Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

What's a good alternative to Drobo?

Episode 1541

Rick from Edmonton, Canada

Rick bought a Drobo 2, and it's a bit flakier than his Gen 1 Drobo. And if it gets jostled, it has to reboot and rebuild. He's concerned that it's a single point of failure and he'll lose his data. Leo says that Drobos are a RAID (called Beyond Raid) where if one drive fails, it rebuilds form the other drives. So it's not really a single point of failure. But if all the drives go bad, then you're in a world of hurt. That's why leo recommends more than one backup, which is off site. Leo also has a secondary NAS, which is Synology. He's a big fan of them.

Why are my browsers crashing?

Episode 1541

Steve from Redondo Beach, CA

Steve is having trouble with Google Chrome, and Microsoft EDGE. After about 2 minutes, both apps crash. Leo says that it could have malware infecting your computer browser. But more likely there's a render driver that both browsers use which is causing the crash when you visit certain websites. Leo recommends doing a thorough scan using Windows Defender, and also run the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool from the command line - Windows Key - type MRT. Leo also suspects that Java is broken.

How can I stop a blue screen of death in Windows 10?

Blue Screen of Death

Episode 1536

Simon from Yorktown, VA

Simon recently encountered the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. He suspected it may be his Chrome browser. Could it be? Leo says that modern versions of Windows don't really allow a program to call a BSOD these days. The operating system protects against it. But it could be a bad driver. Flakey hardware like a power supply or loose RAM can also cause it. But Chrome doesn't have system access to cause a BSOD. If he can replicate it, that could lead him toward the culprit. If it's crashing right away, that's usually a hardware issue.

How can I move my data from one SSD to another?

Crucial SSD

Episode 1536

Sean from Carlsbad, CA

Sean has four hard drives on his computer. He then removed all the bloatware by reinstalling Windows. But now he has a full SSD and wants to know how to migrate all his settings, bookmarks, temp files, etc. to a larger drive. How can he do that? Leo says it's nontrivial to do this. The key is to make a perfect copy of his home directory. The problem is his Windows Registry. He can't just move that over. Settings for programs and logins are stored there, and he will lose those.

My laptop was stolen, what do I do?

Episode 1531

Jeff from Costa Mesa, CA

Jeff is worried about whether his personal data has been compromised after his Mac was stolen. Apple says not to worry about it. Leo says that if he turned on FileVault, then he'll be OK. If he didn't, then they can hack into his Find My iMac account to find out where he lives. Leo recommends clearing out his FindMyiMac searches and block anyone who may have gotten into it. More likely, they just tried to sell it or pawned it. Apple may be able to remote wipe or brick it. But he shouldn't try and go get it. That would be dangerous. He should just turn over the data to the police.

How can I recover my Windows 10 password?

Windows 10

Episode 1521

John from Dana Point, CA

John has a Lenovo X5 and he put a special PIN code password into his computer. Now it won't accept the code because of the special characters he used. It also won't accept his fingerprint ID. Leo says that there should be an option to recover his account with his Microsoft ID. He should go to another computer and sign onto his Microsoft account to make sure it's working and valid. He can reset it with a new login, just in case. Then he should see if the recovery option appears.

Can I upgrade my iMac?

Apple iMac

Episode 1511

Carlin from Redondo Beach, CA

Carlin has an iMac that's about 6 years old and it's getting slower and slower. She brought it into a technician, who said it was too old to get parts for it. Leo says that's not really accurate. It's always best to take the iMac into the Apple Store when it needs repair or upgrading, and it can be upgraded.