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How to Recover From a Computer Crash

For WindowsWindowsWindows and MacMacMac


Article Summary
  • Depending on your subscription type and the options you have chosen, you can restore all of your files through Carbonite's Restore Manager/Restore Assistant or Carbonite's Mirror Image.
  • If you are restoring to a new PC or a PC with a different operating system and settings than your original PC, you may need to install your software and restore your files through Carbonite's Restore Manager.
  • If you are restoring files to a new or repaired Mac computer, you can only use the Restore Assistant to restore all of your backed up files.


If these instructions do not match your version of Carbonite, please upgrade by reinstalling.



Recovering From a Computer Crash

If your computer crashes, becomes inoperable, or you get a new computer, you can get back on your feet with Carbonite. There are three possible options when using Carbonite on your computer that you can choose from to restore your files and continue with your important work. Users who are running a Carbonite Trial or Carbonite Personal Basic can only transfer their subscription to a new computer and restore their files with the Restore Manager. Users running Carbonite Personal Plus and Carbonite Personal Premier, who have installed and used the Mirror Image feature, will be able to use an alternate hybrid method to retrieve their backup. Please choose one of the options below that best describe your situation:



About Using the Restore Manager/Restore Assistant

If you are running Carbonite Personal Basic, a Carbonite Trial or have not elected to use the Mirror Image feature when you get your computer up and running, you should install all of the programs which you previously used if they are not already installed (e.g. this includes programs such as Quicken, Microsoft Office, iPhoto, iTunes, etc.). This is because Carbonite does not back up your programs, but can back up the data files those programs create, which hold your information with the subscription you are using.

After you have your computer set up and all of the programs installed that are required to open your files, you can install Carbonite and use the Restore Manager (Restore Assistant if you are using a Mac) to help you restore all of your files. Once your restore has completed and you have ensured that you have all of your files, you can resume your backup and Carbonite will continue to protect your new or repaired computer.

If you are still waiting on a new computer or waiting for your computer to be repaired, you can use Carbonite's Anytime Anywhere Access feature to restore individual files or folders up to 1GB.



About Using a Mirror Image

If you are running Carbonite Personal Plus or Carbonite Personal Premier and have elected to use the Mirror Image feature, you may be able to get yourself up and running using your Mirror Image. Carbonite's Mirror Image service backs up your computer as of a certain date. This method is intended for individuals who have repaired a crashed computer or are experiencing computer instability due to a virus or malware. If you have a new computer, you will need to restore your files using the method listed above involving the Restore Manager.

Carbonite's Mirror Image restore is started when you boot up your system with the Mirror Image Drive as the boot device. Following the prompts, your system will be restored to the point in time of your latest snapshot. After your system has finished being set up again, Carbonite will prompt you with a message to restore the latest version of your files that are saved on our servers. This is generally quicker than a full restore to a new system as you do not have to install and setup software again, and only have to restore any changes that have happened within a one week period.



About Using the Courier Recovery Service

As a Carbonite Personal Premier user, you have an option to receive an external media device with all of your backed up data for a one time additional fee per use. The Courier Recovery service is intended for customers with large backups who have to get back up and running as soon as possible. When a Courier Recovery request is initiated, you will be in touch with a Recovery Expert who will assist you in choosing the best method to retrieve your backup. Once you receive the external media device, you can easily move your files to their new location on your new computer.

If you have a smaller backup and have repaired your computer, or are trying to recover from system instability, you may wish to try using the Mirror Image method of retrieving your files. However, if you have a large backup and have purchased a new computer, you can initiate a Courier Recovery request in order to assist you in deciding the best method of restoring your files.

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