Coffeehouse Thread

14 posts

Forum Read Only

This forum has been made read only by the site admins. No new threads or comments can be added.

Windows Backup & Restore

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    After discussing it for ages, putting it off, and otherwise procrastinating I finally purchased a "backup solution." In this case I wound up with a 2 TB external eSATA/USB 2.0. While WHS looked interesting I'm not spending £300 on it. Plus I can plug this external HDD into my D-Link router and turn it into a network drive, so why spend the extra money?

     

    So anyway, I'm trying to use Window 7's built in backup tool, and so far am a little unimpressed. It isn't horrible but it is SLOW, I am trying to do my initial backup and thus far it has only consumed 200 GB when left on for an entire day. I did a quick test on this drive and you could have easily copied at least five times that amount over the period.

     

    Plus instead of storing "files" it is storing it in hundreds of ZIP files which makes individual files difficult to find and is often inefficient (particularly if it is going to zip already compressed material). The other thing is that if the catalogue gets corrupted I really do have all of my eggs in one basket, I cannot easily go to the drive and manually pull out the files I need.

     

    I might give this software a shot instead but it is ad supported: http://www.crashplan.com

  • User profile image
    Bas

    so why spend the extra money?

     

    For the fact that the drawbacks you mentioned don't occur on WHS? Tongue Out Also it's more than just backup, but it depends on wether you feel you need that, of course.

     

    I'm not a fan of the built in backup solutions in Windows either... It's weird that something that's so essential and should be so ingrained in everyone's computer use is still so unwieldy.

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    Bas said:

    *snip*

     

    For the fact that the drawbacks you mentioned don't occur on WHS? Tongue Out Also it's more than just backup, but it depends on wether you feel you need that, of course.

     

    I'm not a fan of the built in backup solutions in Windows either... It's weird that something that's so essential and should be so ingrained in everyone's computer use is still so unwieldy.

    Fair enough. The only other feature of WHS that is even interesting in is Remote Access Gateway but frankly I can continue to use Live Sync/Mesh. I'm not even sure what I'd stream with a media server.

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    So if your hard disk become corrupted and you have to replace it, I'm guessing that an on-line backup plan won't restore the entire backup in one go (you would have to at least install Windows to get online again)?

     

    The built-in backup is slow the first time (it usually makes a complete disk image) but I find that the subsequent backups are fine (less than 0.5 hours for me).

     

    Restore does allow you to select individual files (or folders) through the restore application.

     

    I have used a restore from backup twice to recover from disk crashes (dodgy raid controller on an old machine) and the Windows backup does the job from boot-up very well.

     

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    Dr Herbie said:

    So if your hard disk become corrupted and you have to replace it, I'm guessing that an on-line backup plan won't restore the entire backup in one go (you would have to at least install Windows to get online again)?

     

    The built-in backup is slow the first time (it usually makes a complete disk image) but I find that the subsequent backups are fine (less than 0.5 hours for me).

     

    Restore does allow you to select individual files (or folders) through the restore application.

     

    I have used a restore from backup twice to recover from disk crashes (dodgy raid controller on an old machine) and the Windows backup does the job from boot-up very well.

     

    Herbie

    The software I linked backs up to an external HDD. Their online storage is just an additional option.

     

    I'm just concerned that if anything goes wrong with the backup I won't get any files back. And let's be honest the more complex you make it the more likely it is that something can go wrong. At least if you have a raw list of files there is less that can go wrong...

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    ManipUni said:
    Dr Herbie said:
    *snip*

    The software I linked backs up to an external HDD. Their online storage is just an additional option.

     

    I'm just concerned that if anything goes wrong with the backup I won't get any files back. And let's be honest the more complex you make it the more likely it is that something can go wrong. At least if you have a raw list of files there is less that can go wrong...

    I thought that the windows backup tool built VHDs on the remote drive and versioned them using volume snapshot services, so you could mount the image on any Vista and above machine to get your files back...

     

    I'm going to have to go and try it again now and find out.

     

    I do find it a pain to choose what to back up, but for people with simple needs like 'back my laptop up; its fine.

     

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    It does take a very long time the first time, but I'd rather it compress things than just copy them verbatim. Not all of us have 2TB free Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    jmar

    I use a PowerToy and update manually once in a while. It seems faster than your description. 

    SyncToy 2.1

    Brief Description


    SyncToy 2.1 is a free application that synchronizes files and folders between locations. Typical uses include sharing files, such as photos, with other computers and creating backup copies of files and folders.

     

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=c26efa36-98e0-4ee9-a7c5-98d0592d8c52&displaylang=en

     

    lethedoom

  • User profile image
    davewill

    I went with robocopy and a reg dump after suggestions from fellow niners.

     


    robocopy "<sourcepath>" "<destpath>" *.* /MIR /V /R:0 /xj /TEE /LOG:backupPC.log

     

    Advantages:

    It is a LOT faster than windows backup.

     

    You can get to your backup files natively (i.e. not zipped or otherwise altered).

     

    When your machine crashes and Win8 is out you will want to load the latest and greatest at the time since you have to take the time anyway.  You don't have to worry about if Win8 restore will be compatible with Win7 backup files.

     

     

    Disadvantages:

    You can't be sloppy about sticking your files just anywhere.  You will want to be OCD to keep your robocopy scripts simple over time.

     

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    davewill said:

    I went with robocopy and a reg dump after suggestions from fellow niners.

     


    robocopy "<sourcepath>" "<destpath>" *.* /MIR /V /R:0 /xj /TEE /LOG:backupPC.log

     

    Advantages:

    It is a LOT faster than windows backup.

     

    You can get to your backup files natively (i.e. not zipped or otherwise altered).

     

    When your machine crashes and Win8 is out you will want to load the latest and greatest at the time since you have to take the time anyway.  You don't have to worry about if Win8 restore will be compatible with Win7 backup files.

     

     

    Disadvantages:

    You can't be sloppy about sticking your files just anywhere.  You will want to be OCD to keep your robocopy scripts simple over time.

     

    davewill said:

    Disadvantages:

    You can't be sloppy about sticking your files just anywhere.  You will want to be OCD to keep your robocopy scripts simple over time.

    More importantly, it's just a mirror and not a real backup. Which means there are an enormous number of situations it can't rescue you from where a real backup can.

  • User profile image
    davewill

    AndyC said:
    davewill said:
    *snip*

    More importantly, it's just a mirror and not a real backup. Which means there are an enormous number of situations it can't rescue you from where a real backup can.

    Agreed.  My history with backups has always been disappointing.  Disaster recovery has become

     

    1. FDisk

    2. Format

    3. Install OS

    4. Install Apps

    5. Slide data and config files back into place from backup storage

     

    Maybe one day it will actually be a pleasant experience.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    davewill said:

    I went with robocopy and a reg dump after suggestions from fellow niners.

     


    robocopy "<sourcepath>" "<destpath>" *.* /MIR /V /R:0 /xj /TEE /LOG:backupPC.log

     

    Advantages:

    It is a LOT faster than windows backup.

     

    You can get to your backup files natively (i.e. not zipped or otherwise altered).

     

    When your machine crashes and Win8 is out you will want to load the latest and greatest at the time since you have to take the time anyway.  You don't have to worry about if Win8 restore will be compatible with Win7 backup files.

     

     

    Disadvantages:

    You can't be sloppy about sticking your files just anywhere.  You will want to be OCD to keep your robocopy scripts simple over time.

     

    When your machine crashes and Win8 is out you will want to load the latest and greatest at the time since you have to take the time anyway.

     

    Each to their own, but personally, I’ve never had a system crash coincide with a planned upgrade - if it crashes I just want it back the way it was A.S.A.P. so I can get back to work.

     

    I use the option of including a disk-image for each backup-set, so I can (hopefully) quickly restore the full-backup point of the set, from the image, and then complete the restore with the incrementals in the set.

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    Small update - I found it that Windows Backup is actually buggy and won't backup more than 200 GB without issues. Microsoft has released a hot fix which will be included in the next Service Pack - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2283445

     

    Let's hope they also fix the numerious bugs in Microsoft Paint too. Buggiest product ever.

  • User profile image
    davewill

    ManipUni said:

    Small update - I found it that Windows Backup is actually buggy and won't backup more than 200 GB without issues. Microsoft has released a hot fix which will be included in the next Service Pack - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2283445

     

    Let's hope they also fix the numerious bugs in Microsoft Paint too. Buggiest product ever.

    aha.  that explains the long backup times.  there is still the issue of a large backup GB footprint that seems exponential.

Conversation locked

This conversation has been locked by the site admins. No new comments can be made.