

    However, all the video data is still in the file, and the file can most likely be fixed by our movie fixer utility.

    Another strategy would be to use motion-detection, with a separate file per event. That way, the files are typically quite short, and you should get a few good files before the Mac is tampered with.
  • I do the per event strategy. I have been saving 2 of my 7 cameras directly to my fast Mac. But now I realize that might be a mistake if my Mac is stolen or damaged. The other 5 cameras I have been saving to SSDs in an external, hidden (more or less) 4-bay mini-drive enclosure (OWC). I should save all 7 cameras to this enclosure. Every 2 minutes I am backing up all of the enclosure files (all 7 cameras) to another very hidden NAS drive for extra protection. So the maximum information I should lose is 2 minutes worth. All 7 cameras also have internal SD cards recording 24/7, so that is an additional layer of protection.

    My backup software produces errors trying to back up the .unf files because, of course, they are constantly changing. I wonder if there is a solution to this since you mentioned the movie fixer utility, which could recover those .unf files if saved properly. (Currently I am not saving the .unf files.)
    Thanks, Tom Q
  • It sounds like you have a good strategy in place. The .unf files are indeed constantly being enlarged, but I'm not sure why this would cause errors in your backup software. What do the errors say? I'm not sure how to fix this, as it seems to be a limitation of the particular backup software you are using.
  • For the moment I have stop using the particular backup software, ChronoSync, which was showing errors trying to back up .unf files.
    Also, I tried the movie fixer utility to fix a .unf file, and it did not work. Any suggestions on the later?
    Thanks, Tom Q.
  • The backup/drive duplication applications I know are "SuperDuper!" and "Carbon Copy Cloner" - both of which work well in my experience. So you may want to have a look at those.

    As for the .unf file, could you please email us an example of one of these files, and we should be able to work out from this what is going wrong with the recovery. Please make sure the file is under 10 MB otherwise it won't be accepted by our mail server (if it's bigger, use WeTransfer).

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!