IdeaFarm (tm) Bundle for Microsoft Windows
Key benefit: Prevent loss of archived data due to bit corruption, ransomware, and natural disasters.
Approach: Make it easy to keep up-to-date, verified exact copies, including copies that you store in other secured locations.
What you do: Connect multiple volumes (e.g. external HDD or SSD devices) to a computer, with each volume containing a copy of all of your archives in a folder with a particuar name. Install and run IdeaFarm (tm) Bundle, which includes the IdeaFarm (tm) Archive Healer feature.
What will happen: All copies of each file will be compared. If some copies differ from others, an "authoritative" copy will be selected by applying simple rules, and all copies that don't match will be replaced. This is done safely. No copy is ever deleted. Copies that are rejected are moved out of the archive, into another folder on the same device.
Limitations: The number of archives, number of files in each archive, and size of each file are limited only by available device space. (There must be enough free space to store sorted lists of file names.) The number of volumes that can be healed is limited only by the availability of device letters between 'a' and 'v'. (Device letters 'w'-'z' are reserved.) If Windows sees devices for which no media is present, you must either insert media or use Computer Management to reassign a device letter within 'w'-'z' to that device. On each volume, each archive must be a folder (with any name) within a folder with the name "X:\ideafarm.archives", where X is the Windows device letter. Each archive folder must contain "year folders" with names such as "2023". Each year folder must contain only files; any folders will be ignored. When a new file is added, or an existing file is updated, the addition or replacement must be done in at least two volumes and, for replacement, the "time modified" must be at least 15 minutes newer.
Ease of use: There is no user interface (windows) and nothing to configure. IdeaFarm (tm) Bundle installs as a Windows service that will start automatically and invisibly "in the background" whenever you start your computer. Healing progress is "displayed" by using Windows File Explorer to view the contents of a particular folder. More detailed healing progress information is "traced" within one of IdeaFarm (tm) Bundle's human-readable "trace files", which can be viewed (after copying) using Notepad or any other plain text editor.
Quality: As of this writing (January 27, 2023), this is new software that has passed "in-house" testing but has not yet been tested by any "alpha user". Use at your own risk. An email contact address is provided for support. Healing appears to work aok and produce the correct results, based upon in-house testing, using a 2 TB, 3/4 million file archive healed over seven external HDD volumes, using a laptop. For best results, be sure that your devices receive adequate power and have no bad sectors or file system errors before trying to heal them. (You can use the chkdsk command at a command prompt to verify this for each of your devices.)
Price: IdeaFarm (tm) Bundle is a proprietary product offered as "barterware". Anyone may install and use it anonymously; no registration or payment is required. Permission to use this product is conditioned on your acceptance of the User License, including "payment" in the form of computational resources of your computer that will be made available to a global system.
You can use IdeaFarm (tm) Archive Healer to "heal" any kind of digital archive, including:
Instructions for installing and using: To install IdeaFarm (tm) Bundle, click: https://github.com/ideafarm/ipdos
IdeaFarm (tm) Bundle is a product of IdeaFarm (tm) City. For more information on IdeaFarm (tm) City, click "about" above.