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Windows 7: Looking for something as close to Time Machine as possible

23 Oct 2012   #1
badtux

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
 
 
Looking for something as close to Time Machine as possible

I have a multi-OS household so I've gotten to see Apple's Time Machine up close and personal. Here's what it does:

1) You plug in a USB drive (or configure it to point at a Time Capsule or at a Linux netatalk share configured to look like a Time Capsule), and then it just works. Nothing else to do.

2) If you want to restore a file or directory, you just use their Finder/Explore-like UI to choose the date (or just the latest date), then drill down to the file or directory you want, and drag it out to your desktop. Then you can move it to where you want it.

3) If your hard drive crashes, you just re-install MacOS from scratch on the new hard drive, and near the end of the process it asks you, "Do you want to restore from your Time Machine backup?" Answer "Yes", and then a few hours later you're back to your desktop as of within less than an hour of when the hard drive crashed, with all your programs, data, and settings.

4) If you buy a new Mac, one of the first things it asks you is, "do you want to migrate your programs and settings from a Time Machine backup of your old computer?" You answer "Yes", and then a few hours later you're back to your desktop exactly as it was when you turned off your old computer after its last backup, with all your programs, data, and settings.

So: I have this nifty new HP Envy 17 laptop. It screams because I got a 120GB SSD as the C: drive and a 750GB hybrid drive for the D: drive and a quad core 2.6Ghz Core I7 Ivy Bridge processor. This is my new desktop replacement laptop. But one thing that is apparent is that Windows Backup that comes with Windows 7 is no Time Machine . This is a problem I haven't faced before -- personal backup of a Windows machine -- because my previous Windows experience is on corporate networks where we store all our files and data on the file server and if the machine crashes just re-image it and join it back to the domain and there ya go. But that doesn't work for a personal laptop where I want my data to go with me when I haul it to a job site.

So: Is there any backup software for Windows that does the first three things that Time Machine does? I.e., does incremental/differential backups on a continuous basis, allows restoring individual files, and allows restoring the *entire system* including all data, programs, and system settings as of the last backup? (Don't care about the migration, I can manually migrate my data, that's what I did to get it onto this laptop on the first place after all!). Thus far I've found two programs typically touted as being "like time machine": Altara Oops Backup and Genie9 Timeline. But Altaro Oops Backup will only do #1 and #2, it won't do #3 (restore the entire system as of the last backup). What about Timeline? Has anybody used it and have anything to report about its ability to do #3?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Oct 2012   #2
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

I've used Macrium Reflect and it CAN do three things you mentioned -- but not exactly as Time Machine does them:
1) Incremental/differential backup -- don't know if you can set it to do this "continuously", but you certainly can schedule these to be done.
2) Restoring files/directores -- you can "mount" an image backup and copy files and directories from that to your drives.
3) Restoring entire system -- this is what I primarly use it for. I make an image backup weekly can restore the entire setup from that if needed. Also has a feature to install WinPE to the hard drive, so you don't have to create or boot from a CD or USB to do the restore.

I seem to remember that Acronis had similar and even more features -- but I haven't used that in a while. Perhaps someone who's used it recently can comment on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #3
badtux

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
 
 

I did look at Macrium Reflect and at least a half dozen other products, and installed a number of free programs and commercial programs that have evals and tested them. It seemed very... last century... to me in terms of functionality. Certainly nowhere near replicating the core functionality of Time Machine even if you discount the swoopy UI as just a frill. I shouldn't need to know about system backups vs file backups and system restores vs file restores, it should Just Work regardless. Thus why I was asking about Genie9 Timeline (paid version). Has anybody here done any kind of system restore with it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jan 2013   #4
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badtux View Post
I did look at Macrium Reflect and at least a half dozen other products, and installed a number of free programs and commercial programs that have evals and tested them. It seemed very... last century... to me in terms of functionality. Certainly nowhere near replicating the core functionality of Time Machine even if you discount the swoopy UI as just a frill. I shouldn't need to know about system backups vs file backups and system restores vs file restores, it should Just Work regardless. Thus why I was asking about Genie9 Timeline (paid version). Has anybody here done any kind of system restore with it?
If you ask ten people on here, I think the majority would say they use Macrium Reflect. The free version does an entire system backup and if you get the paid version it will do incremental backups. I have the free version and am happy with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Looking for something as close to Time Machine as possible




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