Win7's Backup Program?


C

charliec

Anyone using the Win7 Backup Program and can provide any insights as
to how good/effective the backup program is? I normally use a backup
on a manual basis to backup all my files and folders and get the
ability to restore file/folders as needed. Currently, I do not do a
lot of System Restore procedures (maybe I should, but do no). I'm
currently using Norton Ghost for my backups.

Any thoughts on how good the Win7 Backup is or possible
recommendations on other possibilities.

Thanks
charliec
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <[email protected]>,
Anyone using the Win7 Backup Program and can provide any insights as
to how good/effective the backup program is? I normally use a backup
on a manual basis to backup all my files and folders and get the
ability to restore file/folders as needed. Currently, I do not do a
lot of System Restore procedures (maybe I should, but do no). I'm
currently using Norton Ghost for my backups.

Any thoughts on how good the Win7 Backup is or possible
recommendations on other possibilities.

Thanks
charliec
Ideally, responses should describe - as well as the backup process - the
restore process, i. e. how easy it is to restore from a backup if
Windows won't load. Without that, most backup methods are IMO mostly
junk, however sophisticated.
 
C

choro

In message <[email protected]>,


Ideally, responses should describe - as well as the backup process - the
restore process, i. e. how easy it is to restore from a backup if
Windows won't load. Without that, most backup methods are IMO mostly
junk, however sophisticated.
Hear, hear!!!
 
A

Andy

Anyone using the Win7 Backup Program and can provide any insights as
to how good/effective the backup program is? I normally use a backup
on a manual basis to backup all my files and folders and get the
ability to restore file/folders as needed. Currently, I do not do a
lot of System Restore procedures (maybe I should, but do no). I'm
currently using Norton Ghost for my backups.

Any thoughts on how good the Win7 Backup is or possible
recommendations on other possibilities.

Thanks
charliec
Windows 7 Backup is really good. You can restore a complete image or
individual files straight from the desktop and if you're not able to boot,
the image can be restored directly from the BIOS boot menu (not many 3rd
party programs can do this). The only downside is that it will attempt to
use all available space on whatever partition you specify as the backup
storage, so if you use this drive for other stuff you will have to
periodically manually delete older backup files (easy).

Hope this helps

Andy
 
D

Dave

Anyone using the Win7 Backup Program and can provide any insights as to
how good/effective the backup program is? I normally use a backup on a
manual basis to backup all my files and folders and get the ability to
restore file/folders as needed. Currently, I do not do a lot of System
Restore procedures (maybe I should, but do no). I'm currently using
Norton Ghost for my backups.

Any thoughts on how good the Win7 Backup is or possible recommendations
on other possibilities.

Thanks charliec
I've used it, works fine but I don't like it. Makes many files and seems
to only keep one version even when plenty of space for more.
If it can restore an individual file as someone claims I don't know how.
However, the full restore seems to work ok.

Much better is Macrium. The free version does a full image backup to a
single file, and double click of that file brings up an explorer window of
a virtual drive that lets you access individual files or directories.

Any image backup program provides a full restore mechanism. This will
require creating a bootable media once and the program will do this for
you. One thing I'm never clear about is whether a program backs up the
MBR. Macrium seems to and provides an option to restore as a separate
item. This doesn't mean the other don't, but they provide no info.

The paid version of Macrium does incremental and differential image backup
and file backup. Personally I confine the C partition to system and
installed programs and don't need other than full backup.
 
A

Anthony Buckland

I've used it, works fine but I don't like it. Makes many files and seems
to only keep one version even when plenty of space for more.
If it can restore an individual file as someone claims I don't know how.
However, the full restore seems to work ok.

Much better is Macrium. The free version does a full image backup to a
single file, and double click of that file brings up an explorer window of
a virtual drive that lets you access individual files or directories.

Any image backup program provides a full restore mechanism. This will
require creating a bootable media once and the program will do this for
you. One thing I'm never clear about is whether a program backs up the
MBR. Macrium seems to and provides an option to restore as a separate
item. This doesn't mean the other don't, but they provide no info.

The paid version of Macrium does incremental and differential image backup
and file backup. Personally I confine the C partition to system and
installed programs and don't need other than full backup.
As usual, I'll recommend Acronis True Image, which
has passed the acid test with me of restoring my
full C: partition after more than one disaster
over the years. I'm currently using the 2012
version. My fail-safe procedure for installing
a new version: make a current backup using the last
version known to successfully restore; install the
new version; make a current backup with the new
version; restore the second current backup (made
with the new version); if that works, use the new
version -- if it didn't, I could restore with the
first current backup (made with the old, known-
to-be-reliable version). There's no rush about
updating to a new version of an image backup
program, since it does indeed restore the entire
partition, and doesn't during this process know
or care what version of anything else is included
in the image. There's no need to keep step with
your system or parts of it. I update Acronis only
when there seems to be something really desirable
about the new interface or how various utilities
serve my needs.

Acronis lets you restore individual files if you
want.
 
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C

charliec

As usual, I'll recommend Acronis True Image, which
has passed the acid test with me of restoring my
full C: partition after more than one disaster
over the years. I'm currently using the 2012
version. My fail-safe procedure for installing
a new version: make a current backup using the last
version known to successfully restore; install the
new version; make a current backup with the new
version; restore the second current backup (made
with the new version); if that works, use the new
version -- if it didn't, I could restore with the
first current backup (made with the old, known-
to-be-reliable version). There's no rush about
updating to a new version of an image backup
program, since it does indeed restore the entire
partition, and doesn't during this process know
or care what version of anything else is included
in the image. There's no need to keep step with
your system or parts of it. I update Acronis only
when there seems to be something really desirable
about the new interface or how various utilities
serve my needs.

Acronis lets you restore individual files if you
want.

Thanks for all the replies.
charliec
 
S

s|b

As usual, I'll recommend Acronis True Image, which
has passed the acid test with me of restoring my
full C: partition after more than one disaster
over the years.
Then I'll recommend Macrium Reflect... Free!
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Then I'll recommend Macrium Reflect... Free!
I've had bad experiences with Acronis, but the details are lost in the
mysts of (my) antiquity, so I also recommend Macrium, although it has
its problems too.

I have a paid license.

Also, Anthony Buckland said
"Acronis lets you restore individual files if you want."

Macrium does that as well. In fact the paid version lets you restore
earlier versions of a file, if you do incremental backups.
 
J

Jim

Then I'll recommend Macrium Reflect... Free!
I can't recommend Macrium Reflect as it failed to restore a backup
image a few months ago. Lucky for me that I had a slightly older
Acronis True Image backup which restored the drive.
I'll stick with Acronis as it has never given me a problem. I don't
have ATI installed, I use the boot disk installed on a USB stick.
 
P

Paul

Jim said:
I can't recommend Macrium Reflect as it failed to restore a backup
image a few months ago. Lucky for me that I had a slightly older
Acronis True Image backup which restored the drive.
I'll stick with Acronis as it has never given me a problem. I don't
have ATI installed, I use the boot disk installed on a USB stick.
According to this, you can "Verify" them.

http://kb.macrium.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50176.aspx

All that does, is run through the generated .mrimg file and
compare the MD5SUM in the manifest, against what was written
to the .mrimg. It's a way of detecting a hardware failure, such
as an OS write buffer having an error in it. If you had a storage
media that suffered from "bit rot", then it would also provide
a means of detecting the media had gone bad.

You can also convert an .mrimg to a .vhd and load the .vhd
into a virtual machine. You would make it the second disk in the
virtual machine, and examine it with your forensic tools (if it
was damaged say).

http://kb.macrium.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50005.aspx?Keywords=vmware+vmplayer

And if you happen to have a copy of vhdmount, you can even mount
a .vhd file as a virtual disk (i.e. no virtual machine software needed).
That is for the older OSes which lack native .vhd mounting. I think
Windows 8 can mount a .vhd native, as well as mount ISO9660 files as
virtual optical drives, as an example of an OS that doesn't need such
assistance. For the others, there are hacks such as vhdmount.

(Obscured by ugly popup advertising. I bookmarked this back when it
was readable.)

http://www.petri.co.il/mounting-vhd-files-with-vhdmount.htm

It's possible I got my copy of vhdmount from here. I wouldn't need
this too often, as I have VPC2007 and VirtualBox available in other
setups. I usually carve up downloads like this, with 7zip, to get
the goodies.

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?amp;displaylang=en&displaylang=en&id=24383

A number of the virtual disk formats, differ only slightly in terms
of headers and the like. So if you had half a dozen different formats,
they might be very similar. I suppose Macrium might differ, in that
the body of their VHD would be compressed, and one would assume the
conversion routine they offer, would decompress it again. I don't know
if .vhd has a native compression option. I thought it was always
plain text.

In fact, I had some utility, that would convert a .dd (file full of sectors
from a disk), to a .vhd, and when I ran that once, it only took a second
to convert the file. It required prepending and appending junk on either
end of the file. Something like that.

So it's like roast turkey. With a sharp knife and patience,
anything is possible.

Paul
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <[email protected]>, Andy <[email protected]>
writes:
[]
Windows 7 Backup is really good. You can restore a complete image or
individual files straight from the desktop and if you're not able to
Useful to know.
boot, the image can be restored directly from the BIOS boot menu (not
many 3rd party programs can do this). The only downside is that it will
Do you mean the BIOS, or the boot menu? Do you mean it makes (or offers
to) a bootable CD, which you then boot from to do a restore?
attempt to use all available space on whatever partition you specify as
the backup storage, so if you use this drive for other stuff you will
have to periodically manually delete older backup files (easy).
I'm a bit puzzled here: does it do some compression or something? I
don't understand how it can use "all available space" - surely if you're
backing up a, say, 100GB C: partition, it'll use about 100 GB? Does it
use some sort of proprietary mechanism, such that the backup is one
file, or can the backup(s) be investigated (including the individual
files within them) by use of e. g. Windows Explorer?
Hope this helps

Andy
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)[email protected]+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Being interviewed on /Today/ is not for the faint-hearted, but nor should it
be (most of the time) a gladiatorial spectacle. Everyone, including shy folks
who have something interesting to say, should feel it belongs to them, and
they to it. Justin Webb in Radio Times, 18-24 June 2011
 
P

Paul

J. P. Gilliver (John) said:
In message <[email protected]>, Andy <[email protected]>
writes:
[]
Windows 7 Backup is really good. You can restore a complete image or
individual files straight from the desktop and if you're not able to
Useful to know.
boot, the image can be restored directly from the BIOS boot menu (not
many 3rd party programs can do this). The only downside is that it will
Do you mean the BIOS, or the boot menu? Do you mean it makes (or offers
to) a bootable CD, which you then boot from to do a restore?
attempt to use all available space on whatever partition you specify
as the backup storage, so if you use this drive for other stuff you
will have to periodically manually delete older backup files (easy).
I'm a bit puzzled here: does it do some compression or something? I
don't understand how it can use "all available space" - surely if you're
backing up a, say, 100GB C: partition, it'll use about 100 GB? Does it
use some sort of proprietary mechanism, such that the backup is one
file, or can the backup(s) be investigated (including the individual
files within them) by use of e. g. Windows Explorer?
Hope this helps

Andy
The available space, is set by the "shadow copy storage area".
Which is adjustable.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2009/11/23/managing-backup-disk-space.aspx

"This default behavior is shown above as the pre-selected option

'Let Windows manage the space used for backup history'

In this example, 30% of the backup disk space amounts to 81.13GB.
The reason that not the entire disk space is utilized for storing
older system images is so that there will be space left for storing
your file backup as well. If you do wish to adjust the size of the
shadow copy storage area (though not recommended), you can accomplish
this by following these steps:

i. Go to Start->Computer->Properties->System Protection.
ii. Choose your backup target, click 'Configure'
iii. Under 'Disk Space Usage', adjust the slider to the desired setting"

While there are some options to manage space here, I don't think this
sets the limits on the percentage of disk space that can be used for it,
on the backup drive.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows7/what-backup-settings-should-i-use-to-maximize-my-disk-space

"To view and manage your backup disk space

1. Open Backup and Restore by clicking the Start button,
clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance,
and then clicking Backup and Restore.
2. Click Manage space."

And shadow copies, only write out busy sectors, so if you're
using 20GB of files on a 100GB partition, 20GB is written out.

Macrium Reflect, which uses shadow copies as well, has a compression
option, but I don't know if the Windows backups do the same thing.
That probably isn't part of the shadow copy service.

HTH,
Paul
 
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P

posterboy

I've had bad experiences with Acronis, but the details are lost in the
mysts of (my) antiquity, so I also recommend Macrium, although it has
its problems too.

I have a paid license.

Also, Anthony Buckland said
"Acronis lets you restore individual files if you want."

Macrium does that as well. In fact the paid version lets you restore
earlier versions of a file, if you do incremental backups.
+1
 

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