Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

What is a good solution for keeping my Office documents in the Cloud?

Todd from Sacramento, CA

Episode 1089

Todd has always backed up his documents to a flash drive, but since it has failed, he's starting think there has to be a smarter way to do it. He was thinking of putting them on Google Docs. Leo says it's a good solution that's free, but it can be limited. Leo likes Microsoft's Office 365 since it's cloud based, yet documents can still be stored locally.

How can I make recovery disks on my Lenovo laptop?

Win from Madison, WI

Episode 1088

Win bought a refurbished computer from Lenovo and it doesn't come with recovery discs. Leo says that he'll have to make them. But Lenovo says that he can't do that and that he has to buy them directly from Lenovo. Leo says that's odd. It's because Microsoft pushes hardware manufacturers to sell PCs without discs because they're afraid of piracy. If he Googles "create Lenovo recovery disc," and if he has ThinkVantage, he should be able to do this.

Can I get my photos back after partitioning my hard drive?

Episode 1088

Jerry from Los Angeles, CA
hard drive

Gary put Windows 7 on an old XP machine. Leo says it was designed to upgrade from XP, so that should be just fine. He tried to alter the partition and now he doesn't have access to his photos. Leo says ideally, Gary should've backed up the photos first to an external drive. But once he repartitioned the hard drive, all the data was erased. There are two kinds of portioning: destructive and non-destructive. It sounds like Gary used the Windows partition utility which is destructive, and the photos have been erased. That's why backing up is so crucial.

How can I sync to the cloud without having issues with duplicate files?

Steve from Calabassas, CA

Episode 1086

Steve has Google Drive but he doesn't think it's organized very well for backup. Leo says it's not ideal as a backup solution. It's more of a temporary repository. Steve is having problems syncing to it, because it just keeps creating multiple copies. Leo says he could turn on Versioning in Google Docs, so that may help.

How do I make a set of Windows restore discs for my computer?

Win from Madison, WI

Episode 1080

Win has a Lenovo computer and needs to make recovery discs. Leo says that there's probably a utility on it that will allow him to do it. Lenovo might also ship him a set for a nominal fee. What about doing it before he connects it to the internet so it won't be infected? Leo says it's unlikely, but that's good thinking.

How can I securely erase a file from my Mac?

Mike from Glendale, CA

Episode 1080

Mike has written a novel, but he has to send in his computer for repair and is worried that even if he deletes it, it'll be recoverable. How can he be sure? Leo says to first make sure he's made at least three copies of it so it's backed up. Then he can erase the computer by using Apple's built-in "secure erase" feature. He'll have to reboot the Mac and hold down Command and R keys, and then launch Disc Utility. There's a secure erase feature in there that will write over the drive several times and remove all the data. Nobody will be able to recover that.