Backup and Recovery

Why did the computer technician wipe my drive?

Episode 1355

Gloria from North Hollywood, CA
Recuva by Piriform

Gloria took her computer in to be fixed and they wiped her hard drive. Leo says that when working to diagnose a computer's problem, they have to get the computer to a so called "known state," and that usually means wiping the drive and then restoring it to a factory setting. That way they can separate software and hardware issues. So it's important to backup the hard drive, and even create an image that she could restore before sending it in. She could maybe use Piriform's Recuva to get her data back. It's free to try.

What are some alternatives to Seagate Lyve?

Episode 1353

Richard from Sonoma, CA
Seagate Lyve

Richard had Seagate Lyve, which would enable him to backup all of his photos to a Seagate hard drive or its Lyve unit. Then Seagate shut it down in December. Leo has moved to Synology and it works great. It even has a photo station program that does exactly the same thing as Seagate Lyve. There is even an Evernote server. It's not cheap, though. A good open source option is FreeNAS.

What's taking up the storage space on my iPad?

Episode 1353

Doug from Hollywood, CA
Apple iPad Pro

Doug is confused how iTunes works with backups. What is the "other" section of his iPad? Leo says that "other" in his iPad is cache files and other stuff that can't be deleted unless he does a restore. The trouble is that a lot of stuff gets saved there and it can build up over time. Leo recommends backing up his device, then erasing it and restoring it. It will then remove all those temp files. This is really the only way to do it.

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.

Why can't I get Time Machine to work in macOS Sierra?

Lance from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1343

Lance upgraded to macOS Sierra and now his Time Machine isn't working. Apple Care hasn't been able to solve the problem either. He's even reinstalled the OS and Time Machine. It just hangs about 2/3 of the way through the backup. Leo says that nobody really likes Time Machine, especially when it doesn't work. No one really knows how it works, either. If Apple can't figure it out, it's a lost cause.

How can I see what's taking up room on my hard drive?

Episode 1342

Joanne from Temecula, CA
WinDirStat

Joanne has a Windows machine and she's getting a message that her hard drive is getting full. Leo says that in Windows, she could see what's taking up space on her computer with the disk clean up utility. She can run disk clean up in Windows and it will wipe out temporary and downloaded files, clear caches, etc. There's also WinDirStat. Leo likes that because it sorts it with color so he can see it at a glance. Then he can choose what to remove.