Since 2010

Verify your backups

There are two kinds of people: those who backup their data, and those who have never had a hard-drive fail.

That’s an old joke that IT support people like to throw around, but as someone who has had several hard-drives fail over the years, it comes dangerously close to the truth. The hard-drive in your computer will eventually fail. The mechanics in spinning drives don’t last forever, and even SSD drives are known to wear out after a while.

I remember, back in the floppy disk days, telling my Dad that the accounts and invoices for his business were lost for good. Now Dad had been taking regular backups, but he’d never bothered to check that the backups actually worked. So when the inevitable hardware failure happened it was game over.

The folks over at TidBITS have declared that every Friday the 13th, whenever that date rolls around, should be considered International Verify Your Backups Day. Their advice is simple:

Take a few minutes to identify some critical files and see if you can restore them successfully from your backups.