Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Ronald needs to back up his data, and is in the market for an external hard drive. First of all, Leo says he should look for a USB 3.0 drive instead of USB 2.0 because it's much faster.
Robert has two 300GB Western Digital raptor drives in a RAID 0 configuration (which Leo calls "scary RAID" because when if one drive dies, everything is lost). He's upgrading to Intel drives, but the software doesn't recognize the RAID. Leo says it should. RAID is something that's configured in BIOS. Leo says if it's not working, then don't use Intel's software, just do a simple copy of the data.
Paul is looking for software to allow him to backup each version of what he's working on. Leo says that's called "versioning." Windows 7 has versioning, called "Shadow Copy." He can enable it in his settings, inside System Properties Control Panel. He should look for a System Protection Tab, and enable Shadow Copy. It'll copy to a portion to the local hard drive that he can then backup.
There are several third party programs that can also accomplish this:
This is $55, but has a free trial.
Arthur had some pictures that he uploaded to his yahoo mail account. When he tried to download them, they say they aren't there! Leo says that using email as a backup isn't really the best of things. He should look into Carbonite.
(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor).
Leo advises making a copy of the data and then running the Mac Disc Utility to repair it. Drives can go into read only mode for a variety of reasons, but it can be repaired. If he wants to get a complete copy of the data off of it, then it's just easier at that point to format it (HFS+) and start over. It may also indicate a physical problem with the drive controller. Job one is to get that data off, though!
Melissa's son is trying to upload videos with her iMac, but she's having issues now with drive space. She has a 1TB hard drive backup and the iMac says there's too many items in the "startup disc." Leo says that's the internal drive, and it's full. Leo says Junior is not taking the videos off after uploading them. There are programs that would let her look at the drive graphically to see what can be removed. Anything over a 1GB in size should be moved over to the external drive and removed.
Paul has taken on the task of repairing his sister's computer, which has had registry errors. He tried reinstalling Windows, but may have messed it up.
Leo suggests backing up the data, wiping the entire drive and then reinstalling Windows. He should watch carefully during the install process, and at one point he'll have a chance to re-partition the drive. He'll want to delete all existing partitions so there's one C drive. Format it NTFS and install Windows on it.
Naomi has put a hard drive into her laptop and the laptop won't recognize it. Leo says that if the hard drive can't be seen in her laptop, or another computer, there's a very good chance it's dead. Naomi says the drive spins up, though. Leo says that's a good thing, maybe running SpinRite would fix it. But if the computer doesn't see it at all, SpinRite won't help. Time to take it to a pro, but there's a good chance it's just a dead drive.
Leo says he doesn't think so. It largely depends on the software, but most restore utilities will read the hard drive he's restoring to and avoid duplicates. It largely depends on the utility that was used.
Carbonite will back up all of his data, but Leo recommends encrypting those files before it backs up so they're protected.