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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    Build a complete Windows 7 safety net





    TOP STORY

    Build a complete Windows 7 safety net


    By Fred Langa

    Every copy of Windows 7 includes a complete suite of backup tools. The suite contains everything you need to back up (and restore) your entire system.

    What's more, after you've set up your initial backup, future backups happen automatically.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/build-a-complete-windows-7-safety-net/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Tracey Capen; 2011-05-12 at 16:18.

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  3. #2
    New Lounger
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    Problem we found with Windows Backup is that users need to be a local administrator to remove old backups to free up space. This limits its usefulness, in my opinion, and prompts users to run as administrator all the time, which is of course bad practice. Any one know a workaround for this?

    rshnz

  4. #3
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rshnz View Post
    Problem we found with Windows Backup is that users need to be a local administrator to remove old backups to free up space. This limits its usefulness, in my opinion, and prompts users to run as administrator all the time, which is of course bad practice. Any one know a workaround for this?

    rshnz
    Yeah, it's called Acronis True Image Home!
    -- Bob Primak --

  5. #4
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    There was no mention in this article of how to control the "Backup Period". When space is needed you can only delete whole periods, not individual backups. I started Windows 7 in November 2009, early this year I needed to free up space. I could free up 11/09 to 12/09 which did not give me much, the next choice was 01/10 to 12/10, but as we had only just started 2011 I didn't want to free up the whole year's worth of backup. How do you make Windows start a new period every quarter instead of just once a year?

  6. #5
    New Lounger
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    One minor point....
    The article mentions that a user can estimate the size of the backup by checking the properties of C:\Users\username. This will work if the user has not changed the default location of any files. If the user has their documents folder on another drive for example, it will not give them the correct size, only that which is in their username folder. However, the actual backup will backup the files, because they would be in the Libraries, but the size could be much larger than estimated.

  7. #6
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    Is it necessary to create a bootable recovery disc if one possesses the Microsoft installation disc from which Win 7 was installed onto the system in question?
    Last edited by proteus; 2011-05-12 at 06:18.

  8. #7
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    My problem with these suggestions is that I could not find where Windows 7 backs up Windows Updates. My preferred backup is a system image at least weekly. I use other s/w for these system images.

  9. #8
    New Lounger
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    image backups are a waste of time

    A few years ago, while using XP, I had a minor hardware failure, and had to swap mother boards. Windows was so brain dead that it was unable to recover from that, even after doing a Repair. The result was that I had to do a clean install even though I had an image backup.

    While there could be situations in which an image backup is actually useful, what is REALLY useful is backing up your data. In fact, after the above fiasco, I simply backup my data now, and ignore system images.

    Be careful that you do not expect too much from system image backups.

  10. #9
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    Cloning Imaging SIDs Software Licences

    April 29th edition of Computer America highlighted an issue I have come across several times and would appreciate guidance on.

    When you restore an image sometimes all the software licences and media licences go crazy. Carey Holzman speculated this was because the image created using Acronis changed the SID of Windows. I guess Acronis do this because MS will prevent two machines on the same network having the same SID, however Acronis also seem to have no way of turning this off. If he CLONED the disc on the other hand, the software licences did not go crazy.

    I'm aware that some software check the network card to see if they are being used on the same machine as they were first licensed under.

    I would appreciate more discussion on ways to prevent all these licence issues happening. Big companies respond in good time, but some smaller ones can take a long time to recertify the installation after contacting.

    Also, can you say when a clone is better than an image, apart from the SID issue?

    Thanks.

  11. #10
    Lounger LilBambi's Avatar
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    These recommendations are great if you (1) didn't have a backup method already, and (2) generally are not concerned about nightly backups and monthly images (which is my preferred method - monthly just before any Windows Updates on Patch Tuesday).

    I just found a way to maybe do just that.

    Use the Windows Backup Wizard for setting Daily backups and use the Task Manager and WBADMIN over at Windows Seven Forums here:



    Windows 7 Home Premium
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    Try This
    OK, I was looking for the same thing and read your post - once I figured it out, I decided to post the answer here as well.

    In Task Scheduler, click Create Task. Click the Actions tab. Click the New button.

    Leave Action on "Start a Program." In the "Program/script" field, type in WBADMIN. Then under "add arguments," type in:

    START BACKUP -backupTarget:X: -include:c:

    . . . where "X" is the drive letter of your backup drive, and "c" is your primary hard drive.

    Set the triggers, settings, and conditions to whatever you like.

    Image Backup does an incremental "ghost" of your HD, adding any changes since your last Image Backup, and keeping all previous backups available as well.

    Thanks to the folks at microsoft and wikipedia for the info:

    The Storage Team at Microsoft - File Cabinet Blog : Learn more about system image backup

    Wbadmin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    What are your thoughts on this?

    If it works well, this would be the ticket to have dissimilar schedules for system images (which generally you don't need or actually want as often), and backups (which I prefer to be nightly).
    Fran Parker, AKA Bambi, Linux User #183283, Ubuntu User #11114, CNI Radio
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  12. #11
    New Lounger
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    One annoying thing about Windows 7 Backup is I have not found a way to automatically purge older backups. It would be nice if you could tell it to only keep the two most recent sets or something similar. Is there an option for this that I'm missing?

    I have several computers all configured to back up to a network drive. The space used on that drive gets out of control quickly if I don't go around and purge the old stuff.

  13. #12
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    Excellent article, Fred. As usual.

    A little wrinkle I have because of my 2TB external hard drive--I leave my 2TB HD disconnected because it sometimes seems to slow down my system--certainly when I am doing a search with Everything, but also, I seem to remember, it has a similar unwanted effect for the initialization process after booting, too, although I can't remember the exact details. (I coudl check it out if anyone wants to know.) I wonder if anyone else has run into this? Anyway, it means that Windows cannot automatically refresh its backup every week since the backups are saved on this external drive. So I have to remember to connect the external HD and launch Backup myself. I miss out on the automatic backup feature.

    Another wrinkle, since I have two internal hard drives divided into two partitions each, plus external drives, using Windows Backup is not quite as straightforward for me as I wish it were. My bad.
    Last edited by DavidToronto; 2011-05-12 at 21:30.

  14. #13
    New Lounger
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    Is anyone else having a problem rating the usefulness of this article?

    This is a nice article, but the newsletter links for rating this article seem to be broken. Whenever I attempt to rate it, I get a Windows Secrets Error 404 page that they have creatively titled "Whoops!".

  15. #14
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    in addition to data backups every couple of days, i do more complete backup monthly, which i store offsite. being offsite, i want it encrypted.

    Also, i want to be able to access my backups easily, accessing individual files, so that if i need to continue working on a document i can access it on another computer, until the crashed system is fixed.

    i don't believe that win7 b.u. will accommodate either of these points.

  16. #15
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    Windows 7 Backup???

    Like some others, I just can't imagine using the Windows 7 backup function as it exists today. It is just not workable. When I tried to create an image, the message I got was not enough space. The Win7 boot drive has 32 gig used on a 74 gig disk and the drive I wanted to use for the backup image has 160 gig free. To my dismay the backup included that 224 gig drive (with the 160 gig free) in the backup image and I can't get it to exclude that drive. Since I have no control over what to include in creating the image, Win 7 backup doesn't work.

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