Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

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. 

What's a Good Option for Backing Up Photos?

 Apple Photos

Episode 1755

Frederick from Orange County, CA

Frederick wants to create a central location to house all the photos and videos for everyone in the family. Leo says if he wants to be responsible for it all, then Apple Photos can handle it. But everyone may want to keep their own accounts. Google Photos has similar features to Apple Photos, but it's cloud-based. And he can share unlimited free storage up until June 1st. Then each person can upload to a family album from their own account. Then everyone can upload and see the album. It's a great way to do it without having the burden just on the creator.

How Can I Make Room on My Mac to Update to Big Sur?

Macbook

Episode 1755

Al from Columbia, SC

Al has a 2015 Macbook and he's running out of space, so he can't install Big Sur. Leo says that Al should get an external drive to copy off his data to free up space. Maybe even make a bootable copy of the hard drive and then start from scratch with Big Sur after erasing the drive. Then restoring the data. So get a terabyte external drive and try that. Time Machine is also a good option with that external drive. That's Apple's own way.

But is Big Sur worth it? Not for an older Mac. So if he's up to Catalina, that's good enough for that 2015 Mac.

What's the Difference Between Cloning and Cloud Backup?

iDrive

Episode 1752

Larry from San Francisco, CA

Larry just built a new gaming computer. Now he wants to restore a backup so he doesn't have to install all his programs that are on his old computer. His options are to either clone or restore from a backup. What's the difference? Leo says that a cloned drive is an image of the hard drive which can then be blasted back onto a drive. But that's not a good option for cloud backup. Good for a local backup on an external drive. Microsoft stores cloning in the legacy backup settings.

Other imaging options include:

Clonezilla

How Can I Restore My Old Photo Backups in iPhoto?

iPhoto

Episode 1750

Doug from West Hollywood, CA

Doug is a singing voice teacher who recently upgraded his Macbook Air with the new Apple M1 design. Leo says that Doug is the ideal candidate for the M1. But what Doug is experiencing is issues with his backups being restored. What Leo recommends is to use the old computer to upload all photos and videos to iCloud. Use the most recent version. The way the old iPhoto used to store them is in a big blob. Go to the Pictures folder and R/C on the library. Select "open contents." There he will see the original photos folder. Copy that over.

Can I Create a Bootable Backup Copy of My Hard Drive With Big Sur?

Big Sur

Episode 1745

Charlie from Toms River, NJ

Charlie wants to know if he can make a bootable backup of his hard drive with macOS Big Sur using Carbon Copy Cloner. Leo says he can, but it's not all that easy. Apple has changed the way it does things ... again. It's more secure, sure. But only Apple can sign it. And that means he can't do it anymore without making a clone of the hard drive, installing macOS Big Sur to it, and let Apple sign it. BTW that's how ChromeOS works.

How Can I Get Into a Locked Out Computer?

Windows 10

Episode 1743

Rhonda from Beverly Hills, CA

Rhonda is locked out of two different laptops running Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 respectively. She got back into Windows 10 after watching a few videos. Then she got locked back out after creating a new Outlook account. How can she get back in? There are a lot of legal documents and data she needs. Leo says that if she has a backup, then there are easier options. Rhonda says she did on the Windows 10 machine. 

This is why it's so crucial to have backups.

Why's My Time Machine Taking Up So Much Room?

Time Machine

Episode 1743

Wayne from San Diego, California

Wayne notices that Time Machine is taking a ton of space on his external hard drive. How can he minimize that? Time Machine says it's full. Leo says that he can adjust the amount of space Time Machine uses, but it can get a bit finicky when he messes with what Time Machine thinks it needs. Go into the System Preferences pane and there he can go into options and delete or disable the local backups on the main hard drive. That'll clear out some space. Time Machine should do that. It also keeps a local backup image and should delete the older ones as it does.

Can I Make a Snapshot of My Hard Drive & Back It Up Simultaneously?

ChronoSync

Episode 1743

Ed from Ontario, California

Ed wants to be able to take a snapshot of his Mac hard drive and use it as a backup, but still have a backup on the same drive. Will SuperDuper do that? Leo says it's called an Image, or Ghost. Some may be able to do that, but SuperDuper isn't one because it takes up the entire drive so he can use the image as a bootable drive. Leo recommends Carbon Copy Cloner or ChronoSync. Both will match folders, but not the entire drive. He can also image the hard drive using macOS disk utility onto a backup drive. 

Is my hard drive dead?

Spinning Hard Drive

Episode 1742

Mike from Rockport, New York

Mike's desktop has two drives in an IBM PC and when he went to defrag one, it disappeared from Windows 7. So he can't see it. What can he do? Leo says that try rebooting and see if he can see it on boot up. If not, try using a NewerTek Universal drive adapter to see if you can see it that way. If you can't, then the drive is dead. The good news is, drives are cheap. Leo recommends putting an SSD drive for your main drive and use the good hard drive for the backup. You'll get a huge boost in speed that way.