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Windows 7: BackUp and Restore creates empty folders?

09 Nov 2011   #1

WIN 7 X64
BackUp and Restore creates empty folders?

I had to use the Dell Back up and Restore to rebuild my OS and , except for all my email history, address book, profile and bookmarks, I seem to be up and running again. I want to back up to a WD MY Book 1tb external on a regular basis so I don't loose all my programs and profile.

I followed the easy instructions I found here on the Forum for a full system backup and watched the green bar progress to 10-15% complete and left the room. When I returned hours later the screen said "improper shut down" or something similar. When I rebooted there was a backup folder on my external but folder properties indicated it was completely empty.

The next day I tried to create a System Image Bup (Shadow Copy?) and the green bar progressed normally but, when I returned to the PC, the black dos screen said unable to find some file to boot. Again, folders were created but they were empty.

Sorry I am not more explicit but I am really a novice at understanding how computers work and my sons all claim ignorance when I ask them for help.

Does win7 BU and restore normally restart the computer after creating a backup file? If so, can I prevent this so I can see where the program is breaking down?

I did create a System Repair disk on a DVD and it seems to have created that okay. The file is almost 300mb so I hope that means it will work if I ever need it.

I do know this new MY Book is a lot more complicated than my other Seagate external and seems to want to format and name files for me?

Thank you for any suggestions.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

What are you trying to "back up"??

Windows only?? Your data only? Both? C drive only?

Is your personal data on the C drive or do you have it separated onto a D drive?

I seriously doubt Windows Backup is supposed to reboot when finished.

I'd consider two things:

1: Using something other than Windows built-in backup to make an image file of the C partition--something like Acronis or Macrium Reflect. That would "back up" the C drive and anything it might contain.

2: Backing up personal data folders (as opposed to Windows itself) separately, without using an image. There are many apps for this, many of them free. Again, the built-in Windows tool is not particularly well-suited for this.

Windows Backup "works", but is cranky, non-intuitive, and not the leading application for the required tasks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #3

WIN 7 X64

Thanks for the input, if Win Backup is "cranky" I don't want anything to do with it because the frustration will just make me crazy.

Years ago I created "Dad's files" on the 'C' drive and that is the only file that I work in. everything I do is in a subfolder to that folder but, of course, none of my program or OS files, and , evidently, not my profile and email data,etc. Win 7 wants me to save and work in Libraries but that is just confusion to me as I am highly organized and everything is exactly where I want it to be saved. I do not need Windows to think for me. (I wish I could have stayed with Win2K)

I occassionally cut and paste this entire, very large, folder to my external drive. It takes over night to complete this but then I have a complete and easily accessible copy of all my data. The next time I remember to do this I create another file with the then current date and eventually delete the older file to free up some space. Of course, that means the data, photos, genealogy files, etc are only safe up until the date of my last cut and paste backup. The other drawback is that it takes many hours to completely save such a large folder.

I think I should be using a regular back up program so I can connect my external and back up more regularly. I assume a regular program would then only overwrite any files that were recently modified and not have to save everthing resulting in a much quicker backup?

yes, it would be nice to have all my programs saved as well but that may be too much to ask of me. I do not "game" and only spend a few minutes a day on my computer unless I am researching something specific so I rarely get a virus and have only had to resort to my backup twice in ten years. But, of course, my photos and data are irreplaceable so I must plan accordingly.

I will glady look into the programs you suggest as I just want one that will work that one time when I need it to restore a compromised computer and I do not trust Win 7 Back up at the moment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Nov 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

You don’t need to use libraries. Like you, I am highly organized and don’t use them. I have even used the tutorials on this site to make “libraries” largely disappear from Windows Explorer. I save my stuff directly to the desired folder, never mind libraries.

You are correct. A bona fide backup program will overwrite ONLY new or recently modified files. Therefore---the first backup takes a long time. All subsequent backups rarely take more than a minute.

The way to “save” all of your (installed) programs is to make an image of the C drive. Windows backup can do that, but I prefer Acronis or Macrium. You can get at least one of those two without paying. Such an image would also contain your “Dad’s Files” user folder if it is on the C drive, but I urge you to do separate and distinct “file by file” backup using a dedicated backup program such as Cobian, Karen’s Replicator, Second Copy, or Sync Toy. Any of these applications can also back up your email. The location of your email varies depending on what email application you use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 BackUp and Restore creates empty folders?

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