Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

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.

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.