Best backup practices and recovering lost data.
Backup and Recovery
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.
Matt wants to know about doing incremental backups on his backup hard drives. He wants to be able to sync his current hard drive to the backup automatically. Leo says that Windows Backup will do that. And you can do it by plugging in the drive, running the backup, and then unplugging it for storage.
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.
Dave lives in a town that was recently effective by the wildfires and he discovered that everything from his internet access to his phone service was disabled. Leo says that's because Dave's location uses fiber optic cable and as such, when firefighters cut the cable while fighting the fire, it disabled EVERYTHING.
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?
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.
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.
Rebecca is a teacher who is struggling with keeping her students interest during distance learning. Leo says that dialogue is the most important part of teaching. That question and answer time, rather than just play another youtube video for them. They can do that.
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.
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.