Ben Schorr, CEO of Roland Schorr in Hawaii and author of one of my favorite new books, The Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Outlook 2007 (which you can check out from our lending library or purchase your own online) has a tip for testing backups that I love. It’s simple and it makes sense.
Most experts agree that if you haven’t tested a backup, you can’t be certain you really have a backup. Ben’s tip is this: An easy way to test backups is to create a small file called “#BackupTest” and put it with your documents. It can be a Word document or whatever; it doesn’t really matter. Every now and then, delete it from your system, then try to restore it from your most recent backup.
Throughout the years I’ve talked to lawyers who found out the hard way that their computer backup wasn’t functioning or was corrupted. A test restore of a document could have prevented a lot of expense and anguish (not to mention protecting the lawyers from possible ethics violations).