Backups are great. They can literally save your business if you have some form of hardware failure but more importantly they give you piece of mind knowing your files are safe. Just one thing though when did you last check that the backup you have actually works?
I came across this exact scenario about a month ago. I received a call from a new client who sounded very stressed on the phone. He ran a small home office business with one PC which he backed up to a NAS box running RAID 1. His PC had suffered a hard drive failure so he was looking for someone to come out and install a new hard drive ASAP and retrieve his files from the NAS box. As it was a quiet day I jumped in the car and went along to take a look.
On arriving on site I did some quick checks and yes his hard drive was completely dead (apparently it had been doing the “click of death” for some time but the client had just ignored it). Next thing to check was the state of the backups on the NAS so I connected up my laptop and took a look. This is where the issues started.
The were indeed files on the NAS box but there was nothing there from the last six months. It turns out that the NAS had been installed about 12 months ago and the backups were scheduled on a daily basis. Something had stopped the backup software running correctly six months ago and since the client hadn’t ever checked his backups he hadn’t noticed. The result – all files (invoices, documents, quotes etc) for the last six months had been lost.
I did explain to the client that there might be a slight chance of recovering files from his dead hard drive if he sent it off to a lab but I thought he was going to pass out when he saw the price (they aren’t cheap).
Moral of the story – doing backups is great practice but MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THAT THEY ACTUALLY WORK!!
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