Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Chris wants to know if he can have a running backup that will enable him to reboot should the hard drive crash and just pick up right where he left off. Leo says he can do it by setting up a RAID running RAID 1. He can also run SuperDuper which can create bootable backups, but it's Mac only.
Here are a few suggestions from the chatroom:
Brooke wants to know how she can restore a note that she accidentally deleted from her iPhone. She tried to restore it from her backup, but that deleted everything. Leo says the first thing is to turn off the phone so it doesn't backup. Hopefully it was backed up to iCloud, as it does normally. Chances are, however, that it's probably too late if she's restored from an old backup already. But if backup to iCloud was enabled, that's really her only hope.
Mark bought a new computer for his daughter but the Windows Transfer Wizard transfer app doesn't work. What can he do to get her data to the new computer? Leo says that the Windows transfer utility doesn't work all the time and when it does, it may not get everything. So he just recommends getting an external hard drive or thumb drive, copying the data over and then plugging it in and copying it to the new computer. She won't get the settings or favorites, but she can get her data.
Mark is having trouble getting SpinRite to run on his Windows 8.1 machine. Leo says that SpinRite is a great utility for evaluating the hard drive. But it can't be run from Windows, he'll have to run it from a USB key. If that's not going to work due to the format of the drive (Windows 8 uses GPT) then call Gibson Research tech support. They know a ton about how to get SpinRite working.
Fran updated to Windows 8.1 and now she has to always choose a boot loader. Leo says that could point to a stuck F12 key. But it could also point to a changed boot order in BIOS. She should change it back to boot Windows first. Leo also suspects that the motherboard battery is dying. It can easily be replaced by popping it out. If her date isn't correct, then she'll know for sure.
Mark has an iPhone 5 that is backed up to iTunes, but he gets different data on when it was backed up depending on his computer. Leo says that a backup from iTunes is done to the computer, so it makes sense that multiple computers would have different local backups. He can back up to the cloud but he'll only get 5GB of iCloud storage unless he pays for more. That's enabled in the settings. Leo also recommends encrypting his backups as well. That option is also in the settings.
Gil signed up with Carbonite and after his computer crashed he tried to restore his data but they didn't have any data for him since 2013. Leo says that even when using a backup, it's always a good idea to check and see it's working continually. Don't just trust that any software is automatically doing what it's supposed to all the time. This is also a good reason to have a 3-2-1 backup strategy. Three different copies, on two different media formats, with one off site. That way if something goes awry, he'd have a back up of the backup.
(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)
Dave has gotten a notice that he will be upgraded to Windows 10 on a certain date unless he cancels it. So he did. Leo says that Microsoft is really pushing for users to upgrade to Windows 10, whether they want it or not, and less savvy computer users may find they've been upgraded without their notice. It's pretty nefarious. Users do need to agree to the EULA to use it, but that's after Microsoft has installed it and if you don't want Windows 10, you'll have to uninstall it.
Omar's business got hit by ransomware the other day. His files were encrypted and the hackers demanded money to unlock it. Omar said they didn't pay it and now the data has been erased and their most recent backup is two weeks old. Leo says that their IT guy is terrible and has made little effort to protect them. They should have had a continuous backup with versioning. He also should train his employees to use proper online behavior so they aren't victims of it.
Abel has a friend who's 2007 Thinkpad has started acting up. The fan needed replacing, so he fixed it and now after rebooting, none of the passwords work. So he used some utilities from the Ultimate Boot CD to get into the administrator account. Leo says an administrator can take control of all the files and then back them up. He could also move the data to a new account that he creates. It looks like the desktop has changed its appearance and some files have disappeared.