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Windows 7: Backup to two targets

03 Sep 2016   #11
perkinw

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

I have been struggling for a year to put together a backup plan that follows best practices, in particular: keeping three layers of backup. I run into a roadblock every time I think I almost have it. So here is what I want to do:

(1) I want to mirror my media files redundantly to (1) an external HDD (2) a second external drive, which I keep offsite (3) shared folders of a Synology NAS, allowing them to be accessed from anywhere on my home network . Media files (photos, music, documents) are my most valuable assets. I have been using SyncBackFree for this, and it works just fine.

For backing up user profiles and system images, I have been using Windows Backup & Restore. As explained in the original post, Windows Backup forces me to stick with a single backup target if I want incremental backups. So currently, I'm only backing up to one external HDD. I would like to make at least a second backup to the NAS. This was the motivation for the original post.

I'm having a hard time understanding this: If "best practices" dictate keeping multiple backups, why does Windows Backup & Restore effectively tell me I can only have one?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Sep 2016   #12
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by perkinw View Post

I'm having a hard time understanding this: If "best practices" dictate keeping multiple backups, why does Windows Backup & Restore effectively tell me I can only have one?
Because it's not the sharpest tool in the shed?

I've never heard anyone contend that it was.

I fiddled with it years ago and gave up.

Too inflexible, too fussy, too cryptic, too much monkey business for me.

I'm taking your word for it that it effectively says you can have only one backup. I certainly don't know from personal experience because I gave up on it.

I'm guessing you have some over-riding reason not to seriously investigate another tool.

The backup software I have used generally allows you to use as many targets as you want, albeit ONE target at a time. Each location represented by a separate "profile". You run the profiles separately, one after the other, by poking an icon or a listing on a drop-down menu. Profile 1 backs up to this internal. Profile 2 backs up to that external. Profile 3 backs up to wherever else you've chosen.

There may be something out there that backs up to 3 separate targets with a single mouse click, but I haven't run across it.

I suppose you could rig up a scheduling app and/or Task Manager to do all 3 backups to the 3 separate targets with a single mouse click, but I've never been interested in doing that.

I just use separate profiles and run them manually, sequentially, at will.

I don't use incrementals and don't know how much that plays into your problems. They are a complication I don't need.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2016   #13
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Their is a chance that Windows Server or Enterprise can do what you desire.
I have never used either but maybe someone who has will chime in.

Because I never leave a drive used for backups hook to my computer when not in use a scheduled backup is of no use to me. So again I'm sorry I can't offer more help.

Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Sep 2016   #14
perkinw

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

[QUOTE=ignatzatsonic;3279846]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by perkinw View Post
I don't use incrementals and don't know how much that plays into your problems. They are a complication I don't need.
I use SyncBackFree for mirroring media files (docs, pictures, music, videos). Mirroring makes the destination have the same files and folders as the source, and SyncBackFree does it very efficiently.

I do not mirror user profiles (i.e., C:\User), since that would be extremely time- and space-consuming. I currently back up profiles using Windows Backup & Restore. It does not create an exact copy, but a compressed binary version that is only readable by the backup program itself. As I understand it, the rationale for backing up a user profile is to be able to restore complete user data in case of a catastrophic event, such as loss of hard drive. Incremental backups have the added advantage of being able to restore historical versions of individual files.

Frankly, I have never needed to restore a file from a Windows backup, but who knows, I have never "needed" the lifejacket on a boat. I am simply trying to follow "best practices" and finding it surprisingly hard to do so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2016   #15
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

You understand a lot about backups, more than me !

Just be sure you understand, if any incremental BU is corrupt or missing for whatever reason, every incremental after that (in the chain) is useless.
Every incremental is based on the changes since the LAST incremental, for that chain starting from a full BU.

Every Differential includes all changes since the FULL backup, there is no dependency on a previous diff BU.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2016   #16
perkinw

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
You understand a lot about backups, more than me !
I highly doubt that :-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2016   #17
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by perkinw View Post

I do not mirror user profiles (i.e., C:\User), since that would be extremely time- and space-consuming. I currently back up profiles using Windows Backup & Restore. It does not create an exact copy, but a compressed binary version that is only readable by the backup program itself.
If you made an image of the C partition, that image would include C:\User and any profiles by definition. An image file might take 5 minutes to an hour or so, depending on how much space is occupied on C.

I'm not quite clear on why you would need to make a separate backup of any user profiles---above and beyond that which would be included in an ordinary image file by an ordinary imaging application.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2016   #18
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by perkinw View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
You understand a lot about backups, more than me !
I highly doubt that :-)

There's many others in SF that make me feel like a newbie for backups
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2016   #19
perkinw

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post

If you made an image of the C partition, that image would include C:\User and any profiles by definition. An image file might take 5 minutes to an hour or so, depending on how much space is occupied on C.

I'm not quite clear on why you would need to make a separate backup of any user profiles---above and beyond that which would be included in an ordinary image file by an ordinary imaging application.
The System image is a disk image of the System drive, which in my case is an SSD mounted as drive C. My user data is on on drive D. When I run Windows Backup & Restore, I check the box indicating that I want a system image. Why not? It's a relatively small file. For the backup, I check D:\Users and let Windows backup up all user profiles.

A System image is good for exactly one thing: if my SSD fails, I can put in a new one and restore the OS from the System Image, avoiding the need to reinstall Windows and all my programs. But if my D: drive fails, or I accidentally delete some user data, I can restore either the entire D:\Users or selected files from the backup using the Restore feature of Windows Backup & Restore.
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 Backup to two targets




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