How do I make a set of Windows restore discs for my computer?

Episode 1080

Win from Madison, WI

Win has a Lenovo computer and needs to make recovery discs. Leo says that there's probably a utility on it that will allow him to do it. Lenovo might also ship him a set for a nominal fee. What about doing it before he connects it to the internet so it won't be infected? Leo says it's unlikely, but that's good thinking.

Should I clone my old hard drive and put it on my new computer?

Episode 1070

Tony from Los Angeles, CA

Tony needs to move the data from his old Windows XP machine to his new laptop. Should he clone it? Leo says no! If he clones it, he'll overwrite the new OS with the old Windows XP. And that's counter productive. Just backup the data and put it on the new computer. He can use a thumb drive to do it. He'll just have to reinstall all of his programs, but it's far better to start fresh.

How can I reset my Android tablet?

Episode 1064

Diane from Colfax, CA

Diane thought it would be a good idea to get an Android tablet along with her Android phone. So she bought a Google Nexus 7. She reset the tablet and now she has a black screen and she can't turn it off or get a live screen. Leo says that tablets are like any other computer and they can freeze up or crash. Leo recommends turning off the phone first. Once it turns off, let it sit for a bit and turn it back on.

How can I recover data from a failed RAID?

Episode 1060

Eric from Corona, CA

Eric has a RAID 5 server that has had two drives fail and he needs some data recovery services. Leo says he doesn't know if data recovery is even possible if more than one disc dies. If a large enough chunk of data was lost, there's just no way to get it back. But it will largely depend on how it failed. A controller could've gone bad, and that could be an easy fix and the data could still be there. This is why one backup isn't much of a backup.

Will restoring a hard drive include recovery partitions?

Episode 1052

Lynella from Los Angeles, CA

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.

How can I save the data on my crashed hard drive?

Episode 1032

Hamit from Danburry, CT

Hamit's Western Digital MyBook external hard drive crashed after his toddler got a hold of it. It makes a terrible noise now and he can't access it. Leo says the read head or disc arm has bent or broken. Sometimes it's possible to get a last use out of it by freezing the drive for a few hours. Wrap it in plastic wrap first. But that's a last ditch hail mary.

How can I recover my system after being infected with Malware?

Episode 1027

Ellen from La Crescenta, CA

Ellen's son is a gamer and he's run into an issue with Internet explorer. Leo says at 14, he probably went to somewhere he shouldn't have. Now she has to do a restore, but she has no restore points. Leo says that's a common thing that hackers will do. They erase all restore points to prevent you from doing just that. Leo says that if she has a backup on a separate hard drive, then she could restore from that. She tried and got a blank screen, though. Leo says that the bad guy could've gotten access to that hard drive as well, but he says it could also just be a failed restore.

My external hard drive makes clicking noises when I plug it in. Is there a way to get the data?

Seagate External Hard Drive

Episode 1007

Andrew from Covina, CA

Andrew's hard drive is starting to make a ton of noise. Leo says that's a sign that the hard drive is failing, and he needs to get the data off it and get a new hard drive. If the hard drive can't be read, Andrew has heard that he can freeze the hard drive and it'll make it run temporarily. Leo says it's a last resort and may just work, but he shouldn't be surprised if it doesn't. This is why it's so vital to backup.