Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Brian's external hard drive started to make strange noises and he needs to replace it. Leo says that hard drives are commodities and they're really all the same. Seagate is good, as is Western Digital.
Argwin needs some long term archiving of his files. He's concerned that in 5-10 years, the medium that he stores his data on will be obsolete making that data unreadable. Zip drives are a perfect example. They still work, but they've become so outdated that they can't even connect to a computer anymore. Leo says that at the end of the day, hard copies of data will always work. The cloud is his friend here. It's relatively new though, and some services may not exist in 10 years. That's why Leo advises a shotgun approach.
Scott wants to know why the iPhone doesn't backup all of his Wi-Fi passwords when backing up. Apparently iTunes doesn't keep them. The Chatroom says that LastPass should be able to do it, and Leo agrees. The Premium version is only $12 and it's worth every penny.
Dom has 10 terabytes of movies and TV shows. Could he use Carbonite to back them up? Leo says that Carbonite backs up very slowly. 10TB would take years to upload, and Comcast would likely cut Dom off. It would be expensive to store all that in the cloud. That doesn't mean Dom shouldn't have an off site option. He can use several hard drives, back them up, and swap them out every week. Back up the drive, wrap it in bubble wrap, and then store it somewhere other than his house. Hard drives are really cheap.
John has an old Vista laptop he's going to put Ubuntu on. Before he does, he wants to backup all of his photos. What drive should he buy? Leo says he'll want an NTFS drive that also handles FAT32 for Mac and EXT3 for Linux. Everything can read FAT32, so he can just leave the format that way. Macs have trouble with NTFS. The downside of FAT32 is that none of his files can be larger than 2GB.
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.