Windows Backup on 7 Professional

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Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:08 pm

So here's the fun.

Recently, I upgraded my OS partition to an SSD, and started using symlinks to use the SSD for games. Fun stuff, and I'm really enjoying the overall system smoothness. However, like any newer technology, I don't really trust SSDs, so I decided to start making backups- and after trying to use the Windows Backup application built into Windows 7 to do the migration (unsuccessfully, it's not flexible or fast enough), I wanted to try and use it to manage my backups.

And then I ran into a snag.

While Windows Backup is great for backing up everything to one location, this doesn't work for me- I'm using a single 1TB Green drive to backup the SSD and my Applications drive, which works, but I also have a pair of 2TB Green drives, and would like one to backup the other. Sadly, Windows Backup doesn't allow you to map backup sources and backup destinations, outside of 'select everything you want to backup and select where all of it will go'.

What I'm really looking for is an inexpensive or freeware tool that you guys have found to be reliable that will allow me to do what Windows Backup does not.

Solutions I have considered are:
Mirror RAID the 2TB Green drives (don't have a RAID board, though, so software?)
Use a regular batch wipe and copy from one drive to the other (or just copy and replace?), but this would not account for file deletions
Create a software JBOD array with the 1TB and 2TB backup drives, and then let Windows Backup use this as it's destination drive

I don't really like any of these, however, since the 2TB drive I need backed up only holds files/media, I don't need anything elaborate. I just want something that can keep up with changes on the source drive without overly taxing the backup drive, like a mirroring RAID would. What do you guys think?

*Edit- well, I've figured that I have enough space to save everything off of the 2TB drive, onto other drives; once I've done that, I intend to use the Drive Management tool to create a software mirrored array. While I'm waiting on this thing, I do have a few questions though:

1. Is this a good idea? Related to the OP, is there a software solution that's better and will save on mutual drive wear and tear?
2. How does recovery work? Will either drive work immediately as an independent drive if the array is broken due to drive failure or otherwise?
3. Can this array be migrated? I will most likely carry the current OS install if I change boards, but will this be a problem, and what if I have to wipe the OS?
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:07 pm

You're edit implies you've found a solution. I'm not sure if you still want more control over your backups, but your original question can most likley be acheived via the command line version of Windows Backup - WBAdmin

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754015(WS.10).aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wbadmin

1. Is this a good idea? Related to the OP, is there a software solution that's better and will save on mutual drive wear and tear?
2. How does recovery work? Will either drive work immediately as an independent drive if the array is broken due to drive failure or otherwise?
3. Can this array be migrated? I will most likely carry the current OS install if I change boards, but will this be a problem, and what if I have to wipe the OS?


Capturing the system state and backing it up to a RAID1 mirror is fine. If you want to reduce the amount of writes that are taking place make sure to implement a proper rotation. You should be able to implement incremental images to support the full backup.

Recovery is a manual process with dynamic disk mirroring. See here for more details: http://buildegg.com/bewp/?p=44

Yes. Dynamic disks store configuration information on the disk. There are a few caveats though.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816307
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:34 am

Consider adding another layer of redundancy with something like: http://lifehacker.com/5732093/how-to-up ... me-machine
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:16 pm

Just a word of caution......you mentioned possibly using your WD Caviar Green drives in a RAID set-up. I don't think those drives are recommended for RAID solutions. Western Digital recommends using their "RE" drives when setting up RAID drives. For more information on RAID problems with their Green and Black series hard drives, see:

http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/det ... blI5bGs%3D

Also....if you have more than 1 PC Windows 7 Professional operating system can be used to save a back-up image to other PCs on your network.
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:23 am

Sorry for the long response time!

I've used the Windows RAID 1 setup with the two 2TB Greens to create a storage array. I'm using my 1TB Green as a backup location for my SSD with the OS and my 1TB Black that has Steam and other games installed.

Also, I had to replace the mainboard (which finally gave up the ninth life it's been clinging to), and I'm happy to report that although I wasn't able to keep the drives in the same order on the SATA ports, the array was still intact when Windows loaded, no issues observable.
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:28 am

senior_player wrote:Just a word of caution......you mentioned possibly using your WD Caviar Green drives in a RAID set-up. I don't think those drives are recommended for RAID solutions. Western Digital recommends using their "RE" drives when setting up RAID drives. For more information on RAID problems with their Green and Black series hard drives


Yes, but these drives aren't being tasked. Either files will be downloaded to them across the internet, or they will be streaming a movie or song, at most.
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:29 am

I know you want free, but due to the importance of data, this may be one of the areas you would want to spend a few bucks.
I have been a fan of Acronis True Image for years, and really enjoy how well it works. Very fast for back up and restoring; can do system state or just files and folders.

One of my favorite features is to be able to load a image as "read only," which loads like a hard drive. I use that for all my non changing data. (audio/video)

My posts feels kinda spammy, but it is because this is one things I spend money on that I really feel is a great deal. :)
(netflix is another)


Looks like it starts out at $30 or so.

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=e ... 3db245d910
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:24 am

You know, your reference means much more than their site ever would- thanks for the info!

I may very well check that out, but I think I'm going to need more storage space to do so. I may have to break the software RAID apart, which I'm not at all opposed to doing.
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:13 pm

I'd recommend taking at least a cursory look at DriveImage XML. Completely free product that can make shadow copy backups of your SSD (while Windows is still running!) You can then browse or restore the images at any time. Works slick.
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:05 pm

http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/

It's simple and it works and it's free. I've tested it on multiple machines. I'm actually testing the server version right now, which is essentially identical except for the price tag. I think it's made by the Chinese, but I don't think that bothers me.
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:37 pm

flip-mode wrote:http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/

It's simple and it works and it's free. I've tested it on multiple machines. I'm actually testing the server version right now, which is essentially identical except for the price tag. I think it's made by the Chinese, but I don't think that bothers me.


Windows Backup just isn't going to cut it; there's no real configuration options nor browsing options. So, I'm Going to give this a try before paying for Acronis (not that I mind, but free's free). The hard part is, my server machine, to be built out of this one when I get around to putting an SB system together, will be using Server 2008 R2; I guess I'll have to find a different free product then :).
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:24 pm

WBAdmin is unable to do what you want?
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:46 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:WBAdmin is unable to do what you want?


I actually had no idea what that was until you mentioned it. I'm going to give it a shot too.
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Re: Windows Backup on 7 Professional

Postposted on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:32 pm

My choice of "backup" software is a program called FreeFileSync.

I use Windows backup to backup my workstation to my fileserver, and also backup my server os disk to the raid-5-array..
Then i filesync the raid-5 array to a spare drive and also external usb-drives. Works fine so far. Faster that many other similar utilities, and doesnt seem to have that incredibly annoying filelimit of 100 000 files that Pure Filesync and Allway sync does.

Allway sync was good, but has a hard limit on 100K files. PureSync was also decent, but has a floating limit in that for some reason, if I had more then say 60-80K files in the same job, it would miss stuff. Never did get around to seeing what the true problem was. After I found that I switched to FreeFileSync, and while it has a different kind of interface, its fast and seems to do well. You can set different locations for different folders, etc. But do note that its a filesynchronization application and not a backup/archieve application. Works for me since I prefer to have a fully readable and usuable mirror instead of a true archieve for the pure data-files.
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