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5 January, 2010

Windows 7 Backup – Update

So after my last post I had pretty much given on the Windows 7 backup. But then for some reason I got the suspicion that the hard drive I was using might be faulty. So anyway, I did a full scan disk and it did in fact find some bad sectors on the disk.

So I switched to another external disk and tried the whole thing all over again.. and it worked! Well, almost. For some reason it still kept complaining about a non-existant directory, C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\Web Development

Anyway this site gave me an obvious but useful solution: just create the empty folder it’s looking for! So I did and now it works properly without complaining. It’s still not my only backup, but it’s good to know I at least have it in case I need it.

29 December, 2009

Windows 7 Backup – bloody useless

As someone whos studies and work are totally computer-based, backup is an important issue to me. Until now I’ve relied on simple directory synchronisation – I can specify exactly what I want and know what exacltly is going on. I still use Directory Sync Pro, which is just great for most purposes.

However since starting to use Windows 7, I’ve been wanting to give the inbuilt Backup & Restore feature as a second backup. So I found a nice empty hard-drive for dedicating to this purpose, and went ahead.

First I just chose all the default options, which essentially backs up all your user profile stuff, and makes a “system image” (which it’s a bit vague about, but anyway). First it says it’s copying the files, which takes absolutely ages (hours and hours). The computer is usable during that time but sometimes it really slows down. Also there’s no pause button. There’s stop, but I have yet to see it actually work :/.

Anyway, then it finally gets to the system image, which takes even longer… long story short, for some reason mine would never complete. It would always get stuck at 83%, even after a whole night of working. At this point the computer is unusable – I pretty much had to do a hard-reboot. Tried again and it did exact the same thing, practically freezing at 83% then another hard reboot.

So I cleared everything, and decided to try again choosing “custom” this time. I selected my libraries and 2 folders in C:\, with no system image since that’s what seemed to be the problem before. This time it works for about an hour, getting to 25%, then suddenly finishes saying the backup was incomplete because it skipped some files. When I look at the log to find out what it skipped, it’s some non-existent file: C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\Web Development

Last chance I thought.. I changed the backup settings and removed some insignificant stuff like the contacts folder – then start the backup again, it takes 6 whole hours to get to 100%… but then complains about the same file!

At this point I lost hope. There’s definitely something in the backup, but it never “completes”, always complaining about that file. So honestly I don’t know how much I can trust it…

My conclusion: you’re probably better off with something else. Anyway if anyone has had similar (or different) luck with it I’d love to know…