Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I get my documents back from Google Docs after they've been erased?

Episode 1803

Bobby from San Diego, CA

Bobby's homework assignments have gone missing from Google Docs. It's a school account using Canvas. Leo says to talk to the IT guy at your school.  He did that and the school said to "call Google." But Google doesn't have that kind of support. What would be more helpful is to contact the developer of Canvas. 

How can I recover my Windows 8 password?

Episode 1803

Jan from Santa Clarita, CA

Jan is trying to fire up an old HP laptop and it's asking for a Windows login password. She doesn't know it. It's Windows 8. Leo says that there are some cracks that can hack your Windows 8 login. But you need to be careful that you aren't making the problem worse with malware. If you don't need the data, the easiest would be to wipe your laptop and reinstall Windows. Then, if you have a backup, you can just restore it.

How can I backup my mac hard drive and make it bootable?

Episode 1803

Tom from Largo, FL

Tom isn't thrilled with the new iMacs, and Leo recommended he pick up a MacMini and get a dock and monitor for it. So he did, and now he wants to move his data from his old mac to his Mac Mini. But the Thunderbolt drives are too expensive. Can he use USB 3 drives? Leo says absolutely. You can also clone the drive and make it bootable. Leo recommends Carbon Copy Cloner, since Super Duper doesn't offer a bootable option now, due to security features in the most recent macOS Big Sur. You can also still use an older version of Super Duper.

Why does DropBox delete files from my computer?

Dropbox

Episode 1803

David from Los Angeles, CA

David had to buy a new computer. He put dropbox on it, but now it's "barking" at him to buy more space. So he deleted some files, but dropbox also deleted them from his computer! What? Leo says that Dropbox really isn't a backup solution. It's a file syncing solution. That's why you only get 2GB for free. The reason why they delete it from the computer is that DropBox works through Sync, so it can match the files you have on dropbox and the computer.

Google Photos Unlimited Storage Ends Tuesday

Photos

Episode 1801

This Tuesday, Google Photos will end its unlimited storage feature, in favor of just 15GB per user account. After which, users will be charged $2 a month for 100 GB. But users can upload as many photos as they want until Tuesday and it won't count against that cap. So now is the time to take your day off and backup all those images to your Google Photos account before it's too late. Other options ... Amazon Prime Members get free unlimited storage. Shutterfly also offers unlimited storage. 

How Can I Run an Image of My Hard Drive Virtually?

VirtualBox

Episode 1796

Paul from Louisville, Kentucky

Paul is trying to create a version of his hard drive image that can run in VirtualBox. The image uses VHD and he's having issues with VirtualBox reading it. It does do it with Windows 7. But he gets a "no bootable medium" message. Leo says that there are more standard formats other than VHD. Most virtual platforms look for ISOs with a native format of VDI. He also wants to be sure that the BIOS is using the UEFI format.

From Sophie in the chatroom - there is an “enable UEFI boot” in VirtualBox. That could maybe be the solution.

How Can I Back Up My AOL Email?

AOL

Episode 1796

Kirk from Phoenix, AZ

Kirk is an AOL user with Microsoft Outlook, and he wants to know how he can back up his email. His email PST file is 13.9GB! AOL recently eliminated all of his 2020 emails and he wants to make sure he has a copy, just in case. Kirk is also concerned that his email doesn't appear on his iPad.  Leo says it's a good time to get out of AOL and try another service. Leo recommends Gmail. 

Can I Put My Old Synology Drives Into My New Nas?

Synology NAS

Episode 1795

Steve from Charlotte, North Carolina

Roger just got a new Synology NAS and wants to know if he can put his old Synology hard drives into it. Leo says it may not be able to due to the age of the older NAS. There is a good app that comes with your Synology called Hyper Backup that will automatically sync two Synology's so that you have the same data on both. So instead of getting rid of it, use it as a backup to the backup, or at least migrate from one to another.

What's the Best Way to Backup and Organize My Photos?

Nextcloud

Episode 1795

Jimmy from Panama City, CA

Jimmy misses Google Picasa. He loved that photo app. What's a good alternative that doesn't require a monthly fee? Leo says that Picasa was the sweet spot from the low-end freebie and the high-end app like Photoshop or Lightroom. Google bought it and then killed it after promising to move features over to Google photos, which they never really did. It's a pity too.

How Can I Backup My Novel?

Microsoft Office 365

Episode 1793

Jeri from Costa Mesa, CA

Jeri has made the shift to writing and is doing a memoir about her life as a pilot. But she's concerned about backing up her data. Leo says it's wise to be concerned. Having a local backup is a good start, but bad things can happen when you least expect it. So Jeri will want to have an off-site backup as well. Leo says having three copies, in two different formats, with one off-site is the way to go. That's called a 3-2-1 backup strategy, and it's based on DPBestFlow by Peter Krogh.