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Windows 7: Backup Software - Use Built-In Windows 7 or Other?


07 Mar 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Backup Software - Use Built-In Windows 7 or Other?

I've just a fresh clean install of Windows 7 and all the programs I normally use. I wanted to inquire as to what the best program is to now create an image of my system so that should I ever have to do a re-install again, I can just plop the image in and off and running without having to go and re-install each and every individual program again.

In addition, looking to make regular backups of important files such as family pictures, videos and my mp3 collection.

What would you guys suggest?

Thanks

PJStyles


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Mar 2010   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PJStyles View Post
I've just a fresh clean install of Windows 7 and all the programs I normally use. I wanted to inquire as to what the best program is to now create an image of my system so that should I ever have to do a re-install again, I can just plop the image in and off and running without having to go and re-install each and every individual program again.

In addition, looking to make regular backups of important files such as family pictures, videos and my mp3 collection.

What would you guys suggest?

Thanks

PJStyles
PJ

There are 2 schools of thought. Built in doesnt add any extra apps, but is limited in function. Third party apps need to be installed but often can be more useful.

I prefer 3rd party app, and use Acronis. It can be scheduled, do files or folders, and is stable and fast.

Ask 10 ppl and you willo get 11 answers. My advice the best one is the one you will use.

If you backup you are ahead of more than 75% of ppl who dont.


Good luck

Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2010   #3

W7 RTM Ultimate x64
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 Mar 2010   #4

Windows 7
 
 

Thank for the feedback Ken. I did use Acronis back in the day but I recall there was a compatability problem with Windows 7 64-Bit version. Is that still the case? Also, do you know of any 64-bit backup-up tools available or are they still predominantly 64-bit?

Thanks

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PJStyles View Post
I've just a fresh clean install of Windows 7 and all the programs I normally use. I wanted to inquire as to what the best program is to now create an image of my system so that should I ever have to do a re-install again, I can just plop the image in and off and running without having to go and re-install each and every individual program again.

In addition, looking to make regular backups of important files such as family pictures, videos and my mp3 collection.

What would you guys suggest?

Thanks

PJStyles
PJ

There are 2 schools of thought. Built in doesnt add any extra apps, but is limited in function. Third party apps need to be installed but often can be more useful.

I prefer 3rd party app, and use Acronis. It can be scheduled, do files or folders, and is stable and fast.

Ask 10 ppl and you willo get 11 answers. My advice the best one is the one you will use.

If you backup you are ahead of more than 75% of ppl who dont.


Good luck

Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The built in "system image" utility has never failed me. You just cannot restore it onto a smaller hard drive in the future...which usually only happens when people want to move to SSD drives.

With regards to backing up files and such, I use robocopy...which is a free command line utility. I simply use this tool to synchronize my data to 2 external hard drives on a weekly basis and then I keep 1 of the external USB drives offsite (in case of robbery, fire, etc). Robocopy only backs up files which have changed, so my backup jobs usually run for less than 2 minutes...so it's extremely quick and easy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

It seems I use exactly the same method than pparks. I use built-in backup to create system images, and do the rest with a robocopy batch.

I'm first to admit my way to do things is maybe not the best way to do things but I'll try to use Windows built-in apps and features as much as possible, using third party apps only when what I need is not possible with built-in tools. I have not encountered any bigger issues because of using Windows own tools; in fact all my rigs are working just fine, doing what I expect them to do.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The thing that I really like about backing up with robocopy is that the files themselves are not contained within any type of "backup file" which requires some type of software to mount and use. With my method, I can plug into Windows, Linux, Mac and have access to each and every individual file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2010   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

To add to you comments, pparks, robocopy is also IMO the most versatile and flexible command. You can do marvels with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2010   #9

Windows 7
 
 

Are there any other programs that would allow me to backup the files in actual usable files without mounting issues? I like the idea of the actual file being available as opposed to having to go through some extra steps to restore them. However, using a command line program isn't what I'm looking for.

I was hoping for a more GUI interface to backup files. Would Acronis or any of the others provide the same functionality as Robocopy?

Thanks

PJStyles
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2010   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PJStyles View Post
Are there any other programs that would allow me to backup the files in actual usable files without mounting issues? I like the idea of the actual file being available as opposed to having to go through some extra steps to restore them. However, using a command line program isn't what I'm looking for.

I was hoping for a more GUI interface to backup files. Would Acronis or any of the others provide the same functionality as Robocopy?

Thanks

PJStyles
In my opinion you should at least consider doing some robocopy based batch files. It's quite easy and fast, you'll be surprised how powerful tool it is. This post shows you the robocopy command line options.

That said, I understand your point. I'm sometimes using a small utility Windows Double Explorer to backup files, when there's only a few files or folders to backup. It's not a backup tool per se but because of its flexibel double explorer workspace it's a practical tool to copy / backup some odd files and folders.

Kari


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