Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Gil signed up with Carbonite and after his computer crashed he tried to restore his data but they didn't have any data for him since 2013. Leo says that even when using a backup, it's always a good idea to check and see it's working continually. Don't just trust that any software is automatically doing what it's supposed to all the time. This is also a good reason to have a 3-2-1 backup strategy. Three different copies, on two different media formats, with one off site. That way if something goes awry, he'd have a back up of the backup.
(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)
Dave has gotten a notice that he will be upgraded to Windows 10 on a certain date unless he cancels it. So he did. Leo says that Microsoft is really pushing for users to upgrade to Windows 10, whether they want it or not, and less savvy computer users may find they've been upgraded without their notice. It's pretty nefarious. Users do need to agree to the EULA to use it, but that's after Microsoft has installed it and if you don't want Windows 10, you'll have to uninstall it.
Omar's business got hit by ransomware the other day. His files were encrypted and the hackers demanded money to unlock it. Omar said they didn't pay it and now the data has been erased and their most recent backup is two weeks old. Leo says that their IT guy is terrible and has made little effort to protect them. They should have had a continuous backup with versioning. He also should train his employees to use proper online behavior so they aren't victims of it.
Abel has a friend who's 2007 Thinkpad has started acting up. The fan needed replacing, so he fixed it and now after rebooting, none of the passwords work. So he used some utilities from the Ultimate Boot CD to get into the administrator account. Leo says an administrator can take control of all the files and then back them up. He could also move the data to a new account that he creates. It looks like the desktop has changed its appearance and some files have disappeared.
Carolyn thinks she got attacked by a virus. MalwareBytes says there's over 174 viruses on her machine. Leo says there might not be. There may be malware on it, but sometimes Malware Bytes gives a false positive on cookies and calls them viruses. She'll also want to be sure that she got MalwareBytes from the >official MalwareBytes site. Carolyn really should just make a recovery, back up her data, wipe the drive, and then run the recovery utility. It's the only way to be sure that she's free of viruses.
Joseph has an old Mac and he has tons of videos, music, and other stuff on it. He's deleted a lot of it. But he still has over 172GB of files he can't find. How can he get rid of them? Leo says to download Disc Inventory X. It will show him what and where those files are and will help him get rid of them.
Alan set up his RAID backup and his drive failed. Then a second failed. And now he lost everything. Alan paid a drive backup company to rebuild his RAID and get the data and he got it all back. But it cost him $11,000 to do. OUCH. Lesson painfully learned.
Leo says that while a backup RAID is a good idea, it's only one link in the backup chain. You really need to adopt a 3-2-1 backup strategy, three backups, on two different media, one off site.
Dale uses a database program called Steel. It's being killed off and he can't get the data out of it. Leo says he'll have to be able to export it somehow in the 'save as' option. Dale says he can save it as a text file. He should look for 'comma separated values' or 'tab separated values.'
Dale should download TextWrangler from Bare Bones software. It has a setting called 'show invisible' and with luck, there will be structure to it that he can take advantage of and import it into a spreadsheet.
Robert needs online storage or backup with privacy/security that won't surrender to the government. Leo says he'll want a "trust no one" system. SpiderOak is the one that Leo suggests. File Transporter is a cloud based solution, but it's localized to his drives and they just sync to one another. But the internet is always a risk. Plus, Leo says Robert should always encrypt his data before uploading it to the cloud.
Matt dropped his laptop. Now he gets a blue screen of death and a 'hard drive damaged' message. How does he get his Windows 10 installation back if he installs a new hard drive? Leo says as long as Windows was authenticated, Windows 10 is tied to the computer. Once Matt installs a new hard drive on his computer, he can download the Microsoft Windows 10 ISO and then activate it. He should create a recovery media on a thumb drive as a safe backup. He should also check his laptop's firmware, as there may be a way to read the serial number if it's an HP.