Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
G. Scott wants to organize his computer backups. He's got duplicates everywhere and multiple files and versions. Leo says he used to worry about organization, but he decided it doesn't matter. He can just let go of it. He'll have multiple copies and that's a good thing. What he really wants is a definitive copy (known as the ground truth) that is off site, and the rest will be extras.
Phil wants to know if redundancy in backup is really that important. Leo says that it's vital, and not only that, but he'll need off site backup as well. Is Carbonite necessary? Leo says it's valuable, but he could also just leave a second hard drive at work or at his mother's house and just swap them from time to time.
(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)
Michelle has been using USB to back up the photos on her Mac, but the new Macs have Thunderbolt now. Will she be able to still back up her photos? Leo says those new Thunderbolt ports can take USB using an adapter. So this isn't an issue. Leo says that thumb drives are notoriously unreliable, though. She might want to invest in an external hard drive instead. It's good that Michelle has three copies of her photos, but it's important that she gets one off-site. Leo suggests she take one of the copies to work.
Brian is a wedding videographer and he's noticed that Time Machine hasn't been backing up his footage for about a year. Leo says that the first thing Brian should do is stop using Apple's Time Machine. It's terrible and everyone knows it. Leo says that Brian should rethink his strategy because he's a professional and It's even more important that he doesn't lose data. Leo advises reading Peter Krogh's DAM Book. He can also go to DPBestflow.org. He should look under resources.
Stuart has a home business and wants to know the best backup option for him. Leo says that Windows 10 has backup software built in and it works well, but he's not thrilled with the backup being in a big blob of a file that he'd have to unfurl to see. Another option is to make a disc image that he can restore instantly. Imaging options include:
Leo says that a bootable backup is a good idea and almost every hard drive comes with disk cloning software in order to make an exact copy of the hard drive he would have. It'll even be bootable. The Chatroom recommends NeoSmart's EasyBCD. Seagate has one called DiscWizard. It's a free download that will clone his Seagate hard drive.
Todd needs an app that will allow him to backup text messages from his girlfriend's old Windows phone. Leo says that there's an app in the Windows Phone Store called Transfer My Data that will allow her to export those messages to the SD card slot on the phone. There's also an app called Message Backup. Then she can import them to an Android phone using apps in the Google Play Store.
Ron wants to know how he can create an install disk for Windows 10 on a USB thumb drive. Leo says he can use the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to do it. He should choose the pro option. Ron should remember that Windows 10 is assigned to his computer now, so he will only be able to use it on that particular computer and not another. Windows 10 is linked to his specific rig.
Another option is to create an image of his hard drive. That's like a snapshot of what the hard drive looks like, and then he can restore it immediately and have it just the way he had it.
Mark has a bunch of 1TB hard drives and he wants to be able to categorize the contents on them. Leo says he'll want to be sure he indexes the contents and then he can create a master catalog that he can print out. The trick is to make them offline so he can index them that way.
Doug wants to know if there's a way to make recovery disks for his laptop. Leo says that most computers now come with a program that does just that and he can even put them on a USB key. But disk imaging is a great way to do this, and here's a few tools to do it: