Should I back up my backup now?

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

My ex­ter­nal USB hard drive, which I use with Time Ma­chine, isn’t recog­nised in Finder any­more. Disk Util­ity says that it can’t re­pair the disk and tells me to back it up and re­for­mat it. But it is the backup drive! Is there any other soft­ware that might be able to res­cue the drive? Dun­can Swan­lee Yes, but you don’t want them. Backup disks aren’t im­mune to the same ran­dom fail­ures that can hit the in­ter­nal stor­age in your Mac. Time Ma­chine drives in par­tic­u­lar re­ceive about as much wear and tear as your main drive, be­cause they are per­form­ing hourly back­ups when­ever your Mac is in use. The hope is sim­ply that both disks won’t fail at the same time. If your main drive fails be­fore the backup, you re­place it and re­store from Time Ma­chine. Like­wise, if the backup drive fails first, you should sim­ply re­place that and cre­ate a new Time Ma­chine backup. There are re­spectable third-party util­i­ties such as DiskWar­rior (www.al­soft.com) that can re­cover a hard drive, where Disk Util­ity can­not. You might be tempted by this op­tion if your main drive fails and you don’t have an up-to-date backup, but it never makes sense for a backup drive. DiskWar­rior costs $120 (about £80) and for that amount you could re­place the backup drive. Back­ups are im­por­tant enough that you don’t want to trust them to a drive that has failed once al­ready. Re­mem­ber: your data is al­ways more valu­able than the drive.

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