Spartan Backup Idea? 'Program Files' - 'ProgramData' - 'Users' folders+some .reg files? -my 1st post

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by wilsecian, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. wilsecian

    wilsecian Registered Member

    Nov 12, 2014
    Grateful for the amazingly helpful reads over past several year - MUCH appreciated.

    OBJECTIVE [top-lined short-version]:
    I don't have need of full image backups and hoping for tips/improvements
    to copying main/essential folders (list below) and doing some registry exports.

    -- Are there any GURU tips - example: installing an app WHILE creating script to later use for reinstall?

    -- Something I've totally missed or not appreciated, like a clever registry export/import system?

    I'm fine with, and even prefer a full OS reinstall in the event something goes badly wrong
    (win 8.1 and/or win 10 tech preview) - Have had good success with full disk backup and restore -
    Currently enjoying my first SSD (500 gig) - Always use MBR for boot sector

    YET: Do not want to be maintaining boot disk full image backups (always single partition MBR drives)

    EXPERIENCES: [general only]
    Like many of you I've tried scores of things over the decades in so many areas -
    I'll attempt to be concise and as brief as possible.

    NOTE: I run as Administrator only, and activate Administrator account immediately after any fresh install

    Considering the following folders [Windows 8.1 and Windows 10]

    Program Files
    Program Files\Common Files
    Program Files (x86)
    Program Files (x86)\Common Files
    And, programs I install to C drive root in named-by-me folders

    Users\Administrator (and all sub-folders of course)


    My methodology results in only a few programs getting installed to their default location -
    Most programs are installed to Boot drive (One Partition Drive) in the root directory -
    and a good 70 percent of them are happy to run after copying to new
    drive with perhaps a tweak or two - registry, common files etc.

    Some programs need reinstalling (keeping it simpler here) and, I'm happy to reinstall them,
    even though by making notes and checking my install monitoring regimen, in many cases
    I could get them to run - many of you will be very experienced at Soooo many of the finer points
    of what I've touching on here.

    The REGISTRY: I've done lots of registry studying (some:), "the registry is a living thing" I've coined,
    after discovering just enough to get by to date about it, practically, for my needs.

    MY QUESTION: I'd love to hear of any tips. Here's what I'm thinking.

    For me I'm wishing to entirely forget about full drive imaging - not bothered by reinstalling OS -
    So, what about doing copies (backups) of all the main folders listed up top here, with,
    Syncback Smartsync Goodsync or similar, or another method --

    AND: that's really all I've got, and that's what I've done most often when reinstalling -
    I've made notes on the 20 or so apps/programs WHEN monitoring the installs -
    then exported registry files I knew I'd need - put the files back on new drive and all good. Mostly.

    If I've not missed something fantastic then maybe there's a scripting method that's awesome?
    or making a reinstall script WHILE the tricky apps/programs are installing?


    mostly to do with registry? Some other amazing tip I've never read about?

    Thanks all - hope I've not been tiresome - in fact getting a bit tired myself so I'll just
    post this and hope I'm not racing to the edit button in 1 minute.

    GRRREAT to be here!!!
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  2. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

    Nov 6, 2009
    Try AX64 Time Machine, it's far more automatic and easier than traditional imaging.
  3. wilsecian

    wilsecian Registered Member

    Nov 12, 2014
    -- have followed and benefited from the back and forth contrasting great thoughts (here!:)) on most all the imaging programs over the seasons

    - looking for slick and manual-ish, as yet not discovered or appreciated (by me*-) ways to use the registry - perhaps scripting
    - gottcha's/fixes/enhancements in my methods which currently is, 'going to be':

    copy the folders in my first post
    export a bunch of registry entries

    when i need to reinstall for any reason
    copy them all back over top of fresh windows 10
    import logical registry entries back
    suffer the time reinstalling the usually larger apps

    tons of cool learning stuff when hitting bumps that way

    interested in what I may have missed
    I've read a few post/threads discussing why to do imaging, what to use, etc. etc.


    don't expect replies though if some pop along with some scripting WHILE installing (to be used for later reinstall)
    or other tips for using registry exports -- OR? -- that would be cool - though, now that I think - happy to have simply written my post!

    best wishes to all.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Sep 20, 2003
    It seems to me you are making the simple complex. I would forget about this picking out windows folders, etc. It will bite you when you really need it. If feel you don't full images(a mistake in my opinion) then just stick to backing up data, and leave the windows stuff alone.

    That said, I would recommend you stay away from AX64 as it is still very much beta software. Works great for some, others have problems. I would recommend Macrium and IFW as extremely reliable.
  5. wilsecian

    wilsecian Registered Member

    Nov 12, 2014
    cool -

    Wrote here wondering, 'what may i have missed' ... mostly

    yes, and for example have found for no apparent reason my MBR would be included in some backups and others
    not, depending on software tried (user error of course is a factor i am looking to avoid as well)

    Plus, just not interested in a
    500 gig file sitting around never to be used -- unproven to work even, without more verifications, and actually trying it, for peace of mind.

    Example: oops, i was rushing/tired -- i just wrote a blank 500 gig file over my boot drive!!! uh, yeah... i could do that.

    MAINLY there's so much, well, JOY, in the process to knowing which programs need what, how they cope with registry imports
    and User and Common files to get running again - or just the time it takes to reinstall.

    I've done/been-doing, with much success the, monitor what the program install, make decisions
    as to whether it's worth it and sensible to consider it a, "no need to install again" program and keep notes on it, with perhaps a registry export or two.

    Yeah, maybe i have too much time set aside for it all, and a full disk backup would improve time management and reaching other goals.

    Yes, ya'll have me thinking. Thanks.

    Gonna try to come up with some effective search terms for the scripted installs thought I've recently had,
    plus yesterday first-time wondered if one could install WHILE creating a script that would repeat the install process
    if I put the script in the programs install folder and ran via command line or other.

    Wrote here wondering, 'what may i have missed' ... mostly

    all good, enough!
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Sep 20, 2003
    Ask your self, Why am I bothering with backup. Are you playing or do you seriously need it?
  7. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

    Feb 24, 2008
  8. wilsecian

    wilsecian Registered Member

    Nov 12, 2014
    looking at Chocolatey!! ... may have seen something about it some ways back (or not - hehe) and that what I'm reminding myself about
    - That, there's obviously a whole bunch of guru tips/techniques I've not found or understood. Chocolatey lead most appreciated!!

    And Peter2150:
    i probably should play a bit, though don't - and, i could certainly have been clearer - i am happy to have the whole boot drive seize up,
    reinstall everything and use my file/registry backups as touched on above - i came to Wilders due to the astonishingly helpful pointers, debates,
    and guides i've read in past years - just gently looking around for tips/techniques - no more big boot drive image files for me in the foreseeable future -
    though at some point i will create them again, as a good-sense time-saver... for sure.

    nice stuff ALL-round for getting me thinking!!
    Many thanks.