imaging

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 image a hard drive to a large thumb drive?

Episode 1435

Mike from Norwich, CT
DriveImage XML

Mike has a 1 TB thumb drive that shows up as a 2 TB drive. Leo says it could have been mislabeled. He should look in his disk management console. He can get there by right clicking on the Start menu, and selecting disk management. It will give him a more accurate indication of the size. If it's 2TB, then it was mislabeled. Also, since Mike bought it off eBay, it's something to be careful with. Can he use it to copy another hard drive? Leo says sure. He should try DriveImage XML to do it.

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 backup for a home business?

Stuart from Beverly Hills, CA

Episode 1399

Stuart has a home business and wants to know the best backup option for him. Leo says that Windows 10 has backup software built in and it works well, but he's not thrilled with the backup being in a big blob of a file that he'd have to unfurl to see. Another option is to make a disc image that he can restore instantly. Imaging options include:

What is the best way to set up my new computer?

Episode 1398

Rob from Lake Forest, CA
Laptop hard drive

Erick is having issues with his Dell laptop batteries swelling and causing a bulge in his laptop. So Dell replaced not only the battery, but the entire laptop. Could it happen again? Leo says that all manufacturers have had issues with swelling batteries, but it's unlikely that it will happen again. If it does, it's in their interest to replace it because after swelling of a battery comes catching fire and explosions.

Can I backup my computer by creating an image?

Don from Montana

Episode 1347

Don wants to know if imaging is the way he should be backing up. Leo says that imaging is good for creating a version of his computer that is frozen in time, so he can just reload it. After that, he should be making incremental backups of his data. Leo advises three backups, on two different formats, with one off site. And if he has versioning, that's even better.

Can I make an image of my computer to wipe out malware?

David from Phoenix, AZ

Episode 1323

David wants to know how malware effects reinstalling apps. Leo says that once he strips off the malware, he'll have to reinstall his apps. The only way to be sure that he's eliminated the malware is to backup his data, wipe his drive and reinstall Windows. How about an image of the drive? As long as he has a clean image, he could use that. If his computer has malware when he makes the image, he'll just restore the malware. Leo would wipe the drive, reinstall everything, update it all, and then make an image.

Imaging options include:

How can I backup multiple computers to a single drive?

Cassie from Crystal River, FL

Episode 1295

Cassie would like to carry a backup with her wherever she goes, just in case. Leo says that portable hard drives and thumbdrives are dirt cheap these days, so she can not only do that, but she can put backups in several locations off site. Can she back up multiple computers to the same drive? Leo says perhaps, but recommends doing an image instead. She should image each drive and then save those images to the backup drive. That way she can restore each separate image as required.

Leo recommends Drive Snapshot.