I always do restores without bothering to validate the archive first, as I never seemed to have any problems with archive files or the restore process itself. But then a few months ago I had a corrupt archive, which was no big deal, I just used the one from the week before instead. Yesterday I had a new problem that could have ended very badly, but fortunately worked out OK just by luck. Upon doing a restore of my C: partition the hard drive that contains all my image files started to have problems. Part way through the restore I got the dreaded "can't read from sector X" error. So now my original C: partition had been deleted, and partially restored, so I assume it was gone forever, since I now had unallocated space where it used to be. If the restore hadn't started at all I suspect I could have undone the partition delete operation, but since it had progressed about 25% through the restore I think it had already overwritten a lot of sectors before terminating due to the disk error. So now I had no C: partition, and the drive with all my backups was having read problems so I wasn't sure I could successfully restore any of them. Fortunately, the second image file I tried restored OK. I also had an old disk from 18 months ago with XP on it that I could have swapped in as a last resort, but wasn't looking forward to doing 18 months of Windows updates. So this time I was lucky, but from now on I think I'm going to spend the extra few minutes validating the archive before actually going forward with the restore process.