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Backing up large data set on Windows 7

    General discussion

  • Windows Backup is optimized to help home users protect their important data on their PCs and this is typically expected to be 200GB of data on average. On a PC that contains significantly larger data size, Windows Backup’s performance may degrade. If you need to back up more than 400GB of data, we recommend that you backup your PC using a system image. The advantage of using system image backup is that it is more efficient in terms of performance, and it also provides you the ability to restore files and to restore your entire PC in case of a failure. However you should note that  in order to use system image backup, you must backup at least the entire OS drive. You will also need to perform special steps to restore individual files from a system image, rather than using the File Restore wizard. Both the steps to create the system image and restoring individual files will be described below 

     

    To create a scheduled system image backup, follow the appropriate steps:

     

    1.       If the data that you want to back up resides on the same drive as the OS (i.e. you do not have a separate data drive), you can continue to use the Windows Backup wizard to create the system image:

    a.       Using the same wizard as you did for scheduling Windows Backup, select the desired target. Click Next.

    b.      On the “What do you want to backup” page, select “Let me choose”, click next.

    c.       On the next page, uncheck all selections on the folder selection UI. Select the “Include a system image” checkbox at the bottom of the page. Make sure that the indicated drives that will be backed up includes the drive that contains your data. Click Next.

    d.      On the next page, select a schedule and start the backup

     

    2.       If you have a separate data drive, you will need to create a task in Task Scheduler to create the system imageL

    a.       Open an elevated command prompt

    b.      Type the following command:

    SCHTASKS /Create /SC <Frequency> /TN <TaskName> /RL HIGHEST /ST <StartTime> /TR "WBADMIN START Backup –backupTarget:<target> -include:<source> -quiet"

    Example

    This command below will create a weekly system image on Sunday at 11pm. It will back up C: and D: drive, and store the backup on E: drive.

    SCHTASKS /Create /SC WEEKLY /D SUN /TN WeeklyBackupTask /RL HIGHEST /ST 23:00 /TR "WBADMIN START Backup –backupTarget:E:-include:C:,D: -quiet"

    c.     For more regarding the parameters used above, please refer to the blog post http://blogs.technet.com/filecab/archive/2009/04/13/customizing-windows-server-backup-schedule.aspx

     

    To restore files from a system image, you will need to mount the backup vhd file as a volume through Disk Management. Refer to the blog post http://blogs.technet.com/filecab/archive/2009/11/12/recovering-your-files-in-windows-7.aspx#imagebackup for more details.


    Christine Fok, Program Manager, Storage Solution Division This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 6:26 AM

All replies

  • Hi Christine! I just tried to back up as well with this new Dell 9000 xps  and I formatted and partitioned (using Acronis) an external usb drive large enough to hold the Windows OS and all installed software programs. All went well after about 12 hours and when I came back to check the computer had shut down. The warning said that the back up failed because there was not enough space on the drive. Why would the computer shut down? I am sure that was not correct. Maybe I should formatted that partition again using Dell. I, too, am surprised that this took so long and are there any specific updates to change that? Should I try again or should I just create an image? Should I try Acronis to do this instead of Dell? I am not an advanced user. Thanks, Bill
    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 2:56 PM
  • Was there ever a resolution to this issue?  I have tried backing up 300GB to 3 separate external drives with a fresh Win 7 Ultimate install and the backup fails (typically without meaningful errors) after many hours most of the time.   Straight file copies to these same external drives work fine, and backups to these same external drives on old XP machines also work fine.  There seems to be a problem with Microsoft backup.
    Sunday, January 02, 2011 3:13 AM
  • Was there ever a resolution to this issue?  I have tried backing up 300GB to 3 separate external drives with a fresh Win 7 Ultimate install and the backup fails (typically without meaningful errors) after many hours most of the time.   Straight file copies to these same external drives work fine, and backups to these same external drives on old XP machines also work fine.  There seems to be a problem with Microsoft backup.


    hi ,

    weird , are you updated and patched ??

    cause it works perfect !!

    if it still fails , click the link microsoft support in my signature and follow , they will be in a better position to help you , ...

     

    have a nice day


    Scan with OneCare + Support ENDING for windows Vista & XP ! + Plagued by the Privacy Center? REMOVE IT + Threat Research & Response Blog + Sysinternals Live tools + TRANSLATOR + Photosynth + Microsoft Security + Microsoft SUPPORT + PIVOT from Live Labs + Microsoft Live Labs + Get OFFICE 2010 FREE ! 
    Sunday, January 02, 2011 6:44 AM
  • hey.

    so the issue was backup of >400 GB.  I personally use windows 7 32 bit, and am attempting a 1 TB backup onto an external hard drive on a dell XPS 420 desktop.  It is 94% complete, but has ran 7 consecutive days without interruption up until now.  After backup finishes, I will be installing windows 7 64 bit, which requires me to delete my original hard drive and start fresh.  I looked at the workaround, but a 32 bit system image will not work on 64 bit OS.  So, I'm stuck.  Has the update for this issue, which has been ongoing, resolved anything?  In retrospect, you are better off just dragging and dropping the files you want to backup in a folder you create.  You can move these files, rather than copying them, although I do not know if moving is faster than copying.  I had always hoped moving could reassign a memory's location without altering the memory itself, making it a faster operation.  The operation, however, may work by copying the file to another location, and then deleting the original file.  Even if the former suggestion is true, when it comes to moving between two unique hard drives, only a copy/delete mechanism could actually work.

    • Edited by majik1213 Sunday, January 09, 2011 4:58 PM more insights
    Sunday, January 09, 2011 4:55 PM
  • hey.

    so the issue was backup of >400 GB.  I personally use windows 7 32 bit, and am attempting a 1 TB backup onto an external hard drive on a dell XPS 420 desktop.  It is 94% complete, but has ran 7 consecutive days without interruption up until now.  After backup finishes, I will be installing windows 7 64 bit, which requires me to delete my original hard drive and start fresh.  I looked at the workaround, but a 32 bit system image will not work on 64 bit OS.  So, I'm stuck.  Has the update for this issue, which has been ongoing, resolved anything?  In retrospect, you are better off just dragging and dropping the files you want to backup in a folder you create.  You can move these files, rather than copying them, although I do not know if moving is faster than copying.  I had always hoped moving could reassign a memory's location without altering the memory itself, making it a faster operation.  The operation, however, may work by copying the file to another location, and then deleting the original file.  Even if the former suggestion is true, when it comes to moving between two unique hard drives, only a copy/delete mechanism could actually work.


    hi ,

    get external harddrive , lacie or western digital , invest in 200 us / eu

    or make a second part , or buy a second internal drive , syc folders , copy , compres to save space if needed , ...

    how come you have so much data ? is it needed all the time ?

    have a nice day


    Scan with OneCare + Support ENDING for windows Vista & XP ! + Plagued by the Privacy Center? REMOVE IT + Threat Research & Response Blog + Sysinternals Live tools + TRANSLATOR + Photosynth + Microsoft Security + Microsoft SUPPORT + PIVOT from Live Labs + Microsoft Live Labs + Get OFFICE 2010 FREE ! 
    Sunday, January 09, 2011 6:42 PM
  • Even though this problem first appeared more than two years ago, apparently Microsoft still thinks that most people have 200 GB or less to backup in these days of video files. I encountered this problem when trying to backup 853 GB on my Windows 7 64-bit machine to an external drive connected with an eSATA cable, and it still transferred at only about 5 MB/sec.

    Nevertheless, this work-around works for me, at least to make a system image of my C drive. I don't do scheduled backups, since I keep my external drive disconnected when it's not in use, so I can see no reason to go through those procedures to back up and restore my other drives. A simple file transfer will transfer my data using eSATA at a rate of 90+ MB/sec., so unless and until Microsoft recognizes that their customers need a better backup system that's the way I'll go.

    Friday, March 02, 2012 3:31 PM
  • I am confused by this, but I'm often confused. I am using Windows Backup and Restore, from Control Panel, to back up weekly to a 500 GB HP Pocket Media Drive, and everything is working alright as far as I can tell. Why do you say this:     If you have a separate data drive, you will need to create a task in Task Scheduler to create the system image. 

    a


    Jack Vogt


    • Edited by Grumpy81 Sunday, November 24, 2013 7:16 PM
    Sunday, November 24, 2013 7:15 PM