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Windows 7: backup and restore. speed and reliability?

04 Jan 2011   #1
cutcopypaste

Windows 7
 
 
backup and restore. speed and reliability?

I bought a 2tb additional hard drive for the purpose of backing up all my data.. which is maybe 1.5 tb or so. I set up backup and restore to backup everything, and it's been going for 2 days already and is not even half done. Is it going to be a lot faster the next time? Or do I need to think about finding some other way to do this? (if so.. recommendations?)

I also wonder if I am backing up all of my hard drives do I still need to create a system restore?


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04 Jan 2011   #2
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

System Restore can rescue you from problems much easier than reimaging and importing your latest data set. So I would keep it on and even apportion more HD space in System Protection for Restore points.

I believe Win7 backup is incremental after the first backup. I don't like any backup programs which all seem cumbersome, preferring to keep a baseline image after install then periodically save a secondary image and drag n drop active User folders to external.
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05 Jan 2011   #3
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I probably fall in the minority and rely more heavily on images than restore points.

I use Windows imaging (+Macrium Reflect); Windows file folder backup (+ file drag & drop for "high importance" material). I also use more than one external backup HDD.
I know any one of the previous items can fail.
A 2TB external is common place now, but you have a lot to lose if (when) the drive fails unless you have a duplicate backup.

As Greg says, Windows file/folder backup is incremental. However, after a while Windows decides to close off the current backup set (keeps it of course), and starts a fresh one. You can manage these - delete old ones etc.
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05 Jan 2011   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cutcopypaste View Post
I bought a 2tb additional hard drive for the purpose of backing up all my data.. which is maybe 1.5 tb or so. I set up backup and restore to backup everything, and it's been going for 2 days already and is not even half done. Is it going to be a lot faster the next time? Or do I need to think about finding some other way to do this? (if so.. recommendations?)

I also wonder if I am backing up all of my hard drives do I still need to create a system restore?

I don't know the sordid details of Windows Backup, but I assume it is some sort of file by file, folder by folder method, rather than imaging.

It certainly should take longer the first time because all of your 1.5 TB must be copied. The second time you run it, only NEW or MODIFIED files need to be copied, so it should be much faster--assuming it is smart enough to recognize which files are new or modified.

Having said that, 2 days is ridiculous.

I use Second Copy, but there are many other free backup applications out there. The last time I did a full backup immediately after a system build, it took about 4 hours for about 300 MB---which equates to around 20 hours for 1.5 TB.

System Restore is for Windows itself. Data backup is completely different and unrelated. Imaging can be used for both Windows and data.

Regardless, you should continue to use System Restore. At one time, it was a bit buggy, but it's quite good now on Windows 7. It's much faster than restoring an image (perhaps 2 minutes typically) and accomplishes much the same thing in most cases. I use System Restore 20 or 30 times a year and have not restored an image in at least 5 years---I haven't had to resort to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2011   #5
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Cutcopypaste'
The reason I don't rely on restore points is that they have forced me to do a reimage on a couple of occassions. From memory these were due to installing an MS recommended updates. The Restore never recovered the old state properly particularly if it was a driver update. Hence I rely on imaging. Others find restore points one of the strengths of Windows 7.

Imaging has given me the confidence to try and learn things knowing that a current image would totally restore my PC in 25minutes. Once your images exceed around 60GB then you are probably imaging too much data. Then it's time to start segregating your data.
Images aren't a nice to have - they are essential. I've probably reimaged my computer 5 times in the last year including to a new HDD.

If file/folder backup sets exceeded 20GB then I think you need a multipronged data backup strategy. Segregated data in terms of how static or dynamic it is. eg. I keep my photo database quite separate. It may be that your total backup time takes 2 days+ initially, but I wouldn't have this as a single backup set.
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 backup and restore. speed and reliability?




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