Backups 101 described some of the very basic concepts in ensuring the protection of your files and music and pictures (a.k.a. your “stuff”).  If your personal and business files lack this basic protection then you are risking the loss of these files through one problem or catastrophe or another.

Assuming the the backups are in place, the backups need to be tested. It does no good whatsoever to have a great backup solution that does not actually work. Backups should be inspected and tested periodically.

Backup software apps (both local and online) usually offer the ability to restore multiple versions of a file. This is great if the most recent version of a backed up file is not the one you want.  A good test to attempt to restore different versions of the same file.

Restoring a file is one thing but what if you lost your whole computer or server? That would require a restore on a much larger scale. It is much harder to test the integrity of the entire file system when doing a restore. If you happen to have another computer that you can use for testing you can restore large portions of a backup and then compare the file counts and sizes between the computer in use and the test computer.

What do you do if your restore fails? Nobody wants to hear that question, let alone answer it. Before you panic (don’t worry, there will be a time to panic but now is not the time), understand that a restore failure doesn’t necessarily mean the backups are no good. It could be a bad connection if you are using a local drive.  It could be a problem with your internet connection if you are using online backups.  A bad internet connection can corrupt files as they are being downloaded.

Sometimes there is one file that is problematic. Try restoring a smaller section of data. Sometimes restoring the file system in pieces works when a complete restore fails. Try rebooting your computer. I know it sounds lame but you would be amazed what a good kick in the head does for Windows. When all these fail, panic, and then contact the professionals at Landau Consulting. We can help.