At The Tao of Backup website, the writer makes the case that one should check to see which files have changed between backups to avoid backing up corrupt files. Or, in his words, "You are then free to investigate the changes and restore any damaged files as you see fit."
I can't see how it is possible to do that when a simple search with Windows shows that >430 files have changed in just 24 hours. Though I can guess that things like %userprofile%\AppData\LocalLow\Microsoft\CryptnetUrlCache aren't important, I have a hard time being confident about that. After all, who's to say that a wiley cracker can't figure out a bug in [insert name of favorite browser here] that turns a corrupted cache file into an exploit?
Despite this problem, I can't ignore the suggestion to check file integrity because it's not hard to conclude that backing up a screwed up version of a file doesn't give you any real backup.
How can I make sure the files I'm backing up aren't in ruins without resorting to devoting the rest of my life to learning the ins and outs of every single program that ever runs on the computer and all their associated file formats?
If I only check files in places like Documents, then that doesn't save me from backing up screwed up copies of say, Visual Studio. And I have no desire to reinstall all my software from DVDs/painfully slow downloads the moment the hard drive fails.