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HELP - Win 7 Backup not working!


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So I reinstalled my Windows 7. Before that I made Backups using the Windows 7 backup system (not sure what it's called in english). It created a single backupfile (the icon with the cd and the green arrow on it).

 

Now I tried to restore my files - but 90% of the fodlers are just empty!!

 

Then I saw that this file only has 1,6 GB size. Luckily I copied my Windows Backup to another external HDD on which it has 57 GB (it says there are 1.664 files in it, etc.) but I can not open it!

Windows only recognizes the corrupt 1,6 GB backup file. When I double click on the 57 GB file nothing happens! :(

 

I switched the external HDD off so that Windows can only recognize the HDD with the 57 GB backup file on it, but still it doesn't do anything. Even going to system panel and choosing "save and restore" (or what's it called on the english Windows) it will not find / recognize the backup file.

 

Gosh - all my stuff is in there. I made a copy of the backup file to be 200 % sure it all works. But now it doesn't! Heeeelp :( :( :(

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"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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I think maybe the failure could be that Windows tried to make another Backup, the day after I made the main backup and copied it to the second HDD. But even then - why doesn't it open this backup then (only the little one which has only a few files in it)? I saw no other folders when I copied the backup - only the Windows Backup file.

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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No - I already isntalled my Win 7, plugged in my external HDD and tried to restore some files using Windows 7 Backup. (The Backup software that came with Windows)

 

:-/

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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OH GOD MY HEART NOW WORKS AGAIN - I almost died....

 

Solution:

Windows seems to save the backup files in a strange way. You can not just copy the files the way you want to. I only copied the single windows backup file (there are no hidden folders and stuff, so I guess it must save some hidden information on the volume itself). Nevertheless I copied my BIG backupfile over the little one (they had the same names because they were from the same computer) and then it finally recognized all my folders again.

 

The problem was, that I made the final backup on Thursday. There I copied the single Windows backup file to another HDD to be 200 % sure erverything works.

I switched the pc off, but I used the pc again on Friday (where Windows started another backup). This was the little file I found.

So luckily I could just copy it over the little file and it works again now.

 

Gosh - my poor heart. I hate these backup things! Can somebody recommend a better backup software to me please? :D

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"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Hm I defenetely want to use a new backup software now. Because I believe, if I use this Windows backup again, it will overwrite all my files again which would be stupid o_O

 

EDIT:

How can I do a save copy of a backup then, this is so stupid.. Let's say I want to make my new Backups on HDD 1 again (because it has fast USB 3.0), I would copy over my old backup from the last Windows installation to HDD 2. Since I do that, it will not recognize the old update anymore, so I must copy it over to HDD 1 again to work.

 

This doesn't make any sense.

 

How do you guys do this? I mean, saving an old Windows Backup and open it later if you need to, while having a new Windows Backup already? You can only choose an external HDD, but not the folder where Windows stores the backup, so I guess if I would choose the same HDD (HDD 1) for my new backups now, it will overwrite the old ones. And since I can't use the copied old backup on HDD 2 the files will be gone if I assume this right.

 

Did you copy Windows Backup files once?

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Edited by SeriousToni

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Glad you got it worked out. Yes windows backup is a strange bird. I'm not a fan of how it wants to "own" an entire drive if it writes a backup to it.

Windows likes to reserve backup media (like tapes). So if you plug in a drive and tell Windows to back up to it, Windows wants to say, "this is NOW a backup drive and nothing else can be written to it! Its mine!". This is really for corporate stuff I think. So that data is protected and not accidently erased, etc. For home uses its not that practical. I haven't ever tried just copying and pasting files from a Win backup to a different media source and I'd imagine that even if you show "hidden files and folders" or "protected files" that you're still not going to get anywhere.

 

Windows backup catalogs the device in which the data was written to so when you copy it to someplace else, windows is not going to recognize it because that is not the device that is cataloged in Windows backup.

 

I prefer making drive/partition images. Then you don't need to reinstall windows just to reinstall windows. You just re-image your drive and its fast and simple. Of course I think if you make a Windows Rescue Disk you can boot it and then restore your windows from the backup image Windows creates but again, the backup drive/media can't be used for anything else.

 

Macrium Reflect is free and works great too. You can image an entire drive or partition and just restore it or back up individual files, etc.

 

I used it to image my OS spinning HDD. I got a new SSD, plugged it in, Told macrium to copy my bootable OS disk to it, took about 30min. for ~45GB of data on the drive. Shut down, unplugged my HD, plugged my SSD in and booted back up to windows on SSD with all my stuff. It was fast and painless. It also aligned partition offset for SSD.

 

Fast and simple. Great software for free and there are others. If you want expanded options there is also a paid version.

Edited by Lux
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I don't care about OS-level backups, I just backup my precious files.

 

I have a big external HDD. I plug it into my computer and use a simple sync-program to do a synchronization from the internal HD to the external HD.

Programs that can do this: Freecommander (win), Krusader (linux).

 

The benefit of synchronization is that you only copy the files that have been updated, making the backup fast.

 

Oh course, if you are doing asymmetric synchronization, you could lose data if you do it in the wrong direction. Always examine the changes carefully before hitting the backup button.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I have two OS level backups. One is a bare bone OS install with drivers and web browser and its about 7GB compressed. The other is OS with all my normal programs and apps loaded, everything updated (for the time) and that image is around 45GB.

 

I also have my game drive (170GB) imaged and the drive I store images on is mirrored every night to an identicle drive.

 

The base OS image can be reloaded in around 10min. That beats the hell out of reinstalling any version of windows.

 

The extended OS image can be loaded in around 30-40 minutes. If I installed my OS, Office, PS, Steam, 4-5 games, etc.. all software I generally use, we are talking about hOURs of time.... much nicer to be back up and running quickly and with little effort.

 

Takes the pain out of times when/if you get a crashed drive or faulty hardware/virus/etc. when you're already frustrated.

Edited by Lux
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Forgot to mention, you can also make an OS agnostic image for those times when you're upgrading your motherboard/processor/etc.

 

You just have to install some base windows drivers and you can image the OS to any drive/motherboard combo and then just boot it up.

 

Windows 7 onward will autodetect drivers after install or you can manually put them in for the new board.

 

Here is an older WinXP tutorial about it and the same tricks still work with Win7/8.

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It's nice to see how other users do this. Thank you for the detailed informations - hopefully I can learn a new (and better) backup strategy than now. :)

 

I found out something new about Windows Backup. It didn't recognize my Backup File on HDD 2 because it wasn't on top level. Which means that I CAN copy Windows Backup files, but to use them they MUST be on the top level. Why the hell doesn't Windows help say this? It's something important and again, something stupid...

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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I don't like Windows backup either. It won't let you choose files or folders or types, so the backup is much bigger than it needs to be, and they've disabled the option to backup to a network drive on Home version of Windows.

I use FBackup. It's free, file / folder based, dead easy to set up, seems reliable, and you can choose between the basic types of mirror, incremental etc.

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SyncBack here on recommendation of bunches of /. users a couple years ago. Free, fast, file synchronization, highly customizable, only mirror what you want.

 

Best, you never risk this situation, as it keeps everything in regular file structure, so you can access it with anything, not even needing SyncBack to restore/mirror/sync/whatever. Could just copy via Windows, or another OS that reads the drive.

 

Macrium Reflect says it's a 30 day free trial on their website? (Their download server seems offline anyway.) Actual free imaging software would be nice to have.

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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Yeah, that was the page that got me to, "Firefox can't find the server at dw.cbsi.com."

 

I was seeking an alternate download link, ah, via the Download tab at the top, which led to the 30-day trial info. Both pages have exact same version and date, and the graphic shows "Free/Trial software", hence the confusion (which then worries me, backup software should be dead simple, not confusing, heh!)

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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(which then worries me, backup software should be dead simple, not confusing, heh!)

 

http://download.cnet.com/Macrium-Reflect-Free/3000-2242_4-10845728.html?part=dl-&subj=dl&tag=button

 

That's the link from the Downloads.com page. The software is dead simple and very powerful. I guess the web page is confusing to some. :P

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Windows help

 

This is your problem, Windows help, for whatever reason, has almost always turned out to be utterly useless during my work in IT. I've come to realise that MS has the same approach that Linux does, which is community support, only MS doesn't openly admit it. Almost every fix I've ever seen, barring straight error code messages for a couple of services, has come from the community. Sevenforums and a couple of others end up being where I find most of my answers.. which is a damn shame.

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Thank you At0mic, will try this out too :)

 

Hah - so I thought USB 3.0 HDDs are fast (at least the shop assistant told me that), but then I started copying... :laugh:

 

"1 Tag verbleibend" means "one day remaining" xD

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"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Yes, there are two USB 3.0 HDDs connected. I am copying from one to another. You can see that it has 60MB/s speed :)

Finally it shows me 1 hour left. I guess it is the unreliable Windows time prediction that has never really worked for me.. ^_^

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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  • 2 weeks later...

Windows backup is perhaps the most flaky process ever devised, it's best to use known third party back up software or just duplicate crucial files on to an external HDD or flash drive.

Nonsense, tomfoolery and abject stupidity, all of which can be found on my channel. (TDM stuff included)

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