Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I restore Windows on my computer?

Episode 1424

Todd from San Diego, CA
Microsoft Windows 10

Todd has a Dell laptop running Windows 8. He recently upgraded to Windows 10 and now he's having issues with the laptop crashing and he can't restore it. It won't even do a factory reset. Dell also no longer has Windows 8 discs that he can restore the OS from. Rich says that getting a clean install of Windows is the most important thing. He recommends getting a Windows 10 disc, like downloading the media creation tool and using that from a friend's computer. Then install that. He could also buy Windows 8 on eBay. It's also best to format his hard drive first.

What is a good alternative to Apple Time Machine?

Episode 1417

Chris from Miami, FL
SuperDuper

Chris says that his Time Machine won't let him set when the backup happens. It just does it when it wants to. Are there any alternatives? Leo says that SuperDuper is a better option. It can not only back up his internal drive, but it can make his external drive bootable so that if his hard drive dies, he'll be back up and running within minutes or even seconds!

Can Carbonite backup movies?

Terry from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1416

Terry wants to backup his home movies with Carbonite. He did it manually the first time, but will Carbonite automatically do it after the first time? Leo says that he'll have to pay extra for that feature, and he'll have to be sure his photo and video file folder is selected. They do it this way because video takes a very long time to backup. It will hog his bandwidth for quite awhile, all the time. Terry will also want to be sure he has plenty of bandwidth.

Are there cameras using buttons and knobs these days?

Episode 1416

Dale from Santa Monica, CA
Fuji X-T2

Dale says that the Fuji X-T2 and he says that most adjustments can be made without the menu settings. They have dials and buttons like the old days. Leo says that seems to be the trend now, going back to physical dials to make changes while shooting, and you can even reassign and program buttons for your most often used settings. It's mostly in higher end cameras, though. Leo says that they look like the old retro style film cameras and he loves that.

What are my options for resetting my Windows 10 PC?

Episode 1415

Ray from LaGrange, GA
Windows 10 Start Menu

Ray got malware, so he backed up his computer and is wondering what his options are for resetting Windows 10. Leo says there are different levels of reset in the Windows 10 recovery menu. If he selects "Reset This PC," it will wipe out everything including his personal data and applications. If he chooses "Fresh Start," it will install a clean copy of the most recent version of Windows and uninstall any applications that didn't come with Windows, and will preserve his user data. This will probably get rid of most malware.

How can I reset my iPhone without losing my health data?

Keith from Phoenix, AZ

Episode 1411

Keith wants to restore his iPhone back to factory settings without losing his health data. Leo says there are layers of resetting in the iPhone, and it's hard to erase it entirely. But he's had issues with his Apple Watch and getting text messages and wants to try starting over. Leo says to go into settings and start with the lowest level of resetting. He should start with "Reset Network Settings." If that doesn't fix it, he can try the "Reset All Settings." Only the "Erase All Content and Settings" will delete his health data.

How can I organize my files and music?

Episode 1411

G. Scott from Minnesota
Media Monkey

G. Scott wants to organize his computer backups. He's got duplicates everywhere and multiple files and versions. Leo says he used to worry about organization, but he decided it doesn't matter. He can just let go of it. He'll have multiple copies and that's a good thing. What he really wants is a definitive copy (known as the ground truth) that is off site, and the rest will be extras.

Is redundancy in backup really important?

Phil from Aurora, CO

Episode 1409

Phil wants to know if redundancy in backup is really that important. Leo says that it's vital, and not only that, but he'll need off site backup as well. Is Carbonite necessary? Leo says it's valuable, but he could also just leave a second hard drive at work or at his mother's house and just swap them from time to time.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)

Will I be able to access my photo backups after I get a new Mac with Thunderbolt?

Episode 1407

Michelle from Northridge, CA
Thunderbolt Port

Michelle has been using USB to back up the photos on her Mac, but the new Macs have Thunderbolt now. Will she be able to still back up her photos? Leo says those new Thunderbolt ports can take USB using an adapter. So this isn't an issue. Leo says that thumb drives are notoriously unreliable, though. She might want to invest in an external hard drive instead. It's good that Michelle has three copies of her photos, but it's important that she gets one off-site. Leo suggests she take one of the copies to work.