Home Server saves the day (again!)

There’s no two ways about it, Windows Home Server is cool. The backup system is excellent, especially the part where it only backs up identical clusters for different machines once. This means that if you have the same OS on multiple PCs, all the OS files will be backed up only once saving a bunch of space. It also means that you get differential backups sort of for free.

First thing on Monday morning, my laptop blue screened due to a fault in the smart-card reader driver. When the system rebooted, my VPN software appeared to be missing and after trying to repair it for a few minutes I decided that even if I got this working I’d never really know why it had disappeared and if anything else was gone. Since I’d created no new files that morning and my e-mail was all stored on the exchange server, I went ahead and booted off the Home Server recovery CD. I picked the back-up image and it re-imaged the disk to just as it had been before the crash. Touch wood, it’s been working fine again for the last couple of days.

I guess this post is really about the merits of having a simple backup strategy. Home Server just makes that dead easy.