Friday, April 04, 2014

Is it backup time again?

What if your hard drive on your computer crashed right now?

What if all the data was wiped out?

Would you be able to restore the files from your latest backup?

The first round of questioning is: how often have you done backups? When was your last backup?

The second round of questioning is: If you've done a backup, is it any good? Is it usable?

Time out for a story:

Years ago, back in the days of my developing video games on the Apple IIe computer, I had 3 backups: "Son, Father, and Grandfather" as we knew them: 3 generations of backups that we would cycle through.

My machine crashed and destroyed my work.

I went to the "son" backup, the most recent. The backup was not readable! Panic set in!

I went to the "Father" backup, the 2nd most recent backup. This one also was unreadable! Panic raised!

I only had one more backup: the "Grandfather" - with some help, we put it into a "good" machine and found out it was readable. We put the "father" in this "good" machine and found it unreadable, same story with the "son." It was then that we realized that the crashed machine was causing the backup media to be reformatted when we were trying to restore!  What a mess!

I was then able to use the "grandfather" backup on a good machine and move it over to a new copy of the work. I had lost the work of several days, but it was better than loosing everything!

The "moral of the story" is that we need to test our backups regularly (and be careful about the machine we restore them to).

Please comment with your stories and tips on backup and restore solutions. Also, please click "like" if you liked this article.

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