Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

Is there a computer that doesn't come with adware?

Lincoln from Palm Springs, CA

Episode 1438

Lincoln wants to know if there's a computer he can buy that doesn't come with any trialware? Leo says that most computer companies do this to offset the cost of manufacturing them. Even Microsoft will bundle trialware in the install. Leo advises uninstalling all that stuff from the very beginning. Leo says that Microsoft is edging towards putting advertising in the OS through popups, and that's a bad thing. So Lincoln should get rid of it all, and install only the programs he always uses, then create a stock Windows install by making an image copy that he can boot up to just in case.

How can I recover the data off my hard drive?

Episode 1432

Denise from Camarillo, CA
DiskWarrior

Denise's external hard drive can't be read by her Mac. How can she recover it? Leo says that there are disc recovery tools that could help Denise. One is called SpinRite, but it's a bit expensive and is difficult to use on a Mac. AlSoft's Disc Warrior is another good option, but it may not be the best option because it can only fix soft failures.

Does Time Machine work with the new APFS file system on my Mac?

Episode 1429

Eric from Bridgewater, MA
SuperDuper

Eric converted to High Sierra on his Mac and chose APFS on Time Machine. Now he's got trouble. Leo says that Apple cautioned not to do that. Can he at least downgrade? Leo says that the good news is there was no data lost, so he could format it to downgrade from APFS and then let it backup again. Eric should check out this article at macobserver on how to use Time Machine with APFS. He shouldn't convert to APFS if he has a Fusion drive just yet.

Why am I having problems booting into my Mac?

Episode 1429

Terry from Amarillo, TX
Apple iMac

Terry is having problems booting up his Mac unless it's in safe mode. Leo says that it sounds like there's a corrupted kernel that is clobbering everything. He recommends backing up his data, wiping the drive and then reinstalling the OS and programs. The Mac makes it easy to do, too. If he bought his programs in the Mac App Store, he can just install all the apps he owns. Terry shouldn't install anything he doesn't need. It's better to just install as he goes. It's also an indication that his hard drive may be going bad, so it may be time to get a new drive.

Can I make an image backup of my mobile phone?

Episode 1429

Bob from Philadelphia, PA
Helium Backup

Bob has a dual SIM mobile phone with T-Mobile and he's having trouble going from one number to the other. He couldn't receive calls. He's tried to go to T-Mobile and has also done the factory reset and now he can get calls. But he's lost all his data. Can he get it back? Leo says the safest way to protect his data is to backup his data to his Google account. He can do this by going to "Backup and Reset" in settings. Then he could automatically restore it. This would save his settings, apps, and contacts, but it won't save his music or photos.

What's the best way to transfer my data to a new Android phone?

Episode 1427

Chip from Corona Del Mar, CA
Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Chip has over 400 apps on his Android phone, along with hundreds of contacts. He wants to know the best method for transferring all of that data to a new phone. Leo says that first of all, both Samsung and Google will backup his data. His previous phone was an HTC, and his new phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note. Leo says even if the two phones aren't from the same company, Android will still prompt him to transfer some of the data through NFC by touching the phones together. Google syncs his settings, and on Samsung phones it's under "Cloud and Accounts" in Settings.

Why can't I update Windows 10?

Episode 1427

Kyle from San Pedro, CA
Windows 10 Creator's Update

Kyle is having trouble updating Windows 10 to the Spring Creator's Edition on his HP PC. HP has had problems with the Spring Creator's Update and Leo has a hunch the fall update will have similar issues. Leo says not to force the update. Microsoft will only offer the update when the machine is ready to receive it. It locks up after about 35%. Leo says to get it as a stand alone update and update it that way. He should download it directly as a file and install from a thumb drive. If that doesn't work, he can try the latest update from Microsoft with the media creation tool.

How can we quickly manage backups in the cloud?

Episode 1426

Jerry from Santa Monica, CA
DiskStation DS1817+

Jerry is a network admin for an print shop. Has a ton of data to manage. He backs up to a Drobo 8 drive NAS, but they're looking to go with a cloud solution. It would take months to backup to one, though. Is there a faster way to do it? Leo says that it takes so long because the upload speeds are always slower. It's better to send them an external drive that has all the backups on it. Carbonite is a good option. Amazon Glacier is another one.