Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I recover data from a failed RAID?

Eric from Corona, CA

Episode 1060

Eric has a RAID 5 server that has had two drives fail and he needs some data recovery services. Leo says he doesn't know if data recovery is even possible if more than one disc dies. If a large enough chunk of data was lost, there's just no way to get it back. But it will largely depend on how it failed. A controller could've gone bad, and that could be an easy fix and the data could still be there. This is why one backup isn't much of a backup.

Does Time Machine and Carbonite back up all users or just mine?

Anthony from Newbury, CT

Episode 1058

Anthony wants to know if Carbonite and Time Machine backs up all user data or just his own? Leo says Time Machine will backup all user data, but he has to be logged in to his account to see it. Leo also thinks he can tell Carbonite to backup all seeable folders in the backup settings. So if he has admin privileges, he can do it. He'll want to go into his user folders to do it.

Why is my Mac slower with OS X Mavericks?

Dan from Montclair, NJ

Episode 1058

Dan installed OS X Mavericks on his 2009 MacBook Pro and he says he's taken a "speed hit" with a lot of beach balls. Leo says it's best to try and do a clean install to eliminate any rogue fragments of the old OS. If that doesn't fix it, then it may be that the internal drive is starting to get a bit flakey, especially since Dan also booted from a backup external hard drive which worked fine. It may be time to get his data off and replace that hard drive.

How can I eliminate duplicates before I do a backup?

Val from Valencia, CA

Episode 1058

Val wants to offload his data onto one large drive and "de-duplicate" his files. Leo says there are a number of programs that can do it, but it's something that makes him nervous because they have the potential to eliminate what it thinks is a duplicate when it isn't. A better way is to scan the contents with a redunancy check. Leo says that SyncToy is a good one.

Leo says he can keep the old drive anyway. Drives are cheap, so he could just use that as a backup.

How can I back up text messages on my iPhone?

Terri from Costa Mesa, CA

Episode 1056

Terri has a ton of text messages over the last five years on her iPhone that she'd like to get onto her computer. Leo says that it's more than just texts, it's also images. First, Leo says she should backup her phone. Then get a program called iExplorer, by Macroplant. It will not only get her music, but also will allow her to export text messages to PDF, along with images. It'll also save voicemails.

How can I transfer my files from one PC to another?

Zach from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1056

Zach needs a new computer and wants to know how he can transfer all his music, videos, and images. He has thousands of pictures and a lot of duplicates. He also has a backup drive, but he's not sure it always backs up. Leo suggests just dragging the documents and settings folder over to the external drive. That will get everything.