Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How Can I Get Data Off a Corrupted Drive?

SpinRite

Episode 1659

Ivan from Brisbane, AUS

Ivan has a 2 drive NAS that has files he needs, but the RAID 1 hard drive are reading as corrupted. He believes it is the corruption of one, synced to the other. Leo says that the hardware is probably fine, there's just corruption in the files themselves. But it could be a physical issue making it worth using SpinRite to repair it. However, if the corruption has spread, that points to a software error in the files, not the hardware itself.

What's a good online backup solution?

iDrive

Episode 1647

Chris from Lakewood, CA

Chris recently let his Carbonite expire. Is iDrive an alternative? Leo says that both are good, but they're both advertisers. So to be fair, Leo only does ads for services and products he believes in. But Carbonite is moving towards enterprise backup and might be leaving the consumer end behind. iDrive, by contrast, is ideal for individuals and will allow you to backup anything up to 5TB. =

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.