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Windows 7: Backup Image with Windows Backup and Restore

21 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Pro
Backup Image with Windows Backup and Restore

I have been using Acronis Rescue disk to make images of my system. It works fine, but is a pain because I have open up the case and disconnect my secondary hard drive and change from my wireless mouse to a wired mouse. So I decided to try to the built-in Backup and Restore in Win 7 Pro and backup to an external hard drive.

In preparation for backing up my system partition, I do the following:
Clean all cookies, internet files and History.
Remove all restore points except the last one.
Run Malwarebytes
Run MSE version 2
Run Ccleaner (not messing with registry)
Run Smart Defrag (lastest version)
I then reboot and hook up the external hard drive

I then go into the Control Panel and select Backup and Restore. I set where I want the image to be created and start the backup. Everything looks normal for a while.

After about 4-5 minutes, NSE shows the below:

Backup Image with Windows Backup and Restore-backup1.jpg

This is the only time NSE ever detects this and it detects it every time I try to backup. I have had NSE remove it or leave it alone. It does not matter.

Eventually I get the notice that the backup did not complete sucessfully.

Backup Image with Windows Backup and Restore-diskclean2.jpg

I check the Events log and got this:

Backup Image with Windows Backup and Restore-backup3.jpg

I have been through this several times and it occurs this way every time.

I would like some help solving this issue. Any help would be be greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2011   #2

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Pro

mborner thanks for the reply.

I read the article and followed the instructions. Running a ful scan with MSE is not something I want to do often since it took 3.5 hours.

Full scan did NOT find the virus as in indicated in my first post, but it did find another one that quick scan did NOT find.

This morning I hooked up the external hard drive and ran Backup and Restore again. This time it seems to have made the backup, so I am assuming that the virus was the cause of problem I was having.

Thank you very much
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I just migrated from McAfee (+ Malwarebytes) to MSE (+Malwarebytes) and did my first full scan with MSE which took a LONGGGG time. I got the same notification from MSE. It was found in a file/folder backup set .zip file. (Not an image)

While I was deciding what to do MSE decided for me. It deleted the "offender" and the whole backup .zip file from the set. This effectively makes the backup set useless! This is a real worry.

I have previously had a great run with MS imaging and file/folder backup I sense BIG problems ahead now with MSE!!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Is the latest version of Java installed? I believe is the latest and earlier versions were susceptible to this Java exploit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by marsmimar View Post
Is the latest version of Java installed? I believe is the latest and earlier versions were susceptible to this Java exploit.
I believe I have the latest version whatever it is.
But this is not the issue for me.
The issue is how MSE is behaving in an imaging or file/folder backup situation. Take the way my backup was effectively destroyed and the OP's original situation. This is unacceptable for me.
When I was using McAfee it was not allowed to interfere like this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


I feel your frustration. I was thinking that perhaps an infected version of Java was in place at the time the image/backup was created. If that was the case (and I'm not saying it was, just that it could have been) then MSE did its job in finding the exploit. I fully agree that MSE should not have deleted anything without first asking what you wanted to do, if that's the way it was set up using the Settings tab. Under Default Actions the user is able to choose between Remove, Quarantine or Allow a detected threat. Perhaps the Default Action was somehow changed to Remove. OTOH, if it was set to Quarantine or Allow but deleted the "offender" anyway, this is definitely a problem.

Likewise, the Settings tab also allows one to Exclude Files & Locations, File Types, and Processes. Perhaps one of these settings changed to allow MSE to scan and delete.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2011   #8

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I admit I'm new to MSE but my confidence levels are sinking fast.
The Default actions appear to be:
1) Recommended
2) Remove
3) Quarantine

My defaults were set to Recommended which for severe alerts are remove immediately. Option 2) forces a remove and option 3) places in quarantine.

The words sound reasonable but the consequences for ALL options have the potential to cause serious problems with an imaging or file/folder backup situation. If removing or quarantining the offending item allowed the backup and restore processes to continue then there may not be an issue. But this appears not to be the case. Furthermore a scan has the potential to destroy a complete backup because of one bad applet - funny pun hey!

It looks like a case of Dracula in charge of the bloodbank.

For me MSE is on borrowed time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


I would never try to talk someone into using something they don't like. So FWIW, if you want to use something basic in place of MSE, I'd suggest you give Avast free a try.

avast! Free Antivirus - Download Software for Virus Protection

Don't want to hijack this thread away from its intended purpose but I've been running Avast alongside MSE without any issues. Avast has apparently been optimized to work with MSE and Windows 7. It's also lightweight and doesn't use up resources like McAfee. I'd also continue using Malwarebytes as an on-demand scanner. One other thought is to use a separate hard drive to store any images or backups. When it comes time to run an anti-malware scan, remove that drive from the scan process. Absolutely no way will anything be deleted if the drive isn't recognized as being there. :)

And there's always one bad applet to spoil the bunch!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Thanks Marsmimar, your advice is appreciated.

I think I/we are very much aligned with the purpose of the thread. This is much more important than a personal preference issue.

My real issue is aligned with what the OP raised.
Here is what I expect
Once I commit to making an image the MSE subsystem should not under any circumstances terminate the imaging process by default.

This is what I think is required from a security subsystem:
1) Make the image - alert user to the presence of malware. [Default setting]
2) Make the image - either remove or quarantine malware in the process. [User setting - Recommended]
3) Terminate the image - if malware is detected. [User setting - Optional]

All the above should apply to Windows file/folder (zip) backup as well.

A possible solution may be to unplug your modem (as I normally do) , turn MSE off when doing any sort of backup. Never scan your backup HDDs with MSE.
Is this really acceptable?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Backup Image with Windows Backup and Restore

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