Creating a backup before upgrading your OS is a must

Written By: Ontrack

Date Published: Oct 17, 2017 12:00:00 AM

Creating a backup before upgrading your OS is a must

It’s just a simple upgrade, what could go wrong? The answer to that question is exactly why backing up your data is an essential part of upgrading your operating system(OS).

A lot can happen when upgrading your OS, let’s review some of the common errors when upgrading.

1. Power

A loss of power during any major system update can be harmful to data and this is also true when upgrading your OS. Losing power during a OS upgrade can corrupt the boot sector of the drive and other areas of the partition so the files are no longer accessible, even if you hook it up as an external storage device.

2. Not enough space

Not having enough space on your drive during a OS upgrade can cause the system to reboot after only a partial install. The system will not be able to boot up which will lock down access to any files.

It is best to check your drive space before any major upgrade. Most upgrades will tell you how much system space is required on the information screen before you agree to install it.  A good suggestion is to double the system space requirement to accommodate the temp files that are used during the installation.

3. Drive failure

As you can probably imagine, a drive failure while upgrading your OS would be as catastrophic as a drive failure at any other time. Your files would be inaccessible and a professional data recovery service would be needed in order to retrieve them.

4. Unknown errors

Sometimes there are errors where the root cause cannot be determined. One of our engineers at Kroll Ontrack had something interrupt an install which made his system reboot and while rebooting he was given an option to start the install over or revert back to previous install.  He selected “start the install over” and the installation program preformed a fresh system install after formatting the drive instead of starting the install over to the same partition.

5. User errors

In the instance described above there was an additional issue…a user error.  After thinking through the   problem, the engineer realized he was an additional reason for the failure. If he would have read the options more careful and had not assumed what would happen, the reformatting of the drive would have not taken place. Whenever an upgrade is taking place, there is always the human factor. To avoid any user errors, make sure to read instructions carefully, including any pop-up windows that appear throughout the installation.

Creating a Backup

With all of the possibilities of what could go wrong, creating a backup should be the first thing on your to-do list when planning to upgrade your OS. Backing up your data is simple. First, choose your media. Whether it is the Cloud or a standalone drive, select whichever is the easiest and most cost-effective for you. Once your backup is complete, always be sure to check it. We see several cases each year where the client created a backup of their data, but it was either not complete, or it was not functioning.

If All Else Fails

If you do backup your data and the unforeseen does happen, there is still hope. If you happen to lose data during a OS upgrade and your drive is still functioning a data recovery software like Ontrack EasyRecovery is your answer. You can try Ontrack EasyRecovery for free to see if what you’re needing to be recovered can be located before paying for the one year license.


KLDiscovery Ontrack, LLC, 9023 Columbine Road Eden Prairie, MN 55347, United States (see all locations)