backup

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.

    What cloud backup service won't give up my data to the government?

    Robert from Escondido, CA

    Episode 1261

    Robert needs online storage or backup with privacy/security that won't surrender to the government. Leo says he'll want a "trust no one" system. SpiderOak is the one that Leo suggests. File Transporter is a cloud based solution, but it's localized to his drives and they just sync to one another. But the internet is always a risk. Plus, Leo says Robert should always encrypt his data before uploading it to the cloud.

    What's a good backup alternative to Apple's Time Machine?

    Mendota from Beverly Hills, CA

    Episode 1247

    Mendota wants an alternative to Time Machine for backing up his computer. Leo says he's not a fan of Time Machine. He recommends SuperDuper because it can be bootable. Time Machine is a dumbed down, simpler backup solution "for the rest of us." But that ease of use is more dangerous because it's too easy to assume you've backed everything up and can restore it.