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Why is Windows Backup on Windows 7 RTM so slow?

    Question

  • Under Windows 7 RTM, I can use file copy to copy 250GB of files to my external eSata drive in about one hour at 72 MB/s.

    When I try to use Windows Backup, it takes 14 hours to backup the same amount of data (i.e. about 5 MB/s).

    It looks like Windows 7 is trying to compress each file individually and is doing alot of Random Disk I/O.

    How can I speed up Windows 7 Windows Backup to get anywhere near approaching the 72 MB/s from a straight file copy?

    Are there any advanced options (e.g. in the Registry) that can be changed to improve this terrible performance?

    Having being forced by the OS to discontinue the previous use of reliable Tape backup via NTBackup, this is being to look like a conspiracy to force users to go and buy real Backup software from the likes of Semantec rather use the rapidly dwindling and increasing noddy backup options provided by Microsoft.


    Saturday, August 08, 2009 6:50 AM

Answers

  • Mike,

    Thanks for trying out Windows Backup. We have made significant changes in the backup application since Vista to address major customer pain-points. Hope you find the Windows7 backup/restore solution meeting all your needs. 

    We are committed to continue engaging with customers like you, listening to valuable feedback and addressing them in future releases.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]



    Monday, August 17, 2009 4:33 AM
  • Hi all,

    Thanks for all the comments and responses regarding the performance on Windows Backup. The issue has been identified to occur on systems with large data set size.  Please refer to the following post for further details and workaround.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/1ba794f6-0bac-443b-9e22-5b8f175c69ba

    Regards,
    Christine
    Christine Fok, Program Manager, Storage Solution Division This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    • Marked as answer by Christine Fok Thursday, December 24, 2009 6:33 AM
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 6:33 AM
  • Hi all,

    Thank you all for reporting the issue you’ve experienced with Windows Backup. We are aware of a bug impacting the time required to do backups with the File Backup feature that will be addressed in a forthcoming update.  

    The bug occurs when users are trying to back up individual files to a hard disk, but is most visible when backing up larger data sets (e.g. more than 400 GB of storage). Customers’ ability to back up individual files or a system image are not impacted.

    Until the update is available, customers who are experiencing this bug should follow the work around steps outlined here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/1ba794f6-0bac-443b-9e22-5b8f175c69ba

    We will follow up with a link to the update once it is available.

    Thank you again for your feedback to help continuously improve our product.


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    • Marked as answer by Christine Fok Friday, June 25, 2010 6:26 PM
    Friday, June 25, 2010 6:25 PM
  • Hi all,

    The hotfix for the issue above has been released. You can download the hotfix from the following location:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb%3ben-US%3b2283445

    Again thank you all for reporting the issue and helping us improve on Windows 7.  

     

     


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    • Marked as answer by Christine Fok Tuesday, August 17, 2010 9:33 PM
    Tuesday, August 17, 2010 9:32 PM

All replies

  • John,

    Windows Backup always does compressed backup. As a result backup time will be more when compared to simple file copying. However since the subsequent backups would be incremental, where in only the files that change would get backed up, the subsequent backups should be much faster.

    Also, are you including system image backup as part of backup configuration? If so, the data getting backed up would also include the used space in the boot/system volumes. So the time taken for backing up 250 GB as files might be much lesser than 14 hours.

    We made performance improvements in Windows7 where in we do not try to compress files that are already compressed (multimedia files etc.). However we do not have any registry/configuration by which this experience can be further improved.

    We hear your concern. We will try to address this in our future releases.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]

    • Proposed as answer by User 01 Friday, February 18, 2011 11:30 PM
    Friday, August 14, 2009 4:23 AM
  • The slowness is a big concern for me too. This is the first version of Windows that I feel has a good backup solution for home users. But if speed improvements are not made then I'll likely return to using SyncBackPro. I'm giving Microsoft the benefit of the doubt for now and hope that they follow through on addressing the speed issues.
    Sunday, August 16, 2009 1:00 PM
  • Mike,

    Thanks for trying out Windows Backup. We have made significant changes in the backup application since Vista to address major customer pain-points. Hope you find the Windows7 backup/restore solution meeting all your needs. 

    We are committed to continue engaging with customers like you, listening to valuable feedback and addressing them in future releases.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]



    Monday, August 17, 2009 4:33 AM
  • The speed of the first initial/full backup needs to be addressed.

    It is painfully slow and will deter many users from ever using it again.
    Thursday, August 20, 2009 12:43 AM
  • I agree. I have 500GB of files, and Windows was taking 2 or 3 days to back them up (without a system image, just a directory). Its the zipping slowing everything down, not the incremental thing probably (Synctoy, a FREE tool provided by Microsoft in comparison takes 2 hours to copy all the files). Time machine also performs faster too (that doesn't archive files and uses hardlinks for various revisions).


    To make Windows Backup usable by anyone:
    1) At the least, users must be able to turn off compression, its too slow. I suggest 3 modes:
    - Full Compression (the way its done currently)
    - Fast compression (Use NTFS compression, that's what its there for!)
    - None (People like myself have a large backup harddisk. Compression will help me get slightly more revisions, but without it, I could probably create backups more often). Maybe also have a way to disable checksumming for fast and none, to reduce load further.

    2) Secondly, if users currently shut-down at the moment, the initial backup starts all over again (without warning). There are a few options:
    - If user wants to shutdown, and initial backup is running, prompt the user if they would like to shut down immediately, or let windows shutdown after the initial backup automatically.
    - Allow backups to resume after shutdown.

    I like the idea of shadow copy and multiple revisions of files, except, its unusable. Having worked in an Applecentre before (in the past, but I've always been open to various operating systems), I know from experience that 100GB or more is common these days. And the people most likely to use backup will be those with a lot more, who ironically will be unable to use Windows Backup, because it takes MUCH too long. I'm not a professional photographer, but I have 29GB of photos I've taken ( only got a point and click 10mpixel camera last year, and whilst only some of them are in RAW, not the vast majority). But if a chump like me has that many photos, I hate to see how big other people's collections are. Microsoft needs to clearly stop testing with a clean computer, and instead ensure that initial backups of 750GB are usable. 


    Sorry, but until this gets fixed, it will only be suitable for the handful of users with only 20GB of data, and who work on tiny files. People who actually use and need backup though can't use this. I'd love to use this as mentioned (because shadowcopy is awesome, especially for power users), but last time I tried, I opened Microsoft Flight simulator which crashed my computer and had to start again. 
    • Edited by AndrewLuecke Saturday, August 22, 2009 4:54 AM added to it
    Saturday, August 22, 2009 4:36 AM
  • I agree completely with the previous poster about the Windows 7 backup utility being too slow.  It is better described as unusable.

    I have 500GB system disk with roughly 400GB worth of data on it (the OS and a lot of compressed media, e.g., mp3 and jpg files).

    I started a full system backup for all users on Sunday morning.  It is now Thursday evening and it is only about 40% complete at this point.

    I am backing up to another drive with plenty of disk space - so compression is not really necessary.

    I have a 2.4GHz quad core processor with 4GB of RAM ... most of which is not being  used.

    Something other than disk IO or RAM or CPU performance limitations appears to be at issue here as the computer has been on continuously since the backup was started.

    Bottom line:  this need significant improvement to be usable.

    Any pointers or tweaks to get this working would be welcome.
    Friday, September 04, 2009 12:55 AM
  • That's a relief!  I thought it was just me (or the USB 2 interface to my external drive).. as I write this I have a backup at about 30% that has been running for 16 hours (I'm backing up about 300GB to a 2TB WD mirror drive).

    Any recommendations for robust backup software that won't break the bank?

    I have used online backup for years for source code and this works great, I'd like something with the same ability to pick up previous versions of a file but that doesn't run continuously and handles hundreds of GBs efficiently..


    Saturday, September 05, 2009 10:43 PM
  • I had to give up using my DVD drive after 3 days of grief. I used an external hard drive and it took about 45 minutes for the data and an image.
    Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:33 PM
  • This is yet another UI blunder in the backup utility. They renamed what used to be called "Complete PC Backup" on Vista to "system image". I had a hard time finding it, and I was misled into believing that the folder selection in the normal backup worked the same way. This option has always been much faster than backing up individual directories, though in 7 it's not as fast as it used to be in Vista (~3 hours compared to ~15 hours).

    Seriously, why would you change a name that isn't broken? Was "Complete PC Backup" deemed politically incorrect or something?

    Also, as a minor bug report, system image doesn't display a progress indicator in the taskbarr the way the file backup does.


    As for a decent backup solution, invest in an external hard disk that'll fit all of your hard disks. If you want to access individual files within the backup, you can mount the VHD file it generates in Disk Management under Computer Management in Control Panel and use it like a normal disk. You need to change the permissions on the backup file first, which you can do via the folder properties in Explorer.
    Sunday, September 13, 2009 4:29 AM
  • I am begiining to think my issue (backup to DVD slow or hangs) is related to the fact that I have a SATA DVD drive.
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 12:44 PM
  • I can confirm this is ridiculous, even Vista's Backup worked faster. I am waiting already for 9 hours and I've got less than 100GB worth backup.

    Even the Windows Easy Transfer was able to copy all the data faster than Windows 7's backup.

    Is there any setting we can tweak to improve the backup time? Because otherwise this becomes pretty useless if each time I'll be wanting to backup I have to wait more than one night, seriously.
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:23 PM
  • Hi Cathode, we hear your concern and as Sriram said we're looking into this issue. However while the initial backup might take a longer time, subsequent backups are incremental which backs up only new or changed files (and in case of the image backup, only the changed blocks), so it will take significantly less time. The scheduled backup task also runs in the background so it should have minimal disruption.

    Thanks,
    Christine


    Christine Fok, Program Manager, Storage Solution Division This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 6:39 PM
  • I have some more general questions about Windows 7 backup.

    I have the sneaking suspicion that my backup is slow because I and doing a custom backup, and selecting both "Include a system image", and including my system drive (C:), and my data drive (D:).  I don't know if selecting "system image" is causing things to go into the backup twice, since it overlaps with my drive selection.  I redirect my "ProfilesDirectory" and "Public" to the D:/Users and D:/Users/Public respectively, so does that make D: one of "the drives required for Windows to run?"

    Despite being a server OS, I find its backup a lot simpler.  It was a simple drive selection, it was faster, there was little ambiguity as to what was going in and how many times.  My initial backup is still running, so I have yet to determine if it allows you to restore to any of the backup points for which the disk has space, or just the latest.

    Thanks for any assistance.
    Friday, October 02, 2009 9:05 PM
  • Aaron,

    In Windows7 we simplified the confusion around when users should take a file backup and when users should take a system image backup. Now both these can be scheduled as part of same backup configuration.

    However like you said, it has the side-effect of backing up data potentially twice (depending on what is selected for file backup). System image backup includes all the critical volumes (boot volume, system volume, volume where any Windows service is installed). It would backup the entire volume (all the used space on the volume) as VHD files (one per volume). File backup backups up the folders included in backup. It would backup the files inside them as ZIP files. The amount of duplication depends on whether the folders selected as part of file backup are present on any of the critical volumes.

    Note that the slowness is expected only for the full backups. The subsequent incremental backups should be faster as only the changes are backed up.

    We hear your feedback and will definitely try to address this in future release.

    To answer your question about redirected folders, the scenario you attempted should not make D: as a critical volume. You can check this by choosing "Let me choose" during backup configuration while selecting what to backup and see the volumes listed that would get included as part of system image backup.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]
    Wednesday, October 07, 2009 6:45 AM
  • Hello.

    If you are still experiencing this issue, I would be glad to get in touch with each of you individually and try to investigate further to see if we can improve backup performance.

    I believe some of the slowness you are experiencing is because of the hardware/volume configuration for the source volumes/backup target you are using.

    To start with, it would be great if each of you can explain the scenario when you are running into this issue:
    1. What is the data that you are selecting to backup as part of file backup?
    2. Did you choose system image backup also?
    3. Are you taking backup to disk? If so is this internal disk or external disk? If it is external disk, is it USB 1.1 or USB 2.0?
    4. Are you taking backup to network share? If so what is the network transfer capacity (e.g. 100 Mbps etc.)

    Pl. send mail to sriramb-at-microsoft-dot-com (pl. remove the hyphens, and replace at with @, dot with . to get the correct one). If you could provide the details asked, would be great.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]

    Friday, October 09, 2009 8:46 AM
  • @SriramB & Christine. 

    System specs:
    ==========
    - 1x E6850 3.0Ghz Intel Core Duo 2
    - 64bit Windows 7
    - 2x Internal Sata2 Hd753LJ 750GB 7200RPM HDD's (source and destination, performance index: 5.9). Not slow (unless I enable AHCI, in which case the buggy Samsung harddisk controllers go crazy-like)...

    So I can assure you, thats not the problem.

    It has only completed 3% in 1hr. That leaves another 20 hours remaining (whilst synctoy could probably get it done in 6). On a 45 Degree Celcius summer day, home users without AC, may find their harddisks toasted (yep, in fact, I suspect thats how my last harddisk died on vista).

    What am I copying?
    =============
    - No system Image
    - No User Data
    - However, a 404GB media library, which is mostly using already compressed formats. Yes thats a lot, but the rate that is transferring at, even 100GB is too slow.


    Whats been fixed:
    ============
    - After restarting the computer, the backup doesn't begin from the beginning again anymore it appears (yay). This now fixes 50% of the problem, because if the initial scan takes 48 hours to complete, at least the computer can be safely turned off (accidentally or otherwise). I think this actually puts it in one way ahead of Time Machine (which I recall was unable to do that).
    - It appears to not compress some files anymore. Doesn't seem any faster though. 


    What Needs fixing:
    ============
    1) After rebooting half-way during initial backup, the scan doesn't appear to restart. A week is a long time to wait for it to begin again. Or maybe I just got impatient :P
    2) The user should be told that the backup is continuing where it left off. I had no indication it was doing so (except I realised the files being copied before were no longer in the first few percent)
    3) Its still painfully slow (an order of magnitudes slower then Synctoy). I am watching 8mb exe's (the Songbird installer) plod along slowly at the moment. We really need a means of disabling the compression of files within the backup entirely, because some people use file formats that produce large files, which are compressed (such as some video formats for specialist software), could you imagine how long it would take to zip 50GB's of movie footage (which is already compressed)? One way of handing this might be to track compression statistics on files, and don't compress files which generally dont achieve a low rate of compression. Why compress file types that don't compress well? 
    4) Or/and simply allow us  to disable compression.


    Real world experience:
    ===============
    1) On OSX, many people used "time machine" on their servers to allow them to return to any point of time the server was running (which has its advantages, if the admin is an idiot). Speed is key, so compression shouldn't be on. On our server, we used a set of mirrors for the main drives, and Time machine (so we had revisions for admin error, and the ability to immediately recover from harddisk failure)
    2) When Time machine got added to OSX (before I resigned from the Apple Premium Reseller), many home users were interested. USB backups and large backups (over 100GB) are common. Believe me, it needs to be fast. HD video recorders are now being added even to mobile phones, so except the average amount of user data to backup, to increase dramatically. 
    3) We also know that SURELY you guys would be pushing Windows backup a LOT more if it was faster. Incredibly, its rarely mentioned (even by sales people), but if it was faster, probably would be.


    Other extremely minor bugs:
    =========
    1) Just found this. During your initial backup, if you open the backup file in explorer and manage files, the error says "its currently busy doing a backup, restore or delition. Please close the other window (0x810000F7).

    In my opinion, that error should be changed to: exclude "0x810000F7" (because error codes are for Windows 1.1 users), and have a "More info" hyperlink to help and support instead.


    So in summary:
    ==========
    The only real problem now is the speed, which is probably killed by compression. If we could turn compression off, windows backup would be MUCH more usable, especially in businesses which deal with very large streamed files, which are compressed, but Backup has no way of knowing they are, so recompresses them with no gain). 

    All in all though, the improvements are significant enough now, to give it a second try (the ability to restart where it left off may be enough to convince me, unless incremental backups take too long).

    Do we know how well it fares which hard shutdowns though (haven't tested that)?
    Monday, October 12, 2009 1:24 PM
  • Actually, Sorry, I am incorrect, Windows Backup does not appear to continue from where it left off, if the system is shut down. This is important because:
    1) There is no feedback to users that the backup isn't complete
    2) There is no warning on shutdown to stop users accidentally restarting the process every night they turn off the computer 8 hours in
    3) On systems that are shut down every day and take longer then 12 hours to complete, the backup may NEVER finish, and so the user might never be protected..

    So there is a big safety problem too...
    Monday, October 12, 2009 1:50 PM
  • Sriram and others

    I, too, was amazed at the time the backup took, and also dismayed that it allowed me to shut down without being able to re-start where it left off. I had totally forgotten the backup was running and, as I usually do, put the computer into standby when I went off for a few hours.

    I'm backing up my C drive, which includes data - 190G in all, onto an external USB2-powered 500G disk. I only tried Win7's backup because I though that if Microsoft Security Essentials, which I love, is so successfully low key then perhaps Win 7's backup would be also. Too bad. I've just purchased Nero 9 so I went to the BackItUP 4 which comes with it.

    However, Nero BackItUp 4 needs to be done from its own backup/recover disk outside of Windows and took 8 hours overnight (and clearly the system is unusable during that time), so perhaps we all need to be a bit patient. At least Win7's backup can be done in the background. My previous app was Acronis True Image. That was fairly fast backing up but took ages to verify and was too complex for me. I just want a once-only reliable emergency-use backup of the complete system when it's in a good clean state. I then frequently (hourly sometimes) separately backup files I'm working on with SyncBack.

    The Nero backup used 190G for the 190G that is on my C drive so I presume there's been no compression. I've just looked at starting the Win7 backup again. There's 252G spare on the external HD. I started up Windows 7 backup, selected the external HD and was told, "This drive does not have enough space to store a system image. More information ". I clicked on the "More Information" to be told, "It is recommended to have 219.03 GB of free space". But I have 252 GB free! What's going on?

    Sorb
    Monday, October 12, 2009 9:58 PM
  • I have a backup scheduled for Sundays at 7 AM for my system image (C:) and another disk, X:. It seems to have spent 47 minutes, since the last backup date is marked 11/10/2009 7:47 AM.

    I looked at the image, and it turns out that my backup of X: is fine, but my backup of C: is about two weeks old. It didn't back it up. There's 240GB of space left on my backup disk, and I never added 240GB worth of data on C, which to me indicates that the system image backup utility in Windows 7 is incapable of differential backups. It was in Vista.

    Worse yet, I wouldn't have known that the backup failed if I hadn't checked the files myself. The UI offers no indication that it did.

    By the way, it's untrue what the system image wizard says about not being able to restore individual items; the Restore Files button works just fine -- if your backup worked at all, that is of course.

    Please, this is plain stupid. VHD backup is a great technology, but the UI made it very awkward in Windows Vista, and the UI made it completely unusable and dangerous in Windows 7.

    With all due respect, you people are not doing your job right. At all.


    EDIT: As it turns out, the backup was successful, it just wasn't showing me the right version in the backup restore utility. Mounting the VHD works.

    Why? I don't know.
    • Edited by Rei Miyasaka Monday, October 12, 2009 11:06 PM status update
    Monday, October 12, 2009 10:40 PM
  • Hi Sorb and Andrew,

    Thanks for your feedback and we definitely we hear you regarding the lack of warning regarding shutting down during the middle of backup. Currently when a backup runs, it's shown as a change of state in the Action Center icon on the bottom right corner. It was purposely done in a non-disruptive manner since backup is a scheduled background task that does not require intervention. And since after the first backup, subsequent backups are done as incrementals and will complete in a much shorter duration, the chance that the backup cannot complete in a relatively short period after the scheduled time is low. When the computer is turned on again, Action Center will show that the last backup did not complete.
    However I agree that a warning prior to shutdown and/or a machanism to automatically continue with the backup afterwards should be considered. We'll attempt to improve this experience in future release. 

    Regarding backup never complete - for file backup, files that are already copied to the target and logged in the catalog are restorable and will not be backed up again the next time. So this is not a problem. However for system image you're correct that this may occur, since a system image without capturing the entire volume would not be able to be used for recovery. Again with incremental backup the time required for subsequent image backups should be relatively quick. If this is not working as expected on your machine please contact Sriram and we'll work with you to identify the issue.

    Sorb - where did you check that the HD has 252GB? Was that from the "properties" dialog of from the drive's right click menu?

    Thanks,
    Christine


    Christine Fok, Program Manager, Storage Solution Division This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    Monday, October 12, 2009 11:55 PM
  • Hi Christine,

    First, let me say that I have now tried the Win7 backup, opting for the Image only (i.e. unchecking all the folders). It completed in 4-5 hours with no problems and with very little effect on my working, so that's a plus. Much less hassle than Nero.

    When you say that the image backup will also be quicker next time, is that right? Wouldn't the image backup always have to start from scratch? If you're right, will I have access to earlier images or only the latest one? If only the latest one, can I save the image somehow? It doesn't show up as a file. When I click on WindowsImageBackup all I get is "You dont' have permission...". I can't even see its size!

    Finally, you ask where I got the 252GB from. When I clicked on Backup and Restore then on Backup Now it shows the available size. The same size is shown in the status bar in XYplorer (I use XYplorer instead of Windows Explorer most of the time precisely because its status bar gives me instant access to folder size, available space on drives, etc).

    Sorb
    Tuesday, October 13, 2009 3:41 AM
  • Christine,

    My apologies...I found that after a few minutes I do have access to the contents of the WindowsIMageBackup folder - it just takes a short time to show up! But there's still my question about subsequent backups of the image and whether I would have access to earlier ones.
    Tuesday, October 13, 2009 3:47 AM
  • Hi SorbAdams,

    The system image backup versions are stored in shadow copies taken on the backup target (in case the backup target is disk). So when you browse under WindowsImageBackup folder, you would only see the files that are corresponding to the latest backup taken. The previous backups would be stored in shadow copies that Windows Backup takes at the end of each backup.

    If you click on "Manage Space" link from Backup & Restore Center, you would see the size used by system image backup. This includes the size of the physical files under WindowsImageBackup and also the space utilized by the previous versions that are in shadow copy. You can choose to manage the space for system image by opting to keep only the latest version of system image backup. This would clean up all versions of the system image backup except the latest one. Also it would ensure that only one version of the system image backup would be stored going forward.

    Coming to the size issue that you are reporting:
    The reason we are showing the warning is because we detected that the size required for system image backup is less than 120% of the free space available on the backup target. This is because we also need to account for the shadow copy storage required on the backup target for previous versions. So in your case, 252 GB is not enough to accomodate 120% of 219.03 GB (comes out to be 262.8 GB). That's why we show the warning. However in the warning text we show the size required incorrectly as 252 GB. We have identified this issue, however given where we are we would not be able to fix this. You can continue taking backup to that target, only that the space available might not be enough to store previous versions (depending on how much of churn the source volumes are going through). Pl. take note of this.

    Hope that clarifies the concerns you had.

    Thanks for your continued co-operation,
    Sriram [MSFT]
    Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:21 AM
  • Hi Rei,

    System image backup in Windows7 supports taking incremental backup, like it did in Vista (note that it never supported differential backups - the ability to backup all changes since the last full backup).

    In Vista & Windows7, we do not support restoring individual files from system image backup (stored as VHD files under <backup target>\WindowsImageBackup\<machine-name-folder>). When you are trying to restore using "Restore Files" button, you are trying to restore files from the file backup that you took (stored as ZIP files under <backup target>\<machine-name-folder>). The only way you could view/restore individual files from system image backup is by mounting the individual VHD files (like you have tried). Hope that clarifies your concern.

    If the UI does not indicate that backup has failed, then backup has not failed. Could you pl. explain the following?

    1. I would like to understand what are the volumes that are getting backed up as part of system image.

    While configuring backup, did you choose "Let Windows choose (recommended)" option for what to include in backup (OR) did you choose "Let me choose"? If you chose the latter, you would actually see which volumes would get backed up as part of system image backup. Next to the "Include a system image of drives" check-box, we mention the list of volumes that would get backed up as part of system image backup. These the minimum set of volumes required to completely protect your system image.

    If you do not know which volumes are getting backed up as part of system image backup, you could try to reconfigure backup, choose "Let me choose" for what to include in backup and see which are the volumes getting backed up as part of system image backup.

    2. I would like to understand how you included X: in backup. Did you choose "Let me choose" for what to backup and then chose X: from the tree view under Computer, node?

    Would be great if you could clarify the above.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]
    Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:37 AM
  • Hi Andrew Luecke (and few others in this thread),

    We acknowledge the speed issue that you have reported. We are currently looking into this issue.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]
    Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:40 AM
  • I used the Create a system image button on the left of the Backup and Restore control panel, which brings up a wizard which:
    1. lets me choose the destination (a 1GB disk on F:).
    2. a list which lets me choose a list of drives to back up, excluding the target disk (F:), which is excluded, and the System disk (C:), which is checked and read-only. I chose X: in addition to C:.
    3. confirms my settings, and brings up a button to start backup.

    So it seems that the only VHD image you can create is of the system drives; everything else is saved as a regular backup even if you use the system image option.
    Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:55 AM
  • Hello Rei,

    If you are taking an ad-hoc system image backup by clicking "Create a system image", all the volumes that you are including in backup would get backed up as VHDs.

    This statement in your original post caused me to think otherwise:
    >> I have a backup scheduled for Sundays at 7 AM for my system image (C:) and another disk, X:.

    So, did you also schedule a backup for every Sunday 7 AM for system image?

    The backup result of ad-hoc system image backup will not show up in the Backp & Restore Center.

    When you say that backup did not C: as part of incremental backup, how did you take the incremental backup? Can you explain?

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 4:36 AM
  • When clicked on Restore my files, it showed an outdated backup of C: -- possibly from a regular backup that I attempted, not a system image.

    Yes, I have a backup scheduled for Sunday at 7 AM.

    Last time it ran, the scheduled backup seemed to have updated the VHD image of C: and the .zip files of X: -- which, apparently, is how I was forced to configure it.

    Upon looking at my settings again, it appears that you can't schedule system images, but you can schedule regular backups that contain system images -- but not images of other disks. Why such an awkward limitation?

    Couldn't we just have one wizard which lets us choose to make disk images and/or specific file backups and/or system images, and then use that same configuration for scheduled backups?
    Thursday, October 15, 2009 6:04 AM
  • Hi Rei,

    "Create system image" is meant for a one-time/infrequent use to take a backup of the system volumes + other volumes you are interested in. The scheduled backup is what is meant for taking automatic/regular backups of your valuable data. Having one wizard for both might have alleviated some of the confusion you have. We hear your feedback. We will try to address this in future release.

    To clarify some of your questions, let me explain what are the types of backups & restores we support with Windows7 backup.

    There are basically two ways that you could take backup from Backup & Restore Center:
    a. Configure a scheduled backup.
    b. Create a system image.

    While configuring a scheduled backup, you could choose Windows recommended settings for what to include in backup or choose what you want to backup yourself.

    If you choose Windows recommended settings it would backup:
    a. The standard folders (Contacts, Desktop, Downloads etc.) and libraries (Documents, Music, Video, Pictures, etc) for all the users on the machine as part of file backup.
    b. System image backup (which would only backup the entire boot volume, system volume).

    If you want to choose what you want to backup yourself:
    a. You could choose standard folders/libraries for specific users, specific folders that you want to backup as part of file backup.
    b. You could choose to do system image backup (which would only backup the entire boot volume, system volume).

    "Restore my files" would allow you to restore only from file backup. So you are seeing only files/folders in C: that you backed up as part of file backup.
    You are right. We are not allowing adding volumes other than the system/boot volumes to regular scheduled system image backup. This is intentional since system image backup typically takes lot of space & also we do not allow restoring individual files from system image backup. So we recommend backing up useful data from these volumes as part of file backup. That way you can restore individual files from backup.

    In case hard-disk went bad, you could first restore the system & boot volumes from system image backup & then restore files that you backed up from other volumes. This way all your valuable data is protected in an optimal way.

    We allow choosing volumes other than system volume while taking a one-time system image backup (using "Create system image" option) in case you would like to save it off to a different backup target. In case hard-disk went bad, you would restore boot & system volumes and optionally choose to restore the other volumes that you had backed up.

    Hope this clarifies some of your concerns.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]
    Thursday, October 15, 2009 5:32 PM
  • I too find backup to be ridiculously slow. 

    I was glad to see that I can now do any sort of backup I want to my NAS, but it looks like it will be taking 24+ hours to even do an incremental backup!  I expected that kind of time frame on the initial backup, but it is taking a similar amount of time here on the increnmental backup. I have it set to do a system image, and then documents and libraries... in all, probably 300GB (lots of photos). So far it says it is at around 40% and it has been 12 hours.

    It is backing up over a Gigabit network to a Synology cs407 NAS... so it should be getting much better write performance than it appears to be getting.

    I suspect that it is actually redoing the full backup each time for some reason.

    As it stands, I don't see how I can continue to use this as a viable backup solution, I can't have it eating up all the IO bandwidth to my NAS during work hours.
    Sunday, October 18, 2009 3:38 PM
  • Eric,

    Can you ensure that you are not running into the issue which few other customers have already reported here when taking incremental backup?
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itprogeneral/thread/50f3ff7a-2ae7-41c1-ac92-41edaed1e2f9

    If this is not the case, I would be glad to help you out. Pl. send mail to sriramb-at-microsoft-dot-com (remove hyphens & replace "at" with @ and "dot" with .).

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]
    Monday, October 19, 2009 6:14 AM
  • I am sooo frustrated with the backup system on Windows 7.  Bought a fast, new laptop, and backed up 225GB to a new 1 terabyte external hard drive - it took 36 hours!!!  Please get this fixed, don't want to have to do this manually.
    Thanks,
    Brecken 
    Friday, October 30, 2009 8:33 PM
  • I can't even start Windows Back up Windows 7 Ultimate (release OEM).  Been staring at:

    Starting Windows Backup
    Please wait while Windows backup starts for 20 minutes.

    Getting this  a lot in Event Viewer:

    The program sdclt.exe version 6.1.7600.16385 stopped interacting with Windows and was closed. To see if more information about the problem is available, check the problem history in the Action Center control panel.
     Process ID: 860
    Saturday, October 31, 2009 2:14 PM
  • Hello,

    I have windows 7 ultimate 64 installed on two PC's. I also have Ultimate 32 installed on a Thinkpad T60. I am trying to do a full backup to a network share.  The share is on an Iomega StoreCentre Pro 150d NAS which is a member of my domain. The shares are setup with the appropriate security and I can access things fine. When I use Windows backup to do a full backup it starts the backup and always end witherror 0x8078006F. Any Ideas. I even tried attaching a usb sata drive to the Thinkpad, however,it had a problem there as well.

    Thank you,
    Sunday, November 01, 2009 6:20 PM
  • I got past the "won't start" problem by using CCleaner to get rid of Ulead Burn Now reg entries.  But when I try and make a backup to the NAS, Windows Backup doesn't see it which I don't understand as it's a mapped network drive which explorer sees fine.
    Monday, November 02, 2009 1:52 AM
  • I too experienced ridiculous times on back up of system and data (approx 700 GB to external SATA 2 drive)

    The good news is that Paragon have released the latest version of their back up software (7 compatible) on CNET free of charge for home use
    http://download.cnet.com/Paragon-Backup-amp-Recovery-Free-Edition-32-bit-/3000-2242_4-10972187.html

    It backed up everything in less than one day  (windows showed 30% after two days!)
    You have complete control over what it does
    You can do multiple back ups
    It has recovery disc image
    You can do incremenal back ups to the system image
    You can access any individual files/folders or do full back up or full partition restore
    It compresses everything so you need less space

    In short it does everything that windows back up doesnt - plus Paragon sell this product to professional companies and it is well respected!

    Monday, November 02, 2009 9:56 AM
  • Hello.

    For those of you complaining about backup being slow in this thread, first of all, thanks for trying out Windows Backup in Windows7!

    Wanted to make sure that you have read my post in this thread a while ago:
    We acknowledge the speed issue that you have reported. We are currently looking into this issue.

    I see a few other issues being reported in this thread. In order to keep the focus, I suggest you pl. raise a separate issue in the forum. We will definitely try to address your concern there.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]
    Monday, November 02, 2009 3:12 PM
  • G'day,

    I don't work for Microsoft, but you sure you using the right Windows 7 Edition? http://windows.microsoft.com/en-AU/windows7/products/compare . Only pro and ultimate can backup to network drives
    Monday, November 02, 2009 4:14 PM
  • Hi Sriram,

    I have approximately 650Gb of data and I had been running Windows Backup for about 50 hours and it had reached 48% complete. 

    I was using Picasa to tag some photos and Backup stopped and told me that it had failed because a file was in use. It then gave me the option to retry (or restart I can't remember exactly what it said). When I chose this option it started from 0% complete and moved up to 12% complete within about 2 minutes and told me that it had successfully completed abut 20 minutes later.

    This is very poor and makes no sense at all. 

    1) Backup should not take anywhere near this amount of time to run. There is a bug and it needs to be fixed.
    2) The % complete figure is clearly inaccurate. An estimated time remaining would be useful as well. 
    3) The user should be given an option to not compress files (if this is actually the cause of the performance problem)
    4) Backup should not be so sensitive to files being accessed whilst it is running.
    5) If the backup is so slow then the user should be able to shut down and restart the PC and the backup should simply continue where it left off.
    6) If the backup is restarted from where is was left-off then it should be clear to the user that this has happened
    7) Microsoft need to fix this quickly. So far I've been happy with Windows 7 but Backup and Restore is a big disappointment and it is letting the rest of the O/S down.

    Finally can you confirm whether or not my files are actually safely backed-up. I do not feel particularly confident that Windows is telling me the truth when it says that my Backup completed successfully seeing as it took 50 hours to do 48%, crashed and then finished the rest of the backup in 20 minutes. The data file backup is 426Gb.

    FYI: I have Windows 7 64-bit, Intel Q6600 2.4 Ghz Quad-core CPU, 4 Gb RAM, Asus Maximus Formula MOBO, 3 internal Seagate HDDs, and am backing up to a external 1.5Tb Seagate HDD.  

     
    Sunday, November 08, 2009 11:18 AM
  • Regarding the speed issue, I agree that current speed is unacceptable, even (or especially) for home users.  It's pretty clear why the Backup is so slow:

    - It's zipping up the files, which a typical consumer laptop can't do at disk speeds.  Disks are cheap -- give me the option of turning off compression please.

    - It's not overlapping the writing of the files to the destination with the reading and zipping of the files.

    You can immediately see this behavior from a screen shot of Performance Monitor taken while my dual-core Thinkpad X61 was doing a file backup:

    http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=16lVpjEJDN0BmawcfMRrgXOJXsk1

    First Backup reads from the source drive (green line), with the CPU simultaneously zipping up the files (blue line), and then it writes the zipped files to the destination drive (red line).   While writing to the destination drive, reads from the source drive and CPU utilization drop dramatically, losing roughly 50% in overall performance.  

    Overlapping reads and writes while doing any sort of copy operation is a well-understood, elementary engineering technique.   It's very disappointing that in 2009, Windows for consumers still isn't bundled with a well-engineered backup program.
    Monday, November 09, 2009 6:59 PM
  • - It's zipping up the files, which a typical consumer laptop can't do at disk speeds.  Disks are cheap -- give me the option of turning off compression please.
    System image is still excruciatingly slow, and that's not doing compression. System image took only a few hours on Windows Vista with the same amount of data. Now it takes a day.
    Monday, November 09, 2009 7:21 PM
  • Rei,

    Couple of questions:

    1. Are you sure that the data getting backed up as part of Windows7 is the same as the data getting backed up in Vista? Which are the volumes that are getting backed up as part of system image backup in Windows7? What is the size of the data getting backed up? You would know if you open "Manage Space" and check the size of the system image backup there.

    2. Are you saying that only the initial system image backup (full) is slow? Or every system image backup is slow?

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]
    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 6:52 AM
  • Hi Gary,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Couple of questions to you:
    1. Are you have both file backup & system image backup included in your scheduled backup configuration?

    Answering your questions:

    1) We have noticed this performance issue with file backup for larger data sets with Windows7. We are aware of this issue and are working to see how it can be addressed.
    2) When file backup & system image backup are included, we allot 50% of the backup progress to file backup and rest 50% to system image backup. If you could answer my question (1), that would help clarify the confusion.
    3) We hear your feedback. We will see how this can be addressed in our future release.
    4) Backup reads files from a shadow copy created at the beginning of backup. So it is not sensitive to files on the volume that are in use. We have seen some anti-virus s/w & few other s/w holding locks to the files and not allowing backup to read even from shadow copy. But that is just exception than the norm. Which files are having this issue?
    5) & (6) Only the full backup (either file or system image) would be slow. We expect subsequent backups to be very quick. However we hear your feedback. We will see how these can be addressed in our future release.

    When first file backup fails, the next backup would only backup files that have not been backed up or have been changed since the full backup. May be that + the answer to (2) would help clarify why backup succeeded quickly the second time.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]
    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 7:25 AM
  • 1. The data is of roughly the same size. On Windows Vista my data was roughly 500gb, on Windows 7, roughly 700gb. Either way my total disk space as of now is 1TB, so the backup time should be no more than twice as long as it was on Vista.

    2. Every system image backup is slow. Every time after the first is faster, but still nonetheless incredibly slow.

    I am also doing a weekly system image on a 80GB laptop hard disk over gigabit ethernet, of which only 40GB is being used. That also takes about 15 hours even after the first backup. Since I can transfer files at at least 4MB/s, the network should only be adding 3 hours worth of overhead at most.
    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 7:47 AM
  • Hi Siriam

    Can you confirm that when one backup fails and the next only backs up files that have not been backed up? I tried backup. After 3 days I stopped it. Worried that there was something wrong I deleted all the files on the backup drive and started again. It has been running now for 2 days. I just want to be sure that if this one fails for any reason I don't have to start right back at the beginning. I don't like running my system without a backup.

    Can you also tell me what the performance of restore is like? Is this extremely slow as well?

    Thanks

    Stuart
    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 8:15 AM
  • Glad that I have seen this post.  Boy, you would think that after all these years that Microsoft would figure out how to include proper backup software in the their Windows OS.  I thought Windows 7 would be different.  It is just unbelievably slow -- and for the most part useless.  I have two disks -- the D drive has 650gbs worth of files, mostly pictures.  I am just trying to back it up -- this should be simple.  Why is it trying to compress images that are already compressed in jpg format?  Good backup software gives you the option not to compress anything -- with the size and price of hard disks, why does anyone need to compress anything?  I have a quadcore machine with 8gb of RAM -- it is fast.  At this stage, Microsoft should give everyone a rebate for Windows 7 to cover the cost of buying Acronis or other backup software -- as their backup software in Windows 7 just sucks.  PTB
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 7:55 PM
  • At this stage, Microsoft should give everyone a rebate for Windows 7 to cover the cost of buying Acronis or other backup software -- as their backup software in Windows 7 just sucks. 
    I find the Backup software unusable too at the moment, but that's just kind of ridiculous..

    Microsoft also offers Synctoy too anyway, which is free, and works fine for large drives..
    Sunday, November 15, 2009 12:23 PM
  • It's appalling. I have tried 3 times now. Most of the 150GB is pictures and videos from family hols etc. Last time I left Backup running 3 days. Each time the Backup abends. Last time it corrupted my Backup Drive. The message on Backup told me to look at the Event log. Gosh! that was helpful! 

    "The backup operation that started at '‎2009‎-‎11‎-‎12T19:09:18.598161500Z' has failed with following error code '2155348020' (Windows Backup failed to create the shadow copy on the storage location.). Please review the event details for a solution, and then rerun the backup "

    I have recovered it but what do I do now. I am sorry but I am a CTO and I cannot believe that Microsoft has let this software out of pre-production without full load test. If this has not been done then shame on Microsoft. This is appalling.

    I am supposed to make a decision soon about migrating from XP to Windows 7 at work. On this experience and the Network Problem I have raised on this Forum I don't think I shall be making that decision in a hurry. What else is lurking deep in the bowels of Windows 7 that does not work. Does this augur another Windows ME experience.

    I am appalled!
    Sunday, November 15, 2009 12:50 PM
  • At this stage, Microsoft should give everyone a rebate for Windows 7 to cover the cost of buying Acronis or other backup software -- as their backup software in Windows 7 just sucks.  PTB
    I share your disappointment as both Vista and 7's backup software suck, both in their own ways, but I would appreciate if you joined us in pressuring Microsoft to fix it rather than demand money.
    Sunday, November 15, 2009 7:27 PM
  • Sririam, can we expect a fix for SP1 or a fix on Windows Update? This is not one of those cases where Microsoft can hide behind the "breaking changes" excuse not to fix things.
    Sunday, November 15, 2009 7:38 PM
  • Hi "Stukalee",

    From what I understand you are running into two issues:
    1. Backup is slow.
    2. Subsequent backups are taking backup of all or most of the files again.

    Like I said before, we are aware of a performance issue with file backup. However from what we know the issue should not manifest if the data you are backing up is 150 GB. So it would be good if you could help us better understand what the issue is.

    Pl. send mail to sriramb-nospam@microsoft.com (pl. remove -nospam phrase to get my mail ID) so that I can investigate this issue offline with you and then update the findings in this forum.

    The first time file backup runs, it would take a full backup. From the next time onwards, backup would be incremental. This holds true even if the first full backup was cancelled in between. Only files that have changed since the last backup (or) files that have not been backed up would be included for backup.

    Would be great if you could answer the following:

    1. Are you backing up both file backup & system image backup?
    2. What is the size of data that is getting backed up as part of file backup?
    3. Do you know the time taken for first full backup?
    4. Did you cancel the first full backup before it completed?
    5. We are aware of few scenarios in which incremental backups would backup all the files again. You can find the information in the following forum thread: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itprogeneral/thread/50f3ff7a-2ae7-41c1-ac92-41edaed1e2f9
    Can you check if your issue is related to one of them?

    Would be great if you could respond.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]

    Monday, November 16, 2009 8:12 AM
  • However from what we know the issue should not manifest if the data you are backing up is 150 GB. So it would be good if you could help us better understand what the issue is.

    As I noted earlier, I've had the same problem on both an 80GB laptop hard disk as well as a 500+ hard disk.

    Hope this information is helpful.
    Monday, November 16, 2009 8:17 AM
  • Rei,

    The issue you are noticing is different from the ones that is reported by others in this thread. In your case system image backup is slow every time it runs. It is expected to be slow only for the first time since it is doing full. From next time onwards, it should be fast since it is doing incrementals. The issue reported by others are related to their file backups being slow.

    Pl. send mail to sriramb-nospam@microsoft.com (pl. remove -nospam phrase to get my mail ID) so that I can investigate this issue offline with you and then update the findings in this forum.

    In order to investigate your issue, would be great if you can provide me the following details:

    1. Which volumes are getting backed up as part of system image backup? You can get this data by choosing "Change settings" from Backup & Restore Center, choose "Let me choose" for what to include in backup. Next to the check-box for choosing system image backup, you would see the list of volumes getting backed up as part of system image backup.
    2. Is System Protection enabled on the volumes that are part of system image backup? Right click on "My Computer", choose Properties, choose "System Protection" to see the protection status on the volumes included in system image backup.
    3. What are the shadow copies available on your machine? Send me the output of "vssadmin list shadows" when you run from an elevated command-prompt.

    Thanks,
    Sriram
    Monday, November 16, 2009 8:20 AM
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    As a follow-up, I successfully backed up my C and D drives (total 850gb)  using an internal 1.5Tb SATA drive, and the incremental backup works fine (at least the first one).  The Win7 backup to the external USB drive never worked -- too slow and the Win7 backup software just stopped.  Even though I did a backup with Win7, I plan to buy Acronis 2010 to make duplicate backups -- and because Windows 7 backup only allows for tone backup set, and per above it does not work on USB drives for me for external security backups.  I have used Acronis and Norton Ghost in the past on Windows Vista, and both are pretty good -- and certainly much much faster than the present Win7 backup -- but of course my copies of Acronis and Ghost do not work on Win7. So it goes.

     

    The above said, Windows 7 is a great operating system.  

    PTB

    Monday, November 16, 2009 7:39 PM
  • In order to help investigate the file backup slowness that many of you in this thread are reporting, I would require to establish contact with you for further information. If you could pl. send me a mail to pursue investigation, it would be great.

    Pl. send mail to sriramb-nospam@microsoft.com (pl. remove -nospam phrase to get the correct ID).

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009 1:22 PM
  • I am going back and forth on this same issue with MS. They have acknowledged the problem and are working on it. My only question would be are we, the ones for whom backup is taking hours or even days to complete, are we the only ones, or does this happen to all Windows 7 users.

    I would agree that this is PATHETIC, considering how great the rest of the OS is, that they could allow this to occur. I mean really bad man. I dont' understand how this company can so consistently let 3rd party developers blow them away in this department. I too almost think they do it just to keep the other guys in business.

    Still waiting, no need for a reply, I already know what your going to say. Reply when it's fixed.

    jf

    Jimmy Fallon Computer Assistance www.mainstreetchatham.com
    • Proposed as answer by Rei Miyasaka Saturday, November 21, 2009 6:04 AM
    Saturday, November 21, 2009 1:27 AM
  • Whoops, wrong button; accidentally marked this post as an answer. Sorry about that, I can't seem to un-mark it.
    I too almost think they do it just to keep the other guys in business.
    Interestingly, that's actually the case with a lot of the accessibility features, e.g. the screen reader. It was probably the case with NTBackup on XP/2k as well. 
    Saturday, November 21, 2009 6:08 AM
  • Hi Sriram

    Thank you very much for your invite. My apologies for not getting back to you earlier. I have been extremely busy.
    I have sent you an email with as much detail as possible to your email.

    Thanks for your offer of support.

    Regards

    Stukalee
    Sunday, November 22, 2009 11:57 AM
  • FYI the second backpu which is supposed to take less time, is 48% complete after 11 hours.

    I have just over 300gigs, a RAID 1 configuration, NOT backing up system file.
    Quad core 2 8200 processor, 8 gigs of Ram and nothing running in background.
    thanks.


    Jimmy Fallon Computer Assistance www.mainstreetchatham.com
    Sunday, November 22, 2009 1:21 PM
  • Mike,

    Thanks for trying out Windows Backup. We have made significant changes in the backup application since Vista to address major customer pain-points. Hope you find the Windows7 backup/restore solution meeting all your needs. 

    We are committed to continue engaging with customers like you, listening to valuable feedback and addressing them in future releases.

    Thanks,
    Sriram [MSFT]





    I have a new win7 install, backing up to a new 2008 r2 server install.  I backed up a Vista client last week to the 2008 R2 server. I took about 6 hours. Now backing up my win7 client PC  is at 17 hours and counting. Status is 86% complete. The new win7 PC has a lot less data than the Vista PC.   I also notice when I remote desktop to the server, the desktop is very sluggish when the client is being backed up to the server.

    Monday, November 23, 2009 10:30 AM
  • I just stumbled across this thread looking for a reason and fix as to Win7's astonishingly slow backup.

    I just installed Win 7 Home Premier on a dual-core AMD machine 2GB RAM, RAID 0 HDD, trying to backup to an external 600 MB IDE drive.

    Before under XP I used Acronis; it did an initial backup of around 300GB in maybe 2 hours max.

    Under W7 it's taking far longer to do less.  I'm seeing all the same problems other have noted in this thread: odd serial behavior (locating/compressing, then copying); very slow handling of individual files; etc.

    I'm going to stop it and find a 3rd party solution.  Like others, I simply cannot understand why MS can't make a proper backup solution after decades of NT/XP/Vista/W7.
    Saturday, November 28, 2009 4:01 PM
  • Hi Sriram
    Did you get my emails? I sent them last weekend.
    Regards
    Stukalee
    Saturday, November 28, 2009 7:26 PM
  • I purchased an HP desktop on BF, and just started the "backup" process today at 12:11p.m., it is now 4:56p.m. and the "backup" processed has been sitting at 43% for at least the last three hours.

    I'm not sure if I should just stop the process and start over, or just stop it and use another program.  I emailed Sriram just now also, so hopefully we'll get some sort of answer.
    Saturday, November 28, 2009 10:00 PM
  • Have read the thread and did not see an answer. I started a Win 7 DVD backup on friday and left at 40%  and on monday it is still on 40%. So, what is the problem? Is it me or MS? This delay is really impressing my boss with Win 7 and my skills. An answer would be nice.
    Monday, December 14, 2009 5:13 PM
  • tfcsd, Here is your answer. Backup for large amounts of data in Windows 7 is pathetically slow, BUT the good news is Windows 7 over all kicks ____. I have been using it since last january and I install it on regular basis, and the newer machines are cheap that have it preinstalled. Take  a LITTLE time to get oriented with all the new features, but stick with it.

    The backup however is broken as you can see by this thread. Use Acronis True Image, or anything else for now.

    jf


    Jimmy Fallon Computer Assistance www.mainstreetchatham.com
    Monday, December 14, 2009 6:08 PM
  • I confirm this problem. I have a 1 TB system partition and a 2 TB data/work partition, and the initial backup is so slow that I ended up finding this thread. It is doing about 2-5% per day, and the status indicator is a generic "Copying files to F:\" most of the time (only occasionally do you see the file that is being copied). Not sure it is a compression issue: the four CPU cores are mostly idle.

    Does Microsoft really expect customers to wait weeks for a backup to complete, with not even a decent progress indicator?

    NTBackup was faster (it was usable!) and it gave the user more control over directories and files for archivals and partial backups. These two aspects need to be reintroduced in Windows. And please give people a simple way to access their old .bkf files too. Right now one needs to find an old NTBackup.exe version that doesn't insist on wanting Removable Storage Manager (the "Disable volume shadow copy" option was removed as of Windows Server 2003 SP1, and therefore fail on Windows 7 - but older versions worked fine for me).
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 1:29 PM
  • MCB, the more we complain about this obvious issue, and the longer this thread gets, the more they will listen. I am going to send this thread to someone right now, who may have the power to actually do something about it. I think it's long enough now.

    Thanks all!

    jf

    Jimmy Fallon Computer Assistance www.mainstreetchatham.com
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 4:49 PM
  • I think they're well aware of how severe and widespread the problem is by now.

    The problem now is that Microsoft has an incredibly hard time releasing potentially breaking updates, especially when it comes to software like Windows.

    My guess is that what's really needed is a separate release schedule for applications built into Windows, and a lot less paperwork for devs to deal with. The Windows Media Player releases used to be really nimble; now they can hardly change anything -- even despite the similarly crippling problems with that in the latest version.
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 6:13 PM
  • Just in case you need more data.  Running an HP desktop with Intel i7 processor and Home Premium.  Two hard drives being backed up to a Drobo via USB.  Tested the Drobo and the internal hard drives and all seem to be operating properly.

    Tried doing a single backup for the first time yesterday including a disk image of one drive with 50gb and a file backup on a second drive of 350gb.

    After 15 hours, I had completed 28% of the processing.  The disk image completed.  But I stopped the processing at 28% because I thought the machine had imploded.

    Guess I'll have to try something else.

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 11:23 PM
  • My observations, conclusions, and methods:
    On Vista, I used to backup to my DVD drive. For basically the same amount of data, it took about 5 minutes for incrimental. On Windows 7, after learning about disabling image, to get the same scenario, it took 4 hours to do the same thing. I attached my utility external USB hard drive, and bottom line the same incremental now takes 15 minutes. I figured since I was going to have an external drive attached, I would buy an eSata 1TB external hard drive. After discovering incompatibility with my motherboard and this drive, I connected it USB and it still takes 15 minutes for the incremental.
    Friday, December 18, 2009 2:19 PM
  • I'm also experiencing the same excruciatingly slow backup effect.  I decided to investigate this issue a little further and I may have some information that will be helpful in pinpointing the root cause.  I tried backing up in two different configurations and with two different backup software solutions.

    1. Use Windows 7 Backup.  Copy data from SATA drive A to a FireWire drive Q.
    2. (Yet to be attemted) Use Windows 7 Backup.  Copy data from SATA drive A to a FireWire drive Q.
    3. Use Paragon Backup & Recovery.  Copy data from SATA drive A to a different partition on the same SATA drive A.
    4. Use Paragon Backup & Recovery.  Copy data from SATA drive A to a FireWire drive Q.

    My findings are as follows.
    1. Unbelievably slow backup.  Event Log fills up with Event ID 51 at a rate of several per second.  Backup seems to stall for long periods of time.
    2. TBA
    3. Fast backup.  No Event ID 51 in Event Log.
    4. Very slow backup again.  Event Log fills up with Event ID 51 at a rate of several per second.  Backup seems to stall for long periods of time.

    So perhaps there is some correlation here.  Note also that neither of the backup processes is CPU bound.  For Paragon I completely disabled compression.

    I hope this helps with your investigation.

    Andrew
    Andrew
    Friday, December 18, 2009 8:49 PM
  • I did some more experimentation and here is the report (submitted under a different account because my main one lost the rights to reply - go figure)...

    I noticed that the Event ID 51 shows up in the log even when I simply copy files to the FireWire hard drive.  This doesn't have any impact on the speed of transfer, but is quite annoying.  I searched online, but can't find any satisfactory explanation as to what this event represents in my particular case.  I wonder if someone from MSFT could look into this.  The event did NOT show up with the same hard drive under Vista.

    More to the point of this thread, though, I tried one more thing.  This time I decided to copy a couple of large files (4 GB each) and guess what?  The copy process stalls in much the same way as the backup.  This leads me to believe that the problem is somewhere deeper in the system - perhaps in the file system driver. 

    Could other folks on this thread who experienced a similar problem try the same experiment and report their result?

    One other interesting possibility is a change in Windows 7 kernel that I heard about in Mark Russinovich's talk at PDC.  I believe Windows 7 kernel is trying to prevent "runaway processes" from forcing other processes memory out to the paging file.  To do this it forces the "runaway process" to canibalize its own memory.  A specific example of such process that Mark mentioned was a file copy.  I wonder if this is exactly what is happening here.  Both the backup processes and my experimental file copy probably attempt to load a large portion of the file into memory.  If this in turn forces some older portion of the file to be paged out, the subsequent thrashing could explain the stall.

    Finally, could the moderator please change the status of this thread to unanswered?  The problem clearly has not been solved, and the posts marked as asnwers are generic and not very useful.

    Andrew
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 2:45 AM
  • This is what i did to improve it's preformance (for the inital backup)

    While the backup is running:
    1) Open task manager and make sure show processes from all users is checked
    2) Select the services tab
    3) Select SDRSVC (it should say Windows Backup in the description)
    4) Right click SDRSVC and select "Go to Process"
    5) Right click on the process you now have highlighted (svchost) and set it's priority to high (currently set to below normal)

    Now the backup will get alot more attention from the CPU and run faster.



    This is the only solution I could come up with...  Don't choose the realtime option as I believe it can make the process take prioirty over drivers. 
    • Proposed as answer by Lukerobi Sunday, December 20, 2009 12:48 AM
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 10:21 PM
  • I've been on a similar quest but NOT w.r.t. Win7.  I'm an XP Pro user with an AMD quad core processor who just bought/installed a Blu Ray drive to replace the CD/DVD drive.  From a simple transfer rate spec viewpoint, the BD drive should be the bottleneck and it ought to run 2X faster than my old DVD drive did.  I saw little/no speedup in elapsed BU time.

    I ran similar BU jobs using PC Backup, Paragon Backup, and about four other utilities that provided free download + evaluation periods.  While there was 'maybe' a 2:1 difference in overall performance between the various software utilites, NOTHING really drove my BD-RE 2X media to its rails.

    That put me on the holy grail quest to understand why???  I tried various BU configurations (with/without compression, file/disk, 'chunk' size) and saw little difference in BU task ET.  One observation that was interesting was PC Backup actually ran FASTER (about 30%) with software compression engaged vs. defeated!

    I also engaged the Win Task Manager and juggled task priorities with the various BU utilities I was testing.  Moving from level 8 (normal) to 13 (high) to 24 (real time) had little/no effect on the observed ET of a BU job.  Plus, Task Manager showed I was NOWHERE near being CPU bound by a given BU job.  No single processor in the AMD quad core was ever pushed much beyond 25% utilization...

    So, I went looking for a system utility that would identify and quantify system bottlenecks.  From another forum I discovered and installed MicroSoft's free Process Explorer utility.  Initial test results are unexpectedly interesting!!!

    With Process Explorer running, you can see in pseudo-realtime, what task is getting what percentage of CPU and other system resources.  My various BU utility alternatives were eating 10-20% of system CPU resources (sporadically more in isolated peaks), with another system task enjoying the lion's share of CPU time.  What's that task you ask?  SYSTEM IDLE!!!!

    Yep, System Idle ran pretty constant at 80%  I'm thinking we're not understanding the true challenge involved with doing backups, REGARDLESS of whose software utility or what CPU platform we're running...  To do a system backup, you have to read just about EACH and EVERY file on your HDD, assemble the data, 'manipulate' it, and then write that stream to a destination (another HDD, a removable media, or off to a comm line destination).

    Our systems are made up of 10's of thousands of individual files.  Some are contiguous, some are fragmented.  Some are large while others are small.  But, one thing in common, almost all of us warehouse those files on HDD's that use rotating magnetic media technology.

    While these drives have a spectrum of read/write transfer rates, they share one thing in common.  That's latency.  We BLOW something like 7 mSec from the time the OS asks for file data to be fetched and when it's actually ready to be clocked over the bus to the processor.  Multiply that small latency by the MILLIONS of disk I/O transactions it takes to do a BU job, and shore 'nuf, the CPU just HAS to have time on its hands sitting/waiting.  And, that cumulative time delay doesn't go away with even the smartest cache techniques...

    It'll be REAL interesting to see what happens when my Intel SSD arrives in the next few days...  Until then, the best/fastest BU utilities I've run across are PC Backup and Norton Ghost.  I presume the Acronis system would rival Ghost, but I didn't test it as my trial eval period had expired.  Copying/backing up based on physical sectors vs. individual files is a LOT faster. 
    Monday, December 21, 2009 9:21 PM
  • I'm having the same problem.
    When the procedure  ends the backup set is allmost obsolete.
    The biggest problem is the waste of energy.
    We need 24 Hours to take a weekly backup !!!

    Windows 7 Professional 6.1 64bit
    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 9:26 PM
  • Hi all,

    Thanks for all the comments and responses regarding the performance on Windows Backup. The issue has been identified to occur on systems with large data set size.  Please refer to the following post for further details and workaround.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/1ba794f6-0bac-443b-9e22-5b8f175c69ba

    Regards,
    Christine
    Christine Fok, Program Manager, Storage Solution Division This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    • Marked as answer by Christine Fok Thursday, December 24, 2009 6:33 AM
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 6:33 AM
  • Hi all,

    Thanks for all the comments and responses regarding the performance on Windows Backup. The issue has been identified to occur on systems with large data set size.  Please refer to the following post for further details and workaround.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/1ba794f6-0bac-443b-9e22-5b8f175c69ba

    Regards,
    Christine
    Christine Fok, Program Manager, Storage Solution Division This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    Hi Christine,

    Thanks, but I've mentioned this workaround in an earlier post on this thread, and it doesn't really solve the problem adequately.

    System images can only be made for the OS disk; the rest are backed up normally. I have a second 500gb disk which takes forever to back up.

    It's also utterly slow on my 80gb laptop hard disk -- so it doesn't seem to necessarily be that the data needs to be more than 400gb before it begins to go slow.

    Also, system image is indeed faster, but it's still not fast enough to be usable at all. Unless it was only slow because I was also backing up a second disk -- I'll have to check on that. Either way, it's not good enough.

    Will there be a proper fix any time soon?
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 6:46 AM
  • G'day,

    I'm just wondering whether images act as incremental backups? Because on my system, the data set is 700MB, but barely any data changes (less then 50MB probably per day). Otherwise, after 2 days, I'll have 1400GB of backup.. Just curious.. Thanks..
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 7:55 AM
  • Actually.. I just checked, and according to http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/663-backup-complete-computer-create-image-backup.html , this wont work for me..  My backup drive is the same size as my primary, and my primary is too full (so there would only be space for 1 backup). Furthermore, constantly backing up 700gb when on most days not much data is changed probably wouldn't be good for my drive.

    Actually, another approach would be for Microsoft to add Drive RAID mirroring to Windows 7 home. I don't like the shonky softraid thing, and mirroring would let me backup in realtime (at the cost of not having revisions of files, and bigger power consumption).

    Windows server supports drive mirroring, and Apple includes it on every computer (OSX client) and has for years, so it would be just a matter of copying it to Home.. Either way, I think this should be added to windows client too.. but I think you'll find the work around isn't a good solution for most people..
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:09 AM
  • OK, per my previous, I solved the Windows 7 Professional backup speed problem with my Intel Quad 6600 machine with 800gbs of data on two drives.  I just got Acronis True Home 2010 for $30 on sale and that was that.  The Acronis backup speed compared to Windows Backup is like comparing night and day -- be it USB or eSata.   Life is too short for bad wine and Microsoft backup programs.  That said, Windows 7 is great -- not sure why Microsoft add stuff that is just not ready for prime time.  It would have been better to give everyone discount coupons for Acronis.  Cheers, PTB
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 9:24 PM
  • Yeah dude, we are all aware that Acronis works and Windows 7 backup does not. That's the point of this thread, to MAKE them fix it. And you are right, Microsoft has issues with putting stuff out that's not ready. I mean no one can seriously tell anyone in this thread that they did not know about the backup issue, seeing as we all knew about it a year ago, in january. If they could just learn to be more consistent with all of the new approaches with software. They have come a LOOOONNNGGGGG way baby with Win 7, lets not stop now!

    I think they started listening to US and not the developers at some point. The USERS dummy! Thanks for listening MS, I'm serious about that.

    jf

    Jimmy Fallon Computer Assistance www.mainstreetchatham.com
    Saturday, December 26, 2009 2:50 AM
  • OK, per my previous, I solved the Windows 7 Professional backup speed problem with my Intel Quad 6600 machine with 800gbs of data on two drives.  I just got Acronis True Home 2010 for $30 on sale and that was that.  The Acronis backup speed compared to Windows Backup is like comparing night and day -- be it USB or eSata.   Life is too short for bad wine and Microsoft backup programs.  That said, Windows 7 is great -- not sure why Microsoft add stuff that is just not ready for prime time.  It would have been better to give everyone discount coupons for Acronis.  Cheers, PTB
    I wouldn't say acronis is solving the problem. That's like saying that jailbreaking solves the fact that the iPhones are heavily locked down bricks ;) The speed of acronis may be fine, but I like the idea of "previous versions/shadow copy". And for my needs, Synctoy makes more sense (and its free). Kind of makes me want to apply for Microsoft as my next job so I could fix stuff like this myself :P I wonder if Microsoft Aus does any development...
    Monday, December 28, 2009 4:18 AM
  • I appear to have started what has become quite a large thread.

    I think with due consideration the answer is as follows:

    1) Microsoft should reinstate Windows XP NTBackup on Windows 7, because that always worked with very good performance.
    2) Otherwise, stick with Windows XP and just use Windows 7 on toy computers where there is nothing is kept that is worth backing up.

    Regards,

    John

    Monday, December 28, 2009 8:52 AM
  • 1) Microsoft should reinstate Windows XP NTBackup on Windows 7, because that always worked with very good performance.
    The technology behind the 7 backup is the same as what's behind the Vista backup, except the UI in Vista was utterly broken in that you could choose only "kinds" of files, never folders. The backup in Vista was also very fast, creating a 500gb image in about an hour on my old machine.

    I would much prefer VHD backups over the old NTBackup, especially knowing that the technology itself is perfectly capable of being fast.

    In other words, I would like for Microsoft to fix this problem. I don't know how one could botch an application two major versions in a row for two totally unrelated reasons.
    • Proposed as answer by x_specter_x Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:29 PM
    Monday, December 28, 2009 10:46 AM
  • Found a solution that worked in my case. 

    When backing up 160GB of data onto a ESATA 250GB drive, it took 8 hours and was only at about 30% and bogged down my computer.  The backup drive had files on it but had enough space for the backup.  I stopped backup and deleted more files on the destination drive and tried backup again.   Still same problem.

    Now I formatted the destination drive.  Restarted the windows image backup and it is at 50% and has only been running for about 30 minutes.  It is flying now!  That was the only change I made was formatting the destination drive.  I hope this helps someone.  Now the only files on the destination drive are the backup files.  Are others trying to backup to a drive that has other files? 

    UPDATE:  Complete backup took only 1 hour!  WAHOOOOO!
    • Proposed as answer by x_specter_x Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:38 PM
    Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:33 PM
  • Now I formatted the destination drive. 
    Problem with that for me is that that each time you take a backup, you're left with a gap in redundancy. Since I do backups once a week, for a few hours each week, I won't have multiple copies of my data. Not sure statistically how much of a problem that is, but I do feel like I'm walking on a tightrope while I'm making fresh backups.
    Thursday, December 31, 2009 8:41 AM
  • Ma'am, I am also experiencing lengthy backup times, and not with a large data set, maybe 10 gigabytes uncompressed, of just the usual stuff - Word docs, some music files.  I read the referenced article, and tried it the second time, dumping just a few folders onto DVDs; but it is doing the same thing - it seems to go slower as a DVD fills, and never seems to get to the end of the DVD.  I just upgraded to 7 a week ago, and this is the only bad thing I have identified so far - but it's rather major, don't you think?  E. Dexter.
    Saturday, January 02, 2010 8:32 PM
  • I've tried this but there are several svchost process in the list. Which one do I choose?
    Sunday, January 03, 2010 8:05 PM
  • Exactly my experience. I have a DELL laptop. Windows backup spends about 3 hours  on the last 22 KB on a DVD. I can't wait here all night. I finally stopped the backup.
    Sunday, January 03, 2010 8:12 PM
  • Christine,
    If I use the commands listed in the post to which you referred, does this copy every file every time, or does it do an incremental backup, only copying the new/changed files to the system image?

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all the comments and responses regarding the performance on Windows Backup. The issue has been identified to occur on systems with large data set size.  Please refer to the following post for further details and workaround.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/1ba794f6-0bac-443b-9e22-5b8f175c69ba

    Regards,
    Christine
    Christine Fok, Program Manager, Storage Solution Division This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

    • Edited by HeyerLearning Monday, January 04, 2010 7:30 PM its wasn't clear who i was replying to
    Monday, January 04, 2010 7:28 PM
  • Another question about using the information at
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/1ba794f6-0bac-443b-9e22-5b8f175c69ba

    I stopped the very slow backup I had running in order to try this approach.  The canceled backup seems to have used up most of the space on the drive.  Shouldn't it have removed any partial data when the backup was canceled?

    More importantly, how can I remove the partial backup without losing the earlier backup I had on this same 1 TB drive?

    Steve

    Note: This was (I believe) an incremental backup, but it was still very large since I moved most of my photos on D: to a different directory which made more sense when using Windows 7's "Libraries" approach.  From what I have gathered in this thread there may be as many as 3 1/2 copies of my 196 GB of photos on the backup drive.
    Tuesday, January 05, 2010 6:03 PM
  • This is what i did to improve it's preformance (for the inital backup)

    While the backup is running:
    1) Open task manager and make sure show processes from all users is checked
    2) Select the services tab
    3) Select SDRSVC (it should say Windows Backup in the description)
    4) Right click SDRSVC and select "Go to Process"
    5) Right click on the process you now have highlighted (svchost) and set it's priority to high (currently set to below normal)

    Now the backup will get alot more attention from the CPU and run faster.



    This is the only solution I could come up with...  Don't choose the realtime option as I believe it can make the process take prioirty over drivers. 
    Nice!  Not a complete solution, of course, but maybe the compression will happen faster now.  I found it odd that an apparently processor-bound process would only show a very low percentages of CPU usage.

    Even better, I didn't know about the right click to go from a service to its process.  It's always good to learn something new.

    Steve
    Tuesday, January 05, 2010 6:12 PM
  • That post (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/1ba794f6-0bac-443b-9e22-5b8f175c69ba ) appears to contain an error.  The text from WBADMIN to the end of the command line needs to be in quotes.

    Also, I get a warning that "The list of volumes included for backup does not include all the volumes that contain operating system components.  This backup cannot be used to perform a system recovery."  I included C: and D:, which are my only hard drives (aside from the external drive I'm backing up to).  What am I missing?

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Tuesday, January 05, 2010 6:52 PM
  • Just one bit of info to share, and I'll stop talking to myself :).

    I found that by using the techniques mentioned above I could do an incremental backup in about 2 hours with Windows 7's software.
    I downloaded True Image Home, and a full backup took 3:23 (hours:minutes).  The big news is that an incremental backup after that
    takes only 5 minutes !  Just as important, I can easily see what's in the backup after it is complete.

    Just for reference:
    Windows 7 Professional, released version, 64 bits.  E8400 processor (2 cores, 3 GHz), 4 GB RAM.
    Boot drive: 32 GB used of 139 GB.  10,000 rpm Western Digital
    Data drive: Raid 0 of two 500 GB 7,200 rpm Hitachi drives.  Raid controller by nVidia is on the motherboard.  298 GB used of 931 GB total.
    Backup drive: 1 TB Western Digital, connected by USB.  Drive has eSATA, but the computer doesn't :).

    While this isn't the most basic system, it's not exotic either.  You can get this just by checking boxes at many of the online computer dealers.

    Guess I'll be visiting Acronis to convert my free trial to paid now...

    Steve
    Wednesday, January 06, 2010 8:13 PM
  • I'm having the same problem.

    Windows 7 Home Premium x64
    AMD Phenom 9550 Quad Core
    8GB RAM
    SATA RAID 1 ARRAY (2x 750GB)
    1.5TB External Firewire drive (don't have my eSATA cable yet)

    24 hours into my backup, it was only at 32%.
    CPU usage is near 0 on all 4 cores.

    My other gripe with 7 versus Vista is that in Vista Home Premium x64 I was able to save the backup to a network drive.  Not anymore.  What gives?  I'd like to have my other machine with much much less space consumed on the HD, 50GB versus 450GB get backedup to the one with the big HDs, and then do a single backup to 1 external drive.

    I'm now trying only the user folders and a few other folders; no system image.  It's been running a few minutes and is at 25%.  Several minutes later, still at 25%.  There seems to be an error in the progress bar.
    Friday, January 08, 2010 4:42 AM
  • Christine,
    If I use the commands listed in the post to which you referred, does this copy every file every time, or does it do an incremental backup, only copying the new/changed files to the system image?

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all the comments and responses regarding the performance on Windows Backup. The issue has been identified to occur on systems with large data set size.  Please refer to the following post for further details and workaround.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/1ba794f6-0bac-443b-9e22-5b8f175c69ba

    Regards,
    Christine
    Christine Fok, Program Manager, Storage Solution Division This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights



    Christine:

    The emphasis here should be on workaround.  A system image backup is no substitute for file backup, unless it is both incremental and one can restore individual files. 

    It is my understanding that one cannot restore individual files from a system image backup.  Is that correct?  Please clarify.  

    Friday, January 08, 2010 4:31 PM
  • Christine,

    this is a follow-up to yesterday's post. 

    There are two performance issues.  The first is the operation of the system while backup is in progress.  The second is the backup itself.  The first has not been an issue for me.  Your "workaround" does not address the second.  But the second issue is the issue that people have been talking about on this thread. 

    I ran the test last night; following your advice I tried to create system image backup.  This is from a partition that is 200 GB in total, wiht 116 GB in use.  In 11 hours, the progress meter showed the backup as 62% done.  I stopped the process, as I did previously when I had attempted file backup.

    By the way, this confirms that backup performance -- at least on my system -- is not related to the size of the data set I am trying to back up; after all, the description of the workaround that you suggested talks about difficulties with attempting to back up 400 GB or more. 

    I'm using Windows 7 Professional 64-bit with 4GB of memory and the Intel T7500 processor at 2.20GHz. 

    Bottom line:  In practical terms the backup feature of Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) is unusable.  This applies to both file backup and system image backup.

    Saturday, January 09, 2010 1:51 PM
  • I think this thread is actually getting ridiculous. There are the Windows 7 users who have tried every which way they can to make Windows 7 Backup work. There are the poor representatives from Microsoft who are trying to suggest things but they cannot answer the basic problem. Windows 7 Backup IS A DISASTER. Now, it is time to stop trying to find workarounds. When is the Product Manager from Microsoft who is accountable for the Windows 7 Backup Program going to address this? Who at Microsoft is accountable for this? It is not acceptable that Windows users have had a Windows backup solution that worked until Windows 7 and nobody from Microsoft is fessing up to accountability for this.

    My name is Stuart Curley. I am the Chief Technical Architect at Royal Mail and I find this unacceptable. Please someone who is accountable for this respond.
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 4:56 PM
  • Stuartdad, I'm pretty sure it has to do with the politics of development. I'm SURE they are aware, and I'm sure they are working on it. And I'm sure it will be fixed in the upcoming SP 1. We will just have to wait.

    Now IF, it doesn NOT get addressed in the upcoming service pack. I think THEN will be the time to get everyone in this thread to file a formal complaint, and I will be glad to spearhead that. I think we should wait till the service pack though.

    I have started using Synctoy as my backup. I much prefer a direct file copy without compression formats etc. Synctoy is my new best friend. And it is SO easy to understand compared to even Acronis, which can be very confusing. I will never forget the ONE CLICK backup option in Acronis backing up ONLY the system image and NOT the files. It was so close to being a total disaster.
    Google Synctoy, it's awesome..


    jf

    Jimmy Fallon Computer Assistance www.mainstreetchatham.com
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 5:32 PM
  • Hi Jimmy

    I do agree with you that there will probably be a fix but I do not think that it is acceptable that the Microsoft Corporation is not answering formally to this thread. There is clearly something fundamentally wrong with Windows 7 Backup and I would expect an escalation path to exist with a formal response giving some idea of their action plan to fix it. The lack of response certainly does not fill me with confidence about Microsoft's interest in their very patient customers.

    Patiently waiting for a fix.

    Regards
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 5:36 PM
  • I just got my eSATA cable, and things appear to be going much, much faster.  I think the firewire external HD bug from Vista RTM still exists in some form.  I'm about 45 minutes into a system image that's near 380GB and it's about 1/2 way done.  Currently transferring ~100MB/s.
    Tuesday, January 12, 2010 4:38 AM
  • I tried doing just 5 gb of data onto DVDs and couldn't get past the first one...filled two thirds of it in a few hours - still ridiculously slow
    ,  but if there's a light at the end of the tunnel I can turn it on and go away for a couple of days, I guess - but then it slowed down even more, it acted like it was feverishly trying to find stuff to fit the progressivley smaller space on the disk, not realizing it could  just get close and then move on to the next disk.  This on a 6 month old 64-bit dual-core 2.5 ghz HP w. 6 gb ram.  It's not slow at anything else.

    I guess I'll just wait til after Tax Day, and buy an external drive and some commercial backup software...not from MS, if it's gonna be like that.  Pity, otherwise I am OK with 7, seems to work almost as well as Vista.  (Slower to start; and I upgraded so I could use the 'XP' emulation feature, that only comes on the Pro and above version, alas, robbed again).  -edexter


    Saturday, January 16, 2010 5:17 AM
  • 4) Backup reads files from a shadow copy created at the beginning of backup. So it is not sensitive to files on the volume that are in use. We have seen some anti-virus s/w & few other s/w holding locks to the files and not allowing backup to read even from shadow copy. But that is just exception than the norm. Which files are having this issue?
    So said Sriram a couple of months back. Sounds pathetic to me. If Win7 allows a program to take a lock on a file which prevents other processes from reading it, and if Backup creates the shadow copy of files at the beginning of the backup, then why on earth doesnt the backup process take a lock on the file to ensure that no other process can acquire an exclusive, read-prevention lock? Did some developer just forget to ensure that Backup does this? Or does Win7 simply not have that capability? Either way, its pathetic, and saying "Its an exception" hardly gives me confidence that this is software that I can rely on.

    I ask because for the past 3 days I've been trying (for the first time) to back up (a trivial) 12GB of data to DVDs (no system image). It spends about 4 hours on this (and 3 DVDs), and then tells me that the backup failed, and More Information tells me "Access is denied. Error code: 0x80070005".

    So, in response to Sriram's question "Which files are having this issue?" my answer is "How on earth do I know?"

    I tried again - and 4 hours later - same result. As to whether the backup would be fast on subsequent runs is entirely academic if I'm unable to get the first backup completed successfully.

    Apart from the poor performance of Backup, there's also the hopeless lack of documentation. The fact that MS staff have had to write numerous explanations in here clearly demonstrates that. And, unlike software development, surely putting out some improved documentation is something they could do fairly quickly? What I'd like to know is: when backing up to a DVD, does it verify what has been written? Yes? No? Maybe?

    I've got 2GHz dual core with 4GB memory, 64-bit Win7 Home Premium.
    Sunday, January 17, 2010 11:34 PM
  • I'm backing up 270GB of data from SATA drive to external USB 2.0 drive.
    Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, 4GB RAM, Intel Core i7 4×1.6GHZ
    The backup takes more than 24 hours. Because of such horrible performance I'm not convinced that it is incremental. Incremental backup must fit to few GBs and be done in 1 or two hours!
    I'm really thinking about using WinRAR as I used to do back in XP.

    Đ.
    Monday, January 18, 2010 10:00 PM
  • There are a lot of posts here and I haven't read them all, so if I'm repeating something that's already been mentioned I apologize.

    I had the same frustrations as a lot of you. To speed up the backup, what I do now is only do a system image. There is no need to back up individual folders in addition to a system image because you can restore individual files and folders by mounting the system image as a VHD and browse the image as if it was a separate hard drive.

    In order to mount the image as a VHD, go to Computer Management (right click on Computer and select manage). Right click on Computer Management under Storage in the left window and select Attach VHD. Browse to where you store your back ups (I back mine up to a second internal drive). Once the VHD loads you can browse for whatever you want to restore. After you're done, detach the VHD by right clicking on the VHD middle of the window (click on the drive letter) and selecting Detach VHD.

    I haven't tried this with backups over a network. I'm assuming it's the same, but I can't say for sure. Also, I read somewhere that you need to detach the VHD when you're done so there won't be problems with subsequent back ups.

    I hope this helps.
    Sunday, January 24, 2010 8:37 PM
  • Windows Backup on Windows 7 RTM does not work as advertised by Sriram in this thread.  There is no way it is incremental.  I'm on my third week of setting up weekly backups, and as we speak, my backup job that starts at 2:00am is still at 31% (it is now 8:00am).  I do create a system image of C:, but it is only 50 GB right now.  My user and public data is on a second hard drive and I am using about 300 GB there, but much of that is video and audio files that do not change.  At most I would expect about 10 MB to change week-to-week at this point on this computer, but clearly the long backup time indicates that it is backing up more than just 10 MB.  I just checked one of the videos I created months ago and it is still flagged as ready for archiving, even though it should have been backed up at least once already.

    I don't believe that Windows Backup on Windows 7 works properly.  Certainly not as Microsoft claims it does.
    Monday, January 25, 2010 1:05 PM
  • In the world of digital music, digital videos, games, virtual machine images, ISOs, etc., every user has a real and present need to backup tens, if not hundreds, of GBs to DVD. I’ve wasted many precious hours this weekend trying to configure the Windows 7 Ultimate backup utility to archive a mere 9.4GB onto multiple, single-layer DVDs in a timely manner (which is a perfectly reasonable expectation of your latest, $300, 64-bit operating system).

    The performance of Windows 7 Backup is *completely* *unacceptable*. It is *unfathomable* that you released this backup utility, as is, into the market; it is *unconscionable* that you continue pushing the ill-conceived “workaround” of the user performing a full system backup.

    Microsoft, please FIX THIS NOW.

    Daniel L. Benway
    BS/CS, MCSE (NT4 & 2000), CCNA (2.0), Network+, CLP (AD R4)

    Saturday, February 06, 2010 8:22 PM
  • Well, here's another mug!  I thought I'd back up my system, seeing as I've got this new laptop.  A Thinkpad R61 Duo Centrino T7100 @ 1.8 GHz 4Mb RAM.  I had considered buying a Seagate 1TB portable drive (which I am now definitely going to do) but thought I'd just back up my pc onto some CDs first, as an experiment.  What a joke!  On my first attempt I'd only backed up onto one CD but, after what seemed like hours, I thought the application had hung, so I abandoned the backup with only 50% completed.  The following day, I tried again, except this proved to be impossible, as it kept asking for the CD from yesterday which I'd wiped!

     Eventually, I decided to go for a <<Create a new, full backup>> which I started at 13:37, and now at 23:00, I'm stuck at 98% complete, where it has been for hours, literally hours.  How can anyone seriously expect Joe Public to have any respect for a product this bad?

    Wake up Microsoft, please!  I wonder if, in 20 years time, people will be saying 'Micro who?'


    Saturday, February 06, 2010 11:06 PM
  • Try GFI Backup. Works perfectly and its free!
    Sunday, February 07, 2010 2:14 AM
  • Neil, Thank You for the hint about GFI.

    I will look at it, because In addition to my most important (incremental) backups, that i perform weekly with Windows Backup, I also need to perform a dayli incremental (or differential) backup of those Folders, that I an using for my most active projects.
    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    Sunday, February 07, 2010 2:15 PM
  • Acronis True Image Home 2010 seems to be pretty similar to what Windows Backup and Restore is going for, with quite a bit of added functionality.  I have been running it on a trial for a couple weeks now.  It's a bit complicated, but seems to be a pretty nice suite.  Like Windows Backup and Restore, it can capture images of volumes and you can restore the whole image or mount the images and restore individual files or folders out of the backup.  It supports incremental images.  It can also do regular file backups.

    Unlike Windows Backup and Restore, it can do "nonstop" backups that copy changed files every five minutes and online file backups.  It supports restoring images at boot time via a boot disc.  I also think you can set up a partition that it can boot to so you don't have to use the disc but this feature was confusing and I didn't mess with it.  It also supports something they call try & decide which allows you to turn it on, make any changes you want to a system and then roll back those changes if you don't like the result.  It's kind of like how virtual machine snapshots work.  It can be used to clone disks.  It also has a pretty neat feature that converts Windows backup format to Acronis format and vice versa.  This allows you to transition to or from Windows Backup and Restore.

    I do like the simplicity of Windows Backup and Restore, but its performance and broken incremental backup functionality really make it a very poor backup solution.  I could deal with the poor performance, but I simply can't deal with 250 GB "incremental" backups.
    Sunday, February 07, 2010 3:01 PM
  • A detail that I observed yesterday: copying a large Backup with "Windows Explorer Copy" is not faster than creating this large Backup with "Windows Backup".

    ---- Details:
    Yesterday, I copied with "Windows Explorer" a folder containing a large (120+ GB) "File/Folder Backupset" created by "Windows Backup". It  surprised me to see, that Windows Explorer was as slow as Windows Backup: around 4 hours (for a copy from an internal disk to an external USB 2.0 disk; this is approximately 3 time slower than an Acronis True Image Backup).

    I am not an expert and therefore wonder what are the main contributors to this poor performance:
     
       a) is copying a large amount of zip files (= the many zip files created by Windows Backup) slow, because the copy process perhaps first decompress the source zip files and then compress again the decompressed content to create the zip  files on the target?

    I noticed, that after a while all target zip Files were already existing in the target folder (the zip files had a strange shortcut icon sporting a kind of lock) .....but the copy process was very far away from being finished (I could see how a very large amount of IOs were going on against these zip files). This seems to be quite strange to me.

      b) or was the process slow, because the target folder was the highest-level folder having the same name as my PC (and sporting the "special" shortcut icon with a green backup arrow)? Is Windows 7 doing something special/additional (VSS operations?) when a process like "Windows Explorer Copy" is writing into that folder?

    c) or is just because "Windows Explorer Copy" too is slow (to find out, I could copy with Windows Explorer the same compressed .jpeg files in unzipped format to a "regular" folder )?

    As a non-expert, I do not need an answer. I just wished to share my observation, in case that it might be useful.

    -------------------------  

    I am glad that Christine and her team are looking at solving soon the performance problems of the File/Folder Backup of a large amount of data. Even if in my particular case, the speed of Windows Explorer is still nearly acceptable, the amount of my photo data will increase rapidly and I will soon be in troubles, if Windows Backup does not get much faster.

    I too belong to those who would like to have an option to create a Backup without compression and without Zip-Files. Because like all those users who need to backup a lot of photo-data, a compression by Windows Backup only results in additional worthless processing.

    But also, because I do not like at all how Windows-Backup organizes (or rather desorganizes) my 30'000 photo files into 660 Zip Files. It is not easy at all to verify whether an incremental  Windows Backup really "got" all my new and changed photo files; and it is not easy at all to find a specific photo file within these 660 zip-files. I would much more prefer to use an option, that allows me to "see" easely (even outside of the Windows Backout environment) my backed-up photo files in a folder hierarchy having the exact same structure and folder/file names as the original photob file. On my old Win XP PC, Nero BackItUp was doing exactly that, and I loved it! Could Windows Backup do something similar (e.g. within a .vhd file?)?

    If doing something like that, depending on the solution, some (often relatively few) Files could get within the backup a fully qualified name that exceeeds the Windows name-length  limit. But this can be solved (e.g. "Windows Backup" when needing to abbreviate a name, could store somewhere (in its "Catalog" file?) the translation from abrreviated filename to original longer filename).
    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    • Edited by Eckerlin Sunday, February 07, 2010 3:37 PM Clarification
    Sunday, February 07, 2010 3:25 PM
  • I'm using Acronis True Image Home 2010 right now, but I do miss Windows Backup.

    The additional 2 to 10 gb it adds every day to my backup disk means that I'll eventually run out of space and come to a point where I need to delete my primary backup and start anew -- during which time I'll be completely vulnerable.

    Acronis also makes huge backups whenever you defrag your hard disk -- which, by default, is once a week.

    From what I remember, Vista and Win 7 Backup alleviate this problem by taking advantage of shadow services and VHD's transactional commit, which means that there's virtually never a time when you're without a backup, whilst not taking much space.

    In theory I believe that Windows System Image is the best home backup solution out there. Unfortunately, the UI in Windows Vista made it nearly unusable, and whatever changes they made to it in Windows 7 were a total mistake.
    Sunday, February 07, 2010 6:57 PM
  • I am not an expert and therefore wonder what are the main contributors to this poor performance:
     
       a) is copying a large amount of zip files (= the many zip files created by Windows Backup) slow, because the copy process perhaps first decompress the source zip files and then compress again the decompressed content to create the zip  files on the target?

    I noticed, that after a while all target zip Files were already existing in the target folder (the zip files had a strange shortcut icon sporting a kind of lock) .....but the copy process was very far away from being finished (I could see how a very large amount of IOs were going on against these zip files). This seems to be quite strange to me.

      b) or was the process slow, because the target folder was the highest-level folder having the same name as my PC (and sporting the "special" shortcut icon with a green backup arrow)? Is Windows 7 doing something special/additional (VSS operations?) when a process like "Windows Explorer Copy" is writing into that folder?

    c) or is just because "Windows Explorer Copy" too is slow (to find out, I could copy with Windows Explorer the same compressed .jpeg files in unzipped format to a "regular" folder )?

    As a non-expert, I do not need an answer. I just wished to share my observation, in case that it might be useful.


    I made two additional tests:
     a) I copied (again with Windows Explorer) the zip-files created by Windows Backup to a "regular" folder (as opposed to that folder that contains the Backupsets created by the file/folder backups of Windows Backup).  Even though Windows Explorer surely does not belong to the fastet "copy" tools, I did not observe any abnormal performance behavior. The copy completed after around 1.5 hours - much, much faster than copying the .zip file into that folder where Windows Backup stores its backupsets.

    b) I copied my unzipped .jpeg photo files (these were the files that had been originally backed up into the zip-files, copied in my test a) above; they are already compressed since they are in .jpeg format) with Windows Explorer to a "regular folder". The Copy process was somehow slower than in case a) above . But this is what one could probably expect (because I assume that copying a lot of smaller 2MB Photo files is slower than copying fewer larhger ZIP Files of 200MB).

    ----
    I  therefore have the impression, that copying/storing Folders/Files into that "special" folder, where Windows Backup stores its Backupsets is much, much slower than copying Folders/Files into a regular folder. Perhaps because of VSS Shadow copy operations?  

    I am wondering what all this complex and untransparent shadowing process on the target volume is really buying for customers who just want to backup their data to an internal or local external disk. Perhaps a much faster Backup option (only for Full and Differential Backups?)  without any VSS operation on the target volume (and without the current restrictions related to multiple targets/copies) would really make sense for a lot of (not all) users.
    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    Monday, February 08, 2010 11:07 AM
  • I am currently running my large "Full" Backup job.

    In the Resource Monitor, I can see that at this time that my PC (i.e.= the Backup Job) is doing a lot of IOs to a WindowsBackup\Staging folder located in my C: Partition (not on the target volume of the Backup). In this phase of the backup, this could well be one of the major performance-limiting factor.

    On the other side, I see that around 10GB of my 12GB of RAM are not used (and also see 12 pagefault/s). I wondered whether a better exploitation of RAM (e.g. writing into a RAM staging area as opposed to a Disk staging area) could help speed up the Backup.

    -------
    I just wanted to report my observations and do not expect any feedback. Please let me know, if I should stop reporting such things.
    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    Monday, February 08, 2010 12:28 PM
  • Regarding the speed issue, I agree that current speed is unacceptable, even (or especially) for home users.  It's pretty clear why the Backup is so slow:

    - It's zipping up the files, which a typical consumer laptop can't do at disk speeds.  Disks are cheap -- give me the option of turning off compression please.

    - It's not overlapping the writing of the files to the destination with the reading and zipping of the files.

    You can immediately see this behavior from a screen shot of Performance Monitor taken while my dual-core Thinkpad X61 was doing a file backup:

    http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=16lVpjEJDN0BmawcfMRrgXOJXsk1

    First Backup reads from the source drive (green line), with the CPU simultaneously zipping up the files (blue line), and then it writes the zipped files to the destination drive (red line).   While writing to the destination drive, reads from the source drive and CPU utilization drop dramatically, losing roughly 50% in overall performance.  

    Overlapping reads and writes while doing any sort of copy operation is a well-understood, elementary engineering technique.   It's very disappointing that in 2009, Windows for consumers still isn't bundled with a well-engineered backup program.
    I agree with John:  Overlapping is a well understood key performance concept, since 40 years ago, when I started my career in Information Technology.
     
    Overlapping includes the overlapping the IOs (= "Input/Outputs" or in other words "Read/Writes") against Disk A with the IOs against Disk B. And it also includes overlapping IOs with heavy CPU processing. And in some cases, it may also include exploitation of multiple processors to overlap different kind of CPU processing.

    It is my impression (the impression of an outsider and of a non PC-specialist, who might be wrong) , that the performance problems of "Windows Backup" are not exclusively due to a lack of sufficient overlapping. Some other additional reasons for the performance problems seems to be related to the IOs to a probably superflous Disk staging area. And some other additional performance problems are probably due to VSS operations that are probably not justified for a lot of users.

    I believe that all these problems should be addressed: lack of sufficient overlapping, unnnecessary IOs to a Disk staging area (as opposed to a RAM staging area?), seldomy justified VSS operations. I would not be surprised, if there are even more performance problems that should be adrressed.... no worry for MS programmers to lose their jobs due to lack of work to be done.


    I also agree with John that for a lot of users who have a huge amount of data to backout (e.g. Photo files), a compression of their data does not make any sense and is just wasted time. I have not sufficient knolwedge to know if this is also true for Music Files and Video Files and for other files that atre typical in PC environments "with a lot of data to backup"). 

    ---
    Despite the criticism, I should acknloweledge that I am nevertheless happy up to now with the reliability of Windows Backup (but I understand, that If I would have much more than 140 GB of data to backup, Widows Backup would not be really usable to me, despite its probable reliability).
    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    Monday, February 08, 2010 6:48 PM
  • I have not sufficient knolwedge to know if this is also true for Music Files and Video Files and for other files that atre typical in PC environments "with a lot of data to backup").

    Eckerlin:

    A huge majority of video, audio, and picture files are already heavily compressed.  In general, specific algorithms written for a file type are much better at compressing that file type than a general compression algorithm designed to compress any kind of file.

    One would have to assume that for users with a large amount of data that plan to rely on Windows Backup and Restore rather than some expensive third party solution like Symantec Backup Exec don't have many gigabytes of text documents and spreadsheets to back up, but are rather backing up large music, photo, and video collections.  Due to this, users with the largest amount of data to back up that are using Windows Backup and Restore almost surely do not benefit from the compression that Windows Backup and Restore does.  I'm guessing that on average, it compresses all the data at 1.2:1 or 1.1:1.  The compression is just wasted processing.  It should either not attempt to compress formats that are already compressed (JPG, GIF, PNG, PDF, MOV, MPG, MP2, MP3, MP4, M4A, M4B, M4P, M4V, FLAC, APE, TAK, OGG, DIVX, MKV, OGM, AVI, WMV, WMA, RAR, ACE, ZIP, 7Z, GZ, BZ2, RZ, etc.), or not do compression at all.
    Tuesday, February 09, 2010 1:27 PM
  • Hi all,

    Thanks for all the comments and responses regarding the performance on Windows Backup. The issue has been identified to occur on systems with large data set size.  Please refer to the following post for further details and workaround.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/1ba794f6-0bac-443b-9e22-5b8f175c69ba

    Regards,
    Christine
    Christine Fok, Program Manager, Storage Solution Division This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

    Thanks Christine,

    That solved it!


    Tuesday, February 09, 2010 11:09 PM

  • That solved it!



    I believe that there are two groups of users:
    - For one group of users (Slushy belongs to this group), the "Workaround" described by Christine is a solution.
    - But for another group of users (I belong to this group) the Workaround is not a solution.

    Why is the Workaround not a solution for me?

    In the workaround, to restore a subset of folders/files, I have to mount the .vhd File. This is fine, if it is the latest backed-up version of files/folders that i want to restore. But (according to my understanding), I can not restore older backed-up versions, that had been backked-up by incremental backup runs....because there is no .vhd file anymore for these previous incremental backup runs (i.e. there is a .vhd file just for the latest incremental backup run).

    Of course, before the next incremental backup run, I could copy/save the current .vhd file to keep it available for some time. But with a huge amount of data to get backed-up, I can not keep around more than one couple of such huge .vhd files.

    ---
    Whether the workaround described by Christine is acceptable for a particular user, depends on what is the intended use of the backup. If the intended use is "only" to be able to restore to the latest backup point-in-time:  the workaround is useful and for a lot of users it can be a "solution".

    But others, like me, want to be able restore to much more different backup point-in-times than just the latest one.

    The need to be able to restore to much more than the latest backup point-in-time is not just "theory". Instead, this can be very important.

    This has been important for me just one week ago: I had to restore my system not to the latest backup point-in-time, not to the second latest backup point-in-time, not to the third latest ....... But to a much earlier backup point-in-time. I was quite lucky to be able to do that. 

    This has also been important for me a couple of years ago, where it was not the system but individual Word Files that i had to restore to another backup point-in-time than the latest one (because it was only gradually, after some time, that i realized that a Word bug had made my word files gradually less and less reasonably editable).

    It is against similar problems, that I also want to be able to have in future the choice between many backup point-in-times for restoring photo files from huge backup files.

    ---
    Even if it is not "today" that myself need a solution (because today, I have only 120 GB of photo files that I need to backup),  I hope very much that Christine and her team do not consider the "Workaround" as the "solution" for the current performance problems of large file/folder backups and that they are still working towards a solution. I will appreciate very much to get a clarification, whether I am right or wrong with this hope.

    For me, the solution can also not be the use of another faster Backup Software from  another Software company. I have bought one such faster Backup Software last December and after struggling more than one month with it, I came to the conclusion that I can unfortunately not entrust my backups to it and to its "support" team. And it is because of this other Backup Software that can not even get cleanly de-installed, that i had to restore my System to quite an old backup point-in-time. I was quite happy to be able to do that.


    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 6:37 AM
  • Christine's workaround is not suitable for me. System image and backup uses completely different approaches.
    System image cannot solve my problems because
    • I don't want to backup entire C:\ drive as often as I want to back up my other data (once a week) - I'm during system image when I do significant changes to a system and the system is proven to be stable.
    • I need incremental backup (Win7 backup does not do incremental backup but it's supposed to do it!)
    • It cannot solve performance issues at all. One benefit of incremental backup is that it should backup only files changed since last backup. It save storage space and it reduces time needed to do a backup. I have 400GB of files (mostly photos, films, MP3s) that are rarely changed. I expect my weekly change to be usually within 1GB. Even copying 400GB takes significantly more time than copying 1GB (apx. 400 times :-) ). Thats why I demand working incremental backup solution! I can stand suboptimal performance for initial 400GB backup, but for weekly backup of 1GB of changed files to take 48+ hours and produce 400GB backup set is UNACCEPTABLE!
    • As Eckerlin, I want to benefit multiple return points for each file
    I'm really disappointed with Win7 backup tool. Scheduled XCopy job will do almost the same work.
    It shall never be given to end users in such state and I DEMAND it to be fixed ASAP. I've paid horrible amount of money for my Win7! And what I got is just Vista 7.
    Đ.
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:33 PM
  • Hi Christine

    I really don't understand how as Program Manager of the Storage Solution Division you can be so blasé and assume that all the consumers of Windows 7, for example, like my 84 year old father who only started using computers 10 years ago can be expected to follow such complicated instructions to ensure they don't lose their precious data. I thought from all of the marketing hype that Microsoft was commited to making the Windows experience for users safer and more enjoyable. From all the tales of woe you and your colleagues are failing to really engage with it would seem that this marketing is just a chimera.

    It is now 6 months since this problem was raised on this forum. You acknowledged almost 4 months later that this problem was real. Windows 7 has been in RTM and Beta for much longer and either your team never did any load testing on the new Backup solution or Microsoft decided to let it out of the gate knowing the problem. So, please, when is Microsoft going to own up that this is a problem that needs to be fixed by Microsoft and when will a patch be released.

    Please be straight with us.

    Regards

    Stuart
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:42 PM
  • Hi

    Just as an aside, I have recently acquired a home server. It took 4 hours to back up my main home computer for the first time.

    I still have not succeeded in using Windows 7 Backup to perform and complete a successful backup.

    Just thought I would share this. :-)

    Regards

    Stuart
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:44 PM
  • Hi Christine

    I really don't understand how as Program Manager of the Storage Solution Division you can be so blasé and assume that all the consumers of Windows 7, for example, like my 84 year old father who only started using computers 10 years ago can be expected to follow such complicated instructions to ensure they don't lose their precious data. I thought from all of the marketing hype that Microsoft was commited to making the Windows experience for users safer and more enjoyable. From all the tales of woe you and your colleagues are failing to really engage with it would seem that this marketing is just a chimera.

    It is now 6 months since this problem was raised on this forum. You acknowledged almost 4 months later that this problem was real. Windows 7 has been in RTM and Beta for much longer and either your team never did any load testing on the new Backup solution or Microsoft decided to let it out of the gate knowing the problem. So, please, when is Microsoft going to own up that this is a problem that needs to be fixed by Microsoft and when will a patch be released.

    Please be straight with us.

    Regards

    Stuart

    hi ,

    check the date of the start of this thread , ....

    teaching an older person over 60 to use back up or restore points is easy , given that the instructions are clear and that the person fully understands them .

    not every problem is the same , due to install of the OS , location , other soft and hardware , make of the computer and so on , one fix is just not the solution sinceit works for so many and only a few have problems , ...

    from your other post where you state that the back up took four hours , well how much data was backed up ?

    i advise you to start a new thread and state all your specifications and tried solutions and settings , you will get more response that way

    have a nice day


    Scan with OneCare + 50 Windows 7even Tips + 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 + Office 2010 beta + Get Windows LIVE!

  • hi ,

    check the date of the start of this thread , ....

    teaching an older person over 60 to use back up or restore points is easy , given that the instructions are clear and that the person fully understands them .

    not every problem is the same , due to install of the OS , location , other soft and hardware , make of the computer and so on , one fix is just not the solution sinceit works for so many and only a few have problems , ...

    from your other post where you state that the back up took four hours , well how much data was backed up ?

    i advise you to start a new thread and state all your specifications and tried solutions and settings , you will get more response that way

    have a nice day


    Dabur972,
    I was a little bit perplex when reading your post. Probably, this is because you you did not follow closely the various posts and threads on this subject (of course, you can not be blamed for it....because regular users like me and you are not supposed to spend so much time to follow in detail all these discussions).  But does this justify your kind of feedback?

    There is really no doubt about it: Folder/File Backup is really much too slow (when backing a large volume of data) forand the Microsoft team and their managers are honest by acknowledging it; this honors them.  If you are interested in some performance measurements: take a look at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/38313795-03f1-47fd-b04b-394aaf72feaa

    Myself realize fully, that with Windows 7, we are still at the pre-SP1 level and that I should therefore be ready to expect and accept that Windows 7 has still a bunch of bugs and problems.  

    What some of us are not happy with: we do not know whether what was proposed by Christine (i.e using System Image backups as opposed to Folder/File Backups) is considered by her and Micosoft as being  a temporary "work-around" or is being considered by Microsoft as being the "solution". If trying to implement along the lines of the "workaround" proposed by Christine an automatically scheduled System Image Backup, you will perhaps agree that stuartdad was unfortunately right when complaining that this is not simple to do for a regular Windows user (for example: for me) who is not familiar at all with things like automatic scheduling of tasks.

    But of course, stuartdad too was not very diplomatic and polite.


    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    • Edited by Eckerlin Thursday, March 04, 2010 10:20 AM
    Thursday, March 04, 2010 8:20 AM

  • hi ,

    check the date of the start of this thread , ....

    teaching an older person over 60 to use back up or restore points is easy , given that the instructions are clear and that the person fully understands them .

    not every problem is the same , due to install of the OS , location , other soft and hardware , make of the computer and so on , one fix is just not the solution sinceit works for so many and only a few have problems , ...

    from your other post where you state that the back up took four hours , well how much data was backed up ?

    i advise you to start a new thread and state all your specifications and tried solutions and settings , you will get more response that way

    have a nice day


    Dabur972,
    I was a little bit perplex when reading your post. Probably, this is because you you did not follow closely the various posts and threads on this subject (of course, you can not be blamed for it....because regular users like me and you are not supposed to spend so much time to follow in detail all these discussions).  But does this justify your kind of feedback?

    There is really no doubt about it: Folder/File Backup is really much too slow and the Microsoft team and their managers are honest by acknowledging it; this honors them.  If you are interested in some performance measurements: take a look at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/38313795-03f1-47fd-b04b-394aaf72feaa

    Myself realize fully, that with Windows 7, we are still at the pre-SP1 level and that I should therefore be ready to expect and accept that Windows 7 has still a bunch of bugs and problems.  

    What some of us are not happy with: we do not know whether what was proposed by Christine (i.e using System Image backups as opposed to Folder/File Backups) is considered by her and Micosoft as being  a temporary "work-around" or is being considered by Microsoft as being the "solution". If trying to implement along the lines of the "workaround" proposed by Christine an automatically scheduled System Image Backup, you will perhaps agree that stuartdad was unfortunately right when complaining that this is not simple to do for a regular Windows user (for example: for me) who is not familiar at all with things like automatic scheduling of tasks.

    But of course, stuartdad too was not very diplomatic and polite.


    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version

    hi ,

    well i have been reading this thread and this section for a long time actually ( does not mean i dont post i dont see it )

    if folder back up is to slow , then check as to why (!) for all i know ( work with a few comps ) it works better then anything before , its slow due to the size of the folders , what is the size we are talking about ? 4 h is a lot of gigs , ....

    7 does not have a bunch of problems and a bunch of bugs , a lot ot time was invested to prevent that actually

    christine posted when ? and in regards to that , every comp and every problem is different due to settings , make up of the hard and software and so on , ...
     >>> therefore its best to contact microsoft support for each user , click the link in my sig and follow to get a chat with the support staff
    in no way is her post a statement official or otherwise on behalf of microsoft (!) on top of that the release is a bit different and the updates have fixed a few things

    having had extensive experience with back up soft and hardware from other companies i have to say that windows has been on the top of back ups , sure you can get faster results , but dont be surprised when you losse data (!!)

    in regards to stuartd , why do you think christine and a few others dont post in this thread ? want a fix for the solution ? the last one can do is to behave , dont blame people for something they are not to blame for and treat the like you would like to be treated ( just a ref in general )

    its not that hard to learn , check the how to do's

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help 

    if you want to protect data then a back up is the key , one note , get a good external hard drive (!)

    have a nice day


    Scan with OneCare + 50 Windows 7even Tips + 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 + Office 2010 beta + Get Windows LIVE!
  • It seems that you are the one who does not want to learn and does not want to learn to behave.
    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    Thursday, March 04, 2010 10:19 AM
  • I have a good external eSATA hard drive.  Windows backup is not usable.  In Vista64 it worked, quite well even.  With home premium I could even save the backup to a network path, and it would perform incremental backups.  This is not the case with 7 HP.  To get the same functionality as in Vista, I'd need to upgrade to 7 Ultimate.  I'm not about to do that.  Instead I bought Acronis TrueImage 2010 and have not looked back.  Macrium works well too.  They're both fast and reliable.  I've used both to backup and recover with 100% success in a timely fashion.
    Friday, March 05, 2010 4:25 PM
  • The defense of Windows 7 backup is inexcusable. The best way to fix it is to just use the backup/restore from Windows 2008 Server R2 which is lightning fast, only creates one root folder instead of two root folder and a root file, and is simpler and more straight forward to use. I have used many backup systems over the many years in computers and Win7 backup is SLOW and not well designed! Ridiculous to not use the Server 2008 version which mostly shares the same code base as WIn7 anyway! THe same restore for data, system state and bare metal restore of the system C: disk is very fast on 2008 and ungawdly slow on Win7. Don't try to fix it - replace it!!!!!!!!!!! You don't need two different backup systems! Use the good one!!!!!!!!
    • Proposed as answer by CodeSlinger Friday, March 19, 2010 5:41 AM
    • Edited by CodeSlinger Saturday, March 20, 2010 1:22 AM correct
    Friday, March 19, 2010 5:41 AM
  • Well said.
    Friday, March 19, 2010 10:06 PM
  • I just got a Seagate Free Agent Go. Problem solved. Windows 7 backup is a piece of ____.
    Friday, March 19, 2010 11:14 PM
  • hi Andrew

    i found that 3rd party providers are the way to go when you need something that really works reliably.

    i completely agree with you. Windows Backup is too primitive for a power user.
    I had the same problem:

    first I used Acronis to make images. then two times my hard drive died while doing the backup with Acronis.

    On top of that, the file that was written to was useless. One time I was backing up with it, it ran for over 12 hours and then tells me the drive is full. Well cool, what can i do about it? cancel! and then 12 hours of time wasted = > still no backup.

    That's actually an imaging problem. I don't bother with images anymore. it's useless in my opinion because you can't boot the image 70% of the time on a different pc. other hardware etc. plus you don't have access to your files without that software installed.

    then I installed memeo which came with my seagate drive. that one worked ok for a while but when I started backing up everything (300,000 files on my laptop) it vomited. it took hundreds of MB RAM to do it. useless software.

    i finally settled for BackupChain which I think would work well for you too because you can choose to compress specific files at certain rates. for example, i zip compress my cpp files but i do not compress my mp3s because that would be a waste of time. i also like to set different schedules for different things. when i write code i want continuous backup but for the other stuff once a week is enough.

    For your pictures it would be also a waste to run them through a compression cycle. no wonder the backup is slow!

    Windows Backup simply doesn't give you that fine tuning that a power user like us needs.

     

    Monday, March 22, 2010 6:27 PM
  • Have no fear. There is no error in the progress bar. You have crossed into the Windows Backup Zone!
    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 2:15 AM
  • Have no fear. There is no error in the progress bar. You have crossed into the Windows Backup Zone!

    And once in the zone, you never get out.  I have a large collection of photos, most already compressed, and the backup is running at about 1% per hour -- zipping files that are already compressed is a tremendously wasteful use of computer processing.
    Saturday, March 27, 2010 11:48 PM
  • Microsoft clearly missed the target with their 'new' (revamped) Backup & Restore app. Among other reasons:

    1/ Why on earth backup as dozens of hundreds of .zip files?

    - a/ Zip is not very efficient and lack many features of more modern and nevertheless widespread compressed formats;

    - b/ Compressing hundreds of GB of data that is already very little compressible is complete overkill, definitely a bottleneck, not to say crazy (come on Microsoft folks, we are in year 2000+, people now have huge libraries of mp3 music, shoot gigabytes of Jpeg photos each month even with a cell phone...)

    - c/ should users short on disk space need some compression, it is already available at the filesystem level (ever heard of NTFS, folks?)

    - d/ in addition to being outrageously slow at creation time, it is not very convenient to locate a single file within hundreds to thousands of cryptic .zip files

    2/ Why give the ability to backup *only one * partition as VHD ?

    - a/ Nowadays, most computers come with more than one hard disk (even notebooks!) and/or several partitions, e.g. one for the system (ok, good idea to create a system image), the rest for what other user data may come (but who would want to backup and maybe restore such insignificant stuff, right?)

    - b/ The mechanism to save disk/partition images is there, available, at hand! Starting with Windows 7, advanced and power users have numerous tools enabling them to work with VHD disk/volume images (VHDMount, third party software, commandline Diskpart, Disk Management GUI...). Only MS's Backup & Restore seems reluctant to let users know of this wonderful and convenient technology... All other 3rd-party backup solutions allow disk or partition imaging, but Microsoft folks appear not interested at what happens outside Redmond... stuck with good'ol zip to backup our 540 MB hard disk...

    - c/ As for supposed workarounds and hard-to-implement fixes to this huge mess... It doesn't take a rocket scientist to add a checkbox somewhere in Backup & Restore's interface, something like "Save system images of *all* my drives". Make it in the same fashion as the 'Save system image of my System drive' checkbox, place it below the later, if you like. Or in a deep-nested advanced admin-only window, if you like, it doesn't matter. Microsoft folks could leave it unchecked by default and provide twenty scary warning boxes in case they fear their typical dumb user would inadvertently and unwillingly backup all his critical data. Such a simple checkbox would allow the not-so-dumb user (and above) to make a complete, efficient backup of his complete system, increasing the usability and efficiency of the app by 2.10^19 percents at the same time...

    3/ Who decided to make the "Create a system image" function (the one quite invisible in the lefthand panel) almost unusable?

    - a/ The function is there, but clearly unfinished. No progress bar, no scheduling ability, no detail on remaining time or what's happening. Cryptic and almost pointless as a whole (unless you write a note in your calendar "today, make my bi-weekly backup by clicking Create a system image, selecting all my drives/volumes then let it run for who knows how long").

    - b/ It appears you cannot use jointly the silly "zip-backup-sluggish-function(+create system image for only one drive)" and the "create system images [of all drives]" at the same time, that is with the same backup target. They can not work together. Yesterday I manually requested to create VHDs of all my drives (that is, ~750GB of data, left it run overnight). This morning, the scheduled "amputated backup" (defined as "my Appdata folder" + "create my weekly system drive image") ran automatically, and of course deleted all the existing VHD that the very same software had been creating overnight. Thanks, that's so clever and well-implemented.

    As a conclusion , this crippled piece of software is clearly underpowered, at times unsafe (see just above), time- and energy-consuming (not to say -wasting) and makes a ridiculous use of Microsoft's very own technologies. Unfortunately, it seems also to lack any serious support from Microsoft, as no corrections or fixes have been proposed in nearly a year, and the only "workarounds" or "solutions" proposed throughout this thread are neither working workarounds or definitive solutions but instead defeat the ultimate purpose of such a software (schedulable, configurable, GUI-powered). Hey, of course a scheduled commandline utility can replace it! That's also what xcopy is for, btw. In this case, let us save a few MB by uninstalling the unusable Backup & Restore app...

    Please Microsoft folks, stop taking your customers for fools and admit that you made a mistake by releasing crippled software. It won't kill you, just make you look more honest and dedicated, u know...

    Thursday, April 22, 2010 8:09 AM
  • Windows 7 Backup is worse than useless, it is nearly unbelievable that such an important function is can be this bad.

    Dont get me wrong, I think Windows 7 is a great OS in every other way, but the Backup performance is a disgrace.

    I tried to back up just under 900 GB, after four days of  Windows Backup constantly running, my system started to perform very badly and I had to stop it to get my PC to run normally again.

    I am running Windows 7 64, with a quad core CPU and 7 GB of Ram, so there is no reason my PC should start behaving so badly.

    After the hassle of the experience I avoided doing the Backup again for some months (stupid I know, but that is how much the experience annoyed me), until a few days ago when I decided to try again.

    After twenty four hours Windows Backup had managed to complete 18% of the backup, but after forty eight hours it had got even slower, and had only reached 23% of the full backup.

    This left me to see that at the very best, the backup would complete after about five days if I was lucky, and that was assuming my PC wouldn't start to perform badly again and the Windows backup wouldn't get any slower.

    That is a ridiculous length of time, and I have no confidence that something wouldn't have  gone wrong before the backups completion.

    I decided to abandon the idea of using Windows 7 Backup at all and downloaded Acronis True Image Home to do the job instead.

    Acronis True Image Home backed up the whole (near) 900 GB in only six hours with no problems.

    So my advice is, forget Windows 7 backup and use third party software to backup your PC.

    It is an insult to those that paid good money for Windows 7 that we must go out and pay for extra software to make our data safe, when Windows should have done that job for us.

    There is simply no other choice, specially if you have a large amount of data to back up.

    Friday, April 23, 2010 5:58 PM
  • Upon seeing the extreme slowness of the windows 7 backup I quickly cancelled it and started to look for a better option.  The software that came with my external drive is no good, because it won't run on the 64-bit windows.  So I found a way to make a batch (.bat) file that will automatically copy my files that I want backed up to my external drive.  However, when I ran the batch file the copy process was still extremely slow.  I could now understand why it took almost 2 hours to copy 1.5GB.  I had run a full back up on the same external drive from windows vista on my laptop and copiend 30GB in less than 1 hour.  The only difference was that I hooked the drive up to the windows 7 PC with firewire anticipating a faster conection than the USB that I used on the laptop.  So out of pure curiostity I switched the cable and ran the .bat file again.  Imagine my suprise when the .bat file ran in about 10sec. 

    My drive is also capable of ESATA connection.  Maybe that will be faster, but the USB works good with the .bat file. 

    For anyone interested in the .bat file it simply uses the xcopy command to copy check out the site below for help on xcopy.

    http://www.computerhope.com/xcopyhlp.htm

    Sunday, May 02, 2010 2:27 AM
  • A few days ago I found a real use for a backup: Virus infestation.  Luckily I run Acronis True Image Home 2010 nightly.  Once a month I run a complete backup which takes under 3 hours (including validation).  The actual backup (~400GB) takes about 1.5 hours.  (That's ~77MB/s - about right for SATA to SATA transfers.)  The remainder are incremental backups, which take a few minutes.

    The 2nd virus I've ever had pretty much trashed my system (W7 x64) a few days ago.  So I killed and reconstructed my mirrored RAID array, and booted off the Acronis recovery CD.  I then proceeded to recover the disk image from another drive, and a few hours later... viola, back up and running like nothing ever happened.

    Could windows backup do this?  I think not.

    Sunday, May 02, 2010 3:17 AM
  • When is this extremely poor performance issue going to be fixed?

    Sunday, May 02, 2010 2:49 PM
  • Microsoft needs to learn some lessons from the open source world.  The time it takes to get things fixed is ridiculous.

    There are customers here complaining, there is a real performance problem.

    Get your ____ in gear and get it fixed.

    Friday, May 07, 2010 5:53 PM
  • Of course Windows Backup can do it.

    When the virus hit yesterday W7 informed me that several files were compromised and I should run a virus check. That didn't help because it didn't recognize the virus. Several more files were reported to be compromised soon after that.

    So I ran the System Restore and voila! Computer is fixed.

    Monday, May 17, 2010 12:27 PM
  • Oh, Yes...of course Windows Backup can do it. I can confirm it.

    Since the beginning of the year, I have already restored 3 times (in my case not because of any Virus but because of other problems), without any glitch, my C Partition with Windows Backup.  

     


    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    Monday, May 17, 2010 1:32 PM
  • After reading all the posts here I decided to stop Windows backup at 30% of 200G after 3 and a half hours.

    I am using a new sata hard disc as an external for this purpose and the guy at the shop told me try not to run it for more than 2 hours. Looks like no way to do a complete backup.

    Is it possible to backup only selected folders?

    Friday, May 21, 2010 2:36 PM
  • "Meeting all your needs"??? You must be joking! Windows 7 backup is a total piece of ____ because it is way too slow! Your excuses are totally pathetic and disgusting. Just fix the damn thing!!!
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 3:59 AM
  • Well I guess I'll just have to stick with Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 until NTBackup that includes Tape Backup support is added back as a core feature to Windows 7 and Windows Sever 2008.

     

    • Proposed as answer by mrx33slk Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9:05 PM
    Saturday, June 19, 2010 6:41 AM
  • Windows Backup is an embarrassment. It's beyond my comprehension as a software developer how this thing can be released by Microsoft. Unless there are some strategic decisions to cripple Windows Backup to the extreme in favor of third party backup solutions, programmers and managers that worked at Windows Backup should really be ashamed of themselves. Never thought I would see such a low in my 18 years of Windows usage. A real shame.
    Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9:11 PM
  • I know this is not ideal but if you don't mind getting your hands dirty, then a script using a combination of Robocopy.exe, Vshadow.exe, Hstart.exe & Dosdev.exe will do the trick.

    I have documented my solution in a blog article on my website "compuguide.info" called "The Importance of Backups".

    It runs in the background, produces copious log files and is quick

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 7:08 AM
  • Hi all,

    Thank you all for reporting the issue you’ve experienced with Windows Backup. We are aware of a bug impacting the time required to do backups with the File Backup feature that will be addressed in a forthcoming update.  

    The bug occurs when users are trying to back up individual files to a hard disk, but is most visible when backing up larger data sets (e.g. more than 400 GB of storage). Customers’ ability to back up individual files or a system image are not impacted.

    Until the update is available, customers who are experiencing this bug should follow the work around steps outlined here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsbackup/thread/1ba794f6-0bac-443b-9e22-5b8f175c69ba

    We will follow up with a link to the update once it is available.

    Thank you again for your feedback to help continuously improve our product.


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    • Marked as answer by Christine Fok Friday, June 25, 2010 6:26 PM
    Friday, June 25, 2010 6:25 PM
  • Great! Looking forward to the update.
    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    Friday, June 25, 2010 9:19 PM
  • From reading these comments, it appears that Win 7 really missed the mark in regards to backup.   Why not "steal" the easy to use backup feature from OneCare that also made it easy to use an external HD for a network, which many people now have in their homes?

    Click click beats all this running around in circles.

    Sunday, June 27, 2010 3:27 PM
  • Since this thread began 11 months (almost a year) ago, your (MSFT) comments/answers continue to refer this article, which assumes that the problem is limited or categorized as LARGE data set. This is untrue. Windows 7 back-up is so terribly slow in almost all occasions that I have read and encounteed. And this is the first time I read that a bug has been identified and reported; although unspecific, and no projected date for fix. Truly disappointing...

    Friday, July 09, 2010 4:50 PM
  • Since this thread began 11 months (almost a year) ago, your (MSFT) comments/answers continue to refer this article, which assumes that the problem is limited or categorized as LARGE data set. This is untrue. Windows 7 back-up is so terribly slow in almost all occasions that I have read and encounteed. And this is the first time I read that a bug has been identified and reported; although unspecific, and no projected date for fix. Truly disappointing...


    hi ,

    its RTM, .... fixed and done with , the back up works perfect , needless to say if you have 100 gig it takes a while , ...

    have a nice day


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    Monday, July 12, 2010 11:08 PM

  • hi ,

    its RTM, .... fixed and done with , the back up works perfect , needless to say if you have 100 gig it takes a while , ...

    have a nice day

    Sorry to break the news to you, but it is not fixed, and RTM has nothing to do with it.  They could have included the backup that shipped with Vista RTM and it would have worked vastly better.  They not only made it rediculously slow, but also removed the ability to back up to a network drive.

    Contrary to you beleif that 100 gigs takes a long time, a complete image of 100gigs takes 10-12 minutes with Macrium or Acronis.

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 1:23 AM

  • hi ,

    its RTM, .... fixed and done with , the back up works perfect , needless to say if you have 100 gig it takes a while , ...

    have a nice day

    Sorry to break the news to you, but it is not fixed, and RTM has nothing to do with it.  They could have included the backup that shipped with Vista RTM and it would have worked vastly better.  They not only made it rediculously slow, but also removed the ability to back up to a network drive.

    Contrary to you beleif that 100 gigs takes a long time, a complete image of 100gigs takes 10-12 minutes with Macrium or Acronis.


    so buy other software then , .... :)

    it works fine with me and millions of others , ....

     


    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 ! + Windows LIVE !
    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 1:01 PM
  • I did a long time ago.  I bought  2 copies of Acronis True Image 2010 and never looked back.

    When I was running Vista 64 Home premium machines, I did not have a reason to use 3rd party software, but Win 7 forced me to.  So much for an "upgrade.

    "it works fine with me and millions of others"

    It also doesn't work for me and millions of others, therefore there is a problem that needs to be addressed.  Unfortunately there's no lemon law for OSs.  Analogy:  Your car has a fuel filler cap that doesn't open.  The car is under manufacturer's warranty but the mfg will not fix it.  Only a 3rd party product that you have to pay extra for does.  I bet you wouldn't be so excited to "buy other software" then.

     

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 1:55 PM
  • I did a long time ago.  I bought  2 copies of Acronis True Image 2010 and never looked back.

    When I was running Vista 64 Home premium machines, I did not have a reason to use 3rd party software, but Win 7 forced me to.  So much for an "upgrade.

    "it works fine with me and millions of others"

    It also doesn't work for me and millions of others, therefore there is a problem that needs to be addressed.  Unfortunately there's no lemon law for OSs.  Analogy:  Your car has a fuel filler cap that doesn't open.  The car is under manufacturer's warranty but the mfg will not fix it.  Only a 3rd party product that you have to pay extra for does.  I bet you wouldn't be so excited to "buy other software" then.

     


    i dont have to buy third party software cause i never had the problems , ..... but then again it all comes to what you want and how you operate the comp , .....
    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 ! + Windows LIVE !
    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 2:01 PM
  • to step into the discussion once more...

    1. Vista Backup worked but was absolutely unusable for me because I couldn't chose folders to include and exclude and it ignored certain file types (e.g. dll and exe - quite a problem for developer when result of his work is not backed up).
    2. Win7 Backup DOES NOT work. It takes ages (exactly more than one week - how can I schedule weekly backups then) to complete. I'm not convinced it does incremental backups. Recently it doesn't work for me at ll (something like cannot create shadow copy). But if it would work it would be better than Vista because it's (at least very slightly) configurable.

    I really wonder if Microsoft is gonna to do something about it.

    Well I can user 3rd party software. But my Win7 Ultimate cost me horrible amount of money. It has some features. I bought it because of those features. And now I can't use them??? Because they were written in such pure way that I can backup only 5kb in reasonable time??? I don't want to buy 3rd party software when I have already bought a tool that shall work for me.

     

    >> MS >> FIX IT ASAP!!!


    Đ.
    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 3:25 PM
  • Hi,

    is it planned to add the fix to the SP1 of Windows 7?

    The current backup is really unusable. I tried to backup a drive with ~300GB. After 28 hours i cancelled it because the progress bar was at ~ 30%.

    This is really not acceptable.

    Regards,

    Ralf

    Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:07 PM
  • Hi,

    is it planned to add the fix to the SP1 of Windows 7?

    The current backup is really unusable. I tried to backup a drive with ~300GB. After 28 hours i cancelled it because the progress bar was at ~ 30%.

    This is really not acceptable.

    Regards,

    Ralf


    hi ,

    nope , btw you can download SP I beta now , for more info

    http://technet.microsoft.com/hi-in/evalcenter/ff183870.aspx

    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 ! + Windows LIVE !
    Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:15 PM
  • What does this mean: "its RTM".  Does that mean that a fix for windows backup is complete and about to be shipped?  When?  Will it be distributed automatically through Windows Update, or in some other form?

     

    Thanks.

    Saturday, July 17, 2010 7:37 PM
  • What does this mean: "its RTM".  Does that mean that a fix for windows backup is complete and about to be shipped?  When?  Will it be distributed automatically through Windows Update, or in some other form?

     

    Thanks.


    RTM means "Released To Manufacturing".  Basically it is the original, official shipping version of the software.  You can think of it informally as the software with no service packs applied.  Basically, if you have a legal copy of Windows 7 installed, then you have Windows 7 RTM (as there has been no service pack released for it yet).
    Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:55 AM
  • Oh, I understand now.

     "its RTM, .... fixed and done with , the back up works perfect , needless to say if you have 100 gig it takes a while"

    Means it's NOT going to be fixed.

    Thanks, Microsoft, for the English lesson.

     

     

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:22 PM
  • Means it's NOT going to be fixed.

    Hi Velo Steve

    I am not an expert, but it is my impression that your conclusion is not correct.

    In a post dated June 25, 2010,  Christine wrote in this thread: "We are aware of a bug impacting the time required to do backups with the File Backup feature that will be addressed in a forthcoming update. ....We will follow up with a link to the update once it is available"

    Since Christine is a Microsoft Manager who is in charge of Windows Backup, I have the impression that it is quite likely that we will see a fix. But like others non-initiated: I do not know ewhen this will happen.


    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    Friday, July 23, 2010 6:34 AM
  • I have attemted 6 times to use windows 7 backup. It gets about 3/4 throuth the backup and fails. I have tried backing up just the C:/ drive and same failure. I have scanned the computer, a new Sony , for errors from the command propt scannow and found no errors. I have diabled virus program and turned off wireless.

    I have no idea why this will not work. I have a new Iomega external hard drive,350GB, and it works fine on my old Vista computer.

     

    Help!

    • Proposed as answer by seattlerust Sunday, August 15, 2010 9:02 PM
    Wednesday, August 04, 2010 4:01 PM
  • Richard,

    Try CrashPlan Home version. I use it to backup my computers too a NAS but it also should work for external drives.

    <cite>www.crashplan.com/</cite>

     

    Friday, August 06, 2010 2:55 PM
  • Richard,

    I have been struggling as well with Win 7 backup after upgrading a Vista machine. I did find that one of my external HD, which worked fine with Vista, just will not work with Win 7. Maybe this info will help.

    SR

     

    Sunday, August 15, 2010 9:04 PM
  • seattlerust,

    While it is possible that you have a compatibility issue between Windows 7 and your external hard drive, this is not the problem that most of the people here are complaining about.  People are complaining that Windows 7 Backup and Restore 1) takes an grossly inappropriate amount of time to back up data and 2) the "incremental" backup isn't really incremental.

    Microsoft has already acknowledged that there is an issue with Windows 7 Backup and Restore that causes it to run very slowly in certain circumstances and that they are working on a solution.  Of course, it is over a year since this problem started getting reported and there is still no fix.

    In another thread , they have acknowledged an issue where a Windows Media Player services scans the data stored in the Public folders every time the computer starts or comes back from suspend, which causes the items in Public Folders to be marked for backup again even if they did not really change.  For this issue the proposed workaround is to disable the Media Player Sharing Service, but this in turn will break some functions of Windows Media Center (Extender).  They have not stated whether or not they intend to fix that problem.

    Monday, August 16, 2010 12:24 PM
  • Hi all,

    The hotfix for the issue above has been released. You can download the hotfix from the following location:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb%3ben-US%3b2283445

    Again thank you all for reporting the issue and helping us improve on Windows 7.  

     

     


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    • Marked as answer by Christine Fok Tuesday, August 17, 2010 9:33 PM
    Tuesday, August 17, 2010 9:32 PM
  • I installed the hotfix 3 hours ago.

     

    Trying Windows Backup. 3 hours in and I'm still stuck at around 15%. It seems to be taking a long time doing the .zip backups. For whatever silly reason, you can't make images of non-system disks using the UI. I'm also not convinced that image backups are as fast as they could be.

    The same disk with roughly the same amount of data (~1TB) takes a few hours for the initial backup in Acronis.

    Not fixed, not usable.

     

    My computer:

    Windows 7 x64
    6GB ram
    2x 512gb hard disks backing up to a third 1TB external
    AMD Phenom X4 955 3.2ghz

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 1:12 AM
  • Rei,

    The hotfix would address the performance issue when backing up data of order 400 GB or more using Windows Backup (data that gets backed up to ZIP files).

    Without this hotfix, backing up 100 GB of data would have taken ~2 hours, 400 GB data would have taken ~16 hours ( the time taken would increase exponentially as the data size increases). With the hotfix, the time taken to backup would increase linearly as size of data increases (100 GB would take ~2 hours, 400 GB would take ~8 hours and so on).

    There is inherent slowness in backup because Windows Backup does compression. This is not addressed by this hotfix. Note that in Windows7 we would not do compression for file types that are already compressed (ZIP, MP3, JPG etc.). They would still get added to ZIP files but they would be added without backup attempting to compress them again. This would significantly improve the backup performance of Windows7 Backup when compared to Vista.

    Thanks,

    Sriram [MSFT]

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 2:52 AM
  • Rei,

    The hotfix would address the performance issue when backing up data of order 400 GB or more using Windows Backup (data that gets backed up to ZIP files).

    Without this hotfix, backing up 100 GB of data would have taken ~2 hours, 400 GB data would have taken ~16 hours ( the time taken would increase exponentially as the data size increases). With the hotfix, the time taken to backup would increase linearly as size of data increases (100 GB would take ~2 hours, 400 GB would take ~8 hours and so on).

    There is inherent slowness in backup because Windows Backup does compression. This is not addressed by this hotfix. Note that in Windows7 we would not do compression for file types that are already compressed (ZIP, MP3, JPG etc.). They would still get added to ZIP files but they would be added without backup attempting to compress them again. This would significantly improve the backup performance of Windows7 Backup when compared to Vista.

    Thanks,

    Sriram [MSFT]


    Do you seriously think this is acceptable? Why did you not use the same backup as Windows 2008 Server since they already share most of the same code base? Why did you purposefully cripple Windows 7? Can MSFT not write software as good as Acronis? Acronis has its problems like too many services sucking on the CPU but at least it is fast. Go back and reread these posts! WINDOWS 7 BACKUP SUCKS!!! You just don't get it...
    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 3:36 AM
  • Nice...
    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 3:37 AM
  • You marked your own response as the "answer"? What gall! It is not an "issue", it is not a "bug" it is a piece of ____ software. You just don't get it! Use the Server 2008 software and chunk this pos...
    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 3:43 AM
  • Rei,

    The hotfix would address the performance issue when backing up data of order 400 GB or more using Windows Backup (data that gets backed up to ZIP files).

    I know; I have a 500GB system disk and a 500GB secondary disk; the secondary is being zipped, and it's still slow as ever.

     

    Without this hotfix, backing up 100 GB of data would have taken ~2 hours, 400 GB data would have taken ~16 hours ( the time taken would increase exponentially as the data size increases). With the hotfix, the time taken to backup would increase linearly as size of data increases (100 GB would take ~2 hours, 400 GB would take ~8 hours and so on).

    The performance prior to and after the hotfix is the same. The hotfix isn't working, at least not for me.

    There is inherent slowness in backup because Windows Backup does compression. This is not addressed by this hotfix. Note that in Windows7 we would not do compression for file types that are already compressed (ZIP, MP3, JPG etc.). They would still get added to ZIP files but they would be added without backup attempting to compress them again. This would significantly improve the backup performance of Windows7 Backup when compared to Vista.

    There's undoubtedly another problem somewhere. Backup in Vista was way faster. It was about as fast as Acronis.

    Don't blame compression. Unless you're using some extremely space-efficient compression algorithm (which you're not, it's just .zip), there's no way that compression can add so much time.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 3:45 AM
  • Rei,

    Can you pl. reply to my mail-id sriramb-nospam@microsoft.com (pl. remove -nospam to get the correct ID)? I would like to understand what is causing this slowness in your case.

    Others who are reporting this slowness, do you see the issue getting fixed with this hotfix?

    Thanks,

    Sriram [MSFT]

     

    Thursday, August 19, 2010 12:56 PM