Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
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.
Bill bought a Seagate 4TB hard drive and wants to do a mirrored backup with two different computers. Leo says to just make four folders and do the mirror into each folder. No need to partition, but he should just remember that he'll need to periodically back it up to make sure he's getting the new data.
Imaging options include:
Satvir is getting notifications from Windows to backup his hard drive, even though he uses a third party backup program. Leo says that's a setting in Windows Security Center. He should click on the house with the pennant in the tray, go into the settings and then turn it off.
Joe just got a new iMac and wants to know what external hard drive would be best use as a back up, USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt? Leo says that Thunderbolt drives are few and very expensive. He doesn't really need that. USB 3 is more than fast enough and very affordable. And they're formatted to be read on Mac and PC.
Tom bought an iMac and a GTech RAID drive, but he realized it runs RAID 0. Leo says RAID 0 means it has two discs linked for performance and speed. It's also known as "scary RAID" because it's twice as likely to fail. If he's using it just for basic backup, then it's fine. Drobo does a simulated RAID 5, but Leo isn't sure Tom needs all that.
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.
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.
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.
Chris uses Carbonite and wants to know if there's a better email program than Outlook. He also wants to know if that would make it better for backing up. Leo says that Outlook puts everything in one giant .pst file, but Mozilla Thunderbird breaks it out into individual files. Carbonite or any backup company just will backup whatever files he has, it won't care what program he's using. It's up to him to have it backup the right files. So as long as he backs up his Thunderbird Profile, he should be OK.
Ben has been following Leo's advice of 3-2-1 backup: Three backups, two different forms of media, and one off site. He uses IBM's Tivoli and backs up to an external hard drive, which he keeps in his car. He's been looking at Carbonite and CrashPlan's Code 42 as alternatives. Leo says it's interesting that Crashplan will let him send a hard drive to them and it's nice that it's free to use as well. Leo says that a lot of options are out there with similar services, including RSync and JungleDisk.