Monday, February 17, 2014

You tested your Backups, when?

The words

/but I only changed one thing/

cut little ice in our Computerised Household.  Very late on the night of Friday February 14th Marcus made a small breakthrough in the build of our Intel Virtualisation Server.

But when some 40 hours later, after a flurry of hacks and low level changes,  Windows 8.1x64 Professional refused to boot, things were not looking so rosy.

You see, in my haste no precautionary backup had been made.

Sometimes Computing is akin to climbing an ice face in bad weather.   You can crash at any time and so I have just reminded myself the hard way that before delicate changes after an Install/ customisation, a backup will allow a graceful fallback if things go horribly wrong.

Some hours later I've chosen to reinstall Windows 2012 Storage Server R2. as a Virtualisation base.

On a Windows Server 2012 R2 install, the Schedueld Backup Feature is available but an optional install ...

And since this is practically a base install, what better time than RIGHT NOW, to test the restore.  I don't want to be under the illusion that the backup is working, when it is not.
Here is a recovery to a new hard disk:

Example Windows 2012 R2 Server Restore
  • Remove existing OS disk
  • Insert new Blank OS disk (different size and different technology)
  • Boot from USB Key containing OS DVD image and select Repair (not Installation)

And so now,  back to my Computer Forensics investigations.  More to report soon.

Windows 8.1 Backup BTW:  For Windows 8.1 a full computer backup is possible though hidden by obscurity by Microsoft.   

It's available, but can't be easily scheduled as with Windows 2012 R2 server.

Windows 8.1 Recovery Tools

So creating a recovery drive just copies a few programs (500MB) onto a key, but to me it is pointless.  One can instead boot from the Installation DVD (or USB key made with Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool)

So to summarise,  make a regular OS backup of your computer.  And test it.