Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 46
  1. #31
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    206
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 19 Times in 16 Posts

    Arrow Windows Backup can do the imaging job, if you like the way it works

    Quote Originally Posted by WillMS View Post
    All I want to do, is image my HDs (both working and 'clean' (and newly setup) systems. I have quite a number of systems, desktops and laptops. And test the resulting images for being valid. Some bootable CD capability.
    Welcome to this forum's #1 religious discussion--or maybe that's drive partitioning. Whatever...

    Concur with what's been said about saving backup images to a separate physical disk (either HDD--my pref--flash drive or DVD). After that, imaging in XP has always been a lot of "fun"--I used Acronis TIH for years on my old XP system, and while I never found anything I liked more, I really didn't care for its arcane approach to data backup.

    If you really care about data security and have a sufficiently-powerful system (or the $$ to upgrade to one), I'd highly recommend moving on to Windows 7--the integral data security structure is really that much better (more on that later).

    If you've decided to stick with XP, you don't need to read the rest of this post--it's all about imaging in Windows 7.

    FYI to all: The Windows 7 Recovery Disk contains the utilities needed to restore a disk image created by Windows' imaging utility. You did create a Recovery Disk, didn't you?

    Once you've made the move, Windows 7's own imaging capability meets all the requirements stated by DrWho. Whether you use it or any third-party utility comes down to a matter of personal preference for the way the utility works (meaning, it's user interface and process flow).

    That said, some of our compatriots have made it clear in plenty of past threads that they can find things to hate about Windows' imaging utility, usually about how slow it is compared to some other favorite tool. If you're like me, though, you're only wanting to occasionally make a master system image (not my data, which is on a separate partition), usually after some major software changes. IMO, I don't care if a third-party utility is 15% faster, if I'm making images only 2-3 times a year. If you're using imaging for your data (monthly, weekly, or even daily) backups, you might well feel differently.

    I have been living with "just Microsoft" for my system backups for about two years now--for me, it works and eliminates some of the complications I've experienced in the past with Acronis TIH. I actually have a copy of Acronis TIH 2010 sitting on my desk that I bought in case I ever decided to change my mind, but have had no reason to install it.

    My experience with Windows 7 imaging vs TIH is that Win7 is like driving a manual (and only a 3-speed, at that). It gets you to where you want to go, but doesn't give you as many options or as smooth an operation as one of those fancy "manumatic" transmissions (like TIH). There may be something to be said for simplicity, though, for an experienced driver--I'm finding that I actually like manually managing my disk images, rather than dealing with TIH's sometimes-arcane process. Can't say that I'd recommend it to everyone, though, any more than I'd recommend taking a 'Vette for a spin around Watkins Glen to every driver. YMMV.

    Part of the simplicity of using Windows Backup for making a system image comes from the fact that, if you have system protection (i.e., system restore) enabled, Windows is already making system images. Yep, that's how the system protection / system restore / restore previous versions of files capabilities work--it's all done through Windows' Volume Shadow Copy service (a "shadow copy" is just an image of a "protected" partition). What Windows Backup is doing when it makes an image is saving a copy of the current image in a special location where it won't get automatically overwritten (VSC keeps multiple copies saved for system and file restores, rotating out the oldest whenever the space limit for system protection is reached on a protected partition). So this isn't some bolt-on added utility that Microsoft barely tested before including it in Windows--imaging is deeply integrated into Windows' data security structure.

    There's a lot to know about driving this "manual" vehicle--see my Lounge post "Using System Images" for more info.

    As far as saving a system image to an external drive: I can't remember if I ever tried this with Windows Backup; instead, I save my system images to a separate internal backup drive (large HDDs are cheap again), then copy the latest image over to a 32GB flash drive that I keep stored offsite. This approach gives me both the flexibility to easily do restores when I want to and to recover from a disaster when I need to. Making a big deal of saving an image directly to external media if you're doing it only 1 or 2 times a year seems to me to be adding an unnecessary complication (unless you're working with a laptop with limited disk space, of course--but then, maybe a HDD upgrade should be the first priority).

    Warning: What follows is a slightly off-topic aside.

    Regardless of which tool you use, though, I'd consider getting rid of that hidden "system partition" that shows up on many Windows 7 installs. Per Microsoft Technet:

    "You can use system partitions to:

    • Manage and load other partitions. If there are multiple operating systems, for example, Windows 7 and Windows Vista®, the computer displays a list of operating systems. The user can then select which operating system to use.
      .
    • Use security tools, such as Windows® BitLocker™ Drive Encryption.
      .
    • Use recovery tools, such as Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE)."
    Per Microsoft, the System Partition provides for those three different functions, none of which have anything to do with Windows 7's stability. If you so wish (and don't need one of the above three capabilities), you can avoid creating a separate System Partition upon installation; it can also be safely removed after installation.

    The above information is true for both x86 and x64 installs.

    While it's also correct that the official name is "System Partition," you may also see the term "system recovery partition" being used on online forums (including on MS Technet) for the System Partition. While that alternative term is obviously informal, it's an understandable usage, given that system recovery is the one of the three functions of the System Partition that the majority of non-enterprise users would encounter.

    Oh, and you don't need the "recovery" capability of the System Partition if you've made a Recovery Disk--which closes the loop on this post!

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to bethel95 For This Useful Post:

    ruirib (2012-07-03),Zig (2012-07-03)

  3. #32
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,134
    Thanks
    129
    Thanked 1,133 Times in 1,045 Posts
    Nice, detailed, and useful post, bethel95.

  4. #33
    mart44
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by bethel95 View Post
    My experience with Windows 7 imaging vs TIH is that Win7 is like driving a manual (and only a 3-speed, at that). It gets you to where you want to go, but doesn't give you as many options or as smooth an operation as one of those fancy "manumatic" transmissions (like TIH). There may be something to be said for simplicity, though, for an experienced driver--I'm finding that I actually like manually managing my disk images, rather than dealing with TIH's sometimes-arcane process. Can't say that I'd recommend it to everyone, though, any more than I'd recommend taking a 'Vette for a spin around Watkins Glen to every driver. YMMV.
    I drive an automatic car but it seems I have manual computer then. I use the W.7 stick-shift imaging function quite a bit more often than 2 - 3 times a year. I haven't found it slow but only different to drive. I don't mind that.

  5. #34
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    Hello All,
    I'm always amazed that anyone who seriously use's "Imaging", for a security and backup strategy would even entertain the idea of using "Windows Backup" as part of their plan ...My only guess is that they have never used one of the many free Imaging software's that are available ... or are MS devotees of using a clumsy and clunky program as Windows Backup...Something along the lines of those who love LINUX's "Terminal" and luxuriate in typing pseudo "DOS" commands to do even the simplest of things... I posted a "Screen Shot" of a Free version of Macrium Reflect's GUI (V-5 4694) Once again there is no comparison between the two,to try to compare them is disingenuous. "Kinda" like comparing a "Commodore 64" to my "Windows 7 \ 64", and pointing out to all the benefits of the commodore. Yes the MS version works...that's all you can say about it ... However to try and sell it as... "Just as good as" is Insane. Regards Fred

    PS: To you MS devotees ....Just try Macrium Reflect (any version.. even the version 4's) , EaseUS Todo, or the pay for Acronis 2010 V-7046 (would not go past this version at this point)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-07-03 at 15:32.
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  6. #35
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 928 Times in 851 Posts
    I just feel there are many more features with the 3rd party apps. And the paid versions give even more. If Win 7 Backup and Restore is a single speed, balloon tired bike (you old timers know what I mean) then Acronis (paid) or Macrium (Paid), etc. are akin to my 27 speed road bike.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  7. #36
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,134
    Thanks
    129
    Thanked 1,133 Times in 1,045 Posts
    We all have our preferences and we do it because those preferences work for us. I really see no problem with users preferring the Windows native backup app, if it works for them.

  8. #37
    mart44
    Guest
    Can't agree with the analogies regarding speed. I have tried Macrium Reflect and EaseUS ToDo. They work (mostly) but so does Windows 7 imaging. I have had no bad experiences with it.

    This aside, to question the sanity of those who prefer Windows 7 imaging is well over the top in my opinion.

  9. #38
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,134
    Thanks
    129
    Thanked 1,133 Times in 1,045 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by mart44 View Post
    This aside, to question the sanity of those who prefer Windows 7 imaging is well over the top in my opinion.
    You should not take it literally. I think sometimes we do express our preferences with an extra bit of enthusiasm, that can look like insanity to an untrained eye .

  10. #39
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    We all have our preferences and we do it because those preferences work for us. I really see no problem with users preferring the Windows native backup app, if it works for them.
    Rui,
    Yes.... i don't see any problem with using "Windows backup" either (preference wise).. The problem is that you can't compare the two.."Windows vs 3rd party software" Because there is no comparison...other than the fact that they are both Imaging software....Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  11. #40
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by mart44 View Post
    This aside, to question the sanity of those who prefer Windows 7 imaging is well over the top in my opinion.
    mart,
    Hello... I did not say that those who use MS backup are insane ... i said that those who try to compare them, and say that there equal ("just as good") are....Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  12. #41
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,134
    Thanks
    129
    Thanked 1,133 Times in 1,045 Posts
    Fred,

    It really goes down to what people use. It doesn't matter if a given tool offers a lot of stuff and you use just a fraction of it. I have been using Acronis since it's version 8 and there are just two things I do: manual image creation and the occasional mounting of an image as a virtual drive. If the features people actually use are similar, it doesn't really matter if other free apps offer other features that do not matter to whoever is doing the comparison. So, for these comparisons, the metrics used to make them matter and those metrics are determined by the prospective users of the software. A feature list really may be meaningless for a regular user. We are a bit of a special audience and should not pretend to represent common users.

    Regards

    Rui

  13. #42
    mart44
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    mart,
    Hello... I did not say that those who use MS backup are insane ... i said that those who try to compare them, and say that there equal ("just as good") are....Regards Fred
    Same thing since I have looked at and tried a few imaging programs and think W.7 imaging is equal to them. No reason for me to have a different opinion since I've used W.7's own imaging function many times over without a hitch. Third party software can offer no more, apart from an attractive interface maybe.

    W.7 imaging just works as said. Yet 'just works' is thought to be a downside to W.7 imaging?! There's usually a big quest for software that 'just works' so I can't understand that argument. I'd say that alone says a lot in its favour. Not to mention that it is possible to:

    * Write multiple images.
    * Update an image by overwriting.

    It is also possible to attach any stored image as a VHD (virtual hard disk) and then:

    * Access images and transfer files to and from them.
    * Run programs that are stored in images.

    All in all, I feel comfortable with the opinion that W.7 imaging is different but nonetheless comparable to third-party programs.

  14. #43
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Fred,

    It really goes down to what people use. A feature list really may be meaningless for a regular user. We are a bit of a special audience and should not pretend to represent common users.
    Hi Rui,

    Your absolutely correct ... However the purpose of this forum is the exchange of knowledge and ideas... If it was not for this one (forum and the old lounge) i wouldn't know the difference between "Imaging" and "Imogene Coca". Everyone should be able to see all sides of an "argument" And the "common users" as you say should be made aware the shortcomings of Windows Backup vs a 3rd party Backup and a free one at that. (how else is anyone to learn?) You all can "pretend" that there is no difference between them....but it doesn't change the facts... I stand by my statements. Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  15. #44
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,134
    Thanks
    129
    Thanked 1,133 Times in 1,045 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    Hi Rui,

    Your absolutely correct ... However the purpose of this forum is the exchange of knowledge and ideas... If it was not for this one (forum and the old lounge) i wouldn't know the difference between "Imaging" and "Imogene Coca". Everyone should be able to see all sides of an "argument" And the "common users" as you say should be made aware the shortcomings of Windows Backup vs a 3rd party Backup and a free one at that. (how else is anyone to learn?) You all can "pretend" that there is no difference between them....but it doesn't change the facts... I stand by my statements. Regards Fred
    Yes, Fred, I totally agree. I think we just need to be a bit careful with the classification of user drawn conclusions, in the name of a sane exchange of ideas .

    Regards

    Rui

  16. #45
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    206
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 19 Times in 16 Posts

    Smile Like I said, it's a religious discussion...

    Quote Originally Posted by bethel95 View Post
    Welcome to this forum's #1 religious discussion--or maybe that's drive partitioning. Whatever...
    Any questions?

    Now, just so everyone remembers exactly what I did say, not what has been implied that I said:

    Quote Originally Posted by bethel95 View Post
    My experience with Windows 7 imaging vs TIH is that Win7 is like driving a manual (and only a 3-speed, at that). It gets you to where you want to go, but doesn't give you as many options or as smooth an operation as one of those fancy "manumatic" transmissions (like TIH). There may be something to be said for simplicity, though, for an experienced driver--I'm finding that I actually like manually managing my disk images, rather than dealing with TIH's sometimes-arcane process. Can't say that I'd recommend it to everyone, though, any more than I'd recommend taking a 'Vette for a spin around Watkins Glen to every driver. YMMV.
    Now on to the show...

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    I'm always amazed that anyone who seriously use's "Imaging", for a security and backup strategy would even entertain the idea of using "Windows Backup" as part of their plan ...My only guess is that they have never used one of the many free Imaging software's that are available ... or are MS devotees of using a clumsy and clunky program as Windows Backup...Something along the lines of those who love LINUX's "Terminal" and luxuriate in typing pseudo "DOS" commands to do even the simplest of things... Yes the MS version works...that's all you can say about it ... However to try and sell it as... "Just as good as" is Insane.
    I used Acronis True Image for years on my XP system, and (as I said) had already bought a copy of 2010 to use on my new Win7 system when I decided to try the "Microsoft only" approach. This was purely an experiment to see what the Win7 tools were capable of doing--I stuck with this path only because (1) I liked the way it worked, (2) I liked the idea of not complicating matters with third-party software unless I needed it (same reason for sticking with MSE, even though I had bought a copy of Norton 360), and (3) I decided that I didn't need the "extra features" of TIH.

    For the record, I hardly ever use a command line (and usually only when some support geek asks me to do so), though I will admit to still writing and using batch files (simple ones--I can't even remember how my old DOS 3 batch files work).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    I just feel there are many more features with the 3rd party apps. And the paid versions give even more. If Win 7 Backup and Restore is a single speed, balloon tired bike (you old timers know what I mean) then Acronis (paid) or Macrium (Paid), etc. are akin to my 27 speed road bike.
    Not sure that the analogy works--most folks I know find a 27-speed bike much more difficult to master than than a beach cruiser. That's a comparison of complexity that works in the beach cruiser's favor. Perhaps a better comparison would be a simple 3-speed bike to one of the expensive automatic transmission bikes (that have far more than three gear ratios)? Nah, I'll just stick with the car analogy, and admit that an automatic is a nice feature to have if most of what you're doing is commuting.

    I should mention that I depend on Windows Backup solely for making the occasional system image after a major change, not for backing up data. For easy data recovery, I lean on Win7's Restore Previous Versions feature--it's as simple as it gets, and does the job well.

    For mass data recovery (in case of disaster), I use GoodSync (paid version) to sync data to an external HDD, which is then rotated offsite every few weeks. I like syncing to an external HDD rather than using a "backup" program, because what I end up with is just files--no proprietary backup formats, no zip files with arcane names, etc.--I can just copy what I need back to my internal HDD. Since GoodSync allows for historical versions, it works for restoring files to a point in time, as well, though I have to use its interface to do so (rather than just copying in Explorer). Overall, it's a much easier tool to use for data backup to an external HDD than TIH. IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    i don't see any problem with using "Windows backup" either (preference wise).. The problem is that you can't compare the two.."Windows vs 3rd party software" Because there is no comparison...other than the fact that they are both Imaging software....Regards Fred
    There's always a comparison. Perhaps the only time that "there's no comparison" is said is when someone doesn't want the comparison to be made (for religious reasons?). Again, how a comparison comes out depends on what the exact task is and the skills and preferences of the user.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    Hello... I did not say that those who use MS backup are insane ... i said that those who try to compare them, and say that there equal ("just as good") are....Regards Fred
    Again for the record, the only person to say "just as good" anywhere is this thread is you, Fred. Go back and search, and you'll see no one else said that. As for "equal," Mart44 did say that he thought that the imaging function of Win7 Backup was equal to the "few imaging programs" that he tried; perhaps for what he wanted to do and how he wanted it done, compared to the specific apps he tried, it was. That's just his stating his impression and preference, and he doesn't deserve to be excoriated for offering it in a public forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    However the purpose of this forum is the exchange of knowledge and ideas...
    Exactly! I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    Everyone should be able to see all sides of an "argument"
    Again, I agree--so why would we want to suppress the other side of the argument? How else can we "see" them both (or all, as it's rarely binary)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    And the "common users" as you say should be made aware the shortcomings of Windows Backup vs a 3rd party Backup and a free one at that. (how else is anyone to learn?)
    Or vice-versa--again, since such comparisons are rarely binary, depending (as they do) on the context of preferences, past experiences, desired outcome, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    You all can "pretend" that there is no difference between them....but it doesn't change the facts...
    One more time: No one said, "there is no difference between them," except you, Fred. You seem to be having an argument with someone who isn't here. Wherever that person is, he's not in this thread.

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •