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👍 #783 – This Doesn’t Need to Happen

I harp on backing up for a reason. As I've said many times, it's the single most important thing you can do, now, to protect your data, your accounts, and your digital life from almost any disaster. I just can't overstate its importance.

You can imagine my frustration, then, at how often I hear from people who've lost data -- sometimes lots of incredibly important data -- because they suffered some kind of failure without having that safety net.

This week's featured article goes into more detail and includes a couple of examples.

Also this week:

It is sometimes possible to recover deleted files from old external disks. Emphasis on sometimes.

Ah, the "nuclear option" ... reformatting and reinstalling Windows. That reformatting part can be a little tricky, so I'll show you how.

Any backup is better than no backup at all, but it's important you understand the ramifications of where you choose to back up.

Have a great week!

Leo

Featured

This Doesn't Need to Happen

I lost a huge amount of research and work when my computer crashed this summer.

That's a quote from an email I received from someone who, honestly, I expected better of. He's a prominent figure in my industry, and someone who has a large team of people supporting him.

To have a simple computer crash cause “huge” data loss … well, as I said, this doesn't need to happen. Ever. Not to him, and not to you or me.

Sadly, he's not the only one running the risk.

Continue Reading: This Doesn't Need to Happen
https://askleo.com/30820

Ask Leo! On YouTube

Ask Leo! on YouTube

I mentioned last week that I've been posting more videos on YouTube. In addition to the narration videos, I'm including some short takes, how-to's, and even the occasional opinion piece. And I'm having fun with it, so time permitting you'll see more.

While most make it into articles that are then mentioned here in the newsletter, not all are. And even if they are, they'll generally show up on YouTube first.

Visit the Ask Leo! YouTube channel, and hit that YouTube subscribe button.

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This Week's Articles

Can I Recover Old Files from an External Hard Drive?

Is it possible to recover data from an external hard drive that was deleted a year ago?

This is another question that gets my most common answers: “maybe” and “it depends”.

It might be possible to recover old data from an external hard drive — or any hard drive — as long as a few conditions are met.

I'll review what those are, and then I'll recover some files from an external drive I recently formatted.

Continue Reading: Can I Recover Old Files from an External Hard Drive?
https://askleo.com/99216

How Do I Reformat and Reinstall Windows?

To reformat and reinstall is the computer equivalent of erasing the chalkboard and starting over with a completely blank slate.

To a computer, that means erasing the hard disk and starting over with nothing.

That phrase “erasing the hard disk” is exceptionally important, and important to understand fully.

Continue Reading: How Do I Reformat and Reinstall Windows?
https://askleo.com/23277

Can I Back Up Files to a Separate Partition on the Same Hard Disk?

I am going to do a clean install of Windows to hopefully fix some errors, which means that I need to back up my files. The problem is that I don't quite have the means to back up my hard drive. Can I simply create a new, separate partition on my existing drive (1TB), copy my files to that, and then perform a clean install on the existing Windows partition? Afterward, I would transfer the files back and delete the “backup” partition. Would that work or am I heading in the wrong direction?

Yes, that would work, but…

There are risks. From what I can see, you're running a huge risk before you even begin.

Continue Reading: Can I Back Up Files to a Separate Partition on the Same Hard Disk?
https://askleo.com/4800

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Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.
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Posted: November 19, 2019 in: 2019
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/8238
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Confident Computing is the weekly newsletter from Ask Leo!. Each week I give you tools, tips, tricks, answers, and solutions to help you navigate today’s complex world of technology and do so in a way that protects your privacy, your time, and your money, and even help you better connect with the people around you.

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I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and after "retiring" in 2001 I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.