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Windows 7 Professional Multiple Backups

    Question

  • Does Windows 7 Professional enable me to schedule multiple backup jobs for different backup locations and schedules?

    I would like to create one backup job to backup my data partition (which is separate from my c:\ drive) and a c:\ disk image to an external USB drive daily, and another job to backup the same data and image to a network drive on a different schedule (weekly, for example).
    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 12:44 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Windows 7 backup supports one backup schedule for both data and disk image. To help us consider adding this support in future releases, can you please let me know what are your consideration in creating two backup jobs of the same data to seperate locations?

    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 Monday, August 31, 2009 1:53 AM
    Monday, August 31, 2009 1:53 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Windows 7 backup supports one backup schedule for both data and disk image. To help us consider adding this support in future releases, can you please let me know what are your consideration in creating two backup jobs of the same data to seperate locations?

    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 Monday, August 31, 2009 1:53 AM
    Monday, August 31, 2009 1:53 AM
  • Christine,

    I would like the ability to schedule multiple backup jobs. A nightly job that would back up all files on my d:\ (data) partition to an external USB drive, and to an internal hard disk that is located on a different PC on my home network., and a weekly job that would create a disk image backup of my system (c:\) drive on the same two drives.

    The jobs would be defined to create the backups to the different locations simultaneously, and each job would be scheduled separately.
    Windows 7 Professional RTM dual booting with Windows 7 RC (using RC to test Office 2010 in a test environment) 2 GB memory 160 HD Networked Gateway Laptop HP Officejet 6310 All-in One inkjet printer Verizon FIOS Internet Connection
    Monday, August 31, 2009 3:11 PM
  • As mentioned in the last reponse Windows 7 backup does not support multiple schedule in the UI. That said there is a way to create system image on a seperate schedule from the data backup using a combination of the system image backup's command line option (wbadmin) and the task scheduler.  For details on how to create a scheduled system image backup using command line you can refer to the below Vista article, in the section "Scheduling Complete PC backup"

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2007.09.backup.aspx

    However one thing to note is that if you also create a scheduled image of C:\ on a daily basis to the same location as the weekly image, the two shares the same shadow copy storage area for storing backup versions. What this means is that as space runs out, older backup would be deleted to make room for new ones, and the deleted version may be the daily backup or the weekly backup, whichever  is the oldest at that time.

    Thanks,
    Christine


    Christine Fok, Program Manager, Storage Solution Division This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    Tuesday, September 01, 2009 7:58 AM
  • Thanks, Christine.

    I will take a look at this. Most likely, I would use the separate schedule to create an image on the remote computer on the network, and the backup program for mu USB backups. That should take care of the concerns that you voiced inb your email, since different storage areas would be used.

    Windows 7 Professional RTM dual booting with Windows 7 RC (using RC to test Office 2010 in a test environment) 2 GB memory 160 HD Networked Gateway Laptop HP Officejet 6310 All-in One inkjet printer Verizon FIOS Internet Connection
    Tuesday, September 01, 2009 11:18 AM
  • One question - is there any way that I can tell when the job is currently running? Any process that I can see in Task Manager, for example?

    Windows 7 Professional RTM dual booting with Windows 7 RC (using RC to test Office 2010 in a test environment) 2 GB memory 160 HD Networked Gateway Laptop HP Officejet 6310 All-in One inkjet printer Verizon FIOS Internet Connection
    Tuesday, September 01, 2009 11:44 AM
  • Hi,

    Windows 7 backup supports one backup schedule for both data and disk image. To help us consider adding this support in future releases, can you please let me know what are your consideration in creating two backup jobs of the same data to seperate locations?
    Hello,
    Imagine I use the computer both, for professional and home tasks. I want to back-up my professional files/work well clear away from the home ones (pictures, music, home-videos), in different external HDs.

    Currently I can't achieve this due to the limitations of the Windows Back-up feature.

    Regards
    If it was helpful, please vote! · · ¡Si te ayudó, por favor vota!
    W7 RTM x64 running along with Office 2010 x64 TP
    Friday, September 11, 2009 11:35 AM
  • Christine - I find that Windows backup is unacceptably slow and unreliable when backing up large numbers of files.

    For example, I wish to back up in the region of 27,000 files,  If i attempt to do this in one job, Windows backuip takes more than 24 hours and usually eventually fails.  If I, say, set up a job to back up 5,000 files, Windows backup works fine.  So, I'd like to set up several backup jobs: Work files, proivate files, Pictures, Music etc etc.

    If Windows Backup worked properly on the large numbers of files, this wouldn't be an issue.  However, it doesn't, so we need an alternative.
    _______________________
    OS: Windows 7 (32-bit)
    Saturday, September 19, 2009 8:16 PM
  • I had a look at it, and it really does seem somewhat simplistic.

    As mentioned, I too want multiple backup schedules. One for updating nightly to a USB drive, then weekly across a network. Also the ability to do incremental backups when there is a large number of files, as well as being able ti disable compression to save time.

    Back to robocopy scripts for me.

    I think a lot of users like to have more control over their data than less. Definitely backup has been improved, however more explicit control would be great.
    Monday, September 28, 2009 10:37 AM
  • Another problem has surfaced with the Win 7 backup (details can be found in http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itprosecurity/thread/9092043f-87d3-4691-84ed-df3b63140297/).

    I have a dual boot Windows 7 Ubuntu Linux machine.

    The Windows 7 backup does not recognize the Ubuntu boot MBR on my C:\ drive and does not back it up. Instead, it reports a damaged 512K cluster and says that the backup has failed. When I try and restore the backed up image, the restore fails because the source and target volumes are not of the same size.

    I was able to do a full Image backup and Restore using Acronis True Image Home 2010, which apparently does recognize the Ubuntu boot MBR.

    So, for those who have this type of configuration, it appears that the Win 7 backup utility will not work. Too bad, so close yet so far... Maybe Microsoft can find an answer for this problem.
    Windows 7 Professional RTM 2 GB memory 160 HD Networked (wired and wireless)Gateway Laptop HP Officejet 6310 All-in One inkjet printer Verizon FIOS Internet Connection
    • Proposed as answer by vanilla2 Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:59 PM
    Monday, September 28, 2009 12:12 PM
  • I just read this tread and I think wanting multiple backups would be a common scenario for many users.  Here is an example:
    I use a laptop for work.  
    Whenever I am at work I am connected to my office network and want to backup all my work files to a drive in the office.
    When I am at home, I am connected to my home network and want to backup my personal files to a drive on my home network.

    Two different backup locations, and two different schedules.  One should run Monday morning and put certain files on a network drive, one should run Sunday night, and put a totally different set of files on a totally different network drive (on a different network I might add).  Anyone using a laptop for both work and personal stuff (a common scenario) can relate to this I suspect.
    Friday, November 27, 2009 7:30 PM
  • I am very disappointed that Microsoft no longer gives customers the option to schedule multiple backup jobs in this latest operating system. I rotate backups between 2 external drives so that one can remain offsite at all times. The scheduled backup job will not run unless it sees the specific drive it was configured for (even though the assigned drive letter is the same). Therefore, I have to create a separate backup job for each external drive. This has always worked well using scheduled tasks on the older versions of Windows Backup. But, now it seems we've all taken a step backward in this regard with Windows 7.

    I'm wondering what the Microsoft Engineers would recommend to solve this problem? Find a third-party backup program that does what Windows Backup used to let us do?

    Windows 7 Pro (64) ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 Core i7 920 (oc to 4.00Ghz) 6GB Corsair Dominator 1600 DDR3 160GB Intel X-25 G2 SSD SATAII Drive0 640GB WD Caviar Black 7200 RPM SATAII Drive1 DVD-RW Samsung LightScribe 16X SATA Drive2 HIS Promise4 1GB DDR3 HD4670 Video Card Dual DVI
    • Proposed as answer by agi14 Sunday, September 04, 2011 3:29 PM
    Saturday, December 12, 2009 8:21 PM
  • I agree that the need for multiple backup jobs could be very common. I'd like to back up my data files (documents, email, etc)  daily or weekly but only backup my media files (pictures, videos, music) less often. The media library backup takes up a decent amount of space but doesn't change often enough that I feel the need to make them part of the backup as regularly as other folders.
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 4:21 PM
  • After using Windows Backup for a few weeks I have realized that there are several things that I don't like about it.  In addition to not allowing multiple schedules I don't like that it backs things up in a format that doesn't allow you to browse through the files in your back up.  I don't want to have to restore the backup to look at it.  An example of a scenario for this is comparing text files.  I may want to check for differences between what I have backed up and what I currently have on my machine.  As far as I can tell there is no way to do this without actually restoring the file.  I have decided that Windows Backup just doesn't do what I want so I am giving up on it and writing a batch file using Robocopy.  That way I can have more control over my stuff.  And I can schedule multiple jobs using Windows Task Scheduler.  Certainly not as robust, but I have more granular control and I am willing to sacrifice the robustness for the control.  Here is a simplified example of what I am going to do:

    @echo off
    :: variables
    set backupcmd=ROBOCOPY /E /ZB /R:10 /MIR
    set fromDirectory="F:\Library"
    set toDirectory=\\BACKUPDRIVE\Library

    ECHO ### Backing up Library...
    %backupcmd% %fromDirectory% %toDirectory%
    ECHO Backup Complete!
    @pause

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 4:36 PM

  • One trick to try is to leave the windows mbr in place when installing linux.

    For example, if installing ubuntu to a boot (or root) partition /dev/sda4, you can hit the advanced button just before the install begins, and select to install the grub boot-loader to /dev/sda4 (instead of just /dev/sda).

    To be safe, before and after doing any linux install, while still running from a live-cd, for example, backup the mbr to a file and copy to usb/floppy with:

    dd  if=/dev/sda   of=/tmp/mbr-sda.bin  bs=512 count=1

    To add "grub" to the startup menu in vista/win7 just try the free EasyBCD from http://neosmart.net (instead of wrestling with the horrible command-line only BCDEDIT); for me EasyBCD easily finds the grub boot-loader on /dev/sda4 and adds a menu-item to the start-menu for it.

    To add grub to the startup menu in xp/2000, copy the mbr-sda.bin to c:\ then edit boot.ini and add a line like:

    GRUB=C:\mbr-sda.bin
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 10:07 PM
  • Christine - I find that Windows backup is unacceptably slow and unreliable when backing up large numbers of files.

    For example, I wish to back up in the region of 27,000 files,  If i attempt to do this in one job, Windows backuip takes more than 24 hours and usually eventually fails.  If I, say, set up a job to back up 5,000 files, Windows backup works fine.  So, I'd like to set up several backup jobs: Work files, proivate files, Pictures, Music etc etc.

    If Windows Backup worked properly on the large numbers of files, this wouldn't be an issue.  However, it doesn't, so we need an alternative.
    _______________________
    OS: Windows 7 (32-bit)
    The other big problem I am seeing is that I cannot backup reliably to network-shares. Those same shares can be mapped and I can reliably move gigabytes to and from those shares from explorer. But Windows Backup starts the backup and fails saying something about a network connection no longer being available, even when it is a cat5e cable between 2 win7 boxes, and all other network connections continue to work fine. Also, the authentication issues at this posting do not seem to have any easy answers: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/itprovistanetworking/thread/2f2c7b65-5ff1-4a33-bdb6-5d05ab333069/ That is, the problems folks were having with Vista are still present in Win7 in 2010. Any work-arounds/fixes? I've tried the various suggestions I've found on web, such as Guest/Everyone, full-control perms, etc but no go. Since the problems are easily re-created at will, is it worthwhile to file bug reports, and if so where?
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 10:13 PM
  • The file backups I get from Win 7 Backup are in the form of .zip files; a program like UltraCompare might be able to help with difference analysis (though you have to determine which zip has the file you want, and comparing an uncompressed text file to an archive may be beyond it). I'm able to open zipped text files in a backup set via Explorer without running a restore, that seems to be a good way to browse them.

    This doesn't work for system images which are .vhd files on my system, but I haven't needed to check differences in those files yet.
    Monday, January 25, 2010 5:53 PM
  •  http://blogs.technet.com/filecab/archive/2009/11/12/recovering-your-files-in-windows-7.aspx#imagebackup provides steps to recover/preview files inside a vhd by mounting it. It may help.


    -sushil
    Monday, January 25, 2010 7:16 PM
  • You guys are right, the files are actually just zip files.  The issue is that in Windows 7 when you doulble click the icon for the backed up folder (the folder that contains all the files that the backup created), it tries to open it using Windows Restore.  You have to right click on it and select Open, or open it some other way.  That had me thinking that the files were inaccessible. 
    Monday, January 25, 2010 10:03 PM
  • Hello Christine,

    i do not know whether you still get alerts for this Thread....but since you wrote "can you please let me know what are your consideration in creating two backup jobs of the same data to seperate locations", I will describe my own considerations.  

    1) My most important backups are weekly incremental backups on a local disk
    2) To protect myself against a catastrophe (e.g. my house could burn, burglars could steal all my Hardware,....) i also backup less frequently (typically around every month or every two months) the same data to a set of two external disks, that I store remotely in the safe of my bank.  I create a backup on one of these two disks, go with this disk to my bank, store it in the safe, take with me at home the other one of these two disks that was in the safe, wait one or two months, create again backup on that disk, go to the bank,......)
    3) In addition, I backup a "small subset" of the above data dayli to an internal disk.  This small subset consists of the folders used for my "active projects" (for my active projects, that I am working intensively on, I do not wish to take the risk of losing one week worth of work/changes.... this loss would be too large)

    If interested to know which data is backed-up in item 1) and 2) above:
      -  a System Image Backup of my C: partition
      -  a File/Folder backup of my "data files" located on the :H partition (on same physical disk as the C: partition). This is around 20 GB wort of data and includes among other my Word documents, .pdf files, Windows Live emails, downloaded Webpages, IE Favorites,  MS Word dictionary, ...)
       - a File/Folder Backup of the large amount of Photo Files (today 120 GB; I expect a rapid size increase, among other because I will soon scan my old slides and will soon start to use the .RAW photo format that results in larger photo files)

    A technical detail that might seem irrelevant for your developers but that is essential for me: when "switching" from a weekly incremental Backup written to my local/internal disk to a backup written to my external disks, it is essential for me that the Backup Software does not perform again after every such "switch" a Full Backup (this is what Windows Backup is currently doing in W7). For me, with my large amount of photo files,  I can not afford to do often a Full Backup.

    In this context, I should also describe that I want to keep my photo file backups for a long period of time.  Because it is quite likely, that it is only in one or two years that I will detect current problems wit a subset of my photos (I have a lot of photos, that I will only look-at again in one or two years). Therefore, I do not want a solution that (because of disk space considerations) will need to overwrite a 6 month old Full Backup with the most current Full Backup. I therefore need to avoid frequent switching from Incremental backup to a new Full Backup.

    ---
    Another detail:  For me it is important to be able to have trust in the quality of the Backup Software. This is especially important for the relative fragility of incremental backups (incremental backups are more fragile, because they depend on the availability and quality of multiple backups). This is why I recently decided to perform my weekly incremental backups with Windows Backup (as opposed to a incremental backup with a Backup Software that I bougt recently from another Software Company and that is faster and more flexible but less reliable than Windows Backup).

    ---
    If you allow me to deviate from the subject: my most important problem with Windows Backup is the lack of detailed documentation. In a attempt to "keep it simple", too much information has been sacrified in the documentation. Even the otherwise excellent "Windows 7 Inside Outside" book does not contain sufficient descriptions.  I am loosing extremely much time, just because of the lack of detailed documentation. Backing Up reliably is for a lot of users something essential.... and to do it reliably, we need more detail information than your team thinks.

    ---
    Some few final words: in case you know him, I would like to express my gratitude to "Gordon 7" who provided me 
    a lot of very useful information and help on Windows Baup in the Thread " http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprogeneral/thread/f83c4cf3-15d6-4eb2-816b-63b7184e5dca    "
    • Edited by Eckerlin Monday, February 01, 2010 3:06 PM It is "Gordon 7" (not "Gordon 8") who helped me excellently
    Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:01 PM
  • It is only now, that it came to my mind, that I should perhaps highlight, that in my real-life scenario (described in my previous post)  it is not just  " creating two backup jobs of the same data to seperate locations" that I need to do. Instead it is with four different backups jobs, that I need to backup the same data to different locations. 

    What are the 4 different jobs?
      1) the weekly incremental backup to my local disk (at this time this is an internal disk; but it could also be an external disk attached via a fast interface: eSata and later on USB 3)
      2) the less frequent backup to one of the two external disks, that i store in the safe of my bank.
          Note: it is only for the backup, that this disk is connected to my PC.
          Therefore it is probably "manually" (as opposed to a scheduler-based automatism), that I will start this Backup Job.
      3) the other less frequent backup to the other one of the two external disks, that I store in the safe of my bank
      4) the dayli backup of a subset of tzhe above data to my internal backup disk.
          Currently, this is a backup to the same disk (but to other folders of that disk) as for job 1) above.
          But for me, it would also be acceptable to write this fourth backupt to another disk/volume.

    Finally, I should probably also describe, that in the past, it happened (only) a couple of time, that I created "ad hoc" additional backup-jobs.
    But I do not remember anymore, how important this was for me.

    I should also describe that on my old XP-based PC, I had already implemented since a long number of years the scenario that I described in this thread. With one difference however: I was not performing incremental backups.

    Instead :
    - for System Image Backups of my C partition: I was doing Full backups with an old version of Acronis True Image.
    - For the file backups of my large amount of Photo files, I was doing Differential Backups with an old version of Nero BackItUp that came along with the Nero Suite that I had bought for quite different reasons than "backup" purposes;
    - And for the backup of my Data Files. I was using nt-backup (In principle, I was preferering Nero BackItup, because the backups were an easy to understand/verify Folder/File structure, accessible through Windows Exp,orer,  with exactly the same structure, same names and data-types as the source. But I was nevertheless using Nt backup, because nt-backup was preserving the NFS encryption within the backup.)

    Because of the lack of flexibility of "Windows  Backup" of Windows 7, I can unfortunately not do all my backups with the very reliable Windows Backup. Therfore, it is only my weekly incremental backups (these are for me the most important backups, that need to be very reliable) that I am currently creating with Windows Backup. For the other backups I intend (but depending on what I will learn, this might change) to use another Software.

    I would prefer much more (not  at all because of Software license costs) to be able to do all my backups with the same very reliable Windows Backup Software (niot just because of its reliability; but because it is for me much more simple and efficient to become knowledgable and confident with one Software than with multiple Software having different UIs and different pecuilarities).
    • Edited by Eckerlin Friday, January 29, 2010 9:13 AM Minor change
    Friday, January 29, 2010 9:00 AM
  • You guys are right, the files are actually just zip files.  The issue is that in Windows 7 when you doulble click the icon for the backed up folder (the folder that contains all the files that the backup created), it tries to open it using Windows Restore.  You have to right click on it and select Open, or open it some other way.  That had me thinking that the files were inaccessible. 

    This has also been originally quite confusing for me. And I guess, that this will also be confusing for other W7-newbies.

    But perhaps, the current behavior is "by design" (in order to remind the user, that this is a special folder and that he should be careful not to change its content).
    Friday, January 29, 2010 9:08 AM
  • Hi Microsoft,
    I agree with the other posts on this forum.  A single Backup Schedule is too restrictive and a step backwards in functionality from my perspective.

    I have just moved from XP-Pro to Windows 7-Pro.  In XP-Pro, I had two external full backups that ran on alternate weekly schedules to two different drives, and an incremental backup that ran daily.  This afforded me some redundancy from system failures, virus attacks, or other catastrophes as well as being able to recover from any of my own silly mistakes within a 2 week period.

    As I understand it, this Windows-7 Backup system doesn't run a true incremental backup either; i.e. separate from the files written to the full backup - it just updates the full backup.  Is this correct?

    If I run a Windows-7 backup daily, I will just backup any disaster that happened that day that didn't get noticed, thus giving me no redundancy - i.e. no true backup.  Also, if I have a hard drive failure of my main drive half-way through a backup (i.e. when the HDD is being worked hard for an extended period), then I am very exposed, because the backup will most likely be corrupted as well, and I'm left with nothing.

    I want to do the same under Windows-7 as I had set up in XP-Pro, but apparently I can't.  This is very disappointing.

    Here's another thought: - Can I run a Windows XP virtual machine and us the XP Backup software as I did before?  Can I schedule a Virtual Machine to run?  Would this give me shadow copy capability on my drives from within the VM?

    Can you please let us know when more complete functionality will be returned to the Windows Backup software.  Otherwise you're going to be driving me to purchase another venders software to provide a solution.

    Regards,

    Greg

    Saturday, January 30, 2010 11:41 PM
  • As I understand it, this Windows-7 Backup system doesn't run a true incremental backup either; i.e. separate from the files written to the full backup - it just updates the full backup.  Is this correct?

    If I run a Windows-7 backup daily, I will just backup any disaster that happened that day that didn't get noticed, thus giving me no redundancy - i.e. no true backup. 


    Greg,
    I do not know if a non-expert like me, is allowed to provide partial answers (without being able to garantee, that they are correct).
    But partial non-authoritative answers from a non-expert are nevertheless better than no answers at all. Therefore, I will try:

    If I understand correctly, for system Image Backups (File/Folder backups are quite different), when running an Incremental Backup-Up, Windows-Backup will (as you mentioned) update in the .vhd Backup-File the image of the backed-up partition/disk to reflect the current state of the backed-up partition/disk source.  

    But in addition, when Windows Backup (WB) is performing an incremental backup (e.g. when running for the 2nd, 3rd, .... time) and encounters a changed block of data, WB will also record in the "shadow copy storage area" of the Volume, the previous image of the changed blocks. This will allow the user, when performing an eventual Restore operation, to decide whether it is to the point-in-time of the most recent WB run or to the  point-in-time of a previous run of WB, that the System shall get restored. 

    When playing around (without proceeding to a Restore) with the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRe), I could verify thatWinRe effectively offered me the option to restore my System either to the point-in-time of the most current WB run or to the point-in-time of a previous WB run.

    ----

    Note: the shadow copy storage is subject to an automatic storage management that deletes old data, in order to make available free disk space for new uses. It is therefore not very simple for a user to forecast reliably how long the "previous images" that have been stored by an incremental backup run will remain available for a Restore.
    • Edited by Eckerlin Tuesday, February 02, 2010 5:31 PM I found the answer to a question that was previously open.
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 7:45 AM
  • Greg,

    I found in http://blogs.technet.com/filecab/archive/2009/10/31/learn-more-about-system-image-backup.aspx  more authoritative information you  might be interested in. The information is on a Webpage titled "Learn more about system image backup" and is authored by "the Storage Team at Microsoft" (I highligted myself with "bold" what you might be most interested in).

    --- Start of citation ----:


    System image is supported on internal\external disks, optical removable media, and network locations (Business edition or above). Aside from the usual tradeoffs when picking a storage location such as performance and reliability, here are some additional recommendations to consider for picking a system image backup target:

    • Do not store the image on the same physical disk as the OS – If the hard disk ever fails, you’ll lose both your OS and the backup.
    • Do not store the image on a dynamic disk – a system image stored on a dynamic disk will provide limited functionality during restore. Specifically, the restore will be supported only if the partitioning on the source disk has not been changed. Therefore if your hard disk failed and is replaced with new hardware, you will not be able to restore the image.
    • Support for multiple images – As mentioned above, when a new system image is created, older data will be moved to the shadow copy storage area if it’s available. NTFS formatted internal or external hard disks supports Volume Shadow Copy, hence they support storing multiple versions of backup image. We recommend that the size of the target disk should be at least 1.5 times of the size of the source drive(s) to allow enough space for storing older versions of backup. Network share and optical media, on the other hand, do not support shadow copy. Therefore only one system image per computer can be stored at a time (as the .vhd file). Any newer backup created will replace the older backup.
    • Use a dedicated backup disk - Older backup that are stored in the shadow copy area on the target may be deleted as space runs out. The amount of churn that happens on the target is one factor that contributes to this deletion. Therefore to ensure the older backups can be kept for a longer period of time, try not use the backup disk for other purpose.







    "
    Monday, February 01, 2010 7:47 AM
  • Lots of great info in this thread/question. I'm wondering if there is a way to move or copy your backup set created by the new Win7 backup utility. I copied all files over to a network drive. I copied over these files and directories:


    root
    - mediaID.bin
    - backup (dir - zip file - use right click to transverse)
       - Backup Set 2010-xx-xx xxxxxx (dir)
          - Backup Set 2010-xx-xx xxxxxx (dir)
             - Catalogs (dir)
                - GlobalCatalog.wbcat
             - Backup Files 2010-xx-xx xxxxxx (dir)
                - Backup Files xxx.zip (TONS of these files)
                   - Catalogs (dir)
                      - Backup files xxx.weverify (TONS of these files)
                      - Backup files xxx.wbcat (TONS of these files) 
       - Desktop.ini
       - MediaID.bin
    - WindowsImageBackup (dir)
       - backup (dir)
          - MediaId
          - SPPMetadataCache (dir)
             - {387387284783278327432883432789}
          - Catalog (dir)
             - BackupGlobalCatalog
             - GlobalCatalog
          - Backup 2010-xx-xx xxxxxx (dir)
             - 10 .xml files
             - large .vhd file
         
    I don't have ay idea on how to copy any of the shadow copy files, but my initial backup set does not include this as the space is listed as 0% and 0MB.

    I don't really have the desire of trying to reimage my system with this backup set that was copied manually. So my last quesiton is:

    Has anyone been able to copy their backup to another site/drive and restore (using the Win7 cd) using these copied files and directories and NOT the original files/drive that you used in your original backup?


    Saturday, February 27, 2010 9:19 PM
  • I can't believe such a basic feature is missing.  I have an 8*1TB raid with three partitions (RAID 0, 1 and 5) and six logical volumes totalling around 6TB of available space, and none of my external backup disks exceed 2TB.  Quite apart from the space limitations (requiring me to back up different volumes to different drives), I also have quite different backup strategies for system, personal and business data.

    It looks like I'll be using the Norton 360 backup feature instead of Windows...

    Sunday, July 11, 2010 1:27 PM
  • I would like to see a way that I can backup up to one drive at night and have a second off site and switch between the two so that I  never have both in the building over night. It looks like you can only have one drive configured to backup to.
    Friday, December 03, 2010 5:23 PM
  • Looks like "Christine" has been whistled back. As usual, MS lets its users muddle with these "terrific new features". Good thinking over there. Really top. Will use 7-zip.
    Sunday, January 02, 2011 8:40 PM
  • This is very disappointing... Taking away feature/functionality is never a good choice Microsoft. Please give us back the flexibility and control of the Windows Backup program from Windows XP in Windows 7.

    Monday, March 28, 2011 1:56 PM
  • I also am finding that the new Windows backup does not fit my needs after years of using NTBackup.

    I back up several professional computers to an external network drive that is quite large because it's for the entire company including the servers. I back up user profiles for Outlook and the my documents folder for a select number of users somewhere between daily and weekly depending on the user.

    Then monthly I manually copy this to another drive that is kept off site.

    My problems are:

    1. I cannot control the type of back up I want (Full, Incremental etc). I would like just one full backup each time as the quantity of data is small.

    2. The number of copies it keeps making, I only need the last backup. On NTBackup we had the option of overwriting the last backup. I used to alternate between two files (ex one Tues one Thurs) so I always had another in case the backup failed. Just because I have disk space left does not mean I want to fill it up with Windows 7 backups, and potentially fill up the disk preventing important backups from being done. Deleting manually is fine for home computers but is not very pratical in a business setting.

     3. I'm not really sure what all I need to copy to my offsite backup to make sure it will work. Before we just had one file, Now we have folders for each date plus the MediaID.bin file.  It was much easier with just one file. Personally I don't mind need to restore to see the documents as most of my restores are done simply as tests to see that they work.

    I'd like to see all the functionality of NTBackup come back, even if it's in an Advanced Tab. This should be done at least for the professionnal versions of Windows and as soon as possible.

    Thursday, April 07, 2011 7:57 AM
  • The lack of multiple schedules in Windows 7 and 2008R2 makes me want to cry.  MS claims to take input from the forums to consider in future developments, but really its just a venting ground for unhappy customer, and a place for MS to get a good laugh at the "users".  Why the multiple schedule feature did not make it into 2008R2?  So many complaints about this V1.0 backup program , and yet nothing is done.  Shame on MS, Shame, Shame, Shame.  I am going to cry now because I have to buy BackupAssist for $300 to do what NT backup used to do.  boohoo, boohoo, boohoo. 
    Friday, April 08, 2011 2:50 AM
  • Hi,

    Windows 7 backup supports one backup schedule for both data and disk image. To help us consider adding this support in future releases, can you please let me know what are your consideration in creating two backup jobs of the same data to seperate locations?

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


    It is amazing that the program manager would need to ask this after the product has been developed.  Thats whats wrong with MS software.  It is still designed in the same Ivory Tower.  Why not talk to users or look at your past products for forward faceing designs.

    Why multiple schedules?  Very simple. 
    1.) I have lots of stuff.  All my stuff won't fit on one removable USB drive.
    2.) It takes a lot of time.  I want to backup 2TB of critical stuff once a day.  I want to backup the other 2TB of stuff once a week.
    3.) I want to put my backed up stuff somewhere else besides next to the computer.  Backup 101 Microsoft!

    Why Microsoft now scratch their head after releasing the flawed product and ask why would a user want something they had before.  After all these years, don't the users know they get what WE at MS decide they get?  Every 4 years, a new generation of 20-30 somethings decides the last generation of programmers were idiots and decide to do it different.  Look at that freaking ribbon bar on Office 2007, and dern if they didn't change it AGAIN and you can't find nothing.  Why would MS not put a button to "PUT MY MENU BACK like it was for a decade in Office 98?  Users scream for the old Office toolbar option, but MS ignore it.  I still have to hunt to spell check a doc.  I dont want to "review" and then spell check, I just want to alt - t - s like I did for 10 years.  But I digress.

    Please put out a hotfix patch to allow multiple schedules and destinations in Windows Backup.  Please start on it tomorrow and push it out in next Tuesday's updates. 

    and hurry because Lord knows what the next generation of 20-30 something programmers are going to do to it in 2020.

     

     

    Friday, April 08, 2011 3:08 AM
  • No use Rickee,

    As I posted in january:

    "Looks like "Christine" has been whistled back. As usual, MS lets its users muddle with these "terrific new features". Good thinking over there. Really top. Will use 7-zip."

    Since sept 1 2009 (!) no one of MS has bothered to look around here. As most professional users have their own backup system and most private users don't backup at all or do it in the cloud,  the group that actually uses Backup is too small for such a BIG company.

     

    Friday, April 08, 2011 7:48 AM
  •  http://blogs.technet.com/filecab/archive/2009/11/12/recovering-your-files-in-windows-7.aspx#imagebackup provides steps to recover/preview files inside a vhd by mounting it. It may help.


    -sushil

    If I have a multi volume backup on two or more DVD discs, can I mount these discs in the same way?

    Thanks a lot!

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011 4:08 PM
  • As a software engineer, I can tell you that MS designers/programers and tech support are just a group of idiots!! They just think the way how THEY use the computer, not WE (as valued customers). When I saw new backup in Windows 7, I thought Oh that's great, it eventually support whole disk images. However, when I started to use more, I found lots of problems, such as multiple job, disk rotations, etc. For serious users, it's completely useless. That's it!!
    Monday, May 09, 2011 7:34 AM
  • Amen leihu! Add to that Microsoft sells dreams.  I dream of the day that MS stops the BS and has a backup that works.  They cater to the IT pros and let the average Joe pound dirt for a solution that does not exist. Microsoft, your fired.  Does anyone know of another backup solution that works? I tried Acronis and it is not a good solution. There must be something I can use to rebuild when the Vista and Windows 7 OS meltdown happens.  I feel like I'm was better off with Window 3.0 when I rebuilt the OS every other month from floppy disk backups. At least this worked.  
    Tuesday, May 10, 2011 6:23 AM
  • In computing, it's often useful to think not about how things should work but what will happen when thing break.

    If my local USB hardrive dies (perhaps from the same power surge that killed my local hard drive) it would be very convenient to be able to store a backup to the network.

    Perhaps I'd do M-F daily backups to my local USB drive and a weekly to a server, or perhaps off-site.

    There are a large number of situations where being able to schedule more than one backup would be useful, especially considering that fact the network backups can only have one copy.

     

    In the meantime, I'm using Cobain Backup for daily backups and a weekly Windows Backup for the whole system.

    http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianbackup.htm

     

    Thanks!

    Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:58 PM
  • > In the meantime, I'm using Cobain Backup for daily backups

    I use Microsoft's SyncToy to keep a backup of the current state of the files.

    Friday, May 13, 2011 12:02 AM
  • I guess you can only expect so much with the software that comes with Windows.  Lucky enough to have paid for Windows 8 times since Windows 3.1 and have a somewhat stable system that can restore itself most of the time after it is hacked.    The problem I've had a few times is that the Windows recovery can not see the Windows installation in order to repair it, when the directory exists and is fully intact when examined on another system.  Windows repair installs have been 50/50 since the inception. Why can't Windows Repair detect a previous installation of Windows?  I think it is the most asinine thing.

    You would think Windows would also allow multiple snapshots throughout the day.  Backing up once a day is not enough.  But you do have snapshots that can be configured, one more layer of learning and complexity.  Why so many people are switching to MAC.  You just click it and it works.  With Microsoft products you have to be a software engineer.

    Anyhow, the solution I recommended to have two or more USB drives, or a USB drive and a Network share.  Backup your daily backup to the attached or internal hard drive, then xcopy or robocopy all the files to your preferred second location (network share or USB drive) and take it offsite.

     

    Friday, May 13, 2011 1:05 PM
  • Here is an idea for Win 7 Pro backup, albeit an imperfect one.  It solves two problems that I have noted on several forums:

    A) Win 7 Backup does not support multiple backup sets/schedules.

    B) According to Microsoft's help file, Win 7 Backup can save only the latest system image on NAS (network-attached storage).

    There is a further constraint:

    C) Win 7 Backup works with NTFS, but it does not work with Ext3 or Ext4 file systems.  (Thus no journaling, and limited integration into a mixed Windows / Linux network like mine.  Too bad.)

    Finally, three observations:

    D) User data integrity is what really matters.  Though a time-wasting hassle, it is always possible to re-install an operating system and applications.

    E) User data changes a little bit nearly all the time, with changes localized to relatively few files.  System files don't change much at all unless / until updated, when typically a large "clump" of related files are deleted and replaced.  Therefore, it makes sense to back up User and System files on differing schedules and/or according to differing trigger events.

    F) Even the best on-site backup is vulnerable to local disaster.  So also consider off-site backup.

    Step by step:

    1) Set up NAS on your network to capture backup sets.  You might purchase an "always on" NAS appliance for this purpose.  Needing a new router anyway, I recently (May 2011) obtained an ASUS RT-N16 and flashed it with Tomato-USB firmware.  This yielded a router with Swiss-Army-Knife capability whose dual USB ports support drives formatted with NTFS, Ext2 or Ext3 file systems.  I thereby have a chunk of NAS that absorbs Win Backup data at 3 MB/sec sustained rate.

    2) Use Win 7 Backup to incrementally back up just the system image, not the user files, to a LOCAL disk drive.  This need not be a very large or quick drive.  (I happen to use the same drive for Win 7 swap and hibernation.  It's the 5900 RPM, 140 GB IDE drive from which I was quite content to boot Win XP a few years ago.)  You might set Win 7 Backup to an infrequent schedule, or you might get into the habit of running it after each app installation or Microsoft update.

    3) Use a third-party tool to back up user data to NAS.  Several claim to handle incremental backups gracefully on multiple schedules.  Some are freeware, some are try-it / buy-it, and some are well supported by established names in the industry.  I can't offer a recommendation based on experience yet.

    4) Extra credit project: Since the RT-N16 is actually a competent little Linux box, use it to run the client from one of the "cloud" backup service providers and so automatically push NAS backup files off site from time to time.  I can't offer a firm recommendation yet, though I have had good results using SpiderOak on a small project.  Check out the many attractive options out there on the Web!

    Have fun with this.  There is no point in complaining.  When confronted by an obstacle, go around, over or through it.  That is how Gates grubstaked Microsoft with IBM's money, and it's what Torvalds did to get a *nix kernel without strings.


    • Edited by Halfnium Sunday, July 10, 2011 2:49 AM Clarification
    Sunday, July 10, 2011 2:38 AM
  • The solution is to manup and purchase a thrid party program, or purchase Microsoft's Backup program that only runs on a domain, Microsoft Data Protection Manager.  It's ~ $600 US.  M$oft has been forced to do some seemingly underhanded things with their softwares now to compete with Google Apps And SUN Open Office.  For example, in addition to breaking the good NT backup program on purpose, they have now taken Public Folders support out of Exchange 2010, saying it is a "depreciated" "feature".  The solution is to buy licences of Sharepoint for all your users that need public folder support.  Underhanded, Sneaky, Greedy yes.  Illegal, no.  Thats capitolization, and Microsoft is #1 at it.   They gots you by the JuJu's if you let them.  I am doing everything in my power to migrate to open source Ubuntu,OpenOffice platform.  If Ubuntu/OpenOffice don't have it, I don't need it.
    • Proposed as answer by Rickkee Sunday, September 04, 2011 8:06 PM
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 7:55 PM
  • Christine, I need to backup daily to one of two external hard drives (one is kept off-site and the two are switched every Friday to insure a pretty current off-site backup).  I need to do an overwrite of the backup file on Friday  with a full backup, followed by differential backups appended to it the other days of the week.  This has always been easy to schedule with Windows XP (or earlier) backup utilities.  Now it seems impossible.  What's up with that?  Thanks, Dennis Merrill
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 4:10 PM
  • We have 450+ users. Most of them can get by with one backup a week because alot of what they do is inside programs that are running on a server, that stores the changes. But there are alot of users whose data is stored on their PCs and they save new data everyday and they need to backup atleast twice a week. we would love to be able to backup everyday but cannot do to bandwidth isssues and the fact that we are for the most part a 24 hr operation.


    • Edited by Amboydukes Monday, October 17, 2011 3:17 PM
    Monday, September 26, 2011 2:30 PM
  • I offically give up on this program.  Have files to restore from two seperate backups, and Windows backup RESTORE can only run one job at a time.  I have 4TB of data and now I have to wait for the first 2TB to restore. 

    I thought I would try to run the second instance with WBAdmin (why should I have to learn this WBAdmin DOS jazz) and on Technet there is no instruction how to do it to an alternate location, maybe there is a way, but this whole program feels so 1980's I am not going to deal with it anymore.  A simple restore command HA!  Get a pencil because you have to write down the folders to recover.  I have about 58 of them.  Gimminey Crickets.  COME ON MICROSOFT!

    First look up what you need:
    Get the version:

    wbadmin get versions
    [-backupTarget:{<BackupTargetLocation> | <NetworkSharePath>}]
    [-machine:BackupMachineName]
    --------------
    Now get the items
    wbadmin get items
    -version:<VersionIdentifier>
    [-backupTarget:{<BackupTargetLocation> | <NetworkSharePath>}]
    [-machine:<BackupMachineName>]
    Now put your stuff back.
    wbadmin start recovery
    -version:<VersionIdentifier>
    -items:{<VolumesToRecover> | <AppsToRecover> | <FilesOrFoldersToRecover>}
    -itemtype:{Volume | App | File}
    [-backupTarget:{<VolumeHostingBackup> | <NetworkShareHostingBackup>}]
    [-machine:<BackupMachineName>]
    [-recoveryTarget:{<TargetVolumeForRecovery> | <TargetPathForRecovery>}]
    [-recursive]
    [-overwrite:{Overwrite | CreateCopy | Skip}]
    [-notRestoreAcl]
    [-skipBadClusterCheck]
    [-noRollForward]
    [-quiet]
    Arghhhhh
    • Edited by Rickkee Friday, September 30, 2011 2:20 AM
    Friday, September 30, 2011 2:11 AM
  • I got the versions
    I got the items  (c-drive and volume ID)

    Anybody know how to list the contents of the backup, so I can see folders or files in the backup set?

    Friday, September 30, 2011 3:24 AM
  • Hi Eckerlin, I came across your posts on backup strategies while looking for one for myself.

    Your backup and rotation policy is very similar to what I wish to do. I was wondering if you would share what software you are ow using, particularly what you have found regarding incremental backups to alternating external hard drives.

    Rgds

    Chris

     

    Sunday, October 16, 2011 2:47 AM
  • I have found the affordable replacement for Windows Backup.
    Image For Windows by Terrabyte Unlimited.  $49.  No looking back.

    • Proposed as answer by Rickkee Thursday, October 20, 2011 2:44 PM
    Thursday, October 20, 2011 2:44 PM
  • Hi Eckerlin, I came across your posts on backup strategies while looking for one for myself.

    Your backup and rotation policy is very similar to what I wish to do. I was wondering if you would share what software you are ow using, particularly what you have found regarding incremental backups to alternating external hard drives.

    Rgds

    Chris

     

    Hi Chris

    Shame on me and my apologies:  For many months, I was not following anymore this forum and it is only today, that i got aware of your post.

    For Backups, I use exclusively the Windows 7 Backup Software of Microsoft. Not because of money considerations: but because I looked at different other software, tried two of them and concluded that i would be fool to trust them for my Backups and my Recoveries. I wasted a lot of time with Acronis True Image 2010 and was totally disgussed by the large number of encountered bugs and by what Acronis considered to be a support. ...Maybe, the 2012 Version is better, but I am not willing to try to trust gain Acronis.

    What Am I now doing with my concept of rotations: Instead of using (as I wished to do and still wish to do, if Windows Backup would provide a better support) three different  Backup-Jobs I am using only one Backup Job, that is scheduled automatically once a week.

    - For approximately two months (as opposed to approximately one month, as I wished to do), I create the backup on one external USB-3 Disk.

    -  Then after approximately two months, I bring my external USB-3 to the safe of my bank, get from there my other USB-3 disk and use it for the two next months for my weekly backups.

    - Then, again I go to the safe of my bank to switch the USB-3 Disk,....

    One important disadvantage of this scenario: every time that I change the USB-3 Disk, Windows Backup starts again with a Full Backup which requires a lot of Backup Disk Space (my 2 TB Backup Dirves get rapdily full - probably after one year) and the Full Backup takes quite a lot of time (I tried to alleviate that, by using now USB-3 disks instead of my former USB-2 disks). This is why, I now switch my USB-3 disks only every two months, instead of every month (as I still wish to be able to do).

    With this scenario, in case that my house burns or in case of burglars who steal/destroy at my home both my Desktop PC and the external USB-3 Backup disk, I still have a backup in the safe of my bank (and loose "only" a maximum of two months worth of recent data).
    -------

    In those periods, where I work extensively on a Project: in addition to the weelky backups described above, I also more frequently copy "manually" (with Windows Explorer) the project Folder(s)  to an internal disk (in order to avoid the loose too much of the extensive work that i have done on this project). 

    ---

    I am not happy with this situation, but I have to live with it.
    Cheers


    Windows 7 Ultimate, 64 bit, German Language Version
    Monday, January 23, 2012 11:34 AM
  • I have the feeling MS released W7 Backup and Restore aiming to Home users only.

    Too bad, I was just looking for its features hoping for multiple schedules, incremental BUs, BU unit devices rotation, and all that. I guess I will have to go the 3rd party way in order to backup the multiple computers in the offices and those remote ones that connect via VPN every so often.

    Oh! Well... Let's just hope they react and release a better product with W8.

    Friday, January 27, 2012 11:12 PM
  • Advanced Business Solutions is a Point of Sale Dealer ans Support for our software.

    So to protest our customers sales and history, we have set up Sunday to Saturday backup protection for worst case.

    that way we have yesterday information or only loose one or two days.

    Monday, March 19, 2012 7:50 PM
  • I'm using Cobain for nightly backups offsite (changed files only, for current recovery snapshot), and also for a full monthly snapshot (onsite external USB, just for speed reasons -- could have used a network share instead) and it's 256bit AES encrypted and compressed as zips, so very efficient and secure and easy to recover, if you have the passphrase of course!

    I'm still using Windows Backup for a nightly system image, but I'd be just as happy using Todo Backup for that -- I've had pretty good experiences with full Windows 7 system recoveries using Todo -- although you do need a second size-matched hard drive for that so it's a better option if you have your OS & apps installed on an SSD.

    I'm also using Windows Backup for nightly backups of carefully selected vital folders, in case I need to "undo" a catastrophic database or macro change.  For me, the main advantage of that is the "Previous Versions" tab in File Properties, but that's really just a nice-to-have.

    Lest we forget that Microsoft keep getting in trouble for providing fully-featured apps as part of their OS; it's quite deliberate that Win7 forces you to select an anti-virus, and I noticed that IE10 now forces you to select a browser of your choosing rather than just embed itself on your desktop (I was quite surprised to see Maxthon in the list, a blast from the past).


    • Edited by baldmosher Thursday, October 24, 2013 2:47 PM
    Thursday, October 24, 2013 2:45 PM