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Windows and backups...

VileReynard
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Windows and backups...

My daughter has a Windows 7 laptop and already it has accumulated 200GB of assorted rubbish - mostly videos.
She got a scare when the HP recovery software decided to kick-in for no apparent reason and I've convinced her she needs to take backups.
I don't want to resize a 250GB NTFS partition so I can install Linux (it take weeks).
However, Windows has this very nasty habit of mixing programs and files all over the disk.
I would like to run something like rsync (I expect Windows would require the 64 bit version, unless it does mixed mode).
What are the possibilities for free software for Windows?
I have a slightly remote NAS (500GB spare) accessible via NFS.
However, the backup would probably have to run over wireless.  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Windows and backups...

There are two options
Backing up the operating system including installed programs and backing up the user data
For the installed programs including Windows there is a built in utility in Windows 7 to do that
For the user data I would use SyncToy and backup to another computer on the network. This can be set to run at predetermined intervals (mine is set to 18.30 every day using the contribute option)
Community Veteran
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Re: Windows and backups...

I did a full backup and restore of a W7 system recently (using the inbuilt recovery facilities) and it was quick and easy.
Created a recovery DVD and a full backup to an external drive. (Did that all twice to be sure)
This was due to a suspect hard disk so I took the opportunity to replace it with a larger one.
After the reinstall all worked fine, including all programs (which recovered perfectly) and all user data.
I also took the opportunity (afterwards) to do some partition resizing; this too is quick & easy in W7.  Wink
JayG
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Re: Windows and backups...

I create a complete new system image on an external USB HDD every 3 months, and an additional backup of my personal folders every month, both using the built in Win7 utility.
(You also need to create a recovery CD to enable you to boot up the computer in the event of a complete system failure.)
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Re: Windows and backups...

Interesting view on this subject here on iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01fbfhg/Bang_Goes_the_Theory_Series_6_How_Safe_Is_Your_Digital...

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To argue with someone who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead - Thomas Paine
VileReynard
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Re: Windows and backups...

Surprised to see that a magnet could wipe a disk - I was always told that disk magnetization was far too high to be affected like this.
I'm interested in one of these backup methods -  but noway am I copying entire disks around!

Waldo
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Re: Windows and backups...

VileReynard
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Re: Windows and backups...

You are so right!
I had this deja vu feeling.
I know I should force people to take backups...
But I lack enthusiasm, they don't want to lose their machine for many hours
and I'm not prepared to pay for extra hardware (such as an external drive) to make it happen quickly.
I'm going to mull over both sets of answers... Cheesy

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Re: Windows and backups...

I'm off to buy a few thousand miles of punch tape Smiley

Customer and Forum Moderator.

To argue with someone who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead - Thomas Paine
VileReynard
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Re: Windows and backups...

Well, standard magnetic tape came on a 2400ft reel, which is almost half a mile.  Smiley

snozboz
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Re: Windows and backups...

As for (free) software, I recommend Cobian Backup http://cobiansoft.com/cobianbackup.htm
VileReynard
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Re: Windows and backups...

Well I know there are a lot of solutions there and I hope they are useful to someone.
On the grounds that you can't backup Windows if bits of it are in use (so you don't get a decent sync point) I tried a homegrown solution.
I used an ancient XP laptop - around 75GB of crud and only 512MB of memory.
I booted a small linux from CD (which can store some data in a USB stick) - I had a 1GB free sample spare.
I also have a NFS disk connected to the router via 100Mb ethernet.
Using the builtin wireless I ran a program called rsync
Normally this would only send the bits of files which have changed between backups to the backup drive - but obviously the first time it is horrendous!!!
It is still running.  Grin Grin
BTW I discovered major amounts of crud (including IE5 files) stored in Temp directories - not to mention major amounts of java cache files.
Who do these people think they are?
Every software developer (and his dog) seems to think they're obliged to leave major messes.  Cry Cry