Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

Why Can't Time Machine Complete My Backup?

Time Machine

Episode 1604

Kevin from Bellflower, CA

Kevin just returned from an Alaska Cruise and downloaded all the photos and videos, but his Time Machine backup will not complete it due to insufficient free space. Leo says it sounds like his hard drive has run out of room. Even with 20GB of free space, Time Machine may be taking a snapshot of the drive locally, before backing it up. Choices: Free up space on the internal drive or buy a larger one. 

The chatroom says that if the external drive can't be seen, Time Machine will make the backup locally. So make sure it can see the external drive. 

Do I need more than one backup?

The DAM Book 3.0

Episode 1601

Phil from Arvada, Colorado

Phil has noticed that Carbonite's backup fees keep going up, and they seem to be more focused on business plans lately. Leo says that business is where the real money is, but Carbonite is still doing consumer backup plans. But if Phil has several cloud-based hard drives, does he really need it? Leo says that's only something Phil can answer. But if Phil is a photographer, he really needs to back up his data using a 3-2-1 backup strategy. Three backups, on two different forms of media, one off-site.

How can I clone a recovery partition?

Windows 10

Episode 1599

Glen from Las Vegas, NV

Glen has an old Toshiba laptop running Windows 10. Recently, he bought a new SSD drive for it, and when he cloned the old drive, it wouldn't clone the recovery partition. Leo says it may be available to it because it's considered a separate drive. Don't do it partition by partition: just clone the entire drive. But the recovery partition isn't a traditional partition, so that may be why. But you can always download Windows 10 Media Creation Tool and use that on a thumb drive as your recovery.

How can I backup photos from my mobile phone?

iPhone XS

Episode 1596

David from Riverside, CA

David takes a lot of pictures with his smartphone and he is having issues transferring his pictures to his computer. He plugs in the iPhone to his Windows PC and drags and drops. But it stops. Leo says that Windows is awful doing that. It's not fault tolerant and it can time out really easily. Microsoft has a command line option called ROBO COPY that'll handle it without error. But in the long run, that's a difficult way to do it. Leo recommends using Google Photos. And the photos are just as good.

How can I backup my music from my phone to my computer?

iPhone

Episode 1593

Clyde from San Diego, California

Clyde ripped all his CDs and has the music on his phone, but he doesn't have any backups anymore. How can he back them up from his phone? Leo says that if you backup your mobile phone, your phone backs it up. But Leo wants Clyde to also make a separate, accessible copy of the music from his phone. Connect your phone back to your computer and then let iTunes back it up and add those phones to the iTunes library.  Here's how. There's a third party program called Senuti that can also work. 

How Can I Connect My Backup System to My New Fiber Internet Connection?

Verizon

Episode 1592

Richard from Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Jake recently "cut the cable" in favor of fiber. He's getting 700 MBps up and down. Leo says WOW. Jake wants to be able to connect his router to it so he can back up his computer. Leo says he would have to put the Verizon router in bridge mode and it won't do it.  He will need to get another router that can handle that kind of speed. 

Can I get my data off a bad hard drive?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1589

Nolan from Los Angeles, CA

Nolan has a portable hard drive that can't be seen with his Mac anymore. How can he get the data off it? Leo says this is a perfect example of why you need more than one backup of your data. You can't back up your data onto a hard drive and then delete it from your computer and think you have a backup. You don't.  The best backup strategy is a 3-2-1 backup strategy. Three backups, on two different media, one off-site. That's the only way to be safe.