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2013-09-19, 05:54 #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Houston, Texas
- Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Finally figured out why Windows would not see some WindowsImageBackups
With Vista, Win7, and now Win8, on two different laptops, I've had the baffling issue of why Windows Image Backup would not see all of its backups. Since DriveImage was no longer an option, I eventually opted to start using Ghost, but even that had a similar issue: Norton's Ghost not only does not always see all of its backups, sometimes it doesn't even see the external drive. So, from Vista through Win7, I started using O&O's DiskImage, which made fast, reliable and mobile images that could be manipulated the way someone with a mind would want, and I never had a problem. Alas, Windows 8 is a complete nightmare when it comes to images, at least so far, for me, and I have yet to get DiskImage to work properly with it. So, it's back to WindowsImageBackup.
Being a belt and suspenders guy, I was making backups of backups, and, by accident, I discovered why Windows was not seeing some of the WIB folders: there was an invisible character in the folder name, a non-printing character. I'd been synchronizing some HDDs, and FolderMatch had problems with a Windows Image folder. It wouldn't synchronize, and it "saw" the name of the folder as "W?indowsImageBackup". When it kept not synchronizing, I finally pasted the file name into Word, where the ? came out as some kind of symbol that looked like one rectangle inside another. Pressing alt/x gave a code of 200C.
Several of my WIB folders, the ones that Windows never saw, had the same non-printing character added to their file name. It's hard to have several backups, since Windows will start overwriting them, which it won't do if you append something such as the date to the folder name. WIB prefers the folder named "WindowsImageBackup". But I never re-wrote the entire folder name, and even if I wanted to, I'm not sure how or why one would get such a character into a file name. As picky as Windows is about file names, it never occurred to me that you could put such a symbol into a file name.
Last edited by ParrotSlave; 2013-09-19 at 05:56. Reason: wrong attachment link still in
2013-09-19, 07:11 #2
- Join Date
- Oct 2007
- Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
- Thanked 215 Times in 202 Posts
Hello...After having investigated "Windows Backup" and compared it to the 3rd party Imaging software ( even the Free ones ) I wouldn't waste any time with it ...It is a horrible program , both clumsy and clunky with even worse features... "Imaging" is the most important thing that a PC user\owner should be involved with. I would recommend Macrium Reflect Pro ...you can even try the Free one here It's well worth the price and has a "boatload" of Tools and features ... Have a read through the comparison chart. Regards Fred
PS: Have done hundreds of Backups and scores of Recoveries on XP, Vista, and 7... mix of both 32 and 64 bit versions
Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2013-09-19 at 07:15.PlainFred
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)
2013-09-19, 12:24 #3
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
- Central Florida
- Thanked 205 Times in 163 Posts
I've personally set here and typed thousands of words, on a dozen or more threads, concerning doing a C drive backup. And apparently no one READS! And, that's just this one forum. I work many forums, and I'm even a moderator on one forum where the subject gets repeated at least once a month.
No one reads anymore.
Because, every time the subject comes up on a new thread (WHY?) the same lame question is asked.
I scream it from the rooftops, "NEVER try to back up Windows with Windows, or even from Within Windows" but nobody listens. Evidently, because the threads just keep coming with the horror stories about trying to backup windows with windows.
There was even a mention of "Ghost"....well, there has not been a decent version of Ghost since the last DOS version, about 8 years ago, (Ghost 11.5) which I still use, at least once a week. (like, yesterday)
The Windows versions all just 'wet the bed' so to speak.
Symantec no longer has any DOS version of Ghost, nor do they sell it or support it, in fact they will deny that it ever existed. (so don't ask!)
There are several other good Hard Drive backup programs out there and the best ones will even make a 'Recovery CD' from which you can even do your backups, from outside of Windows. Don't use any program that will not do both a backup and restore from a bootable CD or Flash Drive. You may live long enough to regret it, if you do.
I'm very happy, to help anyone seriously wanting a good backup scheme, that does not include Windows.
The DoctorExperience is truly the best teacher.
Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!
2013-09-19, 13:30 #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Houston, Texas
- Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I believe in having backups made by different programs: I worship multiple redundancy. So, having multiple formats as well as multiple storage locations gives me peace of mind. For instance, with sensitive files that I want to zip, I'll save one version made with Stuffit and another made with 7-Zip, for the same reason. I don't know what kinds of errors I might run into in five or ten years. Format decompression errors aren't going to magically disappear.
Drive Image was the original emperor of imaging programs as far as I'm concerned, my last version being 2002, and, until Win8, DiskImage was the new emperor. I've hated Norton since it became Symantec, but Ghost was part of a deal that ended up being free, and NIS is improved over a decade ago. I had abandoned Norton in 2004, when it was the resource hog king of the universe, but when it came preinstalled on a laptop in 2009 ago, I kept it, and got Ghost 14 in 2010, and then 15, as parts of packages that ended up being essentially free from Fry's.
Regardless of its clunkiness, WIB does sometimes work, and when it does, it does a perfect restoration. And, by the way, it's much faster these days. I want something that's easier, that makes just a single mobile image file and that's faster, but you cannot argue with success. At least now I know why it wasn't working all the time. I don't know how those file names got that way; my concern was not about the merits of different restoration programs, but about the corruption in the file names.
Actually, what I was wondering is if anyone has ever run into that folder name glitch. It might be a Windows glitch; another possibility is this: if I were a malware writer, I'd want to disable any restore programs on the computer I'd be infecting, and a ludicrously easy way to do that would be to invalidate all the file paths that would result in a restoration to a time before I infected their computer. Adding an invisible character to a file or folder name would be hard to detect to a casual user. I kind of doubt that that's what it is, but it's within the realm of possibility. I'm looking for an explanation as to how that non-printing character got into several folder names. That's not an error that most people would ever look for.
Had it not been for my belts and suspenders attitude, I wouldn't have had any backups, since all the ones I made with DiskImage turned out to be useless, other than for extracting data from. (They mount perfectly, although the only way to get data out of the User folders is to copy to another drive, since trying to open them in the vhd gives access denied errors.) Perhaps I should mention that my system is an Asus Win8, and there might be a physical issue: I could not get any of the oem or Windows restore functions to work--reset or refresh--by any method, oem, or advanced startup options, or via a recovery usb or cd. It would not restore the factory image, even after extracting the install.wim file from the recovery partition and following the procedure at http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...tion-disk.html. I just sent it back to Asus yesterday to get it checked out.
I had bought the newest version of DiskImage, one that was supposedly Win8 compatible, as soon as it came out: that's what I'd been waiting for, Win8 compatibility, and, on Win7, it had been perfect in every respect. I only tried two restorations with Win8, but they were both clunky: the first resulted in all kinds of program errors, and I had to do a WIB restore immediately in both cases. I took Laplink's tech support advice about setting the page file parameters in the DiskImage gui, and the restore that came out of that booted to a BSOD, so my feeling is that Win8 is still a de facto beta, as are many of the programs intended to work on it. I want a backup program that works without hassle and without thinking: I want to insert a cd or thumb drive, boot from it, and click a few places, and have my image restored, perfectly. And I'm not confident that any of them are going to do that in Win8 yet. I don't care how good they were in previous versions; Windows 8 is not from our universe.
I had checked out the trial version of Acronis, and it looks like it might work--at least it made a boot cd immediately, without the huge hassle I had with DiskImage--but I was beginning to think that all the programs might be equally problematic with Win8. I am quite close to ditching Win8, so I didn't want to throw good money after bad by buying yet another piece of software if it were going to result in the same faulty restorations as Disk Image. I had considered Macrium Reflect, when I was looking for an alternative to DiskImage, and I checked out some comparison/contrasts on various websites, and had narrowed it down to Macruim or Paragon. I had checked out a number of sites, such as http://www.freewaregenius.com/the-be...tive-analysis/ and http://lifehacker.com/5303067/five-b...-restore-tools.
When my HAL9000 comes back from Asus, I might opt to pay for Macrium Pro to get the restore to dissimilar hardware feature, since, with my SSD, I've probably already used half its lifetime worth of read/writes just doing troubleshooting recently, so I'll have to be prepared to to buy a new SSD. And when I do, I'll disable hiberfil.sys first thing, which I had neglected to do with this system. Hiberfil.sys is the ultimate destroyer of SSDs. I'll have to waste some time to try it out: first make a WIB image, then a Macrium image, then restore the Macrium image. If there's any kind of problem, I can do an immediate restore with the clunky WIB and know that everything will be working exactly the way it was before. I should have done that with Disk Image until having to use it and then having it not work. If the free version works, then I'll have to get one of the pay versions.
Last edited by ParrotSlave; 2013-09-19 at 14:04.