Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

What's the best personal cloud storage solution?

Episode 1142

Richard from Los Angeles, CA
File Transporter

Richard is looking to get a personal cloud device. He's wondering if he can store virtually anything in his computer in it. Leo says he could, but he wouldn't. There are a lot of options including one from Western Digital, PogoPlug, and File Transporter. The idea of having a personal cloud solution like this is that Richard would own the drive that all the data is stored on.

Should I be concerned about a warning message to backup?

Episode 1141

Tom from Riverside, CA
Hard drive

Tom is getting an error message on his Windows computer that his hard drive may be starting to die. Should be believe it? He just bought it. Leo says to always keep his hard drive backed up, but Leo says that over-relying on Windows can be a mistake. Most hard drives have a technology called SMART which can warn him of some errors. So yes, he should be concerned and always have a backup just in case.

How can I get my crashed hard drive back?

Episode 1141

William from Dallas, TX
Hard drive

William and his Dad built their own computer together. Leo says that's a great project to do together! But his hard drive crashed. He rebooted it and now he can't do anything with the OS. Leo says that it's best to wait. Don't reset because that'll cause the hard drive to spew data across the disk. That could cause the hard drive to become corrupt. Fortunately, William has a backup. So Leo recommends doing a deep, low level format and reinstall Windows. He could try running SpinRite, but that won't solve the corruption of the file system.

What can I do if my Carbonite backup is corrupted?

Episode 1141

Kyle from Louisville, KY
Cloud

Kyle uses Carbonite and he has been having corruption issues with his backup. When he tries to restore it, he can't because it's corrupted. Leo says that Carbonite has great support and they use "versioning," with their backups. They often have off site backups that he can't see. Leo recommends calling up Carbonite to ask them if they have his backups in deep storage.

That's a risk with backups of any kind. Hard drives can become corrupt. If he starts with a bad file, then there's really a tough road to hoe to get it back. But if anyone can, Carbonite can.

What's the difference between off site backup and syncing?

Episode 1138

Michelle from Thousand Oaks, Ca
Sync

Michele uses Carbonite and she's concerned about how long the backup lasts. Leo says that if she deletes the original on the local drive, the backup drive will be removed about three months later. But if she's syncing it, it'll delete it immediately. Generally, though, backups don't get deleted right away. That's the whole idea.

How do I get rid of malware on my computer?

Episode 1136

Linda from El Segundo, CA
Laptop

Linda has a Windows 7 machine that has been infected with malware. Leo says that ultimately, it's probably best to use the recovery discs that came with the computer. Most OEMs don't include original Windows install discs, but usually offer recovery discs. She could try cleaning the malware off, but usually malware invites more viruses, so it's the malware she doesn't know about that she should be concerned about.

How can I recover data from my hard drive?

Episode 1134

Rob from Huntington Beach, CA
Hard drive

Rob was using Adobe Premiere to edit his video, but he ran into problems when his external hard drive gets unplugged. Leo says that if a hard drive suddenly gets disconnected, OS X doesn't like it. Modern operating systems use a journaling setup that will save up a bunch of data before it writes to the hard drive. That's why OS X wants him to eject the drive first before disconnecting. When he disconnects while the hard drive is writing, then the hard drive writes a kind of 'word salad' to the hard drive that could corrupt it. He'll need some recovery software that can fix the file table.

How can I sync my NAS drive with Google Drive?

Episode 1134

Kevin from Ontario, Canada
Netgear Stora NAS

Kevin has a NetGear Stora NAS drive and it's not backing up the way he wants it to. He uses Google Drive and it's not syncing to it. Leo says that Google Drive is syncing to the local computer and not the NAS. If he sees the NAS mounted on his computer, then he should get the NAS and the local computer synced first. Since Kevin uses a Mac, Leo uses ChronoSync but Super Duper is good too.