Tech Tips

December 17, 2015

End-of-Year Advice: Check Your Backups

Take a moment before the New Year's Eve party to check your backups. Making sure they're stable and up-to-date now, means your data is safe and secure going into 2016.

At the end of the year, we like to tidy up.  Clean the office out, review our customer accounts, and perform a little extra maintenance.

Here’s an end-of-year tip to help you tidy up too:  Verify your backups!

Where are your backups located?  Are they up-to-date?  Is the backup process running smoothly?  Now’s the time to check on this.  It’s easy, and doesn’t take long.

Using an external hard drive for backup?

If you rely on the trusty “backup drive,” review the files you have saved there.  Are files you recently created on the external drive?  If not, check to make sure your backup software is running properly.

Also, check the external hard drive’s health.  We typically replace these after one or two years due to the volume of disk writes done by backups on a daily basis.  You can do this by typing “scandisk” in the Windows search box.  The top result should come up as, “Defragment and optimize your drives.”

Click this and a new window will open.  Click the Analyze button.  If you see “X% fragmented” afterward, then click the Defragment button.  (Then go get lunch—this may take a few minutes.)

If you see a message about "bad sectors," replace the drive right away!

Using a cloud-based backup?

Request a report from your cloud storage provider.  The report should tell you the files currently backed up, and their current status.

(For our current Cloud Backup customers:  We checked.  Your backups are all stable and current!)

Also, check your local files.  Open a few at random, so you’re sure they don’t have any corruption issues.  It’s rare, but does happen to older files.

That’s all!  Now your backups are in good shape and ready for 2016.