Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
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.
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.
Armand is a photographer and he's constantly backing up his images and is afraid he's going to lose data. Leo says that it's a constant battle with photographers, which is why he recommends having a 3-2-1 backup strategy. Three backups, on two different forms of media, with one off site.
Jason has an old HP computer running Windows Vista, with no recovery disks. Leo says Jason could contact HP and ask them to send him recovery disks for a nominal fee. Or, Jason can go to Newegg and pick up an OEM version of Windows 7 and install it cleanly. Leo hates it that PC makers don't give recovery disks anymore.
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.
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.
Bill bought a Seagate 4TB hard drive and wants to do a mirrored backup with two different computers. Leo says to just make four folders and do the mirror into each folder. No need to partition, but he should just remember that he'll need to periodically back it up to make sure he's getting the new data.
Imaging options include:
Satvir is getting notifications from Windows to backup his hard drive, even though he uses a third party backup program. Leo says that's a setting in Windows Security Center. He should click on the house with the pennant in the tray, go into the settings and then turn it off.
Joe just got a new iMac and wants to know what external hard drive would be best use as a back up, USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt? Leo says that Thunderbolt drives are few and very expensive. He doesn't really need that. USB 3 is more than fast enough and very affordable. And they're formatted to be read on Mac and PC.