Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

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.

How can I get out of ransomeware?

Scott from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1368

Scott got bit by ransomware on all his work computers. Since the data is backed up, the course of action is to wipe the drives, reinstall the OS, and restore from the backup. Always keep yourself backed up and updated to prevent things like this from happening.

Here's what you can do to protect yourself:

1. Keep all software and OS updated on your machine.
2. Run as a limited user. NEVER an Admin.
3. Do not click on links from strangers. Do not accept unexpected attachments.

Is Carbonite good for backing up music?

Episode 1364

Vince from Spring Hill, FL
GarageBand

Vince wants to do digital music recording through GarageBand on his iMac. But he wants to know if he can do it with Carbonite backing up in the background. Leo says that music files can be quite big and if he doesn't have a lot of upstream bandwidth, it could take awhile to upload it. Carbonite will only use half his upload bandwidth, though. So there are some files that Carbonite is not ideal for.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)

How can I access my hard drive?

Episode 1364

Terri from Temecula, CA
Hard Drive

Terri's computer is crashing multiple times and trying to reboot. Leo says it could be a myriad of issues including a flakey hard drive. That's the most likely culprit. It could also be a bad memory chip that is corrupted and causing it to load and stall. Maybe the stick has worked its way lose.

The problem is, if she brings it in, it'll get wiped and sometimes they can make it worse. She can try and run a recovery with Windows. She can also download Windows 10, put it on a USB key, and then select "Repair" when she runs the recovery. Then backup her data immediately.

How can I recover data from a damaged hard drive?

Episode 1361

Adam from San Diego, CA
Laptop hard drive exposed

Adam's laptop hard drive became unreadable when a battery failure happened and he needs to get the pictures off it. Leo says that since the hard drive can still be accessed, he may be able to get them back with a recovery software utility. Piriform Recuva is the one that Leo recommends. The key thing, though, is to never write to the drive again until he manages to get the data he needs off of it.