Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Brennan has a 2012 MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion. He also has a 2010 Mac Pro. He uses both for audio engineering. He has everything set up, and he wants to know if he could clone the MacBook Pro and then put that onto his Mac Pro. Leo says he may be able to. He could try making a bootable drive from a USB key and then selecting that when booting up the Mac Pro to see if it works. OS X should be smart enough to install any missing drivers. Otherwise he can always run the OS X installer and reinstall the OS directly
Tom is having issues with backup. He's been using Acronis True Image and over time it starts to create errors. Leo says that imaging is great for creating a moment in time, so if something goes wrong, he could blast that image back on the hard drive and he'll be back up and running in minutes. But if it's versioning, and doing incremental backups, it can get corrupted. So it's a good idea to start fresh from time to time.
Jim has heard that physical media is dead and everything is going to the cloud. How does that affect a 3-2-1 backup strategy? Leo says that while it's right that data is moving to the cloud, it can be slow to get back. Having local backups in addition to a cloud backup is a good idea. So he should have an online hard drive, a near line hard drive backup, and then his off site cloud backup. Leo still recommends having a hard drive backup that he can get to.
Marti has an old mobile phone from 2010 and is looking to get a new phone, but she wants to be able to get her text messages backed up. How can she do that? Leo says Marti's biggest problem is the age of her phone. There are apps that could possibly do it, like BitPim, but they're buggy. She could forward the texts to herself, or email them to herself.
She could also check to see if she can save texts to her SIM card. If she has that, she could save a few at a time and then move them over. But without a USB connector, Marti's stuck with forwarding her texts and paying for it.
Neil bought the Apple Watch to go along with his new MacBook Pro. He likes that he can pay for his Starbucks coffee with it via Apple Pay. Leo says that while that's cool, it really doesn't save much time because he'd still have to respond to all the prompts about cash back, charge or debit, etc. He may as well pay cash.
Rick has several iMacs and wants to be able to work between them, but he's concerned with multiple logins and iCloud accounts. Leo says it's a mess that Apple has created because they don't know how to merge iCloud accounts. He can share it with family sharing, but then he can't keep his own data separately. The answer is to have an iCloud account that is associated with only his login. That makes the data isolated and safe.
Alan wants to know if he can backup his apps as well as his data with Carbonite. Leo says not really. Generally, the problem with trying to backup apps is the DLLs and other files that he can't fully get all of. It's better to just do an image backup of the entire hard drive. Use Carbonite to save his data, and image the hard drive to preserve the apps and how he has his computer set up.
George would like to know the best way to transfer his files from his old Windows XP computer to his Windows 7 system. Leo says that Microsoft has a files transfer program built into Windows that does a fairly good job. But this is a great opportunity for George to make a backup. He should go and buy a USB external hard drive, and backup everything in his Documents folder. The advantage to this is that he'll have a backup on a separate drive while transferring his files over to the computer.
Shane's internet is very slow since he's forced to dial in and connect via DSL. Leo says that DSL speeds depend on distance. He's frustrated because as a photographer, it takes him over a day to upload images and he can't do online backup because of the connection. Would external hard drives ideal for mirroring? Leo says that he'll have to do it that way, and it's best that way, especially if he sends the backed up images to another site. Leo recommends checking out dpbestflow.org by Peter Krogh.
Gene wants to know if there's a program like Super Duper for Windows. The great thing about Super Duper is that it makes a bootable backup and keeps it up to date. Here are some programs for Windows, although they may not completely duplicate the functionality of Super Duper on Mac: