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Windows 7: backup software (complete, non-incremental, transparent)

28 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
backup software (complete, non-incremental, transparent)

Around 2 years ago I discovered that Windows 7 had difficulty burning a backup DVD if my folders are nested deeply. I do not use "backup software" per se. Backup software seems to raise questions about what is actually happening, especially in the case of incrementals. I prefer to be in control of my backup and so I do it with a more transparent process such as with CDBurnerXP or the Windows 7 built-in optical media burner.

I believe Windows 7 had a path length problem likely to show up if folder names were long or if there were many nested folders. Upon a recommendation, I tried CDBurnerXP which had no difficulty with a long path (deep nesting) test.

Unfortunately my new computer, also Windows 7, is not compatible with CDBurnerXP. The troubleshooting advice from the CDBurnerXP site and at other sources recommends updating the Intel chipset drivers and also uninstalling the device driver and having Windows reinstall the driver upon a boot. These solutions did not work. There is no hardware problem because I have successfully used Windows 7 to burn a DVD (of a shallow tree).

I am looking for a backup recommendation. Should I get an alternative to CDBurnerXP and if so, which is a good tried and true and transparent alternative? If not, then what would you suggest?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (O.E.M)
 
 

Hi,

First of all, do you use DVD's for your backup for any particular reason? I ask that because an external HDD would, in my opinion, be much better for backups because they offer much more storage capacity. This would mean that you do not have to burn one DVD, take it out, put another in and then burn that one. They are not overly expensive and can be either portable (powered by USB) or desktop (powered by the mains).

If you need some a good DVD burner, here is a page that lists quite a few. The Best, Free Alternatives to Nero CD/DVD Burner.

If you want a backup system for an external HDD, I recommend Microsoft SyncToy. This isn't really a backup program but a synchronisation program. This means any items you put in one folder will be mirrored to the destination folder. Download here: Download: SyncToy 2.1 - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details. Tutorial here: PC Hell: How to Use Microsoft SyncToy to backup your data.

Hope this helps and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask
Stephen
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

I used DVDs for backups because they have no moving parts and survive mechanical shock, electrical discharge, and are stable in heat and cold. SSDs have firmware so they sound risky.

DVDs can be scratched but I don't live with children and pets and I snap them in half and throw them in the trash before I would ever scratch one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (O.E.M)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by broiyan View Post
I used DVDs for backups because they have no moving parts and survive mechanical shock, electrical discharge, and are stable in heat and cold. SSDs have firmware so they sound risky.

DVDs can be scratched but I don't live with children and pets and I snap them in half and throw them in the trash before I would ever scratch one.
That's fine. I just wanted to know. Just FYI, SSD's are not designed for backups. They are not available in large capacities and are designed as fast boot drives.

Try out one of the disk burning programs in my previous link

Hope I've been of assistance so far
Stephen
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

InfraRecorder looks interesting. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (O.E.M)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by broiyan View Post
InfraRecorder looks interesting. Thanks.
You're most welcome. Feel free to ask any more questions if you feel the need.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

My new backup process is the following. It saves time.

I put Win 7 in VirtualBox on Ubuntu.

I enhanced an old backup script (which invokes tar) to use rsync from a /home/username/backups folder to a logical USB Flash drive. I have multiple physical Flash drives. They are colour coded and I alternate. I alternate between two drives, so each time I do a backup, the image that went to the previous Flash, plus the newest image will be written out to the physical Flash of the day, or week, as the case may be. If I rotate three drives, each backup process will involve three tarballs and a bit more waiting. I find it to be tolerable so I will probably get a third backup drive. Because of the deletion capability of rsync these drives should be dedicated for backups and no other purpose. If I performed any clean up in /home/username/backups, that will be sync'd out to whichever Flash I use next.

The Flash devices are 16GB each. If the tarball is 2GB, I can fit about 8. If I backup every 3 days, I can go back about 24 days for a restore. Occasionally I will write a tarball to a DVD for longer term backups. The Flash devices should be from different makers to reduce firmware and hardware risk.

I've increased the risk level obviously, but it is much faster than using DVDs alone and I still do not rely on moving parts and do not worry about mechanical shock and not much about electrical discharge and humidity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 backup software (complete, non-incremental, transparent)




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