How Do I Test Backups?

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I do backups of my data using Windows but it’s not maybe as retrievable as I would like it to be. I don’t know exactly how to test backups to know whether they’re really there. It says they are but are they? I’ve had to use the system image to restore function once when my computer became infected with something. I basically just transferred the system image back to my C drive and it solved all my problems. I must say I’m thankful to you for strongly encouraging everyone to do backups. I can’t tell you how many friends and family have lost stuff – everything – because of not backing up. Pictures, important data. Loss of pictures seems to be the most heartbreaking.

Yeah, I hear those heartbreaking stories all the time, and yes, it is indeed one of the reasons that I talk so much about backing up.

Your concern about not knowing whether the backups are there or not is actually very common, as is the desire to test backups. It’s so common that I include a chapter about it in each of my books about backing up with specific tools.

Let’s review how you can get a little bit of confidence that what you have will be there when you need it.

Read moreHow Do I Test Backups?

What Repair Discs Do I Need?

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Another computer advice newsletter I subscribe to just had a big piece on emergency repair discs and it got me wondering whether I need a Windows 7 repair disc and a Macrium emergency disc. Do they do the same things or are they different?

This gets really confusing very quickly. The problem is that there are several different types of discs that do several types of things, and yet they can all be called emergency repair discs or rescue discs.

Let’s see how many I can think of.

Read moreWhat Repair Discs Do I Need?

What Do I Do If I Can’t Boot from a CD or DVD Drive?

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What can I do if my laptop will not boot from the DVD drive and I need to restore my machine?

This is gradually becoming more of an issue as optical drives are becoming optional on many smaller computers. There are a few solutions or approaches to think about taking.

Read moreWhat Do I Do If I Can’t Boot from a CD or DVD Drive?

How do I backup multiple partitions?

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I’m backing up a multi-partitioned hard drive. When making the image backup, can I make one of all of the partitions in one image or do I need to make multiple images? To restore the backup on a new drive, do I use the image disk to boot up my computer and copy everything to a new blank unpartitioned hard drive? Is it that simple? Or do I need to install other significant things like Windows or drivers and so forth? I really don’t know. I’ve been told that if I clone my hard drive with Windows XP and if I need to replace my machine, the cloned drive will not work. If I clone with Windows 7 and on a cloned hard drive, it will work on a new machine. Is this true?

We’ve got several really good fundamental and common questions about backup.

Let’s look at each.

Read moreHow do I backup multiple partitions?