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Scheduled backups RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm having a bit of trouble trying to figure out how to use the "Backup and Restore" feature of Windows 7. There appear to be two fairly independent mechanisms there: a quasi-block based (actually it does look at the filesystem, judging from the resultant backup size) called "system image" and a file based backup called "Back up now", which has the option to also include "system image".

    I would like to be able to schedule a block based backup once a week and a file based backup nightly, but am having no luck. I haven't been able to find the documentation for these programs except the "click through the wizard" stuff. In the cron manager thing it simply passes "UseTheScheduledBackupSettingsStoredElsewhere" or similar to the backup program, so that's not much help.

    There is another issue, in that system images don't seem to get erased despite the settings in "Manage space". Ie. I wipe a bunch of files, run the "Create a system image" program, and the backup size does not go down. Doing "Manage space" manually, and the problem persists. If I manually wipe the system image directory, and run the "Create a system image" program again, it works as expected.

    Finally, it takes about 20 minutes or so to do a system image backup from a 3x RAID0 to 1x simple disk, (hence why I am particularly interested in nightly backup :) ) whereas it takes 7 hours to do a file based backup of a subset of that data, using the same hardware. Is this normal?
    Friday, August 7, 2009 3:58 AM

Answers

  • Hi Bertrand22,

    Thanks for trying out Windows backup. Let me try answering your queries.
    1. As of now, it is not possible to schedule file and system images independently. If you think you want nightly backups, schedule a daily backup using "Set up backup" wizard and include both the folders that you want to backup and a system image. Backup will only run incremental backups every time it runs (unless in special conditions).
    2. The "Create a system image" wizard is useful to create a one-time  backup of your system and is customizable to include any volume on your machine.
    3. Regarding Manage space, Backup and restore control panel -> Manage spaace -> Change settings -> Keep only the latest system image will delete all older versions of system image and keep the latest copy.

    Please let me know if you have any other queries on how to use Windows backup.

    Thanks,
    Sneha
    [Sneha] 
    • Marked as answer by Sean Zhu - Friday, September 4, 2009 7:25 AM
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 7:05 AM

All replies

  • Hi Bertrand22

    Are you trying to create a backup whereby you could schedule the time? If that the case when you go to backup or restore your files, under backup, choose setup backup. And it would prompt you where you want to save the your backup? Next choose the drive that you wanna save your backup on and hit next follow by what you want to backup. Is either let window choose or choose yourself and hit next till you reaches review your backup setting, over here you could choose to run backup on a schedule as like how often (daily, weekly or mthly) what day (sun till sat) and lastly what time

    Hope the above helps!

    Friday, August 7, 2009 5:18 AM
    Answerer
  • Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for your reply. However, I wanted to schedule the "system image" backup for different times to the "files backup". Do you know how to do this?

    Thanks.
    Friday, August 7, 2009 7:46 AM
  • Since I couldn't figure it out, I had a look around at other backup systems. CrashPlan seems to do a pretty good job at the file-level backup, though its UI leaves something to be desired, and is free.

    I have "scheduled" CrashPlan nightly. It's cross-platform, and appears to use on *nix the sys/inotify.h function--which is BTW incredibly cool for too many applications to count; I haven't done any systems programming in windows for years, but assume there is an equivalent--presumably it uses similar functionality or emulates it in W7. So the "scheduling" is more of a "actually do the backup" sort of thing: the inotifies build up.

    It does versioning, which is undoubtedly going to be useful, and lets you specify how many versions to store. Of course, what appears in a UI and what actually happens only becomes clear once you need to restore, so I am still a little skeptical.

    To schedule the block level backup--I was using Acronis, but it seemed to break when restoring W7 to particular RAID 0 configurations--I have used the "Change settings" button in the "Control Panel->System and Security->Backup and Restore" menu, using "Let me choose", emptying all the selections and "checking" (in Australia we would say "ticking"; maybe someday this will make it into the language and settings changes) the "Include a system image of drives" box.

    This works for me because I have my system partition ("drive", as it is called by the Backup program) as my data files, but it would be much nicer if these things could be scheduled independently (and easily). Some people will have setup their partitions more efficiently, with their system files on a separate partition, and will not be able to do a block-level backup of their data files.
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 12:35 PM
  • Hi Bertrand22,

    Thanks for trying out Windows backup. Let me try answering your queries.
    1. As of now, it is not possible to schedule file and system images independently. If you think you want nightly backups, schedule a daily backup using "Set up backup" wizard and include both the folders that you want to backup and a system image. Backup will only run incremental backups every time it runs (unless in special conditions).
    2. The "Create a system image" wizard is useful to create a one-time  backup of your system and is customizable to include any volume on your machine.
    3. Regarding Manage space, Backup and restore control panel -> Manage spaace -> Change settings -> Keep only the latest system image will delete all older versions of system image and keep the latest copy.

    Please let me know if you have any other queries on how to use Windows backup.

    Thanks,
    Sneha
    [Sneha] 
    • Marked as answer by Sean Zhu - Friday, September 4, 2009 7:25 AM
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 7:05 AM
  • Well, you answered a question that I have posted too.

    I too would have to have the ability to have multiple scedules for the backup. I have c:\ as my windows and program partition, and d:\ as my data partition.

    I would like to have jobs to back these up independently to either of 2 locations, an external USB drive, and a networked internal hard disk on another PC.

    SOme backup programs, Norton Ghost and Acronis to name a couple have this capability. Let's hope Microsoft can develop it too. It's great to have a failrly robust backup and imaging program as part of the O/S. Now let's try and fill in the cracks.

    Windows 7 RC dual booting with VISTA Home Premium 2 GB memory 160 HD Gateway Laptop HP Officejet 6310 All-in One inkjet printer Verizon FIOS Internet Connection
    Sunday, August 30, 2009 9:01 PM
  • Thanks for your suggestion blegs38552. We will consider this feedback for the future releases. Please keep trying Windows backup and give your valuable feedback.

    Thanks,
    Sneha
    [MSFT]
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 10:40 AM