Highly Reliable Systems: Removable Disk Backup & Recovery


A Caution about Hidden Files with Cloud or Removable Drive Backup System

By Darren McBride
Displaying hidden files on your server or removable drive backup system

Make sure your removable drive backup system and your cloud backup include hidden files and folders

Removable Drive Backup System or the Cloud. A Cautionary Tale:

A reseller we know uses MaxBackup (A GFI product) for backing up to the cloud for their customers.  Apparently MaxBackup (and some other backup software) made a recent change to NOT backup hidden files and folders by default.  The reasoning is files like pagefile.sys don’t need to be backed up.  However often you DO want to restore the entire operating system and worse, in this case the end user had a hidden folder where they stored critical documents.  Unfortunately this means the hidden folder wasn’t backed up and it was only discovered when the customer got a cryptolocker ransomware variant.  The reseller is now on the hook because they were doing managed backup, didn’t use a local appliance such as our removable drive backup system, and couldn’t restore from the cloud since the software didn’t backup hidden folders.   This is something you wouldn’t get burned on with Shadowprotect, VEEAM, or a similar image based or block level backup product but it’s always a good idea to check settings, include everything, and do test restores.   You can open a CMD prompt and type DIR /ah /s to see all hidden files and make sure they’re in the backup. Or change your settings in the file explorer to show hidden files.  Also remember that when backing up to the cloud restore times for an entire system may take a prohibitively long time.  That’s why we recommend a backup NAS (Network Attached Storage) or BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) with a removable drive backup system at the local site.

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