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Windows 7 Backup - a nice tutorial

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help' started by Ztruker, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Just came across this tutorial on Windows 7 Backup and thought I'd share it here.
  2. jephree

    jephree ¨*·.¸ «.·°·..·°·.» ¸.·*¨


  3. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    I'm seriously thinking about dumping Acronis True Image. Their support has been reduced to 1 month, anything after that is on a per incident basis. They also have a terrible lack of concern for people losing data. If I could find something reasonably equivalent I'd switch in a heartbeat.

    Norton Ghost is not an option either, tried it, did not like it. Ditto for Cobian backup. Not a bad interface but it does not do any compression so takes a lot more space than I'm willing to dedicate to backups.

    They (Acronis) also, never, ever upgrade older products to work with a new OS. For instance, I bought ATI 2009 in June, and they now say you need to buy ATI 2010 to get Windows 7 compatibility, and 1 whole month of support, whoopie!
  4. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    The more I use Win7 the more impressed I am with it. I had been playing with Windows Home Server to backup all my networked systems but it kept losing track of it's own drives so I lost confidence in it to keep my data safe. I put Win7 on that machine too and back up all my systems to it using Win7's backup and it seems to be working well. Of course the true test is to wipe out my main system and see if I can recover - not ready to do that, but feel if forced, this will work.

    There are several tutorials around, this one seems to be one of the better. Thanks.
  5. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Bill, are you using the built-in Windows Backup or some other software?

    Maybe I need to spend some time with Windows Backup and see if it does what I need.

    I have not seen anything about what you can do with data that has been backed up via Windows Backup. Can you access it down to the file level like you can with Acronis or Ghost?
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Windows Backup and yes, you can restore a single file, folder, or image - or at least that is how it appears. I have can drill down into the back up and select individual files and then have the option to restore to original location, or elsewhere. I have not tried restoring an image file.
  7. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Excellent. I'm thoroughly ticked at Acronis so I think I'll give Windows Backup a try.

    Time to read about it more and see how you restore when needed.
  8. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Tried Windows Backup. It failed at about 12% during the image backup when a Comodo popup occurred for what it thought was a suspected virus (I use Comodo Internet Security). I'm not impressed. Acronis TI 2009 has no problem doing full or incremental backups so as much as I dislike ATI I'm going to have to stay with it, at least for now.

    I'm still running RC1, won't have my retail Win 7 Pro until the end of next week, when I get to start this over again, from scratch. Actually should be fun.
  9. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    That's too bad. I must admit, I have become disenchanted with Comodo lately simply because of too many false positives.

    I have been giving Microsoft Security Essentials a try - something to consider since it seems to be kicking some but lately - now rated the best free AV!

    Microsoft Security Essentials rated best free antivirus for Windows
  10. townsbg

    townsbg Senior Member

    Thanks for this but this was written back in February when 7 beta had just been release publicly. Surely it has changed since then. Also to note is that the network backup is only available in Pro or Ultimate (compare editions).
  11. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Bill, what do you use for a firewall, or do you think Windows Firewall and Essentials is good enough?

    I'm behind a router so already have a good hardware firewall in place.
  12. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    I think Windows Firewall has been "good enough" for years - at least since XP SP2 - noting that 100s of millions of Windows users have been using it with no problems. Most of the bad press was instituted by ZA and Norton, and of course the IT Media who love to bash MS - and some MR types who have tunnel vision. They (and I did too initially) claimed it's a lousy firewall because it was only "one way" and did not protect against outgoing threats. Of course that totally discounted the fact malicious code would have had to make it past all the security defenses on the way in.

    I've had two test systems running AVG Free, WF, Windows Defender, IE6/7/8 since XP came out. These systems have been used extensively by me for testing, and by guests to include several teen-aged grandkids, and their friends. And like 100s of millions of other "default" Windows users out there, were never infected and remained safe - contrary to what some malware removal "experts" and FF users would have us believe would happen. They too are behind a plain Linksys router - with the only instructions from Grandpa - "stay away from P2P sites!" One of those systems had WU set for auto-update, the other for auto-download, and I will update. It did not matter - neither broke. They are now running WF and Microsoft Security Essentials - and granddaughter says noticeably faster too, with AVG removed.

    Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) stumbled a bit out the gate but seems to be back on track - if not a leader in the pack as Av-Comparatives noted above, and other recent reports would indicate. I note it has passed ICSA Labs testing too.

    The only thing I don't like (but am getting used to) about Microsoft Security Essentials, though it is in keeping with WF and WD, is that for someone that likes absolute total visibility and control over what's happening, they tend to hide out of the way. But of course, that's a big plus for most users, and with a small GUI control center, is easy on resources.

    I'm personally ecstatic about this - "this" being that MS is getting into the free anti-malware business, and that MSE is doing so well. This is important because years ago, when the Internet was beginning to explode and more and more computers were being "connected" instead of stand-alone, MS tried to incorporate AV technologies into Windows. But Norton, McAfee, CA, and others whined and cried to Congress, the EU and anyone else who would listen, claiming that MS was trying to push them out of business. That was probably true, but they also promised they were going to protect consumers and stop this emerging malware threat. We see how well that worked. And why did they fail? Because, as I have stated many times at just about every site I visit, Norton/Symantec, McAfee, CA and the others have ABSOLUTELY NO FINANCIAL INCENTIVE to rid the world of malware - that would run them out of business. Symantec does not want malware to go away! Instead of stopping malware at the source, they would rather milk us consumers of $Billions and $Billions, and blame MS for the world's woes.

    So right now, on this new Win7 system, I am using MSE and WF and I am behind a router - supplemental scanning with MBAM keeps coming up clean.

    Now I am not ready to recommend MSE and WF to everyone. For users that don't bother keeping their system current with the latest patches and critical updates, or if they participate in illegal filesharing at P2P sites, or visit illegal porn and gambling sites, or allow unknown undisciplined users access, then MSE and WF may not be good enough - but then under those circumstances, I don't know what is.
  13. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Definitely worth a try, so I uninstalled Comodo, installed MSE and enabled the Windows Firewall.

    Just kicked off another Windows Backup. Will see if this one completes. If so I may be able to dump Acronis which would make my day.

    Thanks Bill
  14. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    It completed but it took 5+ hours!!!!!

    When I looked at it, all it did was create a bunch of (2000+) .zip files) for the normal backup. I was not impressed, so deleted the backups and disabled Windows Backup.

    As much as I dislike Acronis support policies, there is nothing better or even close at the moment so I guess I'll stay with it.
  15. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    What? Something's not right. I don't see one zip file. I have 11 small (< 10kb) .xml files and 2 big .vhd files, one is 1.3Gb and the other is 11.6Gb.

    I do know the first run takes the longest, but each after that is more or less an incremental and should not take near as long. Mine took under 2 hours for about 40Gb of stuff on 2 partitions of a 1Tb drive. Subsequent backups, including the one I just timed now, take less than 10 minutes!

    I suppose the hardware matters - this machine is a nice Core i7 860 with 4Gb of RAM, and the backup system is Dual-Core E5300 with 2Gb of RAM.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  16. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Did you do a normal backup and an Image backup? I did and there were two distinct directories where the backup data was stored. I've already nuked it so I can't check it now.

    I have 4 partitions with a total of 135GB of used space that I was backing up. This was in addition to the Image backup.

    Acronis backs all this up (full in about an hour, incrementals in 4-5 minutes). Currently occupying 135GB of drive space. This includes one full backup and 5 incremental backups.

    I'll try it again so I can provide more/better info. Will kick it off tonight.

    Is there a log file anywhere? I'd like to look at it to see what info it recorded.
  17. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    The first, if you let Windows decide, is always an image. Then a normal. No, there are no logs. Typical of most native Windows tools, it is still pretty basic.
  18. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    I was right. Did another backup and there are two distinct directory structures, one for the Custom backup and the other for Image backup. Custom has lots of .zip files, Image has .vhd and .xml files.

    First two are for Custom backup - 64GB


    This is Image backup - 34GB (C: only)

    I did find log files, but I can't read them. They are in C:\Windows\Logs\WindowsBackup, .etl files.
  19. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Ah! Yeah I did not do a custom so I don't have zip files. And I was looking for logs on the backup system, not this system so I did not see them.

    It looks like you need to download logparser if you want to view the trace log files: How to Process and View Trace Log Files . Or you can use Network Monitor.
  20. Ztruker

    Ztruker Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Network Monitor works well, Log Parser is a command line tool that has more parameters than I care to even think about.

    Unfortunately, now that I can look at the log data, it's meaningless to me.