Spring Forward, Fall Back—Time to Check Your Backup

Twice a year, we change our clocks. Safety experts tell us that these two occasions are also ideal times to check the batteries in our smoke detectors. Well, there is one more thing we need to check on a semiannual basis: our data backup systems.

Yes, I know. Computer backup systems are about as exciting as insurance policies. We set them up and then just assume they continue to work. Then one day, when we need them the most, we find out that they stopped working two years ago!

So, let’s take a quick look at your backup system. The exact procedure varies depending on which of the many backup programs you are using. But the general process is the same and it’s very simple:

How to Check Your Backup System

  1. Think of a file that you updated a few days ago.
  2. Open your backup program.
  3. Start the Restore process.
  4. Browse to the desired file.
  5. Restore it to a test folder on your desktop.
  6. Open the file to be sure it is intact.
  7. Then delete the file in the test folder.

That’s it. If everything works fine, you’re all set for the next 6 months. If not, well, you need to find out what’s wrong with your backup system and correct it as soon as possible.

By the way, if you are among the 75 percent of computer users who don’t back up their data at all, consider this a wakeup call. You are skating on thin ice, and it is only a matter of time before you lose irreplaceable photographs and other files. Start setting up a backup system right away.


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