question about windows backup

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by bdee1, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. bdee1

    bdee1 New Member

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    in the past I have used Acronis TrueImage software to create full system images of my system. that way if somethign goes really wrong i can just restore the entire system from the acronis image and be good to go.

    It looks liek windows backup has a way of doing a full system backup/restore and I am wondering if its the same sort of thing - does it just create an image file like acronis which is a bit for bit copy of the data on the drive so that i can easily restore the whole system, apps and all?

    do i need to make a recovery disc in order to do a full system restore? and if so, is the recovery disk specific to one system or is it kind of a generic windows 7 recovery disc tha ti can use on all of my windows 7 systems?
     
    #1 bdee1, Nov 11, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Windows does do an image backup that can be restored from the F8 boot menu during boot. Some folks say Acronis has more options, which it does, but the Windows version is free.

    I do not think you need a recovery disc if you have the Windows 7 DVD.
     
  3. tblount

    tblount New Member

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    Use true image to clone your drive and it's always ready to boot right into and run windows.. by far far far the best way. Windows backup needs a diffrent partition or hard drive anyway.. and it's NOT bootable... so even if you can use the backup should your os fail... you have to go through the seutp, activation .. yada yada yada... a clone with true image is at least a thousand times easier and 100 times more reliable. If your backup is on a partition on you drive with your os.. and that drive dies.... (all hard drives eventually fail) .... your backup is gone too. True image clones my 100gb data in about 15 mins. .. and it's TOTAL... backup are selective and if you try the system image you'll probably find out it takes an hour or two.. and it's compressed.... leaving you at the mercy of a decompression program to get back your data.
     
  4. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    I don't think you have used the full Backup and Restore contained in Windows 7...
     
  5. RAK

    RAK Extraordinary Member

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    " If your backup is on a partition on you drive with your os.. and that drive dies.... (all hard drives eventually fail) .... your backup is gone too."

    That would also be the case with any image or backup if you placed it bon the same drive/partition.

    It takes a while to load an Acronis autoboot CD and select the restore image. I think it is on par with running the Windows install DVD and working from there. probably even faster to go into a command prompt and use the restore from there.
    I use Acronis and will continue to do so -just pointing out a divergence here.

    And as Saltgrass asks ??
     
  6. tblount

    tblount New Member

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    Show me how to do a full backup of my Win 7 to another hard drive that boots.

    I am convinced it can not build the boot manager files. That's why a cloneing program is 1000 times better.

    But I would be more than happy to tell people they didn't have to buy True Image or a wd / seagate hard drive for the free version to work.
     
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    You have the image you made with Windows backup on an external drive, or the network. You use a restore disc or the Windows DVD to restore the image....

    I did this when I changed from a 200G hard drive to a 500G hard drive. Maybe I do not understand what you are saying, possibly the terms clone and image are causing problems. I am not suggesting you can clone a drive directly with Windows Backup, but you can create an image which can be restored and is then bootable.

    I tell you what, you send me a 750G hard drive, and I will restore my system to it to prove it will boot. I will, of course have to keep the hard drive!!!;)
     
  8. tblount

    tblount New Member

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    Yes.. that's the reason why you CLONE the entire drive to another drive... the objective is to protect your data... from hard drive failure as well as a virus or user error.


    Don't do it.. use Acronis to clone the drive and you don't need anything to restore anything. When you clone it takes about 14 mins per 100 gb. I just did it earlier today while I ran to the store. When you have a cloned drive you can take your original out and boot up and you won't know the difference. Unless your cloned hard drive has more or less free space... based on the size of the drive.


    No way, Not even close. If you have a clone you do nothing, except modify your boot sequence in your bios. The clone is not like a backup... the clone is an identical hard drive. And there is NO confusion or complicated steps you have to figure out... like when you try to go to a command prompt and figure out how to use the restore. 90% of the people reading this are at least a little bit geeky and I bet that not even 1 in 20 could make a guess about what to type when looking at the command prompt. I don't know either.

    add to that... even if you have a good backup and figure out how to restore it there are several downsides... for example... restoring has always been know to create bookoodles of duplicate files, you sometimes have to go through the reactivation process again... you definitely have a lot of defragmenting to do... registry optimization .. and on and on.

    Why even fight it?

    Read my blogs.. I have noted a lot of reasons to clone rather than wasting time with some half-baked backup --- yeah I resisted saying ass -- that will be a nightmare trying to restore. In the end... I don't really care what method anyone uses but if you clone you WILL thank me later. <grin>
     
  9. tblount

    tblount New Member

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    An image is just that.. an image... it's a compressed file and won't boot. It takes an extra utility to access the data. The more layers of requirements you apply to a process to restore your data.. the more possibilities and probabilities for failure.




    Perhaps on the same hard drive.. but not a new one. Here is why.... when you build the boot manager files and BCD, they must have the specific unique guid numbers that are assigned to the hard drive. That's what is so wonderful about using True Image and making a clone... it does all those adjustments on the new drive's boot manager files.

    It would be IMPOSSIBLE for a backup to restore a boot setup to a different hard drive.... it does not have a routine like bcdedit or easybcd that will extract the quid numbers that are specific for the new drive and build the correct boot files and bcd.

    Here is how I know... and you can test this. I made a clone of my drive to another drive. I booted into that drive and all was fine. Later on I backed up some files (simply copies some updates day to day work files) to the clone to keep it current. All was still fine. Then one time when I did this I used the /h parameter with xcopy and copied over my bcd file from my main os drive to the clone. When I tried to boot into the clone drive what do you think happened?

    It took me to the primary drive.. because the unique quid numbers inside the bcd were those that belonged to the primary drive. Even taking the primary drive out of the system would only cause a nasty error message. So the moral of the story, boys and girls, is don't overwrite your boot files on your clone.... (back them up just in case you forget and do overwrite them.) You can fix the mess with some bcdboot commands... or if you backed up bcd you can restore it if you really had to.

    What's your address? I only have a 2 tb drive to send.
     
  10. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Not correct--Maybe you should try it for yourself, because I and many other folks have done it. Creating a backup image is not that hard and doesn't take that long.
     
  11. tblount

    tblount New Member

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    I know it won't work. You can't restore a backup to a new drive and boot up. I've clearly explained it.... I thought.
     
  12. RAK

    RAK Extraordinary Member

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    I think this has become another argument without end. I will not disagree with your methods. I see no advantage to my operation in cloning. I have a need to be able to revert to different images, at different periods in my operations. I would not have space enough to make clones of all those points.
    I posted : Your quote - If your backup is on a partition on you drive with your os.. and that drive dies.... (all hard drives eventually fail) .... your backup is gone too
    My response: That would also be the case with any image or backup if you placed it on the same drive/partition.
    Your answer: Yes.. that's the reason why you CLONE the entire drive to another drive... the objective is to protect your data... from hard drive failure as well as a virus or user error.

    I think you missed my point. You were using this argument against the regular backup - "Windows backup needs a different partition or hard drive anyway"
    "True image clones my 100gb data in about 15 mins. .. and it's TOTAL... backup are selective and if you try the system image you'll probably find out it takes an hour or two."

    I suspect you have rarely used Acronis to image you installation. My regular testbed is 80Gbs. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to make the image and ten or less to recover it.
    "Don't do it.. use Acronis to clone the drive and you don't need anything to restore anything."

    Why not? And in a manner of speaking, your clone is a restoration of an earlier setting, is it not?

    The autoboot of the Acronis cd does takea couple of minutes. I can, under my circumstances, spare this time. It loads the entire program before proceeding.

    Thank you for referring me to your blogs. I had noticed from your posts that you have such.

    As I said, another Horses for courses argument. I must confess I am towards Saltgrass' views on this one, but have nothing more to add.
    I only hope the OP has not been totally confused by this digression!
     
  13. tblount

    tblount New Member

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    Let me argue about that statement. I don't see this as an argument.. it's a discussion - because I'm right.. haha

    NO.. it's a discussion because the purpose is knowledge and confirmation about data preservation... which is important to everyone.



    We all know they both work. I cannot disagree with your methods. The question in play is the advantages or disadvantages of the two methods. If you don't have a backup hard drive, my preference it's even an option.


    Then I have failed to point out the two factors I believe cloning to have: 1. ease 2. reliability 3. bootable


    So it should make sense to have a clone of your primary / base system from which you revert to various setups. Should your "reversion" damage or destroy your primary os you would have an identical backup, thus avoid the wasted time, effort and hassle of performing a new install.


    I know that but my point is that a different partition is only as reliable as the hard drive itself. Should the drive fail, so does the backup.... however if you clone to another drive it doesn't matter if your primary hard drive fails.


     
  14. tblount

    tblount New Member

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    Oh .. I forgot that True Image has a Try and Decide feature that makes it very easy to play with various settings and experiment with new software in a sandbox. Should you decide you want to keep the modifications you can... othewise whatever you do is discarded when you reboot.

    Note that on making a bootable backup there is a utility to set the bootmanager files correctly after/during a company sets up multiple systems from an image. Here is some info:

    Simplify Cloned Machine Setups. Create a template installation then run sysprep
    /oobe /generalize /reboot /shutdown /unattend:scriptfile. Clone or copy this
    virtual machine file. When it launches, it will get a new SID and you can fill
    in the name. The reference for building unattended script files is at
    tinyurl.com/winunattend.

    Globally unique identifiers are also the basis of the GUID Partition Table
    (GPT). This is a hard disk partitioning scheme proposed by Intel as part of the
    Extensible Firmware Interface. It is used by Windows PCs as well as Intel-based
    Macintosh computers. GPT uses GUIDs to define the different partitions on a hard
    drive. Some examples include the boot partition, the file system partition, and
    the data partition. Each operating system that supports the GPT partitioning
    scheme uses specific GUIDs to label each partition.
    GUID (Globally Unique Identifier) Definition
     

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