Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

Why does my data keep getting corrupted? (Part 1)

Willy from Chicago, IL

Episode 1037

Willy has several flash drives and portable hard drives that keep getting corrupted, and he wants to know how he can recover that data. Paying someone to recover it is expensive, so he should try using recovery software. It could also be that drives are just failing. Hard drives either fail early, or fail after about 3 years. The longer he keeps them, the more likely they are to fail.

How can I sync hard drives to my NAS?

Dwayne from Oxnard, CA

Episode 1036

Dwayne just bought a WD MyCloud external drive and wants to clone his PC drive. Leo says that it's USB capable, but the USB port is only for attaching other hard drives. Leo suggests connecting an Ethernet cable and moving the data over with that. He can use SyncToy to sync them. There's also Second Copy from Centered Systems. The Chatroom says that the MyCloud folder on the desktop does that automatically.

Will a virus survive formatting a hard drive?

Lorraine from Corona, CA

Episode 1034

Lorraine is wiping her hard drive and reinstalling, and is worried that if she doesn't partition her hard drive correctly, a virus could survive formatting. Leo says no, that was an urban legend that has since been debunked. There have been cases of viruses that could hide in the BIOS or in the memory of a video card or printer, but Leo's never seen it happen in real life. So there's no real worry.

How can I save the data on my crashed hard drive?

Hamit from Danburry, CT

Episode 1032

Hamit's Western Digital MyBook external hard drive crashed after his toddler got a hold of it. It makes a terrible noise now and he can't access it. Leo says the read head or disc arm has bent or broken. Sometimes it's possible to get a last use out of it by freezing the drive for a few hours. Wrap it in plastic wrap first. But that's a last ditch hail mary.

What app should I use to backup my unrooted Android phone? (Part 2)

Will from Springfield, IL

Episode 1030

Will also wants to know what backup app would be good for an Android phone that isn't rooted. Leo suggests Helium App Sync and Backup from Clockwork Mod. He can get it free from the Google Play store.

Scott had the same issue and it turned out to be the battery that was causing the issue. Swapping out batteries may solve it.

How can I stop Windows from telling me I'm not backing up? (Part 1)

Micheline from Studio City, CA

Episode 1030

Micheline keeps getting Microsoft's message saying that she's not backing up her hard drive, even though she has Carbonite. Leo says that's because Windows doesn't understand Carbonite, so she can go into the security settings of Windows by clicking on the flag in the system tray, and disable the warning.

Why is Super Duper giving me permissions errors?

Tony from Buffalo, NY

Episode 1029

Tony is having issues backing up with Super Duper with his iMac. He keeps getting permissions errors. Leo says that for some reason, some drives can become read only out of nowhere. So he will have to change it back. Tony says when he schedules a backup, even though it's locked, he gets the same error. Leo says the issue may be in the settings in Super Duper.

How can I recover my system after being infected with Malware?

Ellen from La Crescenta, CA

Episode 1027

Ellen's son is a gamer and he's run into an issue with Internet explorer. Leo says at 14, he probably went to somewhere he shouldn't have. Now she has to do a restore, but she has no restore points. Leo says that's a common thing that hackers will do. They erase all restore points to prevent you from doing just that. Leo says that if she has a backup on a separate hard drive, then she could restore from that. She tried and got a blank screen, though. Leo says that the bad guy could've gotten access to that hard drive as well, but he says it could also just be a failed restore.