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Windows 7: "Your computer has been restored to an earlier point in time"

04 May 2011   #1

Windows 7
 
 
"Your computer has been restored to an earlier point in time"

I've been using Windows 7's Backup and Restore to back up the 500-GB hard drive on my laptop. The hard drive has about 290 GB of data on it; I'm backing up onto an otherwise blank 1-TB USB external drive. The first backup took ~1-2 days, and used about 400 GB. The next couple of weekly backups were much faster (less than an hour or two).

When I ran Backup yesterday, it took more than a day to complete. When it finished, it displayed the message, "Check backup settings - Your computer has been restored to an earlier point in time. As a result, your backup settings might be out of date." It gives a backup size of 762 GB. At most I've only added a few GB of data to my hard drive each week.

Any ideas on what would cause this? I have never (knowingly) restored this hard drive from a backup, nor have I used System Restore on this computer.

On a Microsoft site it was suggested that I run "sfc /scannow". When I did so, it went through the verification phase of the scan, reported "Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations," then exited. Would this imply that the Backup and Restore behavior is not caused by issues that sfc scan would address?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 May 2011   #2
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Welcome aboard, Frank
Is there any mere possibility that you have clicked on the restore option mistakenly ? It should not happen using the backup setup.... and there is no integrity violation found

As you use the backup feature regularly, better you try Macrium Reflect . A lot of SF members are highly satisfied with it .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2011   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks, I was going to ask if there was another backup solution that users here like. One constraint is that my laptop only has USB ports (no Firewire or slot for expansion cards), and since I have hundreds of gigs of data, backups tend to be slow. I realize that the first time out will take a long time, but I'd like to use a package that's relatively quick with subsequent incremental backups. Would Macrium Reflect fit the bill there? I see their page says the paid version supports "differential disk images and backups" and "incremental disk images and backups," while the free version does not. Is this something I'd need in order to keep subsequent backups as fast as possible?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 May 2011   #4
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Quote:
What’s an incremental image?
The term ‘incremental’ in the context of data backup is not unique to Macrium Reflect. In fact this term has been used for years by many different backup software vendors.
When Reflect creates an incremental image it only backs up the parts of your disk that contain data that is different from the last backup you made. The advantage of this is that the resultant image file is both much smaller and much quicker to create than a full image. The only slight disadvantage is that when you restore your data, Reflect needs to access all the image files in the backup set to reconstruct the disk you want to restore. However, if the image files are stored in a local or network directory then this operation is automatic and completely transparent.


You may be wondering what the other backup type ‘differential’ is. A differential backup is similar to an incremental backup. However, rather than backing up the changes since the most recent backup, a differential backup will save changes made since the first/full backup.
Source: Macrium Reflect - Blogs and News .


So incremental imaging will make subsequent images faster , no doubt . If possible ($ 40 ) , go for the paid version
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Macrium is a good product and is not overly expensive. Incremental backups are very much smaller than the base backup since they only contain changes from the last backup, full or incremental. Differential backups start small but grow in size as they are "incremental" to the base backup. Differential backups are safer than incremental because only two files are involved. That said I have so far not had any problems with incremental.

I personally do a full backup once a month 100Gb compresses to around 50Gb and takes about 45 minutes to a USB attached disk. I do incrementals once or twice a week depending on the amount of changes I have made to the system. These are usually less than 10Mb and take 5 minutes or so.

The paid Macrium also has a file backup system which I run daily on selected data files that I don't want to lose or cant easily replace. In this case Weekly full backups and daily incremental.

If you do use Macrium make sure that you create and test the recovery disk on a small partition created for this purpose. I have found that the WinPE version available with the paid Macrium is the more reliable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2011   #6

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for the advice. Kado897, do you save all of your once-a-month full backups? If so, for how long? I was trying to figure out a strategy on the longer term.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I have mine set up to keep three full backups on the premise that I wouldn't want to go any further back than two months. The thought of reinstalling all the update and new software from even two months ago is frightening.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2011   #8

Windows 7
 
 

I just completed an initial Macrium full backup -- took just under 4 hours for 292 GB using a USB drive, much faster (and better compression) than the Windows 7 app. Thanks again for the suggestion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

You are most welcome Frank. Have you checked out this tutorial by whs. Imaging with free Macrium. It shows you how to test your recovery disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 "Your computer has been restored to an earlier point in time"




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