Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I make my old computer faster?

Solid State Drive (SSD)

Episode 1738

Jessica from Torrance, CA

Jessica's desktop is about eight years old and she has nearly a TB in free space on her hard drive. But she's concerned about the age of her computer. Leo says older computers aren't as slow as newer computers like the old days. So an older computer really isn't that big a deal. The more worrisome thing is the age of your hard drive. They can crash as they get older. So replacing the hard drive will be faster and give new life to your computer. Especially with a solid-state drive or SSD. 

Do I have to upgrade to macOS Catalina before Big Sur?

macOS Big Sur

Episode 1736

Stan from California

Stan wants to know if he should wait until Big Sur or upgrade to macOS Catalina now? Leo says that you have to upgrade to Catalina first, since it eliminates all 32 bit apps. This will give you time to convert your other 32 bit apps to 64. It'll be pretty straight forward. But moving up to Big Sur may be more problematic because of how they approach kernel use. But you could wait and see what happens and stick with Mojave until Big Sur comes out and then see if you have to. Why do it twice if you don't really have to?

How can I clone my hard drive if it's bigger than the new drive?

Driveimage

Episode 1734

Joe from California

Joe wants to clone his current hard drive to a smaller hard drive, but Acronis True Image says that you can't do it. Leo says to look in the software settings to avoid matching the size of the original hard drive. Just make a copy. That could be the issue. 

Leo also uses DriveImage by Runtime.org. Try that one. 

Is My Backup Safe From Ransomware If It's Unplugged From The Network?

iDrive

Episode 1727

Glen from California

Glen wants to know if ransomware can happen if you unplug your backup from the network. Leo says not until he plugs it back in. But it's less likely with a home-based system than say, a commercial network. So clean up the infected computer before reconnecting the backup, otherwise, it could infect it. A lot of ransomware also has time-released capability. It may not infect right away. So if Glen has backup unplugged from the network, he should keep it that way until he's wiped the hard drive and removed the ransomware. 

What's a good hard drive for backup, and webcam for zoom?

AUKEY Webcam

Episode 1722

Gloria from California

Gloria wants a recommendation for a reliable 2TB hard drive for her computer and a web camera for zoom. She's taking a class. Leo says that Seagate makes a really good one, but hard drives are pretty ubiquitous now, and the price is dropping. So you can get two of them and swap them out when you backup your data. Swap them out every other week. Also, rely on a cloud-based backup like iDrive (a sponsor of the radio show.) Ideally, you want 3 copies, 2 kinds of backup formats, one off-site or in the cloud.

Is The Latest Windows Update Reliable?

Windows

Episode 1721

Jeff from Vancouver, BC

Jeff recently updated to the Windows 2004 Feature Pack and now all his data has disappeared. He's also nearly out of space now. Leo says that's normal, as Windows saves the old version under windows.old. He can delete it or roll back to the previous version with it. But that doesn't solve his lost data issue. Fortunately, the data was backed up on an external drive, and Leo says that most problems like this have happened with people with external drives attached. Leo also adds that updating Windows is like changing an engine while an airplane is flying.

What's the Best Way to Back Up Photos From a Camera Phone?

Photos

Episode 1721

Alan from Charlton, MA

Alan wants to back up his phone photos. What's the best option? Leo says that for phone pictures, The Google Photos app is the best option because he can get unlimited HiRes photo backups directly from the phone. And it can be done automatically. Once users have them online, if he wants them back, he can use Google Takeout to download them, plus anything else he's done using Google services.

If an Amazon Prime user, back up photos for free in the same way, only they can be full resolution copies.

Then there's an off-site backup option like iDrive.

How Should I Back Up My Images?

NAS

Episode 1721

Carl from Murrieta, CA

Carl is a photographer who is worried about getting his data should he have to "bug-out" during a disaster like the fires that have hit California. Leo says that it's a good idea to use a third party backup like iDrive to back up data, and use a NAS like Synology as well. Follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy (three backups, two different formats, one off-site) to protect the files. Especially as a professional. He can also have an external drive to save them on a 1 TB SSD or spinning drive would work.