Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How Can I Backup My Network Hard Drives?

Seagate

Episode 1772

Martin from Hayward, WI

Martin wants to know what is a good backup strategy for his Seagate hard drives and how can he mount them as network drives. Leo says that Seagate has its own backup in the cloud, which figures out where all the drives are. But that's not the only way to do it. FTP can work with a sync program. Robocopy wasn't designed for it, but it may be able to. The key is to figure out what the IP address is on the fly since most are dynamic. If he had a static IP, it wouldn't be a problem. The key is to find a sync program that supports FTP, but FTP isn't secure either. SCP is where it's at.

Why Do Some Hard Drives Fail With Backup and Recovery?

Windows 10

Episode 1767

Jacob from Montreal, Canada

Jacob runs Windows 10 and uses a 2TB USB external drive for backup. He can either do an image that restores file by file or the entire drive. But it doesn't work to restore with all hard drives. What gives? Leo says that there are some drives that combine two drives into one. But they are fewer and farther between now, as 2TB drives are more readily available. Plus, operating systems are now 64 bit, so it's easier to keep track of larger file sizes. In reality, it shouldn't matter. Windows should just read them.

How Can I Put Movies on an iPad Without My Apple ID?

iPad

Episode 1764

Kevin from Malibu, CA

Kevin wants to give a family member an iPad with movies on it for her stay in the hospital. But he doesn't want her to have his Apple ID. Leo says that Apple Family allows users to share data with up to 6 family members. Users can share music, apps, tv and movie purchases, iCloud, photos, the works. How about backing up with a simple drag and drop? Leo says that he's a fan of iMazing. It will allow him to easily transfer files that way.

Is there any way to control the iPad remotely? Leo says no. He can go from iOS to macOS, but not the other way. 

Is Google Backup and Sync Good For Backing Up Data?

iDrive

Episode 1764

Jeff from Nashville, TN

Jeff wants to know if Google Backup and Sync is a good way to back up his hard drive. Leo says he's used it and it works. It's not really designed to be a hard drive backup, but he can use it for something like Google Photos. But also remember that Google Drive isn't private. People can see user data online. So he wouldn't use it for sensitive data. Leo recommends iDrive because it does not only encrypt data, but it also has versioning, so it keeps versions of the data. It's a much better solution.

Why's My Restore Point Getting Deleted?

Restore

Episode 1762

Robert from Walnut Creek, CA

Robert has a Dell Inspiron running Windows 10, but his restore point keeps getting deleted. Leo says that Microsoft deprecated System Restore recently, and Leo says it has never really worked when he needed it the most. He can still use it, but he will need to re-enable it. Windows Key + Restore. Here's a link from the chatroom about this issue, but it's a few years old.

What Are My Alternatives to Google Photos?

PCloud

Episode 1759

Diane from Chicago, IL

Diane hears that Google Photos is going to end on January 5th. Leo says that's not accurate. Google Photos will be ending their free unlimited photo storage on June 1st. However, until then, you can store unlimited photos that will remain free forever. After that, the 15GB limit will apply to any new photos, music, all your docs, and email.  But Google's pay tier is pretty affordable if you need more space.

There are other options like Shutterfly and Amazon Prime. 

Can I Connect a Drive to My Router & Create a NAS?

NAS

Episode 1758

Chuck from Costa Mesa, CA

Chuck wants to know if he can connect a USB drive to his router. Leo says the router has to support it. It's not really "plug and play." And if it does support it, it may be pretty slow. But it can be accessed from any computer on the network, so it's kinda like a cheap NAS. If the router is open-source compatible, then Leo recommends going with DD-WRT or Tomato for the firmware. They have NAS features that could be most helpful.

What is Amazon AWS?

AWS

Episode 1758

Joey from San Diego, CA

Joey wants to know about Amazon's AWS and S3 storage. He can't figure it out. Leo says that there are several levels of S3 storage, including Glacier. And S3 is used by DropBox and others as their back end. It's a bit techy, but it's designed for home use. Fast to backup, but very slow to download and restore. It's like cold storage. It's become the biggest part of Amazon's business, with over a third of cloud services run by AWS.

Amazon also offers cloud computing, with such services as Macintosh in the Cloud, and others.

How Can I Restore My RAID Backup to a New Hard Drive?

RAID

Episode 1758

Spencer from Lakewood, OR

Spencer removed a hard drive from his RAID array and now he's having issues. Leo says some of the data needed from the reboot was on the missing hard drive. Can he just repartition the RAID? Leo says that the safest thing to do is copy off the data and then reinstall Windows. Then restore. That should copy the master boot record and get it all back to normal. 

Should I Wait for the M1 Apple Imacs?

Apple M1 Chip

Episode 1756

Vernon from Edmonton, Alberta CAN

Vernon is thinking about upgrading to the new M1 Macbook Pro. But he would really like a desktop. Leo says to wait until the new M1 iMacs come out. No need to get another Intel machine at this point. Leo suspects that next Spring will bring a bevy of new desktops coming with not only the M1 chip but an even more powerful model with more RAM. 

What about a NAS? Leo says you can take that old Desktop and convert it into a homebrew NAS using FreeNAS and multiple drives, but Leo says a five-bay Synology NAS is a better option.