Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I backup photos from my mobile phone?

iPhone XS

Episode 1596

David from Riverside, CA

David takes a lot of pictures with his smartphone and he is having issues transferring his pictures to his computer. He plugs in the iPhone to his Windows PC and drags and drops. But it stops. Leo says that Windows is awful doing that. It's not fault tolerant and it can time out really easily. Microsoft has a command line option called ROBO COPY that'll handle it without error. But in the long run, that's a difficult way to do it. Leo recommends using Google Photos. And the photos are just as good.

How can I backup my music from my phone to my computer?

iPhone

Episode 1593

Clyde from San Diego, California

Clyde ripped all his CDs and has the music on his phone, but he doesn't have any backups anymore. How can he back them up from his phone? Leo says that if you backup your mobile phone, your phone backs it up. But Leo wants Clyde to also make a separate, accessible copy of the music from his phone. Connect your phone back to your computer and then let iTunes back it up and add those phones to the iTunes library.  Here's how. There's a third party program called Senuti that can also work. 

How Can I Connect My Backup System to My New Fiber Internet Connection?

Verizon

Episode 1592

Richard from Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Jake recently "cut the cable" in favor of fiber. He's getting 700 MBps up and down. Leo says WOW. Jake wants to be able to connect his router to it so he can back up his computer. Leo says he would have to put the Verizon router in bridge mode and it won't do it.  He will need to get another router that can handle that kind of speed. 

Can I get my data off a bad hard drive?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1589

Nolan from Los Angeles, CA

Nolan has a portable hard drive that can't be seen with his Mac anymore. How can he get the data off it? Leo says this is a perfect example of why you need more than one backup of your data. You can't back up your data onto a hard drive and then delete it from your computer and think you have a backup. You don't.  The best backup strategy is a 3-2-1 backup strategy. Three backups, on two different media, one off-site. That's the only way to be safe.

How can I undelete my music files?

MP3's

Episode 1587

Kevin from Malibu, CA

Kevin has lost over 100GB of music off his laptop. He used torrents to send out his music. Now they've disappeared. The program he used must've deleted the files, thinking he was deleting the torrents when he was done. What can he do? Leo says it wouldn't be unusual for a client to delete seed files when you're done. But how can he get them back? The good news is that Kevin has an old backup, so he only needs the most recent files. When you delete a file, it isn't really deleted. It's just marked available for reuse.

Why can't I encrypt my backup before going to Carbonite?

Carbonite

Episode 1587

Bobby from Long Beach, CA

Bobby encrypted his backup, and he uploaded it to Carbonite. But he couldn't because it was encrypted. He used Mac's FileVault. Leo says that encrypting is a good idea, but after you've uploaded it, it's encrypted, so it's redundant, actually. The thinking is that if you encrypt it, and need one file, you'd have to download the entire backup in order to get it.  But Leo says that if you're logged in, then it's unencrypted through the Mac. Carbonite needs an unencrypted backup in order to do incremental backups. And in doing so, they keep your data encrypted on their end.  

Why Can't I Restore my Backup?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1585

Larry from San Francisco, CA

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.

How can I Back Up Recordings to Listen on my Phone?

DropBox

Episode 1582

Maria from Corona, CA

Maria wants to know how to back up her recordings on her computer, so she can see them on her phone. Rich says that Dropbox is probably the best option. She can drag it into a folder on her desktop and it will appear on the Dropbox app on her phone. She can also do it with Google Drive or iTunes. If she is fine with paying money, WALTR is a decent alternative.

Why Won't my Computer Wake Up?

Dell

Episode 1576

Vicky from Rialto, CA

Vicky put her computer to sleep and now it won't wake up. Leo says that's often called "the Big Sleep," and is a common Windows problem. It sounds like Vicky is experiencing "sudden death" of her hard drive. If she can put it into another computer through the external USB plug, and she can see the drive, that means it's not dead. If it can't see it, she will know it's dead. If it can see it, then she can try booting up from it. She'll probably have to change the boot order to do it, but there's a keyboard command for that after she sees the Dell Logo.

Is backing up to the cloud secure?

VeraCrypt

Episode 1569

Jose from Modesto, CA

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.