Backup Test: Reinstalling Gentoo

A good administrator always checks his backups by running through a make-believe full-scale recovery. I’m doing that right now.

So far I’ve discovered some flaws in my backup process that thankfully I’ve discovered now. Things like when it recovers symlinked directories, which my backup software faithfully preserves, they don’t always point to an existent spot anymore. The software fails to recover any data inside that symlinked directory because it can’t write to the destination.

I also realized I had forgotten to backup /lib/firmware. If you have a bcm43xx card like I do, this directory holds the precious firmware extractions needed by the b43 driver. Without that, I’d first need ‘net access to get the fwcutter utilities and the firmware “blobs” before my card would go online. Catch-22 just waitin’ to happen.

If you are maintaining backups yourself, but you haven’t actually tested your methods yet, now’s the time. Trust me, it’ll be worth it when you reinstall your OS or when your hard-drive crashes.

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