New Year’s Resolutions: Back up your data (and test it)

MacMedics Locations in Severna Park & Lanham

Last year at this time we announced our campaign to “retire” older hard drives and to also ensure that data was backed up. We created an informative website to explain our thoughts on the matter. Our site has had thousands of hits over the last year, but sadly we still see cases daily where clients have lost data.

Hard drives can fail at anytime and at any age, so it’s very important to always have a back up of your data. Our message must be getting out there, because we see more and more clients who are in the planning stage of a back up system lose their data the day before they hooked the the new back up system up. As ironic as that sounds, it happens all the time. People just put it off too long and the risk catches up with them. With larger and larger hard drives available as the Apple factory option that risk only increases with the amount of data stored in one place. An automatic and reliable back up system should be put in place BEFORE you start generating data.
Another situation we commonly see is where a back up has been made and the primary drive then gets erased (on purpose) in preparation for a move to a new computer or some other reason. It’s very, very important that when you make a back up with plan to only have that data on solely the back up drive for a time, that you test to ensure your data is really there. If the backup is bootable, then try booting off it to test. If it’s a Time Machine back up, then do some sample restores from a couple of different days. The rule here is if you’re going to be moving your data, it’s very important that to check to see that data is valid before you erase your old data.
The new year is great time to start fresh with a good back up system. Do yourself a favor and make a resolution to get a back up system installed as soon as possible. There are lots of options, and many are very inexpensive. Ask your MacMedics Engineer or Service Coordinator for help. We’ll be happy to help install a system that’s right for you.
P.S. If you have a MacBook check to see if you have a Seagate 7.01 firmware drive. These drives are prone to an unusual fatal hard drive failure. If you have this drive installed, MacMedics recommends that your proactively replace it. See our previous blog post on the topic here.
Also see our post about stripped or spanned hard drive RAIDs such as the LaCie Big Disk. This is another case where having all your eggs in one basket can be very risky. We’ve learned over time that many of clients don’t even know they are using such a system. Super dangerous for your data. If you have one, just get in touch with us ASAP!

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