Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
Tom has a special needs daughter who is legally blind. She listens to music on a music player, and she needs a new one. What's a good, yet durable model, that isn't too expensive? Leo says that the Sandisk Clip is great because it uses flash memory and is very robust. And at $39, it's a bargain.
Tom also wants to learn more about backing up his photos. Leo recommends dpbestflow.org and look under "best practices" for the 3-2-1 backup strategy. You basically want to backup your photos with three copies, two different forms of media, and one off-site.
Mary Jo wants to get an external hard drive to back up her old computer. Her daughter says to get an SSD. True? For booting up to the computer, an SSD is ideal. But it's not necessary for a backup drive. A spinning hard drive is fine. If she was buying a new PC or upgrading the main drive in the computer, then an SSD would be the way to go. But for backup, a spinning drive works fine for that purpose. Should she upgrade to Windows 10? Leo says yes.
Patrick put Ubuntu Linux on his 2007 iMac recently. But he has to fiddle with the audio some to get it to sound good. Leo says that isn't uncommon and is probably a driver issue.
Anna signed up for iDrive, but it's really slow. Leo says that's by design. They don't want to take over your entire broadband connection to upload your backup all at once, you couldn't do anything else. So they just use a little bit for backup, so you can have the rest for your daily needs.
Larry Mac has a dead hard drive that he needs to get some crypto data from. It says it's "Raw." How can he tell what file system is being used? Leo says it could be HFS. That's likely. But it could be physically damaged, and there's nothing you can do. But if it's damaged at the software level, you could run SpinRite to recover the drive and the data. But first, make a bit for bit image copy of the drive. Then work from that. You don't want to further damage the original drive. So work on a copy of the drive.
Todd wants to know how to backup personal files on his work PC. Ideally, if there's an IT department, they'll have their own backup system to use. Or a managed service provider (MSP), who may have a set way to do it. But if not, it's on you to backup your data. To make a copy of things to work on at home, a good Thumb drive or portable external hard drive could do the job. But your IT policy may disable the USB ports as a security measure. Assuming you still have access and are allowed to, then a small USB drive is ideal. Leo likes the Samsung T7 Portable drive. $129 for 1TB.
Skyler has been backing up his computer to an external drive using robocopy. But when he tries to access the backup, he loses access to the files after restoring. Leo says that there are two versions on Windows. The app and the command-line utility. It sounds like there's an ownership issue. So Schuyler needs to claim ownership of the files. R/C file. Properties. Security tab. Change owner. See if you can access that file then. If that works, then you can try doing it at the folder level. You can also make the ownership to everyone; that way it doesn't matter.
Frank would like to back up all the photographs on his phone in the cloud. What's the best way to do it? Leo says that all three phone manufacturers offer photo backup options, as does Google. But for data like documents, passwords, etc., you need more dedicated options. Passwords can be backed up by your phone, but there are better options like LastPass. For documents, there's an app for Google Docs. Samsung has its own dedicated NOTES app, as does Apple.
Newt wants to know what's the best option for satellite internet. Leo says that Elon Musk's Starlink really is the best bet out there. It keeps getting faster as SpaceX launches more satellites, with the goal of having total global coverage. But it's not cheap at $99 a month and over $500 for the equipment. But for a rural area, it's the best bet.
Should he get a new iMac now, or wait? Leo says that Apple is about to announce new macs next month, so it's definitely worth waiting for, especially if you want a larger screen.
Fun Mike got a new computer recently. He bought an i5 with 16GB of RAM and an SSD. It's really fast. Leo says that's what an SSD will do for you. Mike wants to know the best way to move his data from the old computer to the new one. Laplink's PC Mover? Recommended by Microsoft. Leo says that's interesting because Microsoft has its own data migration assistant in Windows. Third-party solutions attempt to move your programs over as well, but Leo says they do a terrible job of it. It's much better to install the programs from scratch and move just your data over.