Mozy (aka how not to backup your files)

I posted a great review of Mozy 12 months ago. I even used the word "snazzy".

I just cancelled my account with them. I absolutely DO NOT recommend their backup service. (Please be warned, a rant follows.)


My MacBook Pro hard drive failed earlier this year and I needed to restore from my Mozy backup. After following their restore procedure, it became apparent that many, many GB of information were missing. 

I should have known this was coming, and hey to be fair it was beta, BUT they saw no problem in charging me full price during the beta period (I did request a refund, but was told I could "have an additional two months of their service").

Here are some fun email extracts from the saga:

26th June 2007

Sorry to be a pain, but is it normal that I've been waiting 24 hrs for an 8 byte doc to be made available for restore?

That puts a great fear in my heart of what would happen if I needed to restore 18GB….

2nd November 2007

I'm using the Mac client and am trying to restore my "documents" folder. The online archive suggests a file size of 700MB and 4,000 files. When I get the restore email, it is for 200MB and 700+ files.

I've tried twice now, and online it says its restoring less files but then the download is for far fewer files…

2nd February 2008

I haven't used mozy since the problems in november. I've downloaded RC1- it's has caused kernel panics, uses excessive memory (1GB) and has crashed on every attempted backup. I'm even running a fresh install of 10.5…

I really am a very unhappy customer having paid for this service- which was useless when it came to restoring my machine and your support was very sad too. I test lots of beta products and you really shouldn't be charging for this software.

Their answer:

"I always suggest that as the Mac client does work wonderfully for many users, myself included, but there are those times where it doesn't work so well.

I can extend your account by a couple months if you wish to continue using our service."

3rd Feb 2008 (This was after the crash!)

The problem isn't just with the mac client- it was server side. Of the 50+GB i had uploaded, when it came time to restore, only 30-odd GB was available. The restore files that I configured online and downloaded contained a fraction of the files they should have.

And here's the answer:

Good afternoon,

I took a look at the restore that only was able to recover 768 of 5937. It looks like a good chunk of those files are bundles or packages, which weren't supported until I'm not sure why the others weren't able to be recovered. When that happens, we can do whatever we need to do to get the files back.

Except that they DID NOTHING to get them back for me! 

And 768 out of 5937!? That's only 12% of the files I had backed up. I went back and did a double check and virtually zero files were packages (50GB were photos and music- the whole reason for using a backup service).

I've now complained so many times, that I am blue in the face. I have also told them that I'm blogging this.

Please, if you use a Mac and love your files, do not use Mozy.



  1. On the subject of file backup, sharing and storage …

    Online backup is becoming common these days. It is estimated that 70-75% of all PC’s will be connected to online backup services with in the next decade.

    Thousands of online backup companies exist, from one guy operating in his apartment to fortune 500 companies.

    Choosing the best online backup company will be very confusing and difficult. One website I find very helpful in making a decision to pick an online backup company is:

    This site lists more than 400 online backup companies in its directory and ranks the top 25 on a monthly basis.

  2. Sorry to hear about your pain Jason. I use Mozy to back up my Mac too (no need for a restore yet), but only as second-line backup. I use TimeMachine to an external hard drive as primary backup (fine so long as your house doesn’t burn down).

    Let us know if you find another good online backup service for Mac. I’ve been waiting for Carbon Copy to become available for Mac – heard good things about that one.

  3. Hi Jason, Shefaly has already provided the link to my story above.

    What did you do after complaining and writing about your story? Are you going to let Mozy get away with this? Thing is all other online companies may follow suit causing us web workers a nightmare? Do we not have any legal option?

  4. Jason,

    Do you still have the original disk? I may be able to help get your data back regardless of mozy. 🙂

    Also have a nifty idea around data recovery that could be VC-scale.


  5. Max, luckily I trust nothing and no one – having lost a hard drive many years ago. I had an external bootable copy of my HD in my drawer at the office (SuperDuper! to the rescue). Plus, I keep my most recently changed files on .mac via Backup. So in the end, disaster was averted (no thanks to Mozy).

    I now have a 1TB Time Capsule, two external drives that I rotate plus .mac backups…

  6. @ Poonam

    I can definitely empathize with you. There’s not a lot that can be done in these cases- I’m doing what you’ve done and what other’s will hopefully do- publish our sour experiences on the web, so that other people can find them, and make their own decisions before using these service providers.

    For me, I’m keeping my own data from now on (see comment above).

    Hope you got your files back.

  7. I use jungledisk and Amazon S3 on both MAC and PC – and thus far it works OK. The app has actually reached a very high level of maturity since I first started using it. It’s much more expensive though, unfortunately, because of S3.

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