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Windows 7: Don't Understand Scheduled Backups vs Image Backups


13 Dec 2013   #1

Windows 7 32-bit
 
 
Don't Understand Scheduled Backups vs Image Backups

I'm a little confused between the two backups and don't see any tutorials that seem to explain the interaction (if there is any) between the backups I scheduled and the several image backups i have made.

I upgraded my laptop to win 7 about a month ago now. Back on XP I would run a full system backup once every three weeks and run differential backups (& a separate 'system' files backup) every day. Every couple months I would run an ASR backup because as best I can tell that was the only real full system backup. That is the ASR would let me buy a new hard disk, restore from the ASR and have my system back without installing any software etc.

Based on my understanding of windows 7, I thought I would carry that basic idea forward by setting up the scheduled backup including all three logical drives and checking the system image checkbox. Additionally I would occasionally run a separate image backup.

The first issue I have is that as I read the documentation, I should be able to keep several of the image backups because I am putting everything on a USB connected 2T drive (I'm using about 70-80G on the laptop 250G drive). I ran the first image backup after installing win 7 with all current hotfixes and a couple programs as a base (e.g. winzip, acrobat, and an editor). But when I had installed some more software and wanted to do an image backup before trying to install SQL Server 2000 developer, it overwrote that base image backup.

So it appears that I am wrong and only 1 version of an image backup is present? I have read about renaming the directory and have started doing that but I'd like to verify whether my understanding of one and only one image backup is correct even if to an attached drive.

The other issue is the connection between the scheduled backup and the image backups. As noted above I ran a second image backup and overwrote that original base backup. I think (but I'm not sure) the scheduled backup overwrote the image backup today.

Today's backup was the first time the scheduled backup went to another period. As I mentioned above the scheduled backup has the image backup checked. Until now it appeared that the backup was actually something like an incremental backup. but when it went to the new backup time period, I think it overwrote the image backup I had made manually.

The reason I think it overwrote my previous manual backup is that the date/times are now about an hour ago rather than a couple weeks ago.

So I guess my first question is what exactly gets backed up and and where does it go? The scheduled backups seem to be <backupDrive>:\<computername>\Backup Set <timeperiod>. My manual image backups are in <backupdrive>\WindowsImageBackup\<computername>. But it does appear that the system image created as part of today's scheduled backup went in this latter directory.

Is there some coordination between the scheduled backups and the image backup made because I checked that box? Or did I simply ask backup to do two separate and independent operations by checking that box?

Should I rename the image directory right after the scheduled backup makes one or does backup / restore need access to that image for some occasional file restore? How do I know when the scheduled backup is going to make the next image backup? Or do I just constantly manually monitor for it?

thanks

bill


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Dec 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Bill,

If you create a separate system image using the method in the tutorial below, then it creates a new full system image each time you do. The best way to keep multiple system images using this method would be to rename the current WindowsImageBackup folder before creating a new one. This system image is saved separate than the one created below in a scheduled backup.
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
You could also include creating a system image in a scheduled backup like in the tutorial below. You can change the maximum space used for system images on the drive letter you are saving the Windows Backup to by changing the maximum space used by System Protection for the same drive letter. This is the same setting. The larger the maximum space, the more separate system images that could be saved.
Backup User and System Files
Go ahead and read through the tutorials above, and please feel free to post back with any questions you may have.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2013   #3

Windows 7 32-bit
 
 

Ok, I've done as you suggest. I've increased the size in system protection and I'm renaming the separately run WindowsImageBackup to "WindowsImageBackup yyyymmdd hhmm" when I run those.

The warning section in Backup User and System Files presumably refers only to a scheduled backup?

Hopefully a separately run image backup really backs up absolutely everything (other than virtual memory files and stuff like that)??

Does the warning pertain to the image backup made as part of a scheduled backup? If so, seems like there isn't much point to an image backup as part of the scheduled backup. The only safe image would be a separately created one.

what about non system drives and protection? My standard configuration is C drive for the system, I drive for data, and S drive for backups. Not completely true as sometimes software doesn't like it's data on alternate drives. For example I have problems with garmin maps if I don't let them install on the C drive and I might have 'system' stuff on I as I would generally put Inetpub over there as well as SQL Server files.

When I look at the protection the C drive is on and the other drives are off. Is there any reason to turn on protection for the I drive? Any harm? I'm guessing that the S drive should be off as that is always the backup drive and always an external drive.

thanks

bill
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


21 Dec 2013   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. I always enable protection for the Data partition. Give it 5% of the partition. It allows you to retrieve lost files.

ShadowExplorer - Recover Lost Files and Folders

2. I would never use the standard Windows imaging. It is a real PITA and often you cannot recover from their images. I suggest you use free Macrium. A lot easier, faster and more reliable.

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2013   #5
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by spokey View Post
The warning section in Backup User and System Files presumably refers only to a scheduled backup?

Hopefully a separately run image backup really backs up absolutely everything (other than virtual memory files and stuff like that)??

Does the warning pertain to the image backup made as part of a scheduled backup? If so, seems like there isn't much point to an image backup as part of the scheduled backup. The only safe image would be a separately created one.

what about non system drives and protection? My standard configuration is C drive for the system, I drive for data, and S drive for backups. Not completely true as sometimes software doesn't like it's data on alternate drives. For example I have problems with garmin maps if I don't let them install on the C drive and I might have 'system' stuff on I as I would generally put Inetpub over there as well as SQL Server files.

When I look at the protection the C drive is on and the other drives are off. Is there any reason to turn on protection for the I drive? Any harm? I'm guessing that the S drive should be off as that is always the backup drive and always an external drive.

thanks

bill
The warning box only refers to Windows Backup. It doesn't apply to system images or a system image included in a scheduled Windows Backup. A system image will include everything on all system drives, and any drive you select to be included.

Usually System Protection is only turned on for the Windows C: drive, but it would not hurt to turn it on for any other drive that you would like have shadow copies of the files on it available to use for Previous Versions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2013   #6

Windows 7 32-bit
 
 

Quote:
Usually System Protection is only turned on for the Windows C: drive, but it would hurt to turn it on for any other drive that you would like have shadow copies of the files on it available to use for Previous Versions.
Presumably you mean but it would not hurt to turn it on?

So if I understand you, checking the protection turns on shadow copying for that drive. Sounds like I should as I have my outlook pst files on my I drive and SQL & MySQL databases on my J drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Yep, you assumed correctly that it would not hurt.

If you have the extra hard drive space on them, then it having system protection turned on would help to have previous versions of the files on the drive available if ever needed.

Previous Versions - Restore Files and Folders
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2013   #8

Windows 7 32-bit
 
 

thx

perhaps I will get all this down before i die of old age.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

No worries. Once you get used to it, there will be a new version of Windows to get to learn about instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Don't Understand Scheduled Backups vs Image Backups




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