Is Windows 7 going to hurt Acronis et al

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Oldjim, Oct 26, 2009.

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  1. Oldjim

    Oldjim Registered Member

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    Just playing with my new Windows 7 installation and I find that there is a full system backup capability.
    Other than incremental backups it seems to do the same as Acronis.
    One thing which is interesting is that the full system backup includes the Master Boot Partition where a dual boot system is used.
    For example on my Vista/Windows 7 dual boot it backs up both partitions automatically as the Vista partition is on the first boot drive so that in case of either disk failing I can put in a new disk and restore the whole thing.
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I don't know about Acronis, but I'd never drop ShadowProtect. It will be a while before I'd trust windows with something this important.
     
  3. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    The included backup system inside Windows 7 and Vista only does full system backups and restores, nothing else. So, if you only need to do the above, you may depend entirely on it, but if you, like most others, need advanced functionality from their backup utility, then you will have to go for one of the mainstream programs.
     
  4. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    I have tryed the windows system imaging that comes with 7 and it worked fine including restore.
    I wont be ditching image for windows thou.

    btw any windows user can use the imaging technology that is bultin to windows 7. the problem is knowing how to use it. its part of WAIK (windows automated installation kit) one of the problems is that the version that comes with WAIK is commandline but there is some front ends avaliable so you can get a full offline imaging solution for free from MS that will backup any windows OS but it will take some time to intergrate all the bits you need.
     
  5. Oldjim

    Oldjim Registered Member

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    I suppose it depends how you control your backups.
    My principle is to create full backups of the system partition at regular intervals as well as daily automated backups of my data using SyncToy. Previously I have used Acronis for this but may now consider trying the Windows 7 built in image backup.
    There is however a bit of a glitch in relation to my system. I have a dual boot system (Vista and Windows 7) with the primary boot drive having Vista and the second drive Windows 7. With this the Windows 7 backup insists on backing up both partitions on the basis that the master boot record is on the Vista partition.
    So until I junk Vista completely I will need to add another hard drive to store the backup on a different drive - or put a backup on each drive to cover for the case where either one fails.
     
  6. JohnnyDollar

    JohnnyDollar Guest

    Windows imaging is going to have to be a lot more flexible to hurt Acronis or the other major players in the field.
     
  7. ambient_88

    ambient_88 Registered Member

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    That is true. Windows Backup also doesn't compress very well.
     
  8. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    btw ive only found one way to do windows imaging in 7 and thats to press the create image button on the left hand side of the backup and restore in control panel and it doesnt seem to allow me to schedule the backups?
    i know that the commandline version from waik has alot of options including different compression levels and hoping to have the same options with the one with 7.
     
  9. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    You need to schedule a backup through the built-in scheduler. Here is an article that explains the process for Vista. I am assuming it will be similar for Win 7.

    I just wanted to let you know that I have never performed this process myself, as I use Paragon for backups.
     
  10. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    it doesnt seem to say how to schedule a system image. it says about how to use task scheduler to do a file backup but not system image.

    it would be nice to be able to setup a system image system for all my clients that get windows 7 using some the task scheduler.
     
  11. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    No, I think it is a complete system backup which include everything, i.e it is a system image.

    The WBAdmin utility is used for "block level imaging"

    See here for an overview of WBAdmin.

    See here for the relevant commands.
     
  12. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    Thanks.
    according to that the standard options are to create fast differentials after the first backup.

    the first backup was sucessfull.
     
  13. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Yeah, I seemed to have missed that when I did this research more than a year ago for my brand new Vista. I always assumed it to be a full-backup each time. Still, I am happy I got Paragon Hard Disk manager Pro, as I do not like to muck around with manual script based command line utilities. But WBAdmin is free and that makes up for the inconvenience of the manual command line structure.
     
  14. norky

    norky Registered Member

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    Just like there's a market for 3rd party defraggers, there will be a market for 3rd party imaging/backup tools.
     
  15. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

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    Until MS makes a boot CD that will both make and read images, I'm keeping my Acronis image CD. I reboot to the CD's Linux environment for my image handling. Just don't feel comfortable with VSS even though there probably isn't any reason to worry. I don't pickup tarantulas with my bare hands either. lol.

    SourMilk out
     
  16. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    My thoughts mirror Pete's on ShadowProtect; it works exactly the way I'd expect when backing up/restoring images. ATI, although decent from my experience using it, needs some re-tooling before I consider it in the same league as SP. Because of SP's proven track record, I have no reason to believe Windows backup will replace it for my needs.
     
  17. kennyboy

    kennyboy Registered Member

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    If Windows System Restore is anything to go by, I would be very hesitant in relying on a Windows Utility to backup my system or data until it is proven to be as reliable and flexible as DS and SP. etc.
     
  18. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I've relied on True Image version 10 for several years now, and am still using it in Windows 7. I agree that although the built-in Windows Imaging works fine, it lacks flexibility. However, it does allow the core functions of creating, mounting, and restoring images.

    You may not be aware that Windows 7 creates images in Virtual Hard Disk (.vhd) format. These may be directly mounted in Windows Disk Managment Console to view and extract files from the image. Or, they can be mounted as virtual disks in Virtual PC 2007 or Virtual XP.

    One other difference from normal imaging tools is the way that incremental imaging is handled. In Windows 7, the first image created is a full image (of any selected partitions) and later images are incremental. The resultant image file (in .vhd format) is always modified to contain the latest full image. Incremental images are created by storing changed clusters in VSS shadow copy storage on the disk (Win 7 will reserve up to 30% of the space on the backup disk for VSS storage). As more and more incremental images are created, eventually the FIFO process will delete the oldest saved clusters, thus the oldest image is lost. The newest is always available.

    Contrast this with normal incremental backup schemes where the oldest image (the full base image) is most likely to survive, and the latest version, which depends on all of the intervening incrementals being intact) is the least likely to survive.

    Interesting contrast, isn't it?
     
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