Larry's sister had her hard drive fail. Her backup isn't responding and it seems like her hard drive may be "locked." Leo says that doesn't make sense at all. If she made an image of the drive, she should be able to blast it onto another drive pretty easily, and Acronis should handle it. And unless she was locking her drive before, there's no reason it would be locked now. So more likely, if the recovery failed, then it could have messed up her SSD because the installation didn't finish. Leo recommends getting a new copy of Windows and format and reinstall.
The caller wants to know if backing up data to DropBox is secure? He's worried that backup companies have access to his sensitive data. Leo says he can encrypt the data, and he alone has the keys to that. So if he loses it, he's out of luck. DropBox will accept secure encrypted data. If he's looking for a cloud-based encryption backup option, SpiderOak is an option, though it's a bit clunky. VeraCrypt is another.
Diane is worried that if she has to reinstall the Samsung music player on her Android phone, that she'll lose all 4000 of her songs. Leo says that Android is designed to have music in a single folder accessible by any music app. So she should just use a different app. Leo likes Doubletwist. Can she back it up to her laptop? Leo says DEFINITELY YES! Before she does anything else, she should plug in her phone and drag those songs over to a computer or a backup hard drive. It would also be a good idea to backup her phone to the cloud.
Tony has used up 4.9GB of his iCloud storage and he doesn't know how he's used all that. Leo says it's likely his phone backup. He can go to iCloud.com and login and see what's there. Chances are, if it isn't a phone backup, then it's likely all of his photos, which get automatically uploaded to the cloud. But he's wondering why it saves all his text messages and deleted email. Leo says he can probably change the mail settings to use less space. He should look in his email settings and choose things like "don't save attachments", etc.
Larry's computer died and he has to buy a new computer. How can he move data from his old computer to his new computer when the old computer is dead? Leo says to go to Newertech.com and pick up their Universal Drive Adapter. This will allow Larry to take the old drive out of the computer and connect it to his new computer. He can open it as a drive on his new computer and just copy the missing data over. But if the drive isn't functioning any longer, he could be out of luck.
Jim is having problems with Windows recognizing his external USB drive. But his image catalog says his images are there. Leo says that many photo gallery apps keep a thumbnail for fast referral. So it could have the thumbnail, but not see the original image, if the drive is disconnected or lost. Leo also says that his external drive could be getting flakey. He should get a backup drive and make a copy of his photos. He should save them online, too. Three copies, on two formats, with one off-site. The good news is that hard drives are cheap now. He can get a 1 TB drive for under $100.
Charles wants to know the best way to set up Time Machine on his Mac with macOS Mojave. Leo says that in the new OS, there is a new APFS file system, and there have been backup issues with Time Machine and others. He may need to use an external drive formatted with the old HFS file system. That will insure that if his internal drive dies, his backup is secure. Leo also recommends not using Time Machine as his primary backup system. He should make an image backup with SuperDuper.
Barbara would like to update to macOS High Sierra, but she thinks that she can't update it because she hasn't updated in a long time. Leo says you can. The way you can do it is to go to the last version your computer can handle directly. If that's macOS High Sierra, then just go to the app store download it and install. If you're getting notifications, then you're golden. It'll take awhile though.
Tim uses Time Machine for his backup, but the backup fails intermittently. His Synology NAS is citing improper credentials as the cause. Leo says that encryption certificates need to be renewed from time to time, and if he's encrypting his data on backup, that could be the issue.
There is a post on Synology forums about this: Time Machine, Making it Work. Learn from my Suffering. There are some steps that can help.
Paul had a Dell XPS computer, then he got an iMac running Boot Camp. He hasn't been backing up since December. He changed the file structure when he moved to the new computer, and now his backups are duplicates instead of a select backup folder. Leo says he can tell his operating system where his home folder is in the partition. Once he's done that, he can delete the duplicates.