Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

Why Won't my Computer Wake Up?

Dell

Episode 1576

Vicky from Rialto, CA

Vicky put her computer to sleep and now it won't wake up. Leo says that's often called "the Big Sleep," and is a common Windows problem. It sounds like Vicky is experiencing "sudden death" of her hard drive. If she can put it into another computer through the external USB plug, and she can see the drive, that means it's not dead. If it can't see it, she will know it's dead. If it can see it, then she can try booting up from it. She'll probably have to change the boot order to do it, but there's a keyboard command for that after she sees the Dell Logo.

Is backing up to the cloud secure?

VeraCrypt

Episode 1569

Jose from Modesto, CA

The caller wants to know if backing up data to DropBox is secure? He's worried that backup companies have access to his sensitive data. Leo says he can encrypt the data, and he alone has the keys to that. So if he loses it, he's out of luck. DropBox will accept secure encrypted data. If he's looking for a cloud-based encryption backup option, SpiderOak is an option, though it's a bit clunky. VeraCrypt is another.

Will Carbonite back up my hard drive exactly how it is?

Carbonite

Episode 1568

Robert from Glendale, CA

Robert has been backing up on Carbonite, and it's a good thing because his computer recently "melted down." So he's going to be restoring his backup from Carbonite to a new Dell computer. Will he get data back to the exact same file structure that he had on his original computer? Leo says it should be backed up exactly the way he had it set up. It also pays to verify it from time to time just to be sure. He can also do it with Carbonite's restore utility, or just drag and drop individual files over.

What options do I have for cloud storage over 2TB?

NAS

Episode 1567

James from Texas

James has a large family that records many videos, and he's run out of storage in the cloud. He can't buy anymore iCloud to store everyone's movies and music. Leo says that James has transitioned to the enterprise-grade needs. Especially for backups. Leo says maybe just creating a duplicate Synology NAS off site and have it Sync. That way he can have as much storage he needs, rather than paying for it in the Cloud. It's also far more practical, since it won't take up bandwidth. Carbonite will even send a hard drive to back up and ship to them for storage. But that isn't readily available.

Should I back up my photos to the cloud?

OneDrive

Episode 1562

Don from Montana

Don wants to know why he needs to back up his photos to the cloud and what should he use? Leo says backing up to the cloud is vital because if the computer hard drive fails, or the computer dies, you still have that data. Leo recommends a 3-2-1 strategy. Three copies, two formats, one off site. OneDrive and Carbonite are good, but you have to have it all in one folder, and OneDrive has a backup limit of 1TB which should be enough. Leo also has all his photos upload to Google Photos. Unlimited high-quality storage!

Can I use Time Machine with macOS Mojave?

SuperDuper!

Episode 1546

Charles from Virginia Beach, VA

Charles wants to know the best way to set up Time Machine on his Mac with macOS Mojave. Leo says that in the new OS, there is a new APFS file system, and there have been backup issues with Time Machine and others. He may need to use an external drive formatted with the old HFS file system. That will insure that if his internal drive dies, his backup is secure. Leo also recommends not using Time Machine as his primary backup system. He should make an image backup with SuperDuper.

What's a good alternative to Drobo?

Synology 4-bay RAID

Episode 1541

Rick from Edmonton, Canada

Rick bought a Drobo 2, and it's a bit flakier than his gen 1 Drobo. If it gets jostled, it has to reboot and rebuild. He's concerned that it's a single point of failure and he'll lose his data. Leo says that Drobos are a RAID (called Beyond Raid) where if one drive fails, it rebuilds form the other drives. So it's not really a single point of failure. But if all the drives go bad, then he's in a world of hurt.

Why are my browsers crashing?

Microsoft Edge Browser

Episode 1541

Steve from Redondo Beach, CA

Steve is having trouble with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. After about 2 minutes, both apps crash. Leo says that it could be malware infecting his browsers. But more likely there's a render driver that both browsers use which is causing the crash when he visits certain websites. Leo recommends doing a thorough scan using Windows Defender, and he should also run the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool from the command line. To get to that, he can press the Windows Key and type MRT. Leo also suspects that Java is broken.