Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Mark has a 1TB, 70,000 photo library and he's been backing it up to external hard drives. He's now looking for an online backup option where he can send in the drive and have it transferred over. Leo says that's the issue of online backup because it trickles data up to prevent his performance from dropping.
Justin is the kind of guy who keeps every digital thing with terabytes of photos, videos, music, documents, etc. What is the best option for his backups?
Juan is getting a strange data CRC error. Leo says that's likely a soft error, but it may also indicate a physical error on the hard drive itself. Soft errors are easy because he can always just format the hard drive and reinstall.
Leo recommends SpinRite, which can scan the hard drive, move the data, and mark bad sectors as unusable. Then, at least he'll buy some time for that hard drive. But Leo says that hard drives are so cheap, that once he gets the data off, he should just get a new one.
Richard's hard drive crashed, and unfortunately he doesn't have all of his data backed up. He had SuperDuper, but wasn't using it regularly. Leo says an SSD is different from a spinning drive. When it's dead, it's really dead. So the only thing he can do is get another and start over. It's not like he can run SpinRite and maybe fix it. An SSD is completely different.
Leo suggests paying for the scheduling feature of SuperDuper so he can schedule automatic and regular backups.
Joe used to take his hard drive backups to work with him. When he was laid off, however, they wouldn't let him bring home anything, so he lost his backups. So he advises keeping them somewhere else. Unless you own the company. Leo says that's a very good point since they usually escort you out of the building to make sure you don't take anything company owned. This is also a reason to encrypt backups, just in case. It's also a good idea to send backups to someone else so they are off-site as well.
Theresa dual boots her iMac with Parallels, and is wondering if she needs to have a backup of each operating system separately. Leo says she does not, if she's running the other operating system in Parallels. If she was using Boot Camp to run each operating system natively on her Mac, then she would need to have separate backups. When she runs Windows in Parallels, it's actually running within OS X. That means, when OS X backs up, so does her installation of Windows.
Scott would like to backup the 50GB of photos he has. He has an off site backup option, but he'd also like to backup to other computers. Leo recommends DPBestFlow.org and its 3-2-1 philosophy. Three copies, on two different mediums, one off site. Online backup would take forever to upload 50-GB of data, so Leo recommends using a local backup option on a centralized network attached storage. He can buy an NAS or build one yourself.
Louis has a new laptop and wants to know if he should partition the hard drive to make a separate drive for data and a separate drive for the OS. Leo says that's a good idea because if he needs to reinstall Windows, he can nuke the partition that has the OS without bothering the data drive at all. Fragmentation tends to happen more on data drives than the OS drive also. Fragmentation doesn't happen at all on an SSD drive, though.
Alan has over 100GB of music in his iTunes library. He's at the point where he's about to run out of space. Leo says first thing Alan should do is get iTunes Match. For $25 it'll let Alan upgrade his songs to the best possible quality. Once he's run iTunes Match, he should delete all the tracks that have successfully matched from his computer. Then, redownload the matched music.
Andrew's hard drive is starting to make a ton of noise. Leo says that's a sign that the hard drive is failing, and he needs to get the data off it and get a new hard drive. If the hard drive can't be read, Andrew has heard that he can freeze the hard drive and it'll make it run temporarily. Leo says it's a last resort and may just work, but he shouldn't be surprised if it doesn't. This is why it's so vital to backup.