backup and recovery

How can I protect my business from ransomware?

Episode 1270

Omar from Los Angeles, CA

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.

How can I get rid of malware?

Episode 1268

Carolyn from Pasadena, CA

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.

What do I do with a hard drive fail warning?

Episode 1248

Ann from Oceanside, CA

Ann is getting a warning that her hard drive is failing. How can she backup her data? Leo says to get an external USB drive and just drag and drop everthing over that. What about her favorites? Leo says she can export her favorites from the browser and email them to herself.

Leo says the computer should be still under warranty and if there's a warning, then it should be replaced. It could also be a false positive. Leo has never had a hard drive fail after a warning. They usually fail without warning. So she should back it up and then take it in to be looked at.

Can I get rid of malware by restoring my PC?

Episode 1239

Scott from Ventura, CA

Scott wants to know if doing a restore would get rid of any malware that may be on the system after its been compromised. Leo says yes, it will. Those popups are trying to get you to call them and install software. So if he didn't do that, he's probably OK. But if he did, not only will he need to get rid of the malware, but if they charged him, they will now have his credit card information. So he'll not only have to backup his data and erase the hard drive, he'll have to cancel that credit card as well.

How can I recover data from a corrupted thumb drive?

Episode 1226

Matthew from Austria

Matthew has a USB key, and while the computer sees it, he can't open any files on it. His backup is no better. Leo says that a USB thumb drive can get corrupted just like any drive and the good news is that he can recover it with software. It's probably just a corrupted file catalog and that can be fixed. He should right click on the USB key, select properties, then "scan and fix errors." He can also run Scandisk.

What's the difference between backup and sync?

Episode 1225

Jonathan from Pittsburgh, PA

Jonathan is having trouble backing up his Mac. He backs up to one with Time Machine and one with Super Duper. He formatted his hard drive to do a clean install. When he plugs in his backup drive, will it sync and wipe out what he has? Leo says backups will never delete anything from the backup. It just adds to it. Then he can restore to his source drive for that very reason.

How easy is it to migrate data from the old iPhone 6 to the iPhone 6s Plus?

Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Episode 1219

Neil from Phoenix, AZ

Neil ordered the iPhone 6s Plus and will get it in two weeks. Leo says Neil's lucky because there's a month delay now in getting it. He wants to know how to easily migrate his user settings and data over from his current iPhone 6 Plus. Leo says that that when Neil restores from his iCloud backup, everything will be copied, and it will download the latest versions of the apps from the Apple store. It's relatively straight forward and easy.

How can I make recovery disks for Windows 10?

Episode 1213

Larry from Petaluma, CA

Larry has a new Dell desktop with Windows 10. He wants to know how to create a recovery backup. It fails every time when he writes it to USB. He asked Dell, but they say they can't because they don't have recovery disks yet.

Leo says it could be as easy as a bad or unsupported thumb drive. He should try a different thumb drive. If that doesn't work, a third party utility like the EaseUS Windows 10 Migration Utility will do the job.

Why is Microsoft's Backup Utility not completing the backup?

Episode 1210

Richard from Southern California

Richard can't do a backup -- it just stops. Leo suggests running "ChkDisk" to see that everything is OK with the data. But Leo also says that Microsoft's backup program isn't all that great because it dumps all of the data into one giant furball of 1s and 0s. That means it has a single point of failure. And there's no way to know if it has it all of the data or not.