Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Leo says that DropBox is a great option for students, which has 5GB free.
For pictures, Flickr has given users 1 TB of data for free. So that's a solid option to upload images. Or, she can just backup those images to an external hard drive and then take the hard drive off site.
She's also wondering what voice recorders would be best for school. Leo says Olympus makes some very inexpensive voice recorders.
Lee has an old Gateway computer and when he did the latest Windows update, it got stuck. Now it won't work at all. It keeps asking to insert the boot drive.
Leo says it sounds like the hard drive has failed. Lee should reformat the hard drive and upgrade to Windows 7. If the hard drive is dead, they're cheap. So he could get another one and upgrade to Windows 7. Can he boot from the CD? Leo says yes, but it'll be running the Windows installer. Then he can format the hard drive from there. The key is to start fresh.
Jason's friends and family turn to him for all their computer problems, but he had to install Windows 8 onto his new computer and he "broke it" by taking off all the bloatware. He used the Windows File Transfer Wizard and now it just reboots to the sign in screen, and then a blank screen.
Bob wants to know if Laplink is still around. He wants to move his Windows settings and programs from one computer to another. Leo says he has a hunch that Laplink isn't around anymore, but Microsoft has a connection and transfer utility called the "EZ Transfer Wizard" that does the job rather nicely.
Leo says that in general, when getting a new computer, he should go with the most recent OS. Some of his old programs may not work under Windows 8, though.
Bill wants to know if Windows backup is as good as options like TruImage. Leo says that they do two different things.
TruImage is just a snapshot of the hard drive that can be restored should something go wrong and he needs to get it back fast. Backing up is just making another copy of his data somewhere. Both have merit and both should be used, but one does not replace the other.
Here are some great backup programs:
Trevor has 3.5 TB of data, mostly videos, that he needs to backup. He currently backs up to his Drobo FS. Leo says that the Drobo is a good option, and it can hold a lot of data.
However, Trevor has been using Time Machine, and it just frequently fails. Leo says Time Machine is for beginners, and is not very robust. For a power user like Trevor, Leo recommends ChronoSync.
Barbara had a loved one who was in the hospital and she would use her computer to write his journal with Microsoft Works. Now all the data is gone and she's very upset. She was able to retrieve it up to 2011. Leo says there has to be multiple backups of the document and if she found one, there could be another. This is the reason why it's vital to backup. It may be gone forever, sadly.
Chris is having problems with iCloud and his contacts. Leo says he's not a fan of iCloud and prefers Google for that. It can be a bit painful to move to it, but once he does, he'll be better off. Leo advises backing up his contacts, and then exporting them as CSV or VCard format. Then he can import them into Google Contacts. He may end up with duplicates, however, so be ready to clear them and backup every step of the way. Once done, don't sync from multiple sources, just stick with Google.
George has a lot of audio recordings and photos on his iPhone, and it has run out of space. Leo says to backup the images with iTunes or back them up to iCloud. He can do the same with iTunes and the music.
George says his audio recordings don't show up in iTunes, however. Leo says if he looks under the "device" option for the iPhone, he should see it there. It's possible that because he records to a third party app, that he needs to go into the settings for that app to see if it will sync. He should at least be able to delete them in the app.