Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

Can I make a bootable image of my current installation of Mavericks on a USB key?

Episode 1114

Dennis from Montgomery, AL
USB key

Dennis installed the OS X Yosemite beta on a separate hard drive, which has been working great. Now he wants to make a bootable image of his current Mavericks installation to a USB key. Leo says OS X has a boot manager built in, so he can hold down the option key while booting up and choose which operating system he wants to start up in.

What's the best way to backup images to a DVD?

Episode 1113

Rick from Santa Barbara, CA
DVD

Sam has a ton of pictures and he wants to know how to back them up across multiple DVDs. Leo says that burn programs like Roxio DVD creator can do this automatically. It's great for doing them all at once.

Leo says a better and more affordable way to go is just to back them up on a 2TB hard drive or thumb drive. Then Rick won't have to worry about reburning them later.

How can I read the hard drive from an old iPod?

Episode 1111

Bruce from Bethlehem, PA
Apple iPod

Bruce has an 80GB iPod classic. The iPod died and he's pulled the drive out of it and put it in a drive adapter for minidrives. He plugged it into his USB port to try and get the music off it. Leo says that if he can see the drive, he should be able to get to it. But Bruce says that while it's in the drive manager, it says "no volume found."

How can I backup my blog?

Episode 1109

Louis from Peterborough, ON, Canada
Backup

Louis has a Wordpress blog and wants to know what the best option is for backing it up. Leo says that if his ISP or blog service doesn't offer a backup, then he's on his own. There are Wordpress plugins that do this and Leo uses them as a second line of defense. It essentially backs up the Blog database and customization. It would let him know by email when it backs up and when it fails.

Is it better to restore from a backup or a drive image?

Episode 1109

Larry from Mill Valley, CA
Hard drive

Larry's computer started to crash, and he had to do a complete restore. He's wondering if he should do an Acronis True Image restore or just reinstall all the programs. Leo says that there's a difference between a drive image and a restore. A drive image will create an exact snapshot of the computer from that point in time. Restoring that image will wipe out everything in the process and take him back to the moment he made that image. He can do a restore and it'll just restore the computer configuration with software, data and settings from the last time he set a restore point.

How can I do off site backup for my clients?

Episode 1107

JC from Mississippi

JC has been requiring his customers to do off site backup. But the problem is, they're all backing up to him and his network! That's getting a bit pricey. He's been thinking about using BitTorrent Sync. Leo says it's an interesting technology which allows data syncs across all bittorrent users. But it's a leap of faith because nobody knows how it really works.

What happened to my backup on Carbonite?

Gary from Camarillo, CA

Episode 1100

Gary backed up some data and the deleted the original. But now Carbonite has deleted them as well. Leo says it's not a smart thing to delete his original because that makes the backup the only copy! He needs to have at least two or three copies of a file for it to be properly backed up. With Carbonite's versioning software, if it sees he's deleted an original, after 30 days it'll just delete it assuming he didn't want it anymore. Always have at least 3 copies, from two formats, one off site. That's the best way to do it.

How can I get data off my dying hard drive?

Bob from Manhattan Beach, CA

Episode 1094

Bob has an iOmega portable hard drive that's starting to die and it's got all of his backups on it. He's trying to transfer the data, but his computer keeps losing the connection. Part of the problem could be that it's only drawing power from the USB port. It may not be getting enough power from the computer. So he should try a powered USB hub. He should also try another computer, like a desktop computer. If that works, then the laptop's power port, or the interface itself, is the issue.