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Windows 7: BACKUP to network location ok, but can't RESTORE


16 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 
BACKUP to network location ok, but can't RESTORE

Ok, this is the first time I've tried to use Windows 7's Backup/Restore functionality. I normally use NovaBackup (to DAT tape) for my backup/restore functionality, but for convenience and speed during a hard drive swap I did today I decided to do a Windows 7 backup to disk (actually, to a network drive location) of the complete partitions I was transplanting.

I ran individual unique backups of each partition to be transplanted, placing the backup set in a unique folder on a large network drive. Each of the backups went fine, and the results look good.

After completing all the partition backups, I then removed the two old SCSI drives and installed one new SATA drive. I then re-partitioned the new drive as I wanted and got ready to do the RESTORE's for each partition.

For example, to restore my O partition, I navigated the RESTORE wizard to the following folder located on my network drive:



First, I point out that the dialog titling looks a bit weird... the English says "select the folder where you want to save the backup". This is kind of crazy, since I'm in the RESTORE function, and I would expect English to say something like "point to the backup set you want to restore" or similar.

Anyway, I don't actually know which of the folders or sub-folders I'm supposed to select from what's shown, in order to position properly for the RESTORE. No matter what I select, I get an error message when I push NEXT.

For example, I selected what seems to be the most reasonable folder (i.e. the one which has the backup set date and time in the picture above):



But when I then push the OK button, I get the following error message:



No matter what folder or sub-folder I select, I always get the same error message. RESTORE simply is apparently unhappy. I'm stumped.

Of course, even though I'm in a RESTORE function note that the error message above claims to be from "WINDOWS BACKUP"!!! Sure looks wrong to me. But if somehow the RESTORE wizard is actually invoking BACKUP, well... that might explain all of this craziness. Big bug in Windows 7 of course, but at least now explained.


My solution was to simply go down to the lowest level Files sub-folder where all the individual ZIP files are located, and then use WINRAR to manually un-zip them from their network location into the newly created partitions on my new drive. And of course this worked fine.

But... why is RESTORE failing?

Is the complaint really trying to tell me that my current output drive from the RESTORE (in my example, O) not a match for what was originally backed up??? Of course this is guaranteed to be true when swapping hardware, which is precisely why you would be using backup/restore... so it seems hard to believe this could be the complaint.

But if not that, then what's wrong with RESTORE that it is complaining at all? Obviously the backup set on the network drive was produced by BACKUP, with zero errors. So why isn't that backup set usable as input to RESTORE?

Anybody have some insights for me?

Again, I've worked around the problem already, using my manual un-zip method. But this is obviously ridiculous and RESTORE should clearly work.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Dec 2010   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

No reply? From anybody???

Nobody's ever done a RESTORE? From a network drive location??

What have I done wrong, during the BACKUP? Sure doesn't look like I've done anything wrong.

And if I did nothing wrong in the BACKUP, that exactly WHAT folder am I supposed to point to on the RESTORE?

Anybody ever done a RESTORE from a network location?

And what about this seemingly incorrect message boxes, which almost suggest that I'm running BACKUP even though I'm using the RESTORE wizard? Why would the English and titles in the message boxes be phrased as if it was BACKUP that was running? Or is this just something cosmetic, and I shouldn't worry? Or should I phone Microsoft???

Anybody???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2010   #3

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

I believe the backup has to be in the root of the drive before you can restore it. I've seen that mentioned several times here recently. Looks like you have it in a folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


18 Dec 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Yes, the backup must be in the root of the external or HD. I keep multiple WindowsImageBackups in folders renamed with suffix, then rename them exactly WindowsImageBackup and place them in the root to be detected.

Even then I have spent hours trying to get the utility to accept correctly typed file paths to no avail. About half the time I give up and place the folder on an external connected via USB to target machine.

The tide of complaints is rising.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
I believe the backup has to be in the root of the drive before you can restore it. I've seen that mentioned several times here recently. Looks like you have it in a folder.
Well... I didn't know that! But sure enough, inside of the primary backup folder (down a few levels in my original structure) named to match the Computer I was creating a selective backup from (in this case, for an entire disk partition) are the backup sets I produced.

I rearranged things on that network drive, putting the primary "Computer" folder in the root, and each of the subordinate backup sets underneath that. So now it looks like this:



Now when I use the Restore wizard to find backup sets from which to restore from, I don't even have to point to the network location first. The wizard finds it properly on the network location and presents the following:



And, selecting one of the backup sets shown I am then offered the option of restoring it entirely or selecting files/folders from within that backup set! That's perfect!!! Just as I'd hoped. For convenience and readability I changed the view to "list", but any standard presentation is allowed for the inside contents of the backup set for selective recovery of anything! EXCELLENT!



What would certainly be helpful would be a bit more consistency in the titling, across the top and down the left side. For example, the title bar in my example shows the correct name for the particular backup set I had selected (i.e. "Backup of D") but that very useful title value is NOT shown in the list of backups themselves. All that is shown there is a date of the backup, the associated computer, and the network location. Also showing the internal "name" of the backup set would be enormously helpful... as, for example, in my case they were all taken on the same date.

Nevertheless, this new insight is exactly what I was looking for.

Interestingly, with System Image unless I'm wrong I believe you can only put one such image on a given target hard drive.

But in the case of Backups, apparently you can collect any number on a given target hard drive, as long as the Computer name folder in the root is adhered to.

Wonderful!!! Many thanks for this tip.

(actually, I'm now finished with my hard drive swap project which needed these backups, and I normally use DAT tape and NovaBackup for my "real" backups, but it's still exactly the information I didn't know and was looking for regarding Windows backup/restore. Again, many thanks.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Yes, the backup must be in the root of the external or HD. I keep multiple WindowsImageBackups in folders renamed with suffix, then rename them exactly WindowsImageBackup and place them in the root to be detected.
AHA!! Very clever!

I hadn't thought about that as a perfect workaround for the limitation of one System Image backup placed on a specific hard drive, obviously because of the naming convention expected for the restore of such a System Image.

But now that you have described how you store a number of System Images on a single drive by clever renaming, I kick myself for that same solution not having occurred to me before.

Interestingly, as I describe in my previous reply above, the same restriction is not true for Windows Backup itself. Each backup set is its own sub-folder within the root folder of "Computer" name, just like a "tape library" only on disk... i.e. a "disk library" of backups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BACKUP to network location ok, but can't RESTORE




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