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Windows 7: Need a good backup/migration software

24 May 2011   #1

Windows XP
Need a good backup/migration software

I work as a computer technician for a retail company. I occasionally do side jobs (and I'm considering starting a business) where I am sometimes required to re-install or upgrade an OS, be it XP, Vista, or Win7. I currently use a standard backup software much like what you would find on an external drive that searches a customer's drive for common files then backs them up to a single folder while preserving the original structure. This leaves a lot of junk to sift through when copying back to the customer machine. I would like to find a good utility for actual migration that will allow me to hook up the customer drive before OS install and backup the common files, but then MIGRATE them to the new user profile on the refreshed or upgraded OS (which means the migration must be capable of migrating between windows OS's) so that the files are back in the usual locations for easy access by the customer. I've looked into PCMover which would be great accept for two issues: 1 license is for installing on one source and one destination (ie too expensive), software must be installed on both machines (or OS's if same machine). Many times when having to re-install an OS, installing a software on the customer machine before re-installing the OS is not feasible (however it's perfectly feasible to do on the re-installed or upgraded OS).

If anybody knows of a good solution for this type of data backup and migration, please let me know. Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 May 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Hi powder21.
Take a look at the information regarding the Acronis Migrate Easy and see if it suits your needs. Hope that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2011   #3

Windows XP

Thanks, but i looked at that one already. Unfortunately, that particular application uses images. It is basically setup for imaging one or more partitions off an old HD and then restoring the image to a new HD and resizing the imaged partitions to fit on the new HD if needed.

It would be great for replacing a drive (if I didn't already have imaging software for that purpose), but
when upgrading an OS or refreshing a damaged OS, you don't want to copy the entire system. It would defeat the purpose. But thanks for your reply.

If anybody else has another suggestion please let me know...thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 May 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

If you are only wanting to migrate user data from one windows o/s to another - you might look at windows easy transfer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2011   #5
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

Unless I misunderstant what you wrote, it sounds like what you really want is a way to save of the "system-related" stuff from an install so that you can simply restore the "system" -- without the extra data files and settings.

It would be nice if this also included the "feature" of being able to decide whether or not to include installed Applications in the backup/restore.

I've been looking for something like this for a LONG time (too) -- and have not found anything. Everything out there seems to fall into one of the following categories:
1) Imaging software (complete partition(s))
2) File backup software (individual files and folders -- but NOT the registry)
3) Settings transfer stuff -- but does not include Applications

If you (or anyone else) DOES know of something, I would also like to hear about it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2011   #6

Windows XP

Yes got it! Sorry I can't articulate myself as well. However I am looking to also save the "data" such as financial documents, office documents, pics, music, and movies that the user has stored on the system. Unless what you wrote said that as well and I'm not reading it right...Ah my lack of communication skills

After posting this I started thinking about using the User State Migration Tool in conjunction with MDT 2010 to automate this process. It should work (though will not be able to restore applications) but I doubt it will have the ability to make the backup and restore quite as surgically precise as I want.

I'm going to test out a few things and when I find a good method I will be certain to post back here.

Also to Mark: Laplink PCMover seems like it can actually do alot of what you stated if not all, but the problem is licensing and not being able to this offline (ie without installing software on client machine). Still waiting to hear back from laplink about a business solution that may have the additional features we're looking may want to contact their sales department as I did.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Need a good backup/migration software

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