Troubleshooting Verification Problems

Verification errors are extremely rare and generally caused by hardware or media faults. This topic explains what happens during the image verification process and how to troubleshoot problems with your system.

A verification failure means that data written to the backup or image file is not the same as the data when it is read back from the image file. A verification failure is an error that suggests a marginal hardware problem on the computer. The most likely problem is with the backup media but it is also possible for the problem to be a memory or motherboard fault.

If your computer cannot reliably write and read back data all software on your computer is vulnerable to same problem. Macrium Reflect is simply the first software to report the problem. Files are not checked for integrity by Windows, so unless an application does it explicitly, disk errors can occur silently. Macrium Reflect handles very large volumes of data with a consequently high chance of triggering any intermittent hardware errors.

If required you can also use other utilities to show the same corruption:

Note The DOS copy command and ExactFile checks are not necessarily conclusive because they read the file sequentially and the error may only occur during random access. Due to the different execution and data paths, success in any of the detail test is not an absolute guarantee that your hardware is fault free.

The key to resolving verification errors is to locate the source of the corruption. This can be difficult and may involve replacing PC components or upgrading firmware or software drivers. Try these steps to narrow down the problem.

To troubleshoot a verification error

  1. Isolate the backup drive.

    If the backup drive is an external drive then backup to the same drive using a different PC. If your system is generally stable then the issue causing the verification error may have very low probability of occurring. Therefore, to optimize the chance of triggering it, you should try to backup the same or a greater volume of data. If you still receive verification errors then your drive is faulty and you should use a different backup device.

  2. Try a different backup destination.

    Try combinations USB/Fire-wire/eSata/Network. If you only get corruption with one of the connection types then that sub-system has a problem. Updating the firmware or software drivers for the controller might resolve the problem.

  3. Replace or swap out your RAM modules.

    If the error can't be traced to a single component then you may have faulty system RAM. If you have more than one RAM module installed then swapping out the memory can isolate the faulty RAM module.

    Note Memory checkers such as 'memtest86' can often fail to find problems even if there is an issue with the RAM.

  4.  Turn off your anti-virus software.

    We have had an uncorroborated report that some anti-virus software can corrupt disk writes. If you find that your images pass verification after disabling your AV software then we strongly recommend that you un-install your AV software as it is compromising your system.

  5. Finally, even if the image you need to restore has validation errors, you can restore the image and select the option to ignore validation errors. This option is not available for a file and folder backups.

    Specifying the ignore errors option for during a restore, restores an image which contains validation errors, for further assistance, please the see the Knowledge Base on our website.