backup

Will my new computer use my old hard drives?

Episode 1371

Dave from West Michigan
Synology DS216J NAS DiskStation on Amazon

Dave wants to know if his old RAID hard drives can be read by his computer. Leo says it depends. If mirrored, maybe. They're identical. But maybe not. He shouldn't make any assumptions. Dave should copy the data off it and then he can take each of them and put them in their own enclosed drives, or use a new array like Synology. Synology also does a disk check periodically to keep it healthy. When he puts them in, they'll check the hard drives as they are building the raid.

How can I backup my photos privately?

Episode 1371

Lisa from Channel Hills, CA
Google Photos

Lisa wants to know what the future holds for saving storage and media when it comes to her personal data like photos and videos. Leo says that optical and physical media has been weeding itself out for quite some time, even though we still have hard drives. The trend is heading towards the cloud. The benefit is that she doesn't have to worry about file formats. She could continue to use hard drives, as they are getting cheaper and denser, but it's on her to keep them updated with the latest.

Is Carbonite good for backing up music?

Episode 1364

Vince from Spring Hill, FL
GarageBand

Vince wants to do digital music recording through GarageBand on his iMac. But he wants to know if he can do it with Carbonite backing up in the background. Leo says that music files can be quite big and if he doesn't have a lot of upstream bandwidth, it could take awhile to upload it. Carbonite will only use half his upload bandwidth, though. So there are some files that Carbonite is not ideal for.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)

How can I access my hard drive?

Episode 1364

Terri from Temecula, CA
Hard Drive

Terri's computer is crashing multiple times and trying to reboot. Leo says it could be a myriad of issues including a flakey hard drive. That's the most likely culprit. It could also be a bad memory chip that is corrupted and causing it to load and stall. Maybe the stick has worked its way lose.

The problem is, if she brings it in, it'll get wiped and sometimes they can make it worse. She can try and run a recovery with Windows. She can also download Windows 10, put it on a USB key, and then select "Repair" when she runs the recovery. Then backup her data immediately.

Can I install an old hard drive into a new computer?

Episode 1360

Scott from Santa Monica Fwy, CA
Laptop Hard Drive Exposed

Scott wants to know if he can take the hard drive out of an old computer and then put it into a new one. Leo says yes, but he should only use it as a data drive. He could probably put it in an external USB enclosure so he can plug it in when he needs to. He could install it as a secondary hard drive as well. If he wants to use software from that hard drive, that's a lot more problematic due to registry issues. He may be able to dual boot from the older driver, but the device drivers won't work. So he'll have to work around that and use a boot manager.

What's the difference between online and offline backups?

Episode 1359

Tristen from Cincinnati, OH
USB Thumb Drives

Tristen wants to know how to backup his computer so that he has a copy locally. Leo says in the old days, we would divide backup into online, nearline, and offline backups. Online backup would be a hard drive connected to the computer that is synchronizing with data directories. So he'd have a copy on the computer and on the external drive. Nearline backup would be if the drive were put up on a shelf, and disconnected from the computer. Offline backup would be off in the cloud or at a different location entirely. It's best to use all three methods and keep multiple copies.

How can I restore my WhatsApp chats to the iPhone?

Episode 1359

Gordon from Los Angeles, CA
WhatsApp for iOS

Gordon has made the switch to the iPhone and wants to know how to get his old WhatsApp messages back on his iPhone. Leo says that it was smart that Gordon backed it up to Google Drive, but WhatsApp says it depends on the phone being used. Since you recover chats from iCloud, Leo has a hunch it's not cross platform. Apple is very strict on how users can access data within the iPhone platform, but it's usually app centric.

Since Gordon backed them up, he can at least access them from Google Drive.

Why can't I backup to Carbonite and DropBox?

Episode 1358

Marnie from Orange County, CA
DropBox Sync

Marnie is having issues backing up her folders with Carbonite. It says it can't back up because folders are being synced to DropBox. Leo says that's likely true, and that both are competing for the same files to back up. It may be that Carbonite has to wait until Dropbox syncs before it backs up. Leo says she can stop DropBox, uninstall it, and then reinstall it. That could make it much easier to work with.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)

How can I upload video while traveling?

Episode 1357

Ron from Rome, ITALY
SanDisk USB 3.0 flash drive

Ron is driving an RV around Europe. He wants to be able to upload all his 4K videos to the cloud. Leo says that he can upload them to YouTube or Vimeo. Both support 4K, but he won't have sufficient bandwidth to do that. Leo recommends saving them to an external drive and then shipping them home. Or he can just send thumbdrives, which he can get as large as 256GB now. Shipping them would be the most efficient way to back them up. Uploading, even at an internet cafe, would take forever.