Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I recover data from a damaged hard drive?

Roger from Monument, CO

Episode 1094

Roger was moving his laptop and it fell over. Leo says that if the laptop didn't fall from such a high height, it's unlikely that he physically damaged the hard drive. More likely, the data was spewn across the drive when it rapidly disconnected, leaving it unable to boot. But that could be fixed. If something jarred loose like the circuit board, then there could be hardware damage. Getting the data off it could be expensive -- it could be thousands of dollars.

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.