Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
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.
Scott has a Samsung Galaxy S6 and he's deleted some text messages on Verizon and then tried to recover them, but they haven't showed up yet. Leo says that Verizon keeps copies of his text messages, so if anyone has them, they do.
Richard got bit by ransomware. He got an email from FedEx saying they couldn't deliver a package and then when he clicked a link, 10 minutes later he got a message saying all his files had been encrypted. They wanted Bitcoin or his data would be lost.
Adam's laptop hard drive became unreadable when a battery failure happened and he needs to get the pictures off it. Leo says that since the hard drive can still be accessed, he may be able to get them back with a recovery software utility. Piriform Recuva is the one that Leo recommends. The key thing, though, is to never write to the drive again until he manages to get the data he needs off of it.
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.
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.
Martinio can't see his external hard drive on his computer when he boots up. What software can he use to fix it? Leo says first he'll have to be able to see the drive to fix it. If he can't see it, then there's a hardware issue. It's a very expensive proposition to get the data off. DriveSavers will be able to do it, but it's very expensive.
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)
Gloria took her computer in to be fixed and they wiped her hard drive. Leo says that when working to diagnose a computer's problem, they have to get the computer to a so called "known state," and that usually means wiping the drive and then restoring it to a factory setting. That way they can separate software and hardware issues. So it's important to backup the hard drive, and even create an image that she could restore before sending it in. She could maybe use Piriform's Recuva to get her data back. It's free to try.
Adam is thinking of making an image of his hard drive using SuperDuper, then putting it on an external hard drive and boot from it on another computer. Leo says he can do it, but the problem is he'd be using the operating system from different hardware. It could actually work, though, so he can attempt it.