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Backup & restore in Windows 7


rculver9056
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I am trying to make use of this feature of Windows 7 after briefly trying it in Vista, and I have a few questions for anyone who's used it already:

1: Is the restore (files) part reliable? I mean does it restore them to thier correct original locations?

I have used the system image restore, and it works great. Didn't have a lot of luck restoring in Vista, though.

2: How long should this thing take?!

I am backing up to an external USB drive, which I started at 11:50 this morning, and it is currently 42% done at 21:30.

Ok, so I have about 300GB to backup, but this is taking the p***, surely?!

3: Regarding 2 above, I am not sure if I have selected too much in the options for backup...

Briefly, I have 3 partitions on 2 sets of striped raid disks as follows: Disk 1 as C:\ (System, 40GB) and D:\ (331GB), and disk 2 as one

partition of 150GB, as I said above, about 300GB of data in all.

When I selected the backup options, I just selected everything, ie. clicked C:\, D:\ and E:\, as well as the default "Libraries" for all and a

system image.

Will this make more copies of the data, as I have also moved document folders to D:\, and also have a few of the library folders on

the other disks? I like to keep all the crap off of the system drive for some long-forgotten reason.

4: Would shelling out for an eSata external enclosure make much of a difference to the speed? The drive in the caddy I have now is sata

anyway.

Thanks for reading! :thumbup

Edited by rculver9056
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I am trying to make use of this feature of Windows 7 after briefly trying it in Vista, and I have a few questions for anyone who's used it already:

1: Is the restore (files) part reliable? I mean does it restore them to thier correct original locations?

I have used the system image restore, and it works great. Didn't have a lot of luck restoring in Vista, though.

2: How long should this thing take?!

I am backing up to an external USB drive, which I started at 11:50 this morning, and it is currently 42% done at 21:30.

Ok, so I have about 300GB to backup, but this is taking the p***, surely?!

3: Regarding 2 above, I am not sure if I have selected too much in the options for backup...

Briefly, I have 3 partitions on 2 sets of striped raid disks as follows: Disk 1 as C:\ (System, 40GB) and D:\ (331GB), and disk 2 as one

partition of 150GB, as I said above, about 300GB of data in all.

When I selected the backup options, I just selected everything, ie. clicked C:\, D:\ and E:\, as well as the default "Libraries" for all and a

system image.

Will this make more copies of the data, as I have also moved document folders to D:\, and also have a few of the library folders on

the other disks? I like to keep all the crap off of the system drive for some long-forgotten reason.

4: Would shelling out for an eSata external enclosure make much of a difference to the speed? The drive in the caddy I have now is sata

anyway.

Thanks for reading! :thumbup

1. Yes and you can also decide to restore else where as well.

2. The time seems about right considering it took Win 7 over an hour to backup about 60GB onto an internal IDE disk.

3. I believe that will make extra copies, but I cannot confirm at this time. The IDE drive I used to backup, has kicked the proverbial bucket.

4. Heck yes. Tested with results link.

Hope that helps. :D

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Thanks for your reply :-)

It's being a pain in the arse, this backup stuff!

I gave it another hour or so lat night, then cancelled it at 44%. Yet the first page in the Backup & Restore Center reckons the backup size will be 203GB. It does compress it all, I suppose.

What options would you check to be pretty sure you've got everything, without the (possible) dupes in moved folders etc?

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Access Denied - That's what I was thinking of doing, but some of the stuff isn't in the documents / libraries folders.

Maybe I should just create more libraries....

What I really don't wanty is to find that stuff wasn't included when these hdds crash (As I said, they are striped, so one goes and all the data goes with it). Oh well...Live and learn.

By the way, I know I could just back it all up to DVDs - But c'mon - 300GB...?!

Ta for you comments anyway, all.

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You could do what I have done before. Uncheck all the libraries and just image whole disks, lol. Its an option.

If what you are worried about is on the OS drive, it makes a complete image to restore from that drive.

Edited by Access Denied
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It preserves the location, yes. Even if you restore the image created when you do the backup, your links(libraries, etc) would be included in said image. All files will be restored to the original location, completing the link and your set.

I have used it to restore 3 partitions at once on 2 separate disks. Everything was the way I had it, when I created the backup.

Edited by Access Denied
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I've actually had a full experience with Windows 7's backup and restore feature, and really it's quite amazing I've got to say.

I used the default backup settings to back up my lappy to an external 500 GB HDD. I had a 160 GB SATA drive inside the laptop, divided into two partitions. C: had windows, programs and user profiles; E: had all of my files essentially. Libraries were set up to correspond to folders on E:, so all of the data on that drive was in a library.

The older versions feature of windows backup is super nifty. If you right-click on a file which has been backed up, you can see older versions of that file and restore the file to its previous versions if you want. This is great if a file gets corrupted or you make some change and save before you click undo. The number of previous versions retained varies depending on how big your hard drive and backup location are relative to eachother. For reference in terms of how long backing up took, it took overnight for it to do the full backup the first time, and the 160 GB drive wasn't even full. It took less time for subsequent backups, but still quite a while - everything gets compressed quite a bit, which I imagine slows things down.

The full restore feature is what's totally awesome. Sadly, my internal HDD died (RIP), so I had to get a new one. The new one was a different manufacturer, different speed and different size - 320 GB. All I had to do was plug in the external drive, boot of the the Win 7 installation disk, and choose the restore option. It found the image backup easily, and asked me how long ago I wanted to restore it to. I restored it to the most recent version. When I booted up - again, a completely new hdd, never before touched - everything was back almost exactly as I had left it. It recreated both partitions, gave them the same drive letters as before, etc. The partitions were kept at the same size and put at the front of the disk, so there were about 160 GB of unused, unpartitoned space, but it was easy enough to expand the data partition to fill that using the disk manager (diskmgmt.msc).

Libraries did get slightly confused after the restore, and I had to tell them again where all their components were, but that was all I had to do, and it was all working fine!

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