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Windows 7: Windows Backup vs 3rd party Backup solution.


14 Sep 2009   #21
DJG

 

I've been using Paragon Software's Drive Backup utility for years. I do full system image backups from the booted OS, not outside it, so it's very convenient,

I have two RAID volumes, one system and one data on different controllers. My routine is to do an image backup to the data RAID volume, which takes me about 2.5 minutes for 28GB, and data image to the system volume, which takes about 1 hour for 500GB. I then copy the images to an external simple drive for outside storage using a BAT file that asks the target drive and the image files to copy, and also copies current versions of special files like my Outlook mailbox.

This allows me to do quick restores for non-catastrophic situations, like regressing to a previous OS state after something screwed up my OS config. System image restores are done using a WIN PE recovery DVD to which I have added my RAID drivers and I can restore that image to any hardware that has the capacity.

It also has an archive explorer that allows me to restore specific folders / files from a backup image.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

14 Sep 2009   #22
DJG

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ultraplanet View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by harpua View Post
Anyway, having good backups of my full system has saved me many times over the years. I couldn't imagine running without a good backup system, whatever one's particular method(s) of choice might be.
Agreed


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by musiclover7 View Post
My questions though, I am still hoping to get answered.. Can you A) write backups in a non-compressed format, such that you can access those files that were backed up from another computer via explorer. and B) is it possible to append a previous backup.. ie write only changes to the previous backup that have occurred since the last backup job completed..??
musiclover7 - Not that I am trying to push the Robocopy thing... I first learned of robocopy here at the sevenforums so can't really take credit. I have spent some time since learning of its wonders figuring out how to use it though.

Robocopy does exactly what you are looking for. The files in the backup are and exact mirror of the original location. No compression or special format or file extension. A .jpg is a .jpg. a .doc is a .doc nothing changes and all are readable as the originals from any computer. After the inital backup robocopy only makes changes (mirror) you delete a file robo deletes it from the backup. You add 50 pictures from your camera robo adds 50 pictures to your backup. Mirror copy.

My backup is around 185 gigs with over 36,000 pictures and 9000 music files between 3 users and 2 computers ... after the original copy to the backup location nightly backup complete in less than 2 minutes. Robocopy checks and adds or deletes files and folders as required to keep the original and backup locations the same. I even sync a second external hard drive with the first about once a month and throw it in the trunk of the car. Offsite backup LOL
Ultraplanet, how exactly does Robocopy handle changed files? Let's say I create a file today. Tomorrow I change it. The day after I realize I goofed, and want to redtore it to its original state. Will Robocopy have overwritten the copy with the latest, or does it keep multiple versions I can restore from?

Also, is it able to handle locked files?

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2009   #23

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

I don't think you will be able to retrieve anything deleted or changed if you use the robocopy method as outlined.

Quote:
you delete a file robo deletes it from the backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


15 Sep 2009   #24

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DJG View Post
Ultraplanet, how exactly does Robocopy handle changed files? Let's say I create a file today. Tomorrow I change it. The day after I realize I goofed, and want to redtore it to its original state. Will Robocopy have overwritten the copy with the latest, or does it keep multiple versions I can restore from?

Also, is it able to handle locked files?

Thanks!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
I don't think you will be able to retrieve anything deleted or changed if you use the robocopy method as outlined.

Quote:
you delete a file robo deletes it from the backup
SIW2 is correct robocopy will overwrite files on the backup. It's not really a backup solution but rather copy utility used to mirror the source and destination folders and files.

DJG - That said... if you rotated your media by using different external drives or different folders on your RAID Volume you would be able to return to those backups to get you file. In my case my nightly backup just overwrites the previous nights backup. My primary reason for backup is to protect against hardware failure so this routine works for me.

Also it is not able to copy a locked file. If a file is in use it gets skipped. Again it's just a glorified copy utility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2009   #25
DJG

 

Thank you Ultraplanet & SIW2 for the clarifications! For now I'll stick to my current backup workflow, but it's good to check out alternatives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2009   #26

XP MCE .... XP Pro 64 .... W7 U x64
 
 

Ya'll may want to checkout the New Acronis H2010 .. Just released.

I've only quickly glanced thru the Users Guide so far ... (some of the 193 pages) ..
But it now supports Windows 7 .. and you can Boot from the Backup Image file.

I'm thinking that to have Windows backup Windows ...
Is like hiring the hens to protect the hen house
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2010   #27
Zig

Win XP,Vista (32-bit), Win 7 (64-bit)
 
 

nyob,
Here's the info on mounting VHD files for individual file restore (haven't tried it myself, tho)
System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management

Hope this helps.
Zig
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2010   #28

 
 

I've been trying the Windows 7 backup system.
It seems to need an awful lot of HD space.
The problem is partly that the weekly incremental backup seems to be not incremental, but a whole new backup. My 150gb back-up partition ( on a second HD) gets eaten up by a system image and just two weekly backups. I then have to remember to delete the older one myself.
I might be digging out my old freeware backup utilities to see if they work in Win 7 shortly.

Now this is strange....
After I wrote the above I realised it was approaching the time that the backup would start. So I looked at it again.
I turned off the system image option, because it already has a good one and there's no point creating another ( probably poorer) one.
That's all I changed. And left it alone.
And the data backup seems to have worked as it should, not creating a second backup file.
I don't understand this at all. It does not inspire confidence.

Terry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2010   #29

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

If you are quick , you can get this.

It is only free till 19th Jan 2010 .

It includes the ability to make a bootable backup capsule:


Paragon Backup & Recovery Compact Free registration

Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Compact [32-bit]

Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Compact [64-bit]
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2010   #30

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

SIW:

Thanks for freebie link. Downloading it now.

I am trying to settle on 2 free imaging apps: Macrium Reflect Free and one other.

Win 7 app rejected out of hand.

I need a well-done interface, RELIABILITY, and flexibility re exactly what and to where, but no incrementals or scheduling. Did I say RELIABILITY? I don't want any surprises.

Where do you rank Paragon Backup and Recovery Compact compared to Acronis (WD free version)? Any notable shortcomings/differences? Using Acronis/WD now, but it has not been put to the test (restoration). No boot disc needed for restoration on Paragon?

I already have Paragon and Partition Wizard free partitioning apps, but have not had to use them. Hope to keep it that way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Backup vs 3rd party Backup solution.




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