Q: I read your Q&A about solid-state drive (SSD) cloning. The reader was cloning their SSD and asking about wear and or errors on the SSD. In your response, you stated that, “I suspect that you must be backing up sensitive data to go to so much trouble for creating clones of your drive and storing them off-site.”

I also regularly clone my C drive. The reason is not for sensitive data, but to safeguard against malware, ransomware, and to be able to quickly recover my C drive with all Microsoft updates. My sensitive data is encrypted on external drives and kept in the cloud.

Cloning is a very good strategy to very quickly recover from attacks. To clone a 1 TB SSD drive to another 1 TB SSD drive using Macrium Reflect software takes about 15 minutes. Well worth the trouble.

Eric Radman, Mercer Island

A: Yes, I agree that having an off-site backup of data is critical if you care about ensuring against data loss, whether through ransomware, natural disaster, malware or the like.

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Cloning the drive, however, is more involved than some other solutions. Cloning a drive means making a mirror image of everything on the drive, including operating system files and settings. It takes longer, uses more storage space, and requires third-party software.

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And the reader was also storing those cloned drives in an off-site location but specifically not in the cloud. That’s why I suspected he was dealing with sensitive data. There haven’t actually been any incidents I’m aware of where an individual’s cloud data was hacked or lost, but there’s something psychological about not knowing just where that backup is. If I was running a business handling clients’ sensitive data I would likely do the same as the reader — clone the drive and store it off-site in a physically secure location.

Since I’m not in that position, I rely on cloud storage and my data files are automatically backed up to the cloud as I create or change them. That data, then, is backed up instantaneously without me having to remember to do anything and it’s off-site.

Q: When my Dell Inspiron 15/5000 goes to sleep mode the only way to wake it up is to push the power button. Is there a way to get it to wake up by moving the mouse?

Al Latham

A: Making sure all your drivers are up to date will almost certainly fix that problem. Go to the Dell website — https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us — and search for your specific model of computer. The site will walk you through making sure you have the latest drivers.

Q: We cannot “hook up” with Apple software updates. Spinning, spinning, spinning … and going nowhere. What’s up?

Robert Hrycenko, Whidbey Island

A: I haven’t found any reports of Apple’s servers being down.

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The most common cause of a hanging update is a lack of sufficient space on your drive, so I’d check on that first. If you’re still not getting that update, Apple offers some other things to look into: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201435

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Q: I have an HP Officejet 3830 printer. When I send a test page in the print queue, after a few seconds, it disappears. I have searched for a fix. It seems like the problem is “DNS SERVER unavailable.” I tried to do fix it but I have not been successful. 

Gene Schaffner

A: I’ve often wondered why printer drivers are so susceptible to failure. It seems that every time I return home from a trip I have to reinstall the drivers for my printers. Often the printer doesn’t show up in my search for printers connected to my Wi-Fi network. I’ll repeat the search two or three times and then it will magically appear.

I suggest you remove that printer using the Devices and Printers utility in the Control Panel and then reinstall it. And don’t get discouraged if your printer isn’t recognized right away. Just try again after rebooting your computer.