Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Louis has a Wordpress blog and wants to know what the best option is for backing it up. Leo says that if his ISP or blog service doesn't offer a backup, then he's on his own. There are Wordpress plugins that do this and Leo uses them as a second line of defense. It essentially backs up the Blog database and customization. It would let him know by email when it backs up and when it fails.
Larry's computer started to crash, and he had to do a complete restore. He's wondering if he should do an Acronis True Image restore or just reinstall all the programs. Leo says that there's a difference between a drive image and a restore. A drive image will create an exact snapshot of the computer from that point in time. Restoring that image will wipe out everything in the process and take him back to the moment he made that image. He can do a restore and it'll just restore the computer configuration with software, data and settings from the last time he set a restore point.
JC has been requiring his customers to do off site backup. But the problem is, they're all backing up to him and his network! That's getting a bit pricey. He's been thinking about using BitTorrent Sync. Leo says it's an interesting technology which allows data syncs across all bittorrent users. But it's a leap of faith because nobody knows how it really works.
Deborah wants to know how she can backup her messages from the iPhone so she can free up her memory. Leo says if she just wants a copy of the data, she can extract it to her computer, but she can't really respond from that. Here are some applications that can save her text messages to her computer:
Gary backed up some data and the deleted the original. But now Carbonite has deleted them as well. Leo says it's not a smart thing to delete his original because that makes the backup the only copy! He needs to have at least two or three copies of a file for it to be properly backed up. With Carbonite's versioning software, if it sees he's deleted an original, after 30 days it'll just delete it assuming he didn't want it anymore. Always have at least 3 copies, from two formats, one off site. That's the best way to do it.
Bob has an iOmega portable hard drive that's starting to die and it's got all of his backups on it. He's trying to transfer the data, but his computer keeps losing the connection. Part of the problem could be that it's only drawing power from the USB port. It may not be getting enough power from the computer. So he should try a powered USB hub. He should also try another computer, like a desktop computer. If that works, then the laptop's power port, or the interface itself, is the issue.
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.
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.
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.
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.