As I mentioned last week, I've suffered some fairly catastrophic hardware failures of late. Thankfully, no critical data was lost, in part because I use Mozy to archive the important stuff (Word documents, my Outlook PST file, etc.) to the cloud.

It's interesting the things you learn about your backup system when the time comes to restore from it. For example, I once learned the hard way that the image file I'd created flat out didn't work on the new hard drive I'd installed. I never did figure it out why, which is why you should always do a "test restoration" whenever implementing a new backup system. And recently I discovered a weird, annoying anomaly in the way Mozy restores files.

Specifically, after using Mozy's Restore Manager (a small utility intended solely for restoring files) to download my Word documents to my new PC, I discovered that each file's creation date (aka "Date modified") had been altered to today's date. That might not be a big deal for certain kinds of files, but I frequently need to know when a particular document was authored.

Why does this happen? I have no idea, but it's a bug that needs fixing. In the meantime, there is a way to make sure your file dates remain intact: Use the Mozy client software, not Restore Manager, to handle the restoration. That's according to a Mozy employee who posted the solution in a Mozy community forum. And I'm happy to report my tests bear this out.