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  1. #1
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    Win10 Backup vs. File History vs. everything else

    I have used Macrium Reflect with Win7 for years now. But since Win10 has both backup software and file history, I thought I would have a look at these first.

    After a cursory look at File History, I don't think that this is right for me unless I can pick and choose what directories to keep a history of. There are just too many things that I am updating off and on all day and I'd end up with hundreds of copies in no time. Of course, I may also be completely misunderstanding what it does.

    That leaves Win 10 backup vs 3rd Party - unless there are changes I am unaware of then a 3rd party backup tool is preferable.

    NOTE: I'm not asking for recommendations on 3rd party backup software. I'm just asking whether or not it still has advantages over the two Windows 10 options.

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    I use File History and it serves my purpose. I've done a lot of editing of my digital photos (scanned and camera) so the amount of disk space used is quite high. However, in control panel/file history/exclude folders and advanced settings, you can choose what to save and also how long to keep previous versions. This latter can be useful if you need to revert to an older version after managing to screw a file (I've used that option to get me out of a hole!).

    Note that you shouldn't use file explorer to navigate to where you keep your FH files - each file has a date/time added to the name. You use the history link (about halfway along the Home ribbon). You will then be bale to select whichever files require restoring and however many versions back.

    Hope this helps

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    Since you are using File History, and you appear to be a database type (as am I) let me ask this...

    I am semi-retired and work on database programs as well as documentation. I do a lot of remote work as well and spend a good deal of time on email exchanges. This translates to a relatively small number of files (maybe 30-50) that are being up updated frequently throughout the day. Doesn't this mean that FH will make a copy of each of these files every time it updates?

    I understand that you can choose to include/exclude things, but the things that I use the most are the things that I would normally want backed up on a daily basis.

    Second question, from what I have gathered, Backup and History are often used in tandem. Is this something you do?

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Yes, but it won't save them every time you change them. There is an option which is how often FH saves files - the default is one hour, but be as little as 10 minutes or as much as daily. There is also the option for how long to keep saved versions - Forever is the default, or you can choose whenever the space is needed or from 1 month to two years.

    The key here is how big is your external disk you're saving to compared to how much data you're flagging to be saved. I have a 3TB desktop disk I'm saving to so disk space isn't an issue.

    It's free, it's already on your system, give it a whirl and monitor usage.

    One caveat, it did have a bug which required sharing to be switched off in homegroup. Not a problem if you don't use homegroup (like me). I haven't checked recently if MS have fixed this.

    How did you know I'm a database type?

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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    ...the default is one hour, but be as little as 10 minutes or as much as daily.
    How is daily different than an incremental backup?

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    It's not like Macrium Reflect et al. If you use the default one hour, it will save a copy of any file that's been modified in the last hour. So any file that hasn't been changed won't be saved. If it's daily then it will be any file changed in the last 24 hours. As an example, here are three screenshots.

    Capture.PNG

    This is the file explorer listing of where the files are saved to; note that it adds a date time string to say when it was done.

    Capture2.PNG

    This one is the original data. Note that there's only one default.rdp file, but it's been changed a few times. These just happen to be when I remote login to my old PC.

    Capture3.PNG

    This one is the file history page, shown when you click on the history link. There's the latest .rdp file. Note the date and time at the top. There is a button at the bottom which allows you to go back in time so that you could restore an older file (wouldn't do that with a .rdp file though ).

    It shows 214 pages, but this doesn't mean every file has been saved 214 times, only that I've changed a file or files at least 214 times since I started it going around the beginning of August. As I say, give it a whirl it's very simple and experience will be better than me trying to describe it.

    Note that it's for data; it's not a replacement for imaging et al.

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    I'm missing something... If you set FH to daily, then isn't that the same as a daily incremental backup (e.g. backup everything changed that day and reset the changed flag).

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    Yes.

    cheers, Paul

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    As Paul says, yes. But I wouldn't use daily. I have hourly set and have occasions when I edit digital photos (adding tags and locations) as well as scanning slides and negatives, also editing them subsequently. My disk usage hasn't gone mad, and in any case I can remove older ones if necessary. All I was saying are the options available.

    But then what backup program are you referring to? I'm currently doing incremental using MR, but it's easier and quicker to restore files using FH than MR. Horses for courses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    But then what backup program are you referring to?
    Well, currently using the same as you, MR, but most any backup program can do incremental, including the native Win10 backup (I think).

    Like a lot of things, this would seem to come down to how the tool is used being a fundamental part of the decision process.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    I have used Macrium Reflect with Win7 for years now. But since Win10 has both backup software and file history, I thought I would have a look at these first.

    After a cursory look at File History, I don't think that this is right for me unless I can pick and choose what directories to keep a history of. There are just too many things that I am updating off and on all day and I'd end up with hundreds of copies in no time. Of course, I may also be completely misunderstanding what it does.

    That leaves Win 10 backup vs 3rd Party - unless there are changes I am unaware of then a 3rd party backup tool is preferable.

    NOTE: I'm not asking for recommendations on 3rd party backup software. I'm just asking whether or not it still has advantages over the two Windows 10 options.
    The backup in Windows 10 is the exact same as the backup in Windows 8, which is the same as in Windows 7.
    If you've got something that works, like MR, keep using it.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    If you've got something that works, like MR, keep using it.
    The rest of the story is in another thread, but here's a nickles worth... With my Win7 computer, I do a monthly image then run the updates. With my new Win10 computer, updates run when they want so my monthly image routine needs changing. Before I workout a new routine, I'd like to look at my options for using built in backup software.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    You can still do your monthly, just set WU to manual or disable in services.
    Re-enable for the time it takes to download whatever WU it's offering.

    The default Backup tools are gonna eventually cause some heartache. Been there done that.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    You can still do your monthly, just set WU to manual or disable in services.
    Re-enable for the time it takes to download whatever WU it's offering.
    There is no manual option for updates in Win10. I hadn't thought about disabling the service - won't that result in the update police coming to my house and confiscating my computer or something

    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    The default Backup tools are gonna eventually cause some heartache. Been there done that.
    I have a 20+ year history of issues with Microsoft backup, but I always allow for the possibility of improvement.

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    CLiNT, I just ran across two links in the latest WS newsletter that outline a process for changing updates to notify rather than auto-download. Thanks for pushing me to look for that.

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