Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I backup using DropBox?

Episode 1386

Scott from Los Angeles, CA
Dropbox

Scott has been using Dropbox as a backup, but he's realized that Dropbox doesn't remove the files from his computer. Leo says that's because Dropbox syncs to the computer. He could delete the files, but sync will then delete them from Dropbox as well. Scott would have to backup to Dropbox and then remember to turn off the Sync feature. Then before he turns sync back on, he'd have to copy those files to another backup source, otherwise it'll sync deletions.

Did malware break my laptop?

Episode 1383

Janet from Santa Monica, CA
Apple MacBook Air

Janet has a 2014 MacBook Air and she's got malware. Leo says it's very rare to get malware on the mac, so it's unlikely. Janet is getting redirected to other sites. That's a browser hijack, not a virus. It's malware, but it's browser level malware. The laptop has also died as a result. Leo says that hardware can die, especially a laptop that's being carried around. A MacBook Air may be more prone because it's so thin. It could also just be a bad logic board or diode on it. It's not related to the malware/browser hijack issue, though. It doesn't work that way.

How can I get the data off a Zip disk?

Episode 1379

Debbie from Calabasas, CA
Zip Disk

Christine has some old photos she wants to get off of old Zip disks. What can she do? Leo says that she can get an adapter that will allow her to plug a Zip drive into her computer. Or she can get a service to do it. She'll need to be careful because old Zip drives can actually damage the disks themselves. That's why it's wiser to have it done professionally. It's not that expensive. Another option is to just rescan the originals.

How can I sync both my computers without losing data?

Episode 1378

Angelo from Rancho Cucamonga, CA
File Sync

Angelo bought a Toshiba Laptop with Office 365 and One Drive backup in 2013. When he started to back it up to the cloud, he bought a second computer and now he's lost a lot of data because files were removed when syncing to the secondary computer. So it's deleting files off his original computer. Microsoft doesn't know what to do about it. Leo says that's a good reason to have more than one backup. One Drive is not a backup. It's a file sync system that matches two folders, or two hard drives to make them equal. That means syncing deletes as well as copying files.

Will my old computer die eventually?

Episode 1377

Sak from East Point, FL
Acer Aspire One

Sak is using an old Acer computer as a backup drive for his data. Will there be a point where it will die? Leo says yes. It always will sooner or later with age. The older the computer is, the more likely it will fail. He really won't want to rely on a single backup source. He needs two, preferably three. He should grab an external hard drive and copy all that data onto it. Then bring that off site.

Will my new computer use my old hard drives?

Episode 1371

Dave from West Michigan
Synology DS216J NAS DiskStation on Amazon

Dave wants to know if his old RAID hard drives can be read by his computer. Leo says it depends. If mirrored, maybe. They're identical. But maybe not. He shouldn't make any assumptions. Dave should copy the data off it and then he can take each of them and put them in their own enclosed drives, or use a new array like Synology. Synology also does a disk check periodically to keep it healthy. When he puts them in, they'll check the hard drives as they are building the raid.