OK , a fair enough question. I will try my best to explain why i hate "Windows Backup" and call it both "Clumsy" and "Clunky" when compared to the several (Free) Imaging programs.
1. The 32 bit and the 64 bit (for windows 7) "Windows Backup" behaves in different ways ...The 32 bit system when backing up places the files in a Zip format "Zillions" of them..but you can view the "Image" with a few mouse clicks. The 64 bit OS windows backup behaves in a different way (see Screen shot Window Backup , Macrium and Acronis ) If you click on any of those to try and view your backup...you're first reaction is... What the heck is that? (Very Clumsy) and can't view them the same way. Macrium and Acronis is just ONE Folder!
2. With any of the 3rd party Imaging that i have tried (EaseUS , Macrium, Paragon, Acronis) all you have to do to see the "Image" is "Click" on the SINGLE FILE... it then allows you to view and copy out any of the folders\files, etc.
3. With the 3rd party Imaging you can do a "Verify" of the newly created Image to ensure that it has copied correctly.( have done over a 100 Recoveries without a single failure)
4. With the 3rd party software you can specify what compression level that you want to apply ... low ,med , or high .The reason this is important is that if you're serious about Imaging ...you're doing this at least once a week with each OS... In my case i have over a 100 Images going back years for each of my OS's at various stages (SP's) or no SP's...with "this or that"
Windows Backup differs from 32 to the 64 again, one has no "Compression" the other (32 bit) does...
5. The speed of the Imaging process once again varies between the 32 and 64 windows.. The Windows Backup 32 took almost 16 minutes with no validation vs 5 min's 45 sec's for Acronis with validation
The 64 bit Windows Backup took 4 min's with no validation...
6. "Clunky"... depending what version that you use 32 or 64 ....just Clunk's along ending with something that you either have no idea of what you have or have to "jump through hoops " just to view the Image... vs JUST CLICK ON IT!
7. 'Clumsy".... Take a look see a Macrium Reflect Free GUI ( User interface) with one look you see all drives present and can do all operations on any of them ...Imaging , Recovering , Cloning , Verifying, Schedule, on and on ...
8. Windows Backup (GUI) you can almost hear the carnival calliope music playing.
9. 3rd party Imaging software is across the board XP, Vista , 7 32 and 64...and possibly 8 ( not sure about 8 haven't tried it yet) works the SAME ON EACH! ...
Do you really want me to continue ? ...There is no "Contest" between them ...Windows Backup when compared against even the free is a LOOSER!:cheers: Regards Fred
I don't know how many times I can say that Windows 7 imaging has always worked reliably for me. It has done ever since I got W.7 when it was first released. When all said and done, any perceived 'hoops' are only mouse-clicks. These don't take any effort at all. My fingers are in a fit condition, so I don't sit sweating at the end of making or restoring an image. :) I can view/move folders and files in a Windows 7 image by mounting it as a VHD. While that might seem complicated and clunky to you, it again really only amounts to a few effortless mouse-clicks.
When I tried Macrium, it seemed about the same speed to me but well, I can only say these things so much. I'm happy with Windows 7 imaging. I suppose that's the important thing. It does the job and I ask/need no more.
"I Give"!....Regards Fred
Sorry to make you cross or frustrated Fred. All anyone can do when discussing software is say what works for them and put forward why. More a case of defending the choice in my case I suppose but I'm not trying to convince anyone else to use it. I realise it is a minority view on the forum.
I think Fred put on a rather clear set of reasons for his (sometimes) colorful description of the Windows native backup. He detailed them, made comparisons between different aspects of native and 3rd party apps and built a compelling case in his favor. I can understand the "I give" statement, considering that you just gave the traditional "works for me" standard reply. It's great that it works for you and you should keep using it while it works. I understand, however, how it can feel a bit frustrating for someone to make a detailed case for a given point of view, only to be met by a generic type of reply. To be fruitful, the discussion needs to be like a tango - it needs two willing and cooperating participants.
Please do not see my statement as an attack of any sort. I am just trying to explain why Fred might have felt a bit disappointed here. I would probably be, too, if I was in his shoes.
This said, I am a long, long time user of Acronis. I feel Windows 7 backup solution is simple, almost fear inducing because of a less familiar way of showing the backup results and the absence of features like automatic image verification. For someone who is used to the simplicity, but also the power of a solution such as those provided by the best of 3rd party tools, going back to the Windows native app feels like that - a major step back. In terms of UI, I think it's a much worse solution than the best of 3rd party tools.
We cannot forget, however, of the purpose of these tools - backup your data and / or OS. If what you have allows you to achieve this goal with much "pain", that's the main goal being achieved.
I believe I've given reasons why I prefer to use W.7's imaging *many times. Whilst new visitors to the forum wouldn't be aware of that, Fred would have been.
Edit: I'll change 'many' to 'a number of'. I don't post all that much.
I feel one obvious point has been missed in all the discussion in this thread.
Many of us don't just run Windows 7, and have backup requirements for other operating systems, and in some cases data partitions.
Having and using imaging software that covers all these bases, such as Acronis, we logically also use this for direct windows backup, hence no need to concern ourselves with MS solutions.
HD Sentinel Pro - the trial version is free.
Do you check your completed image files after backing up? If so, that check should pick up this kind of CRC error. It may (possibly) be that you are reading (or trying to read) the image from your C: drive, or having loaded Acronis from your C: drive to do this, and you need to load the CD/DVD restore disk first, but the CRC error implies it is a simple copying corruption in your image file. I stopped using Acronis 2 years ago because of similar errors in backups and problems recovering an image file when I needed it most - I now use Easeus and have had no problems since. With any image backup though it is vital to check the image after making a backup - it's tedious and time-consuming but the whole point of a backup is to be able to restore from it when you need to.
If this is a CRC error, as it states, then you may not be able to recover that image as it may be corrupted
For what it's worth, Acronis has increasingly bloated up True Image to the point that it crashes my Windows XP laptop in version ATIH 2012. This is a serious consideration for me on that limited-resources laptop. Macrium Reflect does a few things and does them well -- no extra bloat features to bog down a limited-resources system and hog Internet and local resources. That is why I switched. Not the price.
And while I was at it, I took a trip to my local Public Library (where the Internet Access is true broadband, not slow DSL like at home) and (using my modern Toshiba Satellite laptop) downloaded the 1.7 GB ISO for Microsoft WAIK, and created the 64-bit and 32-bit WinPE Rescue Media CDs. Now I run Macrium Reflect from those CDs most of the time, and both laptops (3 OS versions) run very happily indeed. Acronis off their Linux based Rescue Media CDs was always too limited and slow for my tastes. Especially on the Windows XP laptop with limited hardware resources.
One thing I get hooked to this forum is the great detailed information and help, not to mention knowledge (and it's free!). And may I mention it is an 'adult' forum (I mean, civilized).
Case study: Fred's detailed explanation here re backups by Windows, Acronis, and others. I'm confident that with knowledge learned from this forum, I can select the one backup method that suits me.
@ Bob, I am now interested in making a WinPE disc just for comparison sake. I like Linux boot CD. I thought Linux boot CDs are usually low demand on hardware requirement. Maybe I am wrong. Nice to try it and learn a thing or two. I do agree Linux boot CD seems slower, for some reason. But then Linux-OS-on-CD (various Linux flavors) itself is pretty fast.
Wonderful stuffs to play with and learn more.