Backup

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by mistofeles, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. mistofeles

    mistofeles New Member

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    There should be a backup system built in to the Win7 !

    The original Backup/Restore is a disaster:
    - it is using aproprietary file format. Every version of MSDOS and Windows has had an incompatible file format.
    - it does not know what to backup

    We had some thinking:
    Normally an user creates max 1 GB of data/day.
    1. Two hard disks of similar size to every PC (let it be 1 TB here)
    - the first is the work space and contains a 990GB partition (HD1.1) for the user and a 10 GB partition (HD1.2) for the system
    - the second for the copy and has a 990GB partition (HD2.1) for RAID1 and a 10 GB partition (HD2.2) for a daily work copy, 'snapshot'. HD2 is closed with Administrator permissions.

    2. The workspace HD1.1 is mirrored to the HD2.1
    3. The daily changes are copied to HD2.2 daily to two heaps alternating. The heaps are cleaned every two weeks alternating.

    4. every time a program is installed, the backup program indexes those file, which can be collected from the installation CD - those will not be backed up. All the changing files: conf files, ini files, registry and user data etc will be copied. The same goes with the OS itself. Updates, upgrades and programs, which can be downloaded from the network are not copied to backup.

    The RAID1 takes care of the mechanical failures. The snapshots take care of the mistakes made by the user or viruses.
    There should be some thinking about those daily backups. Very often changes build chains. Somehow the backup should handle the chains so that the restore could be done for at least 5 days backwards.

    Of course there should be a PANIC -ikon which freeses all and everything so that the user can stop the automatic bacup-engine so that it doesn't delete the backup heap when she finds, that she got to restore something.

    This kind of backup shold be a part of the OS.
    There is very much free space for new ideas around this system. For example the automatisation of the daily heaps. A good algorithm is needed to decide, when the heap can be cleaned and what to clean.
    All the backup has to be done as linear copy -no ZIP, TAR or other fancy file formats.

    Of course the second HD costs $$$ but as we have seen, the users tend to buy CDs, DVDs, USB sticks and USB HDs to make copies of their data. So why not make it in the beginning and make it part of the daily life.

    Comments ?
     
  2. jimbo45

    jimbo45 New Member

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    Hi there
    Use something like Acronis True Image -- it works --Ok you have to pay for it but it saves a HUGE amount of time and you can even do a "bare metal" recovery -- say you hard disk(s) go bad you can recover from a bootable USB / DVD etc and if the recovery image spans several disks then this is automatically handled as well. Also restores images saved on shared /networked disks. Saves data as well as partition images and you can browse the images to selectively restore individual files even from a Partition Image backup.

    http://www.acronis.com

    There's others such as Paragon and Ghost but I don't like these.

    If you want to try Open Source (Free) then download the GPARTED live cd. Not only does it have a partition manager but also a Partition imager -- I haven't tried this out myself yet but the PARTIMAGE included on the disk will backup and save partition images in XML (which is an open format).

    I don't know what the limitations are of this so perhaps you coulld test it for us and report back (for example I don't know if it spans media etc). Backup your system with another product first if you are testing this just in case.

    GParted -- Download

    Cheers
    jimbo
     
  3. mistofeles

    mistofeles New Member

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    We do use some image programs, but they re used to build images of just built installations without data. My example case is a workgroup of about a dozen person. Everyone of them having data nearly 1TB. This might be too much for image programs. It is too much even for network systems. And it is much too much for DVD backups.
    1 TB is not so much nowadays. Personally I have about 4TB material in my home system. I have not made backub but of the most critical 500 GB
     
  4. jimbo45

    jimbo45 New Member

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    Most of these commercial backup programs use "Incremental Backup" once you've made the initial backup then only CHANGES are backed up. Of course on restore you'll need to restore the intial full backup and then the incremenatals taken since the last full backup.

    If you are running a workgroup and don't know about this stuff

    a) DON'T TELL YOUR BOSS
    b) even worse -- DON'T TELL YOUR USERS or you will be in HUGE trouble.

    cheers
    jimbo
     
  5. mistofeles

    mistofeles New Member

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    Cheers ;)
    a) My boss has about same feelings about the sittuation of backup with me. She is all the time trying to find better algorithms to spare disk space and make it cheaper for our customers. And make it more reliable and easier.
    b) My customers are going to build a special backup system based on the guidelines I wrote before. Not exaclyt like I wrote, but kind of.

    Got to remember that there is two kinds of problems: mechanical and mistakes. RAID1 is for the mechanical and incremental for the mistakes.
    It is very hard work to recover, If you don't know how your backup program works (whats the algorithm).

    Most important part of my message is that:
    - when you buy a new computer, buy it with two similar HD's. Another of them for the backup.
    - get a good backup program
    - do not use anything, which writes the backup in any proprietary format.
     
  6. jimbo45

    jimbo45 New Member

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    To save disk space and increase speed pretty well ALL backup programs will use some sort of proprietary formats for compression etc. This isn't bad as any commercial backup program these days is reliable and robust.

    If you DON'T use compression etc you will have to have HUGE amounts of data storage for backups (and then the problem of retrieval becomes significant as well -- just managing this stuff will be a nightware).

    The nearest you can get to "non proprietary" formats are to use the Linux TAR type programs but even then you'll still want to "gunzip" them for space compression (gunzip is a type of linux equivalent to winzip or rar compression)

    If you want to manage this stuff by yourself it's a REAL HASSLE especiallly managing multiple media with "unattended backups".

    Just buy something like Acronis True Image (works fine for small office and home networks) and only costs around 50 USD,

    Even these days just think what "On Site" support costs per hour (even if the site is "off-shored").

    Cheers
    jimbo
     
  7. CURaven

    CURaven New Member

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  8. Tepid

    Tepid New Member

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    What you are talking about is something like Backup Exec .
    This is not, should not be, a full function of Windows out of the box.
    There is no universal non-proprietary backup system, they don't and never will exist

    Acronis, might do what you want to a degree, but it is not as granular as you are talking as Backup Exec.

    I will admit that the Backup in Windows could be a bit better and more robust, but, then they would be accused of stamping out competition to the backup/restore community.

    If you really have people creating Gigabytes of data daily, Then you need a real server with Raid 5, 6 or 10 running.
    With Disaster Recovery and off site storage.

    You aren't going to get out of this cheaply if you want to do it properly, with relative ease.

    What you are proposing, can turn into a nightmare, because you are wanting every PC to be responsible for it's own data backup/recovery, with Zero plans on Disaster Recovery.

    With the amounts of data you are referring to, Centralization is key.

    Also, if you decide to install Win7, 10G system partition will not be big enough in the long run.
     
  9. CURaven

    CURaven New Member

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    Well Tepid I appreciate the info. It does give me some hope. My problem was the 139GB on a Raptor wasn't enough for my 64-bit Win7 install, so I created a system image (using the Win 7 wizard) on a separate drive. When I was finished re-installing the 64-bit Win-7 on the newly created Win7 raid 0 drive, I reinserted the drive with the system image on it.
    And that's when the fight started... No system restore/backup for me. Win 7s' backup program won't see the image or the "mediaid.bin" file. No idea why, but I'm stuck reinstalling every program and moving a mass amount of data. I'll get it done, but I feel let down.
     
  10. Tepid

    Tepid New Member

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    That's because, Windows Backup is not an imaging software persay.
    You should have been able to see it though unless it is SID dependent maybe?

    When doing a reinstall as you were doing, you are better off trying File and Settings Transfer Wizard or USMT.
    The free option is DIXML drive image. You can mount the image and extract data.

    DIXML is an excellent alternative to Acronis. It is easy to use, but can be slower.
    Whoopps, just re-read the FAQ,

    Q. Can I backup and restore a RAID? A. You can backup a RAID volume, but you can usually not restore it back to the RAID. You can restore it to an individual drive, though.

    Acronis will restore to a RAID0, I do it all the time at home. Acronis can also mount images as a drive.

    Personally, I don't like windows backup, so I refuse to use it. There are better options.
     
  11. SIW2

    SIW2 New Member

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    You may like to check out Macrium Reflect - it uses the standard xml format - as does Dixml, but is much faster ( it is the fastest in the industry ) and more flexible.

    It is also very small (26mb).

    There is an excellent free version which does partition/drive imaging, scheduling and mounting.

    Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
     
  12. CURaven

    CURaven New Member

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    Great answers guys!
    Thanks!
    OT I'm a luck mo fo.
     

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