Windows 7 Backup features

By marshallwv
Jun 11, 2010
  1. Has anyone checked out the backup features for Windows 7? I havent had to use it yet but i was just checking out this link and i think that it is going to regularly keep my PC up to date when it comes to backing up. Anyone used this before?
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I've used it to backup once just to see how it works. It appears pretty good until you see that it doesn't back up Program Files. To me that is important, if I had a hard drive die I'd like to be able to restore things exactly the way they were before it died. But with Windows backup that just isn't possible, I'd still have to reinstall all my programs. All Windows backup would actually do is keep my settings and my files. Backing up just settings and files though is still a lot better than nothing.

    So bottom line:
    * It is adequate for backing up files.
    * It doesn't keep your Program Files, so you will have to install almost everything again in case of a HD crash.

    Also, I don't believe it comes with 7 Home Premium or Starter.
  3. zenkarman

    zenkarman TS Rookie

    Window 7 have good backup and restore features. If you have important and personal files then windows 7 creates copies of taht files. Moreover you can also take your personal backup to another DVD. Windows 7 have indivisual drive and folders for backup.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,145   +597

    SNGX1275 is right on. Naively it is far to easy to believe that MS Backup & Restore means what it says - - and maybe it still does if you understand the difference between User Data and Systems Backups.

    User Data is located in \Documents and Settings\* (or \users\* on vista and win7).
    These are the %useprofile% directories and everything you create should be located therein.
    [ users running from an Admin Login create all kinds of issues, including creating C:\rootLevelUserDirsnFiles

    Systems Backups (on many other OS Systems) create means to recover from system errors, including total media or hardware loss.
    This is very different than MS System State or a Restore Point.
    Take the simple HD failure; easy enough to replace it and assuming the BACKUP is on external media, - - ouch - - how DO you restore using it?
    The MS Install CD doesn't have it and there's no OS to boot!
    Guess what? The 'restore process' goes like this:
    • First install from your OEM cd or do a Clean Install from the MS Retail CD
    • now find all the original software that is now missing and reinstall those
    • and now you can use MS Backup and Restore with that backup on external media

    One of the BIGGEST issues for Windows Restore is that $%^& registry which is a constant moving target and upon which every Program relies for proper configuration.
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    The best type of backup is a full drive image. There are one or two free versions, with some drawbacks (for example require MS shadow copy installed) but the top makes like Acronis are not very expensive. First make a full image and file it away, then do routine 'incremental' backups to keep up-to-date. One day you will bless deciding to do that.
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