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Windows 7: Backing Up My System


31 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 8 Professional x64
 
 
Backing Up My System

This is driving me freaking insane.

I'm on a MacBook Pro. It's a triple-boot solution with Snow Leopard, Ubuntu 9.10 x64, and Windows 7 Professional x64. I spend most of my computing time in Windows (yes, I'm on a Mac, but oh well).

In Snow Leopard, I use Time Machine to backup, and I love it. Not for the 3D restoring interface (never really used it), but I love how it does incremental backups. It only backs up what it needs to after it does the initial backup of the entire partition. I had to do a hard drive swap recently, and restoring Snow Leopard was a breeze. I had Ubuntu backed up, but getting GRUB2 to reinstall properly was a big pain, so I just reinstalled it. I made a backup of my Windows 7 partition using the default Backup and Restore program. When I tried to restore it (from the Windows 7 installation DVD), it said that I had to partition and format the drive so that it would match the drive of the backup. That was a huge no-no. It should just restore the files to wherever I tell it to.

So I dumped using Backup and Restore. Having to do an entire backup of the partition whenever I wanted to do a backup was just bogus. I just tried out Genie Backup Manager, and it's just like Backup and Restore.

So I'm trying to find some simple backing up software that is similar to Time Machine, where it:
  • Makes an initial backup of everything on the partition.
  • Makes incremental backups after that (backs up only changed or new files).
  • Can be easily restored (through something you have to boot).

Is this THAT much to ask? Time Machine does this. There has to be something for Windows that does this, but I've yet to find anything.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

You might see if either of these is to your liking.

PARAGON Software Group - partition manager, drive backup, hard disk partitioning

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

I use Macrium Reflect but I have the paid version and I'm not sure if you can do incremental or differential backups with the free version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 8 Professional x64
 
 

Ooh, thanks. Completely forgot about Paragon. Will check out Macrium as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Acronis True Image Home 2010 does what you are looking for. They have a feature called "Non Stop Backup", which continuously backs up your machine every 5 minutes and you can restore to a point or get a file from any of the 5 minute increments.

I picked this up for $23.99 from NewEgg a while back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 8 Professional x64
 
 

True Image seems a lot nicer. I think I'll give that one a go first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 RTM
 
 

yikes, i just looked at the reviews on newegg about the acronis software, and it didnt look too promising!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2010   #7

Windows 8 Professional x64
 
 

Well Acronis sucks. Program keeps crashing (I installed the trial). Uninstalling it now.

I'm not going to even try Paragon, due to their highly unorganized website.

Macrium still seems promising. Trying that one out now. I'm hoping this will be the one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2010   #8

Windows 7 RTM
 
 

please let us know! im also looking for a good backup solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by b00st3d View Post
yikes, i just looked at the reviews on newegg about the acronis software, and it didnt look too promising!
Well, from a personal use standpoint, it's worked very well for me. And looking at these reviews, it doesn't look so bad: Customer Reviews Of Acronis True Image Home 2010 Mini Box - Retail

I read in one of the reviews that they felt that customer service was terrible. I've only had to call 1 time...right when I was first getting started and getting the product registered and the support person that I talked to took right care of my problem. I've worked for software companies my entire professional life and I used to do tech support for a software company when I was first getting started. My point...all of us have different experiences and expectations. For every good review you find, you can almost always find another person who disagrees.

And....No offense, but some people on NewEgg don't really deserve the opportunity to post reviews.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by besweeet View Post
Well Acronis sucks. Program keeps crashing (I installed the trial). Uninstalling it now.
Sorry to hear that. Hmmm...I've used it both on test machines in a lab at work and at home and i've not really experienced any problems. My host OS's were always Windows 7...sometimes 32-bit and sometimes 64-bit.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by besweeet View Post
Macrium still seems promising. Trying that one out now. I'm hoping this will be the one.
Hopefully Macrium pans out better for you than it did for me. While it seemed to backup well, I was unable to restore anything and actually get it to work as I experienced severe problems with my mouse and keyboard and was unable to select my multiple partitions to restore. It just didn't work well for me.


Software is one of those funny things. For some, it's great, always works and does exactly what they need. And for others, it doesn't work, it crashes and leaves them feeling angry for having wasted their time. I've yet to stumble upon any perfect software package.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2010   #10

Windows 8 Professional x64
 
 

I'm going to be doing a backup tonight with Macrium Reflect Full (30-day trial) to see how the whole backup process goes. I'll be doing incremental backups everyday as well.

If this doesn't work well, then I think I'll give Acronis True Image Home 2010 one more try, as Acronis seems to be more... "Popular".

Yeah, I don't usually read reviews when it comes to software, as the overall user experience differs from user-to-user.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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