Backups should be tested regularly

Author: Mal
Date: 29 Mar 2011 @ 22:29
Categories: General

Backups are essential to the smooth running of any business and backups are no good unless they are checked at regular intervals.

Recently a Mechanic customer called us in to transfer their data from an dead workstation to a new system.  When we examined the system we found that the hard drive had failed and the data was not retrievable.  They didn't do backups regularly and when we tried to restore the backup we found that some of the files hadn't been updated since 2004.  We took the hard drive away and tried to recover the data ourselves using tools we have available but the drive kept failing and the tools were never able to finish the job.

The customer ended up sending the drive to a specialist data recovery service who after 6 weeks were still only able to recover a portion of the lost data at a cost of many thousands of dollars.  We are now in the process of attempting to rebuild the missing data, as best we can, from the transactions in the files that could be recovered.

Make sure you test your backups !  Restore them onto another system and make sure that it works.

One thing we've learnt is that you have a disk corruption DON'T let Windows try to repair it itself.  Connect it to another system and copy off whatever data you can before attempting any sort of repair.