Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I undelete my music files?

MP3's

Episode 1587

Kevin from Malibu, CA

Kevin has lost over 100GB of music off his laptop. He used torrents to send out his music. Now they've disappeared. The program he used must've deleted the files, thinking he was deleting the torrents when he was done. What can he do? Leo says it wouldn't be unusual for a client to delete seed files when you're done. But how can he get them back? The good news is that Kevin has an old backup, so he only needs the most recent files. When you delete a file, it isn't really deleted. It's just marked available for reuse.

Why can't I encrypt my backup before going to Carbonite?

Carbonite

Episode 1587

Bobby from Long Beach, CA

Bobby encrypted his backup, and he uploaded it to Carbonite. But he couldn't because it was encrypted. He used Mac's FileVault. Leo says that encrypting is a good idea, but after you've uploaded it, it's encrypted, so it's redundant, actually. The thinking is that if you encrypt it, and need one file, you'd have to download the entire backup in order to get it.  But Leo says that if you're logged in, then it's unencrypted through the Mac. Carbonite needs an unencrypted backup in order to do incremental backups. And in doing so, they keep your data encrypted on their end.  

Why Can't I Restore my Backup?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1585

Larry from San Francisco, CA

Larry's sister had her hard drive fail. Her backup isn't responding and it seems like her hard drive may be "locked." Leo says that doesn't make sense at all. If she made an image of the drive, she should be able to blast it onto another drive pretty easily, and Acronis should handle it. And unless she was locking her drive before, there's no reason it would be locked now. So more likely, if the recovery failed, then it could have messed up her SSD because the installation didn't finish. Leo recommends getting a new copy of Windows and format and reinstall.

How can I Back Up Recordings to Listen on my Phone?

DropBox

Episode 1582

Maria from Corona, CA

Maria wants to know how to back up her recordings on her computer, so she can see them on her phone. Rich says that Dropbox is probably the best option. She can drag it into a folder on her desktop and it will appear on the Dropbox app on her phone. She can also do it with Google Drive or iTunes. If she is fine with paying money, WALTR is a decent alternative.

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.