Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I back up text messages on my iPhone?

Terri from Costa Mesa, CA

Episode 1056

Terri has a ton of text messages over the last five years on her iPhone that she'd like to get onto her computer. Leo says that it's more than just texts, it's also images. First, Leo says she should backup her phone. Then get a program called iExplorer, by Macroplant. It will not only get her music, but also will allow her to export text messages to PDF, along with images. It'll also save voicemails.

How can I transfer my files from one PC to another?

Zach from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1056

Zach needs a new computer and wants to know how he can transfer all his music, videos, and images. He has thousands of pictures and a lot of duplicates. He also has a backup drive, but he's not sure it always backs up. Leo suggests just dragging the documents and settings folder over to the external drive. That will get everything.

Will restoring a hard drive include recovery partitions?

Lynella from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1052

Lynella brought her sister's laptop in to get fixed, but she didn't make a copy of the hard drive before she did. Leo says techs usually wipe the drive or replace it and then restore the OS from a backup recovery disc. But that may not include the restore partitions that originally came with it. If they claim they restore to manufacturer specs, then it should have the recovery partition. If they refuse to restore that for her, then Lynella may be able to get recovery discs from the laptop manufacturer. Recovery discs are better anyway because then she still has it if the drive dies.

How can I find out which drive in my RAID has failed?

Episode 1051

Ed from Los Angeles, CA

Ed has a custom built Windows 7 computer with 4 1TB hard drives in RAID 1+0 configuration. He rebooted it and now the operating system is missing. RAID 1+0 is striped and mirrored, meaning that if one dies, then he can swap it out, recover the data, and continue. He's using the RAID that's in the Asus motherboard BIOS. Can he recover the data without rebuilding the RAID? The key is to find out what drive has failed. There is a RAID tool which can help, but he can't get the computer to boot.

Why is my file sharing so slow?

Jim from Huntington Beach, CA

Episode 1049

Jim had a hard drive crash and now that he's restored his data, his file sharing is horribly slow. Leo says that could be due to a problem with the file sharing servers, but if they're working OK with other computers, it may be a bad restore. Leo says it could also be a security issue in Windows or even the router itself. Jim should try bypassing the router to see if it works better. If so, a reset of the router may fix the issue.