ComTech: IT Support Stirling

How often do you check your backups?

Recently I had a client (call him Jeff) ask me would I be able to take a look at his Windows 7 laptop which had become infected with a virus.  After inspecting the laptop it was obvious that it was in a sorry state of repair so I suggested to Jeff that the quickest way to recover the system would be to wipe the hard drive and reinstall the operating system.

“I did a backup last week to an external hard drive so go ahead and wipe it” I was told.  Great I thought as not having to recover files saves a lot of time so I happily wiped the hard drive and reinstalled Windows 7.  Jeff then went to get his external hard drive.  When he returned he plugged it in and it wasn’t recognised. I then plugged it into my netbook (Linux based) and again nothing happened.  Houston we have a problem!!

Unbeknown to Jeff since he had made his last backup the hard drive had been dropped and all of his files could no longer be accessed.  I did suggest sending it off to a lab to try and retrieve the files but when I told him it would cost hundreds he didn’t look very well!! He had made the common mistake of making backups but not checking them.

Now Jeff is a home customer and home customers in my experience hardly ever take backups (never mind checking them) but I also see this happening in the workplace.  A lot of businesses I deal with do some kinds of backups (one backs up to floppy disks!!) but hardly any of them ever check them.  When I do suggest they check them I am usually told there is no need.  Personally I would rather know there is a problem before I need to try and restore your systems from backups that may or may not be corrupt in some form.

So people yes take your backups but for your own sake check them too!!

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter


How to check the status of your hard drive using SeaTools

Today I will show you how to check the status of your hard drive.  There are tools built into Windows which will accomplish such tasks (eg chkdsk) however they are useless if you can’t boot into the system to use them.  For situations like this you need SeaTools.

Seatools is a diagnostic program that can be run from a CD and allows you to perform preconfigured tests on your hard drive.  For the purpose of this tutorial I will use SeaTools on a Windows 7 system which is hosted as a virtual machine within Virtualbox.

Ok first thing to do is download a copy of Seatools and burn it to a disk.  Now we shall boot the system with the disk to get the screenshot below.

Accept the license agreement to start the program.  Once started you should get the screenshot below.

Now highlight your hard drive and click on Basic Tests – Short Test.  The short test is usually sufficient to tell if your hard drive is experiencing issues.

Once the test has been carried out Seatools will show the test results on the right hand side under Test Results.

If the Test Result is Passed then you have no issues.  If however the result is Failed then you have a problem.  You can go back and try the Long Test which can sort out any bad sectors etc but in my experience if a hard drive fails the Short Test it needs replacing.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.


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