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How to Test Backup of Mac Before Restoring – Guide
Each of us has some data that we cannot lose. Photos, spreadsheets, e-mails, financial data or the draft of the novel you are writing, whatever you want. I’m talking about the data you think about when I ask you, for example, “What would you most like to lose if your Mac crashes and burns now?” Fortunately, more people today are actually supporting up your data. But something most people rarely, if ever, do is make sure their backups are working properly.
Support up your data is great, but it is useless if the backup is corrupted or if the disk or disk on which it is damaged. Here are some things you can do to make sure your backups are up to date. tip-top shape.back to menu ↑
What could go wrong?
In an ideal world, backups must be “configured and forgotten”. They just work. When something goes wrong, you go to the backup and restore the material. If everything worked as it should, you probably wouldn’t even need the backup. This is one of the reasons why you need to test it.
A very common problem that users have with backups is that they are backing up up the wrong things. It is not until they restore the data, they discover that they are not there! At other times, the backup drive has been disconnected from the Mac. For online backups, the account may have expired or access to the account is blocked. All of these scenarios can be avoided through proper testing.
How to Test a Time Machine backup
The first place to check your Time Machine backup is the Time Machine Control Panel. Look for the oldest backup and the most recent backup. If Time Machine is always connected to the Mac, the backup should be no more than a few hours. By default, your Mac supports up all the time. In this photo, the first backup was never completed. In other cases, the external hard drive has not been connected or has failed. For network drives, such as Time Capsules, your Mac may not have connected to the network for a while. Fortunately, when checking, you can detect this problem in time.
To correct this problem, reconnect the unit or select a different one. Then, go to the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and select Back Up Now. Wait a few hours and verify that the backup is complete.
If your backup is recent, it’s time to test it. Testing the integrity of all files in the backup is not feasible. The complete restoration would take days and would require a huge hard drive. Instead, you will need to choose some random files to test. I suggest the following files, but feel free to choose yours:
Try to restore each of these files on random dates in the previous year. Create a folder on your desktop called Tested Files and place the restored files in that folder. If you are using Apple’s integrated programs, emails, contacts and photos will be restored directly from those programs. You will need to sign in to Time Machine when you are in these programs to perform a test restore.back to menu ↑
How to Test other backup systems
If you’re not using Time Machine, you’re probably using a cloud-based service like Backblaze, Carbonite, Mozy or Crashplan. The restoration procedure is different for each program. In this example, I am using Backblaze.
To decide which files to restore, use the same criteria suggested with Time Machine. Pick a few random files on a few random dates along with your most important files. For emails, contacts and photos, only Apple’s Time Machine makes it easy to restore them. If you use a third-party program, you will need to restore the entire database in most cases. This is a reason to use Time Machine in conjunction with an online backup service.back to menu ↑
What about iCloud?
iCloud is great for support up your iPhone and iPad. It also supports up your contacts, calendars and other things that iCloud syncs. Will not return up your computer. You can put some things on your iCloud drive. This synchronizes only those files. If your Mac dies, the material will still be on iCloud. The material on your hard drive will not be protected, however.back to menu ↑
How many times should you test?
The short answer: how much can you lose? This is not an answer, but a question. Testing every day or week is probably overkill. You can test every month or some other regular interval. At a minimum, test twice a year. If you are a student, try to test every semester or quarter.back to menu ↑
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