Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I wipe my hard drive before I donate my old computer?

Paul from Lake Forest, CA

Episode 1243

Paul has an old Windows 7 computer and he's thinking of donating it. How can he wipe the drive effectively? Leo says most places that you donate to will promise to wipe the drive for you, but it's always a good idea to do it yourself to be safe. Paul should grab an external hard drive, plug it in and then drag and drop his data directly. Once he's done, he should download DBAN (Derick's Boot and Nuke). It will wipe the drive to the standards of the Department of Defense. It's very secure.

What's the best network attached storage device?

Robert from Belgium

Episode 1243

Robert is looking for a good network attached storage solution to keep movies on. Leo says that NAS media server storage is a good idea, as is backup. Leo likes Synology. They have a huge range of products from 2 -10 drives. Gigabit Ethernet speed. Are they low energy? Leo isn't sure.

Another option is the NetGear ReadyNAS. But Leo likes Synology best.

How can I make recovery discs for my new laptop?

Raj from United Kingdom

Episode 1242

Raj wants to buy a new laptop but it doesn't come with recovery discs. Leo says that the software is now on a partition on the laptop and he can make his own set of recovery discs with optical media or even a USB key. If he wants to use a USB key, he'll need one that is 8GB or larger. Use the Windows Boot Media Tool to make a bootable key. Then he can slipstream in new updates as they come available. If he gets a bigger key, then he can create an image of his hard drive, including all of his apps and he can restore it when he needs to.

Why am I getting popups saying my computer is infected?

Lee from Escondido, CA

Episode 1233

Lee gets a popup that says his computer is infected and he can't get rid of it. Leo says it's a scam, and Lee should never call the 800 number that pops up. Lee went into the task manager to kill the popup, but it kills the browser as well. Leo says that Chrome should be catching the popups and stopping them. He's now getting a popup with a bluescreen. Leo says that's a clever ploy, but it's not an actual "blue screen of death." It's just a window.

Why does my image upload to Flickr fail?

Ben from Memphis, TN

Episode 1230

Ben is trying to upload his images to Flickr, but sometimes it just doesn't work. Leo says dragging and dropping isn't perfect and it may be better to use Flickr's Desktop uploader. But he shouldn't stop there. Leo suggests using Google Photos, which will give him unlimited storage. And if he's an Office 365 user, he'll get unlimited storage on Microsoft OneDrive for free.

How do I backup my new iPhone 6s Plus?

Episode 1227

Mike from Los Angeles, CA
Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Mike bought the 128GB iPhone 6s Plus and he's running out of storage space. Leo says that his iPhone shouldn't be his main storage device, as that's a single point of failure. Leo suggests putting his videos onto a cloud based solution like Microsoft OneDrive, Google Photos, or Flickr. He'll get a terabyte of storage free on Flickr, and Google Photos is unlimited.

Should I set a restore point before installing software?

David from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1226

David heard the caller with problems with Skype and he always sets a restore point before he installs a new program. Leo says that's a good idea, but Leo's experience has been hit or miss on that. But it's a good practice. Most of the time when you make a big change of your system, Microsoft sets a restore point, so it may already be there. Good tip.