backing up

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 sync both my computers without losing data?

Episode 1378

Angelo from Rancho Cucamonga, CA
File Sync

Angelo bought a Toshiba Laptop with Office 365 and One Drive backup in 2013. When he started to back it up to the cloud, he bought a second computer and now he's lost a lot of data because files were removed when syncing to the secondary computer. So it's deleting files off his original computer. Microsoft doesn't know what to do about it. Leo says that's a good reason to have more than one backup. One Drive is not a backup. It's a file sync system that matches two folders, or two hard drives to make them equal. That means syncing deletes as well as copying files.

What happened to my photos after upgrading to Windows 10?

Episode 1333

John from West Los Angeles, CA
Microsoft Windows 10

John upgraded to Windows 10 on his desktop and his images are missing. Leo says this is a prime reason why you should always backup before doing an upgrade. John did, but he's still wondering what happened? Leo says it's been reported by several people and Leo says he hopes the photos were moved to another folder. It's possible that the images are in a 'Windows.old' folder or that the shared folder pointed to another folder that got deleted. Either way, it's bad behavior on the part of microsoft.

Does Windows control my RAID?

Dave from Crystal Lake, IL

Episode 1271

Dave has gotten a notice that he will be upgraded to Windows 10 on a certain date unless he cancels it. So he did. Leo says that Microsoft is really pushing for users to upgrade to Windows 10, whether they want it or not, and less savvy computer users may find they've been upgraded without their notice. It's pretty nefarious. Users do need to agree to the EULA to use it, but that's after Microsoft has installed it and if you don't want Windows 10, you'll have to uninstall it.

How can I backup my Steel database?

Dale from Santa Monica, CA

Episode 1263

Dale uses a database program called Steel. It's being killed off and he can't get the data out of it. Leo says he'll have to be able to export it somehow in the 'save as' option. Dale says he can save it as a text file. He should look for 'comma separated values' or 'tab separated values.'

Dale should download TextWrangler from Bare Bones software. It has a setting called 'show invisible' and with luck, there will be structure to it that he can take advantage of and import it into a spreadsheet.

Why aren't I getting my text messages?

Anna from Sherman Oaks, CA

Episode 1259

Anna has a mobile phone and she's having issues with missing text messages. She's been told a reset will help. Leo says it could and it's not all that bad to do once in awhile. She should just make sure she's backed up all of her images, videos, and music before she does. Apps will just reinstall.

Anna should go into settings, and look for "Backup and Reset." This will backup her settings and apps. Then she can do a factory reset once she logs back into Google. It'll install everything and she'll be back up and running.

Why did my laptop freeze while upgrading to Windows 10?

Episode 1249

Larry from Petaluma, CA
Windows 10

Larry started upgrading to Windows 10 and it's been frozen for over an hour at 61%. Should he restart it? Leo says that's the worst possible situation as it's definitely frozen. Leo says that OS upgrades will work most of the time, but if it fails 1% of the time, with 111 million upgrades, that's over a million issues. There could be some background processes causing the freeze. But if it's stuck, he's not going to be in worse shape if he turns it off and starts over, especially if he has a backup. It's probably in the process of copying the file and the install hasn't started.