How do you move Win 7 Backup files to a new larger HDD?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by allenn, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. allenn

    allenn Senior Member

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    I purchased a larger external hdd for my Win 7 Backup. I would like to move or copy the existing Win 7 Backup/Restore files to the new external hdd to freeup the old external drive for other data. Do you just copy the Backup folders on the old hdd to the new drive? Strangely, the Win 7 Backup folders' properties show zero bytes. I have restored files / folders from the Backup files, so I know they are not empty. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. zvit

    zvit Honorable Member

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    The short answer is that you can do so for the latest backup, but you will lose all previous backup versions.

    The way system image backup works is that the latest point in time of the image is always stored as a .vhd file on the target. When the next backup occurs, any changes since the previous backup will be reflected in this .vhd file, and all older versions of data are written off to the "shadow copy storage" area on that target, which is outside of the VHD. During restore, if you choose to restore to an earlier backup, the restore process will stitch together the VHD together with the changed data stored in the shadow copy storage area.

    When you move the "Windows Image Backup" folder to another location, only the VHD is moved along with it, but the data written off to the shadow copy storage location does not. Hence while you will preseve the latest version of the backup, the older versions will be lost.

    Best way would be to re-backup onto the external drive and then remove previous backups for space.
     
  3. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    I see this was answered while I was thinking about it.
    But you can try and "copy" it to the new drive and see if it works.
    If it doesn't you haven't lost anything as long as it's still on the old drive.

    But as zvit said, this sounds like a good time to do a new backup.
     
    #3 MikeHawthorne, Mar 17, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  4. allenn

    allenn Senior Member

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    The external drive contains my last Vista backup, as well as the last Win 7 backup. I wanted to keep the Vista backup. If I copy the Vista folder to the new larger HDD, what will be lost? I can run a new backup for Win 7, so no loss.
     
  5. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    We need to keep in mind, backups does not necessarily mean an Image backup.

    But as suggested, if you can backup to the new drive, why not do so.
     
  6. allenn

    allenn Senior Member

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    You are correct about the image backup. I do not have one. I want to save my Vista Backup. Is this possible?
     
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Well, as was suggested, try it to see if it works. If the Vista Backup is the same name as the Win 7 backup, it might work, but I do not think anyone here has experience with such a situation.

    Do you have a Windows.old folder?
     
  8. allenn

    allenn Senior Member

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    I backed up Vista data and folders, not an image backup, on the original backup HDD before installing Win 7. When I run Win 7 Backup, it shows the Vista Backup and the latest Win 7 Backup. I have restored some pictures and videos from the Vista Backup, so I know it works. I would like to keep the Vista Backup, but I want to move it to the new HDD. Win 7 Backup is no problem, because I can run the Backup/Restore and select the new HDD. The real issue is getting the Vista Backup onto the new HDD.
     
  9. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    I would try just copying the folder with the backup to the new drive and see if you can access it.
    If you can't you may want to restore it to a location on your D: drive and then make a new backup of it on the new external drive.
     
  10. allenn

    allenn Senior Member

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    Answered myself: I copied the Win 7 backup and Vista backup folders from HDD A, old backup HDD, to HDD B, new larger backup HDD. The two folders copied but the total used byte count on HDD B did not match that of HDD A. The folders show zero bytes which appears to be true for all Vista and Win 7 backup folders. I successfully restored files from the Vista and the Win 7 backup files. Conclusion: I guess you can copy the backup folders. Note: I was not dealing with Window's image files, but Window's data backup files. I hope this helps others.
     

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