Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

What's a good backup utility for the Mac?

Tom from Albuquerque, NM

Episode 1244

Tom recently upgraded to Windows 10 and he's really happy with it. Now he's turning his attention to his Mac. It started notifying him that he's losing disc space, but when he went to check the storage space on his computer, it has a huge folder labeled "Backup." Leo says it sounds like OS X is backing up his data to his local hard drive. Tom should just go into the System Preference pane and disable Time Machine. Leo recommends SuperDuper instead.

How can I wipe my hard drive before I donate my old computer?

Paul from Lake Forest, CA

Episode 1243

Paul has an old Windows 7 computer and he's thinking of donating it. How can he wipe the drive effectively? Leo says most places that you donate to will promise to wipe the drive for you, but it's always a good idea to do it yourself to be safe. Paul should grab an external hard drive, plug it in and then drag and drop his data directly. Once he's done, he should download DBAN (Derick's Boot and Nuke). It will wipe the drive to the standards of the Department of Defense. It's very secure.

What's the best network attached storage device?

Robert from Belgium

Episode 1243

Robert is looking for a good network attached storage solution to keep movies on. Leo says that NAS media server storage is a good idea, as is backup. Leo likes Synology. They have a huge range of products from 2 -10 drives. Gigabit Ethernet speed. Are they low energy? Leo isn't sure.

Another option is the NetGear ReadyNAS. But Leo likes Synology best.

How can I make recovery discs for my new laptop?

Raj from United Kingdom

Episode 1242

Raj wants to buy a new laptop but it doesn't come with recovery discs. Leo says that the software is now on a partition on the laptop and he can make his own set of recovery discs with optical media or even a USB key. If he wants to use a USB key, he'll need one that is 8GB or larger. Use the Windows Boot Media Tool to make a bootable key. Then he can slipstream in new updates as they come available. If he gets a bigger key, then he can create an image of his hard drive, including all of his apps and he can restore it when he needs to.

Why am I getting popups saying my computer is infected?

Lee from Escondido, CA

Episode 1233

Lee gets a popup that says his computer is infected and he can't get rid of it. Leo says it's a scam, and Lee should never call the 800 number that pops up. Lee went into the task manager to kill the popup, but it kills the browser as well. Leo says that Chrome should be catching the popups and stopping them. He's now getting a popup with a bluescreen. Leo says that's a clever ploy, but it's not an actual "blue screen of death." It's just a window.

Why does my image upload to Flickr fail?

Ben from Memphis, TN

Episode 1230

Ben is trying to upload his images to Flickr, but sometimes it just doesn't work. Leo says dragging and dropping isn't perfect and it may be better to use Flickr's Desktop uploader. But he shouldn't stop there. Leo suggests using Google Photos, which will give him unlimited storage. And if he's an Office 365 user, he'll get unlimited storage on Microsoft OneDrive for free.