Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Richard is trying to back up about 300GB of photographs and videos. He's using Dropbox and it's expensive. He's also tried Carbonite, but it takes too long. Leo says that's because his upload bandwidth is really slow. Amazon has a more affordable option called Glacier. It costs pennies per GB, but it's cheap because he won't have access to it immediately.
Joe's computer is slowing down and he'd like to buy HP's speed up program. Leo says that Joe needs to be sure he's getting it from HP and not a third party because it could be malware. Leo says even a utility from HP is just a way to sell him something he doesn't need. The best thing to do is just do an annual format and reinstall. It will refresh the drive and get rid of all the "cruft" or bit rot that builds up over time. So John should backup his data, format the hard drive, reinstall Windows, and update it completely.
Michael has a ton of IDX files of his images. Are they safe to delete? Leo says yes, generally. It'll make searching more of a challenge, but it won't endanger the images at all. Leo says that he imports all the images to Lightroom, then he'll sync to two external hard drives. Then he takes that second hard drive to work and swaps it out every other week. That way he always has an off-site backup.
To sync his files, he can use one of the following programs:
Eric has a RAID 5 server that has had two drives fail and he needs some data recovery services. Leo says he doesn't know if data recovery is even possible if more than one disc dies. If a large enough chunk of data was lost, there's just no way to get it back. But it will largely depend on how it failed. A controller could've gone bad, and that could be an easy fix and the data could still be there. This is why one backup isn't much of a backup.
Anthony wants to know if Carbonite and Time Machine backs up all user data or just his own? Leo says Time Machine will backup all user data, but he has to be logged in to his account to see it. Leo also thinks he can tell Carbonite to backup all seeable folders in the backup settings. So if he has admin privileges, he can do it. He'll want to go into his user folders to do it.
Jim's having trouble with PhotoStream on his Desktop. It works fine on his mobile devices, though. Leo wonders if Jim turned it off on his Desktop by mistake. This is not unusual for Apple to have problems with their online service. He recommends enabling it through iCloud. He should also turn it off and turn it on again on all devices.
Dan installed OS X Mavericks on his 2009 MacBook Pro and he says he's taken a "speed hit" with a lot of beach balls. Leo says it's best to try and do a clean install to eliminate any rogue fragments of the old OS. If that doesn't fix it, then it may be that the internal drive is starting to get a bit flakey, especially since Dan also booted from a backup external hard drive which worked fine. It may be time to get his data off and replace that hard drive.
Val wants to offload his data onto one large drive and "de-duplicate" his files. Leo says there are a number of programs that can do it, but it's something that makes him nervous because they have the potential to eliminate what it thinks is a duplicate when it isn't. A better way is to scan the contents with a redunancy check. Leo says that SyncToy is a good one.
Leo says he can keep the old drive anyway. Drives are cheap, so he could just use that as a backup.
Armand is a photographer and he's constantly backing up his images and is afraid he's going to lose data. Leo says that it's a constant battle with photographers, which is why he recommends having a 3-2-1 backup strategy. Three backups, on two different forms of media, with one off site.
Jason has an old HP computer running Windows Vista, with no recovery disks. Leo says Jason could contact HP and ask them to send him recovery disks for a nominal fee. Or, Jason can go to Newegg and pick up an OEM version of Windows 7 and install it cleanly. Leo hates it that PC makers don't give recovery disks anymore.