Techie Tuesday: Verifying your backup

TechieTuesday

We recently ran some polls on Twitter to about backup strategies. A worrying statistic was that 64% of respondents have never tested their backups!

There are a number of ways you can test your backups and a combination of two or three is advisable.

Verify a backup

Backup verification checks the entire contents of backup files against MD5 message digests (Hashes) created from the source data when the backup was created. If data is read back with a different MD5 hash to the hash that was generated when the data was written, it is guaranteed to be corrupt. Verification can be performed automatically after the backup is created (which will add more time to the backup process) or manually later. You can read more here: Verifying image and backup files

Test Rescue Media

Test your Rescue Media by rebooting with the Rescue Media in the computer (if it doesn’t work see My CD/DVD Rescue Media will not boot).

Mount an image

By mounting image files in Windows Explorer you can browse or explore an image and access all the files in a backup. The backed up data appears as a temporary drive in Windows Explorer that you can access, just like any other drive, mounted with its own drive letter. Individual Files and Folders can easily be recovered by using Copy and Paste. You can read more here: Browsing Macrium Reflect images and backups in Windows Explorer

Test Restore an image

If the image contains only data, restoring it is very simple using Macrium Reflect. You can restore it back to its original location or to another disk without interrupting the operating system. Restoring a Data image from within Windows

System images of, for example, the C drive, contain operating system files so it is not possible to restore files in real time because they will be in use by the operating system. To resolve this Macrium Reflect boots Windows PE. It then restores the file system before rebooting again and loading the restored Windows OS. Although this sounds complex, it really is very simple to perform. For restoring a system image see Restoring a system image

Create a Virtual Machine from an image

Macrium viBoot enables you, to instantly create, start and manage Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines using one or more Macrium Reflect image files as the basis of the virtual machine storage sub-system. At a minimum, viBoot enables you to boot into the images you have made using Macrium Reflect, for validation purposes, or to retrieve data from old applications stored on a bootable image. At an enterprise level, you could recover an entire network environment in minutes. Macrium viBoot

To convert an image into a virtual machine using other hypervisors see Converting a Physical machine to Virtual Machine


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