Rumor: Windows 8 to get Time Machine-like backup feature

By on March 31, 2011, 10:00 AM
Microsoft started giving early builds of Windows 8 to ODM and OEM partners this week and it seems that already some details are starting to leak. According to a story on Winrumors, Microsoft is taking a page from Mac OS X with a new backup feature called History Vault that resembles Apple's Time Machine.

As described in the image below: "History Vault helps protect your files against accidents that could cause data loss. If an external disk or network attached storage is used, it can even protect your files against disk or entire PC failure." The feature will reportedly include the ability to restore to a specific time or date on the system. Users will also be able to select files that have been previously edited or deleted and restore them to different timestamps.

Winrumors notes that Microsoft has had similar restore capabilities in its operating system since a function called 'Shadow Copies' was introduced in Windows Vista, which was used by System Restore, but History Vault is set to expand on it and provide a full GUI to make restoring old documents easier. Apple's Time Machine uses the cover flow interface to sort through restore points, but it's not clear what Windows 8's History Vault interface would look like.

User Comments: 14

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

thats pretty cool, I hope it allows for full Images of the OS itself, then you can boot from the install disk and restore an image for say a USB hard drive. that would be a nice feat

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

+1 burty

But I think instead of having to use Installation disk, they can simply make the USB/DVD media (or whatever appropriate medium) bootable from where one may be able to restore full image incase of hardware failure.

Guest said:


I thought Windows 7 already had this feature?

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

Guest said:


I thought Windows 7 already had this feature?

So do I. And not even from newer Windows versions, but I think I can recall a function similar to what Burty117 stated on XP... or at the very least, a piece of XP-compatible software that does just that.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I know you can get separate software to do the imaging but It would be nice if it was built into windows itself. If Windows 7 does have this capabilty anyone able to point me in the right direction?

I know Vista and XP definately don't support this out the box.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

MS have 'System Restore' feature for a while now (in fact Apple copied the original concept from MS and improved it), the problem is MS never thought about improving the functiionality of this feature, I've used 'Shadow Copy' in vista and it is an excellent feature; but they really need to bring their OS on par with the competition in this area.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I know about those but I was thinking much bigger, shadow copy's work to an extent, actually its saved by life for a few users at work system restore doesn't actually backup a whole lot (registry entrys mostly), and in windows xp's case just slowed the machine down and broke everything all at the same time. was improved in windows 7 though.

I was thinking making a proper utility that creates a snapshot image of the entire system to a single large file that can be stored in a safe place, such as a NAS box or external hard disk, bit like VMware enviroments when they use a SAN for instance.

how easy would it be to recover a windows 7 machine if you could just recover it whole from an image?

Guest said:

So, here is where the sony playstation marketing team went. Long live to the 4D, cell procesors nuclear misile psones and now the time machine windows 8 feature.


Guest said:

Sort of, But isn't as usefull as Time Machine is.

vimes1150 said:

burty117 said:

how easy would it be to recover a windows 7 machine if you could just recover it whole from an image?

It is indeed very easy! You go to control panel, then to backup&restore and then you click on create a system image. In this way I have moved my system to SSD.

Whoaman said:

Archean said:

Apple copied the original concept from MS and improved it

"improved it" is a heck of an understatement. The two are hardly comparable.

System Restore is a critical component of Windows for recovery from far to common nasty virus infestations and bad driver installs. It will not bring back any user documents and is rudimentary recovery at best and often unapproachable or unknown to nubes. It is a life saver when it does save you from the inevitable Windows meltdown. However it is utterly worthless to you if your drive dies.

Time Machine on the other hand is a wonder. A super-slick user-friendly interface that makes a complete backup of all the files on your system including:

* system files

* applications

* accounts

* preferences

* music

* photos

* movies

* documents

* and everything else

As you make changes, Time Machine incrementally and automatically backs up only what changed. Since backups are stored on your device by date, you can browse through your entire system breezily and see it as it appeared on any date.

Time Machine uses an external drive and can easily do a complete system recovery in case of catastrophic drive failure or the need to move to a bigger drive.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Volume Shadow Copy / Previous Version has been around a long time in Windows. It's probably just getting a facelift and tuned up for regular use.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

A full-featured backup utility in Windows 8 would be nice, especially it could migrate an existing Windows installation to another PC with dissimilar hardware. That would be great for frequent upgraders like myself.

hewybo hewybo said:

at each major change - clone your drive to re-formatted external hardware using Acronis, etc. -- I never rely on M$ backups/restores.......often incomplete, corrupted.....or "cannot complete system restore -your system has not been changed."

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