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Windows 7: Backing up dual boot Win7 / XP Pro SP3 System

06 Nov 2009   #1
VaMage

Windows 7 & Windows XP SP3 in dual boot config.
 
 
Backing up dual boot Win7 / XP Pro SP3 System

Hi, Don't ya just love people who only join when they have trouble and lurk the rest of the time? <Like Me>

I've been reading a bunch of posts and I think I've got a few ideas on how to go about this, but I haven't found a post that is exactly the same problem.

I just found out that my old reliable, Novastor Novabackup, now in version 11, with Windows 7 support, will not back up the system state in a dual boot environment. This is not supposition, Novastor's official position is that it does not support dual boot.

Now I'm left looking around for a way to back up and restore my system. If anyone knows of a utility or backup program, freeware or paid, that can handle this, I'd appreciate the recommendation.

I've asked around about this a good bit today but the companies I've spoken to have either said NO, or hedged, so I'm really looking for an unequivocal answer.

I have not worked with Win7's built in backup utility, and I may be making a poor assumption in thinking that if companies that specialize in backup & restore don't want to support this, then it isn't likely that the native utility will. (However, over the years MS has pleasantly surprised me more then once, and I'd be happy to add this one to the list!)

All in all I kinda feel like I'm flying without a chute at the moment, and any ideas / help / recommendations would be appreciated.


Thanks again for any help.

--- What follows is a more detailed description of my backup process and thinking on this issue. ----

Ideally I would be able to restore the system state of each OS independent of the other. So for example, if I have an XP problem I could restore my latest XP differential, which includes a system state backup, for just XP. Ditto for Windows 7 of course.

But, if a solution required that I restore the system state of both, I would imagine from Windows 7, I could make that be workable, especially compared to no solution at all

I have imaged the entire system, though I have no way to know if even that is reliable now, and that is not a good day to day solution in any case.

Currently, I do a nightly differential backup, once a month I do all the various updates, drivers, Windows Update, etc, and after I'm satisfied that it's stable I do an incremental backup for that month. and archive it with the previous months, I then erase all of the differentials except the last pre-updates one. ( Lucky for me I have LOTS of external space. :} )

Once every 6 months, more or less, I just image the system, then erase as many previous backups as I have to, usually all of them back to the previous full system backup.

Once every 12 to 24 months, closer to 24 as Windows has become much less prone to dogging out over time, I take it all down to the metal and rebuild from scratch. Then I just restore data files as needed, image the thing again, rinse and repeat. I have files dating back to, no kidding, 1982, A.D. not B.C. thankfully, so I don't tend to lose data, being a pack-rat is a separate issue.

I've been running my Win7 & XP backups independent of each other, with my nightly backup running out of XP. I keep a system state for Win7 in a separate folder and I create that one from Win7 itself. I'm still spending more time in XP then Win7 so this makes sense for the moment, but I expect it to reverse itself very soon, hence my wish for independent backups.

I do know that Win7 has to select and backup some files from my XP partition, Win7 is C: and XP is D:, and I would assume that XP would need to do the same if I could get it to work right.

I also know about XP stomping on Win7, but I am not concerned about system restore points because if my backup scheme is working properly I don't really need them. Also, if I'm making several changes in a given day I'd just hit the backup program for a system state only backup and proceed on, I've found that to be a trivial task and well worth the effort.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #2
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by VaMage View Post
Hi, Don't ya just love people who only join when they have trouble and lurk the rest of the time? <Like Me>

I've been reading a bunch of posts and I think I've got a few ideas on how to go about this, but I haven't found a post that is exactly the same problem.

I just found out that my old reliable, Novastor Novabackup, now in version 11, with Windows 7 support, will not back up the system state in a dual boot environment. This is not supposition, Novastor's official position is that it does not support dual boot.

Now I'm left looking around for a way to back up and restore my system. If anyone knows of a utility or backup program, freeware or paid, that can handle this, I'd appreciate the recommendation.

I've asked around about this a good bit today but the companies I've spoken to have either said NO, or hedged, so I'm really looking for an unequivocal answer.

I have not worked with Win7's built in backup utility, and I may be making a poor assumption in thinking that if companies that specialize in backup & restore don't want to support this, then it isn't likely that the native utility will. (However, over the years MS has pleasantly surprised me more then once, and I'd be happy to add this one to the list!)

All in all I kinda feel like I'm flying without a chute at the moment, and any ideas / help / recommendations would be appreciated.


Thanks again for any help.

--- What follows is a more detailed description of my backup process and thinking on this issue. ----

Ideally I would be able to restore the system state of each OS independent of the other. So for example, if I have an XP problem I could restore my latest XP differential, which includes a system state backup, for just XP. Ditto for Windows 7 of course.

But, if a solution required that I restore the system state of both, I would imagine from Windows 7, I could make that be workable, especially compared to no solution at all

I have imaged the entire system, though I have no way to know if even that is reliable now, and that is not a good day to day solution in any case.

Currently, I do a nightly differential backup, once a month I do all the various updates, drivers, Windows Update, etc, and after I'm satisfied that it's stable I do an incremental backup for that month. and archive it with the previous months, I then erase all of the differentials except the last pre-updates one. ( Lucky for me I have LOTS of external space. :} )

Once every 6 months, more or less, I just image the system, then erase as many previous backups as I have to, usually all of them back to the previous full system backup.

Once every 12 to 24 months, closer to 24 as Windows has become much less prone to dogging out over time, I take it all down to the metal and rebuild from scratch. Then I just restore data files as needed, image the thing again, rinse and repeat. I have files dating back to, no kidding, 1982, A.D. not B.C. thankfully, so I don't tend to lose data, being a pack-rat is a separate issue.

I've been running my Win7 & XP backups independent of each other, with my nightly backup running out of XP. I keep a system state for Win7 in a separate folder and I create that one from Win7 itself. I'm still spending more time in XP then Win7 so this makes sense for the moment, but I expect it to reverse itself very soon, hence my wish for independent backups.

I do know that Win7 has to select and backup some files from my XP partition, Win7 is C: and XP is D:, and I would assume that XP would need to do the same if I could get it to work right.

I also know about XP stomping on Win7, but I am not concerned about system restore points because if my backup scheme is working properly I don't really need them. Also, if I'm making several changes in a given day I'd just hit the backup program for a system state only backup and proceed on, I've found that to be a trivial task and well worth the effort.
Hi and welcome lurker <g>

What I do is use acronis and backup both partitons independantly to a third HD. There isnt a problem backing up win 7, then backing up XP. I also back up the entire drive ( both partitions) in case the HD dies. The backup process works but I have not needed to restore from this setup so usee carefully.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #3
VaMage

Windows 7 & Windows XP SP3 in dual boot config.
 
 

[quote=zigzag3143;360606]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by VaMage View Post
Hi, Don't ya just love people who only join when they have trouble and lurk the rest of the time? <Like Me>

...

Hi and welcome lurker <g>

What I do is use acronis and backup both partitons independantly to a third HD. There isnt a problem backing up win 7, then backing up XP. I also back up the entire drive ( both partitions) in case the HD dies. The backup process works but I have not needed to restore from this setup so usee carefully.
I was doing the same thing with NovaBackup, restore of standard files works fine, but it blows all to hell and gone when I try to restore system state for EITHER Win7 or WinXP. (I tried a bunch of Win7 approaches today, no luck, but I still haven't tried the built in utility.)

Do you think it is worth my time to contact Acronis, I really know nothing about them, and see if they have addressed this issue directly?

I wouldn't say that it's "common" for me to do system state restores on the fly, but in migrating to a new OS it sure has heck comes up more often!

Back in the 90's we had a similar problem between Window and "another OS", the solution then was to hide the boot partitions from each other, so I'm wondering if something like NeoSmart's Hide N' Seek, might be worth trying. That could get messy though as I really don't want to do yet another install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Backing up dual boot Win7 / XP Pro SP3 System




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