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Windows 7: Is Windows 7 backup any good? Are there better free alternatives?

29 Jan 2013   #31
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

I don't lose any emails since I login online to the inbox there even while still seeing the WLMail installed locally on the drive. Anything like downloads go to three separate identical folders on 3 separate HDs in case one of the drives should fail I still have everything backed up already.

The two main storage drives look identical when looking over all files and folders. But this is on a desktop allowing for more drives to begin with. For the old Vista build in use by a friend the main drive failed and saw an Acronis image restored on the new replacement drive while that person still needs to learn how to back things up on a second drive there set aside for storage and backup purposes since he is out his photos unless they can still be retrieved with the drive in an external enclosure. The funtionality as far as Windows was gone however mostly due to age and wear.

The idea of maintaining a full system image was illustrated right there when a drive became unusable. Besides teaching someone how to manually back things up to be on the safe side at all times the image bailed him out fast once the new drive was in rather then what he ran into when his own old XP case fell apart literally when hardwares there stufed up on him! When you don't have a backup program scheduled the good ole "copy + Paste" can still save the day as some have to learn the hard way however.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #32
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

If I rarely added data and had frequent changes to the OS/programs, then having them separated would save time. In my case, I make few changes to the OS (other than updates and they can be reupdated) and I frequently add data and change existing data. That is a large chunk of the HDD that is affected so keeping data and the OS/programs wouldn't make a significant change in the amount of time it takes me to make backups (actually, none since I backup everything). Where it does save time is when one needs to restore the OS/program partition. I have needed to do that only three times in my life.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #33
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Many simply opt to wipe the main drive yearly to end up with a fresh registry when the clean install goes on as well as reduction of a lot of clutter on the drive. Here I create an image following the fresh install once all programs and updates are on and then may simply restore that image several months later. I ran the last restored image from Oct. 2010 to June 2012 without any issues!

Incremental backups or just simple copy and paste of files and even folders at times or multiple downloads for the same thing on separate drives(in case of a bad download try the next!) is how to keep up if you are not creating replacement images or keeping more then one onhand over time to prevent losses. A copy and paste is a one on one each time where you can verify the copied file or folder afterwards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Jan 2013   #34
Dallas 7

Windows 7 Pro x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by s0me0ne View Post
I have backup setup in windows 7, but was curious if I should be using something else as well? I've yet to have to restore with it, so I'm not too trusting on it yet
Backup can mean your personal file/folder type backup or a system image which takes a snapshot of everything important for full system operation - even to a new HDD.
Let's assume you mean image then my view, particularly when you haven't done a system image restore, is to use two programs. I have done many restores and still use two: Inbuilt Windows and the free version of Macrium Reflect. I've used both without any problems. Be aware that some people do have issues with Windows inbuilt so I would not rely solely on it. If you want only one I would choose Macrium which also happens to be more flexible.

When you can afford the $ buy another sata drive (=or> than your existing HDD) and restore to it and then you will gain some confidence in your imaging software.

Now THERE'S an interesting idea!
I've never tried imaging till just recently and that was with W7 Backup. I've wondered the same thing, how it will work if and when I need it. Right now my image is on an exterior HD.
Put an image on a second built in HDD and restore to that. Hmmm.
Thanks for the idea mjf!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2013   #35
Microsoft MVP


Has anyone else had problems restoring Win7 backup image to a replacement HD? This advice has been given here for years as valid without any reports it failed until recently.

Since the backup image might well be needed to replace a failed HD, this would seem to rule out Win7 backup imaging but I'd like to hear more about others experience with re-imaging to a replacement HD with it. I use Acronis myself, although help others use Win7 backup imaging frequently to same HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2013   #36

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64

My incremental backups are less than half the size that they used to be.

This is because I have cut down on the frequency of imaging the 750 MB of used space in D:\.
This has more drastic changes to the content of Disk Sectors than my 11.5 GB used space of Windows 7 Ultimate.

D:\ is where I keep things like my browser profile.
I update my backup on D:\ only when I have updated browser Addons / Plugins etc.

If D:\ was corrupted and I restored a 2 month old backup,
I still have the latest versions of xMarks and LastPass and they will sync from their servers and I will then regain the bookmarks and passwords that I created last night.
I just accept that urlclassifier3.sqlite is a couple of months out of date,
but it will get updated automatically before I click on any unsafe links.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2013   #37

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Has anyone else had problems restoring Win7 backup image to a replacement HD? This advice has been given here for years as valid without any reports it failed until recently.
No matter what you do there will be situations that work for most but not absolutely everyone. Many of us know that Windows imaging is problematic for some people/system configurations. It has never failed me on 3 different PC systems and I have undertaken a system restore to new HDDs on a number of occasions.
Likewise I have used Macrium Reflect to restore to a new HDD and SSD.
Like I've said, try it to a new HDD then you know all your images are lifeboats. Like requested above if you have problems your feedback should help others.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2013   #38
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

After numerous images on two totally separate systems 1)Vista/XP build used to test and first to see 7 retail and 2)present build I've never run into any problem using the backup options in 7. In fact I tested dual boots when first restoring a 7 made image and afterwards one made with Acronis just to try that idea out and each image restored with ease.

I have been using Acronis more often however since it will compress things down in size as far as how much drive space each new image will take. With the 7 option there's about a 1-2% compression compared to ondrive space used up as to the 15-20% compression rate seen with Acronis there. With the 7 option however you can start the restoration process without the need for the 7 dvd or repair tools cd since the restoration tool will automatically load itself into memory when the system restarts itself once started up while in the Control Panel>Backup & Restore.

The usual causes for any problematic image are a tainted volume on the drive the image is to be created and stored on when it comes time to restore the image. And even more common running a demanding app while the image is being created at the same time which can cause a few hiccups as a result when the program accesses the same parts of the drive the backup tool is accessing for the image. Av programs and firewalls can also hamper the creation of a new image at times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2013   #39

Windows 7 64-bit Professional

Windows 7 Backup is fine, though too limited in what it will do. I strongly suggest that you avoid Paragon and Acronis, which IMHO are little more than camouflaged gateways to tech support hell. They do not work properly, they do not work as documented, and they will not make you happy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2013   #40

Windows 7 pro 64bit. (SP1)

I had some problems with restoring file backup from windows 7 backup created backups, lost about 25% of data. Altough I sometimes do image restore created on my windows 7 WM to test it and it works without problems.
now I use windows backup for system images and data.. and also use file sync tool for data on one more separate disk so two separate backup disks and two backups, but now when large HDDs are cheap data has much more value than HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is Windows 7 backup any good? Are there better free alternatives?

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