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Windows 7: ntbackup integrity issues

21 Sep 2010   #1

Windows XP SP3
ntbackup integrity issues

Hi all,
For a while I've been contemplating shifting from XP to 7 because of its UI, but I'm having issues making up my mind. I want to keep a full backup of my system (registry, boot sector, COM+ Class Database, files and settings, the whole lot) on my external HDD in the case that I want to switch back to XP quickly, but I am unsure as to how safe using ntbackup for such a task is. It's the restoration phase I'm mostly afraid of. I don't trust the integrity or MTF and I'm worried that ntbackup will mess up some crucial files like the bootsector and I'll end up having to spend hours and hours fixing everything up, not to mention I might also lose a lot of my data.

I was wondering:
  1. Will using ntbackup solely for restoring the boot sector and system files work successfully? Is it possible to properly use ntbackup to replace the win7 system files+boot sector using ntbackup? Is it reliable?
  2. Are there any alternatives? Any safe, guaranteed ways I can use to restore my system to its previous state quick and easy should I chose to do so?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP


Use free Macrium Reflect or Paragon 10 to store an XP system image. Imaging is the modern method.

Win7 has built-in imaging which allows you to never need to reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #3

Windows XP SP3

Ah, thanks. :]
I knew about 7's imaging capabilities.
Just one last thing: Are you sure that Macrium is completely safe? Will it properly reinstall XP over any other OS? I've been screwed over too many times by backup programs to take any risks, heh. :/
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Sep 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


You want to create Unallocated space to reimage onto. I personally would wipe the HD first. Macrium allows flexibility to change partition size, etc.

But to be failsafe, I would make a separate image with Paragon 10.

Another option is to keep XP on a separate HD booted via BIOS one-time Boot Menu key. Unplug it during WIn7 install to do this. When plugged back in after install it can either be booted or used to access files from Win7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 ntbackup integrity issues

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