Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Leslie has a very large iTunes music library, and she'd like to back it up. She wants to be sure not to lose it. Leo says that Leslie's best bet is iTunes Match. For $25 a year, her collection gets matched with copies that Apple has, and the ones that aren't matched are uploaded to Apple's servers. She can then stream them and download them again from there. Google has a similar service for free called Google Music.
Leo says that replacing the drive is an easy thing to do. Drives are getting cheaper and cheaper and Western Digital and Seagate are good alternatives. They have software which allows for a bit by bit copy of the old hard drive. Taylor will need a $30 USB adapter so he can access his internal drive after he puts the new one in.
Ron put an image of his hard drive on a thumb drive, and when he tried to restore that image, there was a corrupt file that wouldn't let him proceed. He had to restore from a backup he made 3 months prior to that one. Leo says this is why having a secondary backup for data is such a good idea.
There's no way to get the data or reset the password for TrueCrypt, which is one reason why it's so good and secure. If he can give up the data, then he should be able to format the hard drive. A low level, quick format won't wipe the drive. He'll have to do a full, deep format and partition it. Leo advises Derik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) to wipe it clean. If that doesn't work, then Leo says the password may be a hard drive or BIOS password, and that's another hassle altogether.
According to Leo, this is often the sign of a virus. Audie thought so too, and decided to format his hard drive and start over, but it won't format. Leo says that there must be flaws on the drive causing this, and they could be in the master boot record or another non destructible sector. He may be able to switch it out with a replacement drive - they're not that expensive. If it's not replaceable, then a recovery utility like SpinRite may be his only solution.
Phil's wife dropped her HTC Android phone into the water. They recovered the phone, but there are images on it that they'd like to get back.
Paul wants to get a RAID 5 NAS backup solution and wants to know what happens when a drive fails. Leo says the nice thing about RAID 5 is you can pop out a drive, put a replacement in and there’s no downtime or rebuild. What about Carbonite, will it work via RAID? Leo doesn’t think so. But JungleDisk can do it via their plugin. Crashplan also supports NAS’s. QNap. But make sure your NAS doesn’t have a utility for that.
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Vac is having trouble installing an OS on his hard drive. Leo says that the drive may have some bad sectors that are preventing the OS from installing. There is a utility that can map out bad sectors so the installer will skip over them, it’s called SpinRite. But it costs more than a new hard drive! So while the cure is out there, it’s really cheaper to just replace the drive and start over.
Don has an HP computer with an APS backup power supply. They had a power outage and now the computer is frozen. He tries to restart and nothing happens. Leo says that most APC surge protectors have insurance attached to them, and the computer is obviously damaged. Good news that the power supply still works, but there’s likely damage to the hard drive and the motherboard. So Leo recommends getting in touch with the manufacturer and letting them know the APS didn’t do it’s job.
Patrick recently bought a MacBook Air with an SSD drive to replace his laptop. But now he wants to replace his desktop and connect to his 21″ display. He also wants to connect to a thunderbolt drive. But Carbonite will not do backups from external drives. Leo says to avoid the Thunderbolt drives because capacities are low and prices are high. And the drive doesn’t even come with cables (which are $50 from Apple). And for a data drive, they don’t need to be that fast. Leo also says that Carbonite will be adding external drives to backup soon.