backup and recovery

How can I backup my Android phone?

Episode 1019

Alex from Colorado

Alex has a Google Nexus 4 that reset on him recently and he lost all his data. He wants to know the best way to backup and restore the whole phone. The Google sync didn't restore all of his contacts and apps. Leo says that it should, but Alex says half the time it doesn't, and he doesn't know why. It could be a settings issue, so he should look into the backup and restore options to make sure it's enabled.

How can I get my hard drive to read again?


Episode 1013

Juan from Los Angeles, CA

Juan is getting a strange data CRC error. Leo says that's likely a soft error, but it may also indicate a physical error on the hard drive itself. Soft errors are easy because he can always just format the hard drive and reinstall.

Leo recommends SpinRite, which can scan the hard drive, move the data, and mark bad sectors as unusable. Then, at least he'll buy some time for that hard drive. But Leo says that hard drives are so cheap, that once he gets the data off, he should just get a new one.

Is there any way to recover data from an SSD?

Episode 1012

Richard from Westlake Village, CA

Richard's hard drive crashed, and unfortunately he doesn't have all of his data backed up. He had SuperDuper, but wasn't using it regularly. Leo says an SSD is different from a spinning drive. When it's dead, it's really dead. So the only thing he can do is get another and start over. It's not like he can run SpinRite and maybe fix it. An SSD is completely different.

Leo suggests paying for the scheduling feature of SuperDuper so he can schedule automatic and regular backups.

Be careful not to keep your backups at work!

Episode 1010

Joe from Buffalo, NY

Joe used to take his hard drive backups to work with him. When he was laid off, however, they wouldn't let him bring home anything, so he lost his backups. So he advises keeping them somewhere else. Unless you own the company. Leo says that's a very good point since they usually escort you out of the building to make sure you don't take anything company owned. This is also a reason to encrypt backups, just in case. It's also a good idea to send backups to someone else so they are off-site as well.

Do I need a separate backup for both Windows and Mac in Parallels?

Episode 1010

Theresa from Long Beach, CA

Theresa dual boots her iMac with Parallels, and is wondering if she needs to have a backup of each operating system separately. Leo says she does not, if she's running the other operating system in Parallels. If she was using Boot Camp to run each operating system natively on her Mac, then she would need to have separate backups. When she runs Windows in Parallels, it's actually running within OS X. That means, when OS X backs up, so does her installation of Windows.

Why is my computer taking so long to open a file?

Episode 1004

Geri from Riverside, CA

Geri's computer is taking forever to open files. She's thinking that she has to reinstall Windows to get it running right. Leo says that may be the best option as the hard drive may be hard to read in the current configuration. Formatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows will get it back to it's clean and tidy condition. She should back up her data first, though.

She can run the Windows Install and choose the "repair" option first. If that doesn't work, then it may require a reinstall of Windows. She may want to get a new hard drive as well.

How can I fix my hard drive partition?

Episode 1000

Sam from Edmonton, Canada

Sam repartitioned his hard drive and now he's having problems with it. Leo says that partitioning is no longer necessary with today's modern hard drives. Sam has an issue that his partition isn't large enough now, though.

Leo advises repartitioning the drive to a single partition, then restoring Windows from the hidden recovery partition. Sam can do both from the install option. The key is to not delete the hidden partition. A third party option for this is EaseUS.

What backup software should I use?

Episode 994

Trevor from Vancouver, BC CAN

Trevor has 3.5 TB of data, mostly videos, that he needs to backup. He currently backs up to his Drobo FS. Leo says that the Drobo is a good option, and it can hold a lot of data.

However, Trevor has been using Time Machine, and it just frequently fails. Leo says Time Machine is for beginners, and is not very robust. For a power user like Trevor, Leo recommends ChronoSync.