Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I find out what's taking up space on my hard drive?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1639

George from Fontana, California

George went to back up his iPhone and he got a message that he's run out of room on his laptop. What can he do? Leo recommends installing WinDerStat. It's color-coded and can show you at a glance what is taking up all that room on your laptop. Then move stuff off of it into an external hard drive. Leo also recommends buying extra space on iCloud. For $2.99 a month you can backup 50GB of space. Great deal. Backing up to it is also the easiest thing to do.

How Can I Recover Lost Data From My Computer?

Data Rescue

Episode 1638

John from Pasadena, CA

John wants to recover some data off a USB Thumb drive. Leo recommends RECUVA or PC Inspector for Windows. On the Mac, Leo recommends Data Rescue. It's not free though. But the fact is, when flash memory dies on a USB drive, it's pretty much dead. And if it doesn't mount, it's completely shot. The only option at that point is to take it to a professional and that would cost far more than it is worth. 

Upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7

Windows 7

Episode 1635

Duke from Redondo Beach, California

Duke is looking to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing his data when he does so. Leo says you can upgrade to Windows 10 from within your computer running Windows 7 without losing your data or having to backup it up. Alternatively, you can do a clean install of Windows 10 by downloading the Windows 10 installer from Microsoft onto a USB drive. 

Duke is also wondering which service he should use to back up his data to the cloud. Leo recommends iDrive, who is a sponsor of The Tech Guy radio show. 

How can I backup both Windows and iPad without iTunes?

iTunes

Episode 1625

Octavio from Fontana, CA

Octavio wants to make a switch to iOS, but he wants to know how he can do backup while on the road and not use iTunes? He wants to also backup his Windows machine with the same option. Leo says that if you want a "trust no one cloud backup" then there really isn't going to be a solution. But a local backup is your best bet for that, and that means a NAS (network-attached storage). Leo likes Synology. It'll backup every machine, except Octavio's iPad. Your only option there is to iCloud directly or through iTunes.

Can malware get onto my backup?

Malware Types

Episode 1623

Martin from Hayward, WI

Martin has a backup running on his computer all the time, and he's worried that malware can get onto it. Leo says that current malware is "wormable" and can actually take advantage of Microsoft's networking, spreading through the network. It's called "eternal blue." So if you have hot storage that's online and current, you have to treat it as vulnerable. The only real good backup is a disconnectable backup. 

Why is My Backup Failing?

EaseUS

Episode 1622

Steven from Cranston, RI

Steven wants to replace his existing backup with a new one. He tends to use a thumb drive. But the backup fails and can't backup shadow copies or system restore points. Leo says that malware can be removed by an AVS and that could affect the system restore points because the AVS expects his backup to be infected as well. Leo says that Shadow Copying is a relatively new thing that Microsoft has added, which runs in the background. Leo says that EaseUS is a good backup solution. Imaging is a good thing to do as well.

Did I lose my photos?

Windows 10

Episode 1620

Joe from Brea, CA

Joe is a high school computer teacher, and he had scanned a bunch of photographs that he scanned on his computer. He took that folder and moved it to another folder, but it disappeared and was replaced with a file cabinet folder. Leo says that a CAB file is a compressed folder. He searched the entire computer for the folder, and it was gone. Fortunately, he had a backup. But what happened? A virus?

Can I recover the erased data on my hard drive?

SSD

Episode 1617

Josh from Mesa, AZ

Josh's computer "went off the rails" when he did RoboCopy and wiped his hard drive. So now, he needs to talk about data recovery on his hard drive. Leo says that if there's a software issue, or if you deleted a file, the data is still there until you overwrite it. Leo recommends RECUVA. But if the data has been overwritten, you really can't get the data back, not even from Drive Savers. This is why you should always back up your hard drive, ALWAYS.