backup

How should I back up my networked computers?

Lawrence from Palm Desert, CA

Episode 1292

Lawrence has an issue with backing up his four computers media files. Leo advises going with a network attached storage that all four computers can access and then back that up. Most NAS servers have software which will work with a variety of off site cloud backup services like Carbonite. So you can get an NAS Server and put it in your closet and have it set up to backup automatically. Synology is a great one that Leo likes. Also ReadyNAS. Or you can roll your own and create one using FreeNAS, an open source NAS utility.

Why does it take so long to backup with Carbonite?

Matt from Pasadena, CA

Episode 1287

Matt has a regular subscription to Carbonite with one computer, and a second account which includes his external drive. It hasn't backed up everything on his 2 TB hard drive after two months. Leo says that's not unusual. Upload speeds are a lot slower than downloads. It can't use the entire speed either, otherwise it would shut down everything else online. It gently backs up, and if he does the math, it would take many months to back up photos. Once it's done with that original backup, then it just backs up the changes. That's why Leo recommends not backing up everything, just data.

Is my data safe in the cloud?

Chris from Miami, FL

Episode 1284

Chris is worried about storing all his stuff in the cloud. If the cloud goes down, will he lose everything? Leo says that storing in the cloud is practical because we use multiple computers and as such, he'll need to have a central storage area for all of them to contribute to. But the downside is that if he loses access to the cloud, he'll lose access to the data. That's why having a local backup is so important.

What happened to the images and music on my hard drive?

AJ from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1281

AJ opened up a laptop he hadn't used in awhile and all of his music and pictures were corrupted. A popup actually said the disk couldn't be read, and must be formatted. He tried to recover it. Why did it become corrupt? Leo says that hard drives die, and that's why you need a 3-2-1 backup strategy. 3 copies, on two different formats, with one off site.

What's a good imaging program?

JC from Mississipi

Episode 1280

JC is a SysAdmin and he's looking for an imaging program that can help him manage 30 company computers. Leo says that there's great free imaging programs for that including:

  • Clonezilla
  • The advantage of this is that he can create a drive. Then he can simply plug in the drive, boot to it and then clone it to the main computer. And it doesn't have to deal with Windows. It just restores the sectors. It can even support Windows 95 and FAT 12 all the way up to Windows 10.

    Other options include:

    How can I restore a deleted note on my iPhone?

    Episode 1276

    Brooke from California
    Apple iPhone 6s

    Brooke wants to know how she can restore a note that she accidentally deleted from her iPhone. She tried to restore it from her backup, but that deleted everything. Leo says the first thing is to turn off the phone so it doesn't backup. Hopefully it was backed up to iCloud, as it does normally. Chances are, however, that it's probably too late if she's restored from an old backup already. But if backup to iCloud was enabled, that's really her only hope.

    Why do I have different backups of my phone on each computer?

    Mark from Lancaster, CA

    Episode 1274

    Mark has an iPhone 5 that is backed up to iTunes, but he gets different data on when it was backed up depending on his computer. Leo says that a backup from iTunes is done to the computer, so it makes sense that multiple computers would have different local backups. He can back up to the cloud but he'll only get 5GB of iCloud storage unless he pays for more. That's enabled in the settings. Leo also recommends encrypting his backups as well. That option is also in the settings.

    How can I get my data back?

    Abel from New York City

    Episode 1269

    Abel has a friend who's 2007 Thinkpad has started acting up. The fan needed replacing, so he fixed it and now after rebooting, none of the passwords work. So he used some utilities from the Ultimate Boot CD to get into the administrator account. Leo says an administrator can take control of all the files and then back them up. He could also move the data to a new account that he creates. It looks like the desktop has changed its appearance and some files have disappeared.

    Do I have to pay for iCloud?

    Michelline from Studio City, CA

    Episode 1263

    Michelline doesn't want to have a paid iCloud account. Leo says that she doesn't have to buy anything, but she does need an Apple account. That's mostly so that she can have iCloud and a way to track her phone in the event that it's stolen. She doesn't want to pay for iCloud, though. Leo says she'll get 5GB for free and that's good enough for most people unless she's backing up photos and videos. $2 a month gets her 200GB and that's plenty for photo backup. Leo also recommends using Google Photos.