Backup and Recovery

Best backup practices and recovering lost data.

How can I image my new computer before I get started?

Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

Episode 1443

Charles from Colton, CA

Charles bought a new computer and is trying to back up his operating system before he gets going. Leo says it's a good idea to make an image right at the beginning. He can even do it on a small 8GB USB thumb drive and keep it in his pocket. The laptop will likely have a rescue utility that will enable him to create a restore rescue disc, but he can also use the Windows 10 backup feature. Just press Windows Key and type "Backup" and then go to backup settings. Then click "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)." This is actually an image backup, and it will create a system image.

Is there a computer that doesn't come with adware?

Episode 1438

Lincoln from Palm Springs, CA

Lincoln wants to know if there's a computer he can buy that doesn't come with any trialware? Leo says that most computer companies do this to offset the cost of manufacturing them. Even Microsoft will bundle trialware in the install. Leo advises uninstalling all that stuff from the very beginning. Leo says that Microsoft is edging towards putting advertising in the OS through popups, and that's a bad thing. So Lincoln should get rid of it all, and install only the programs he always uses, then create a stock Windows install by making an image copy that he can boot up to just in case.

How can I recover the data off my hard drive?

DiskWarrior

Episode 1432

Denise from Camarillo, CA

Denise's external hard drive can't be read by her Mac. How can she recover it? Leo says that there are disc recovery tools that could help Denise. One is called SpinRite, but it's a bit expensive and is difficult to use on a Mac. AlSoft's Disc Warrior is another good option, but it may not be the best option because it can only fix soft failures.

Does Time Machine work with the new APFS file system on my Mac?

SuperDuper

Episode 1429

Eric from Bridgewater, MA

Eric converted to High Sierra on his Mac and chose APFS on Time Machine. Now he's got trouble. Leo says that Apple cautioned not to do that. Can he at least downgrade? Leo says that the good news is there was no data lost, so he could format it to downgrade from APFS and then let it backup again. Eric should check out this article at macobserver on how to use Time Machine with APFS. He shouldn't convert to APFS if he has a Fusion drive just yet.

Why am I having problems booting into my Mac?

Apple iMac

Episode 1429

Terry from Amarillo, TX

Terry is having problems booting up his Mac unless it's in safe mode. Leo says that it sounds like there's a corrupted kernel that is clobbering everything. He recommends backing up his data, wiping the drive and then reinstalling the OS and programs. The Mac makes it easy to do, too. If he bought his programs in the Mac App Store, he can just install all the apps he owns. Terry shouldn't install anything he doesn't need. It's better to just install as he goes. It's also an indication that his hard drive may be going bad, so it may be time to get a new drive.

Can I make an image backup of my mobile phone?

Helium Backup

Episode 1429

Bob from Philadelphia, PA

Bob has a dual SIM mobile phone with T-Mobile and he's having trouble going from one number to the other. He couldn't receive calls. He's tried to go to T-Mobile and has also done the factory reset and now he can get calls. But he's lost all his data. Can he get it back? Leo says the safest way to protect his data is to backup his data to his Google account. He can do this by going to "Backup and Reset" in settings. Then he could automatically restore it. This would save his settings, apps, and contacts, but it won't save his music or photos.

What's the best way to transfer my data to a new Android phone?

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Episode 1427

Chip from Corona Del Mar, CA

Chip has over 400 apps on his Android phone, along with hundreds of contacts. He wants to know the best method for transferring all of that data to a new phone. Leo says that first of all, both Samsung and Google will backup his data. His previous phone was an HTC, and his new phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note. Leo says even if the two phones aren't from the same company, Android will still prompt him to transfer some of the data through NFC by touching the phones together. Google syncs his settings, and on Samsung phones it's under "Cloud and Accounts" in Settings.

Why can't I update Windows 10?

Windows 10 Creator's Update

Episode 1427

Kyle from San Pedro, CA

Kyle is having trouble updating Windows 10 to the Spring Creator's Edition on his HP PC. HP has had problems with the Spring Creator's Update and Leo has a hunch the fall update will have similar issues. Leo says not to force the update. Microsoft will only offer the update when the machine is ready to receive it. It locks up after about 35%. Leo says to get it as a stand alone update and update it that way. He should download it directly as a file and install from a thumb drive. If that doesn't work, he can try the latest update from Microsoft with the media creation tool.