Backing up - a cautionary tale

Users of Seagate's Dashboard 2.0 backup tool for Windows recently discovered, to their discomfiture, that it doesn't back up the files that one would have naively expected:

Note that Seagate Dashboard does not back up certain files, including:
  • The contents of the Windows directory
  • The contents of the Program Files directory
  • System files
  • Hidden files
  • Files on detachable USB drives
Thhe fourth kind of exclusion (hidden files) turns out to be rather important because a number of Windows applications mark their user data files or folders as hidden, e.g. Outlook mail data files and a number of games. Therefore if your hard drive crashes or you suffer a similar data-destroying incident, you'll come to a painful realization that the data you had assumed saved is not actually on the device you thought.

Actually, the public furore to the contrary, this shouldn't be a problem for anyone who cares about their data. If you care enough about your data to make backups, you should be periodically restoring and verifying your backups. Doing so in this case would have made it abundantly clear that Seagate Dashboard isn't saving what you require.

If you don't verify your backups, you're not actually backing up; you're simply spending money, time, resources and effort on filling data storage devices with crap.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are subject to retrospective moderation. I will only reject spam, gratuitous abuse, and wilful stupidity.