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Preventing Problems

I have never believed that having to re-install and re-configure an OS is a true recovery method. Its more of a start-over-from-scratch method. There are some system failures which require such far reaching procedures, but in many cases you can prevent them. The most successful preventative measure is backing up. In fact, the only insurance you have from one moment to the next that your system and your data will even be accessible is a backup. Backups should be performed automatically and frequently. But just backing up is not enough; you must also verify that your backups are working properly and periodically walk through the process of restoring your system in the event of a failure.

Backups are the key to a long life of your data. In fact, most of the repair capabilities of Windows XP are based around backups. Many repair functions don’t correct problems directly; instead they restore saved functioning files over problematic ones. This includes the Last Known Good Configuration, many functions within Recovery Console, and the System Restore capability (discussed later in this chapter). But all of these restore or repair functions focus on the OS, not on your data. Only a backup you configure and execute will protect your data.


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