So what is the point of "testing" a recovery point?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by ratchet, Dec 16, 2008.

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  1. ratchet

    ratchet Registered Member

    Feb 20, 2006
    I'm aware that a common theme is to check/test your image even though you all say it's a very "scarey" process, i.e. not sure what is going to happen. I have restored some individual files from my external HD with Ghost 10 successfully. Recently, I was having a problem with an unknown device (I have since fixed the issue) and attempted to just restore the drivers in System32 and it really messed up the desktop. Admittedly that was probably just me doing something I shouldn't have. There may have been more problems but I didn't wait around to find out. Fortunately a reboot in safe mode and restore and all was back to normal. Perhaps a 100% image restore would go without a hitch but if your PC is working fine, why run the risk with a test restore if the test can cause potential problems?
  2. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

    Jul 23, 2005
    I believe you need to do a test restore to make sure your imaging software works properly. It's better to find out early on if it works, then to find out when you really depend on it to work (this is one of the reasons I switched from ATI to Paragon).

    When I do a fresh install, I image it and then test to make sure it restores properly. I repeat this a few times when setting up a system to make sure it works properly and I keep all the images until I know I can depend on my imaging software.
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Sep 20, 2003
    The reason it's scary is the first thing a restore does is essentially wipe out your disk, so if something goes wrong with the restore, you are out of luck.

    The reason for testing it so you can be sure it will work. If you don't test it you aren't really sure. Trust me when you need it you are already under stress, and then to wonder if the restore will work......

    I no longer test restore every image, but if I take one I consider critical, you bet I test restore it.

  4. Defcon

    Defcon Registered Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    Because a backup is no good if it can't be restored.

    I can see your point though - there really is no way to properly test a image restore. You could test it with a bare install to be sure you don't lose any data, or you can test in a VM. However most people will install it on a pc they use, and won't have a 2nd pc to test on (which wouldn't mean much for the original pc anyway). So in this case you have to -

    1. trust the software works, or
    2. backup all your data, and be prepared to reinstall if the restore screws up

    Both of these are frankly less than optimal!
  5. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    I concur with testing at least crtical ones as peter stated.If your not going to test at least make sure the archives are good and If needed, knock on wood through salt over the shoulder and prey to the computer gods.:blink:
  6. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    May 1, 2007
    You need to run a "test restore" on a different spare hard drive, then swap out the drives. This way you will boot up with the "restored" drive. That's the safe way to test your recovery plan without risking your "main" hard drive.

    From my personal experience I know that all backup/restore software can cause problems. If you do a test restore and it fails to boot, it will give you an opportunity to troubleshoot the problem. That's the main reason to test your recovery plan, to see if it will work when you really need it and if it doesn't you can learn how to fix it in a "controlled" environment.

    On my system, I've disable "windows system restore" and rely on my imaging software to restore me. For me when restoring an image back to the same hard drive/same partition has proven reliable everytime. It's when you restore to different hard drives/partitions that problems show up.
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