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Windows 7: Is the Windows 7 backup reliable?

24 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 32 bit both Ultimate and Home Premium
Is the Windows 7 backup reliable?


Until recently I backed up my files by just copying them to an external hard drive using the Seagate tool. This was nice, but took way too long.

Now I have setup a Windows 7 backup. This took quite long the first time as well, but now it runs every Sunday evening and is finished before I notice it is really working.
As backup device I am using an external hard drive that is fulltime connected to a media center pc in my garage. That way, if my desktop pc gets stolen or is lost in a fire I still have my backups.

Now I am wondering about a few things...
How safe is this way of backup? Can I trust that everything is going well? Is there a way to check if the backup ran ok? Is there an easy way to check (with a compare tool for example) if all files are actually in the backup?

If I reinstall my computer...can I just create a new backup schedule and save it to the same location? Or do I have to set it up again?

And will Windows automatically manage the data size on the external drive? I do not anticipate my data to grow larger than the external drive, but it may happen...

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Nov 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc

It is very rare that you can be given an absolute guarantee about anything, but the backup system is relaible; but it cant be guaranteed for 100%
The only way to test is to try it.
Once the back up partition is full the older back ups are deleted
System Protection - Change Disk Space Usage
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Fundamental Rule: Don't have absolute trust in any software or hardware.

For Imaging: Use more than one imaging product. Use more than one backup medium (ie. more than one HDD and not your OS drive)

Same applies for file backups. They are partly covered by your images.
I use Windows file/folder backup AND I drag and drop very important documents/information to other media.

And if you can separate the physical location of your backups.

It's basic risk analysis. You take the level of risk that suites you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 32 bit both Ultimate and Home Premium

Thanks for the responses!

What I forgot to mention: with the previous way of backing up I was able to use Compare & Backup afterwards and check that all files on my "Important files" partition were copied to the external hard drive.

Is there something like that for the Windows 7 backup as well?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Not sure what you're looking for exactly MS SyncToy may be it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7 32 bit both Ultimate and Home Premium

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Not sure what you're looking for exactly MS SyncToy may be it.
Thanks! I quickly read the description. This may be exactly what I am looking for rather than the Windows backup. This way I have an exact copy of the files in my backup location. That's the only thing I want.

That way I can easily check if all files are still in my backup location.

There is no need for me to keep track of different versions of files and folders. I just want a backup of the most recent version of my important files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

That's exactly what my Seagate usb external drive program does but I'm going to try this sync toy program just to see the difference it sounds interesting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2010   #8

Windows 7 32 bit both Ultimate and Home Premium

I'm working with SyncToy now. It does seem to work fine!

After doing a check...of thousands of files only a few of them didn't make it to the destination. I think they were all thumbnail files; therefore not important

What I forgot is, that it doesn't work automatically and you cannot schedule it. I'll just have to run it manually every once in a while. But still this seems to be what I am looking for!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2014   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64

You can use Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Task Scheduler to schedule SyncToy
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is the Windows 7 backup reliable?

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