Tarball backup on Windows?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Gullible Jones, May 27, 2011.

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  1. Okay... On Linux, I can su to root, go to /, and do this:

    Code:
    tar --exclude=dev/* --exclude=proc/* --exclude=sys/* --exclude=tmp/* --exclude=backup.tar.gz -czvpf backup.tar.gz .
    This will produce a tarball archive of my entire system. I could burn it to a CD; later, if I wanted to restore my system, I could reformat and decompress the tarball to the hard drive. After that, it would be a simple matter of editing /etc/fstab and reinstalling the bootloader... And presto, a working system.

    But can this be done on Windows?

    What I'd like to do is compress the entire system in the same fashion, using e.g. 7zip. Then I could burn the archive to a CD, and if I ever needed to restore, I could just boot a rescue disk, swap in the CD with the archive, reformat the NTFS partition, and decompress.... Then reinstall the MBR and be ready to go.

    The problems are...

    1. Windows limits even Administrators' access to certain system files. Would this affect an archive manager's ability to copy them for compression?

    2. Windows uses a different permissions system than UNIX, AFAIK. How would I preserve file and directory permissions?

    3. I assume something on the install would have to be changed if I modified the partition layout. What file tells the Windows bootloader where to find stuff?

    Can anyone help me out here?

    P.S. I'm assuming that I would be restoring the system to the same computer. Restoring to a different computer would obviously not work with Windows.

    P.P.S. If you're wondering why I don't just use Macrium Reflect or somesuch, it's mostly because Macrium's live CD doesn't recognize my external DVD drive.
     
  2. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Restoring a system in Windows cannot be done the way you are used to in Unix. There are locked files that would prevent both necessary steps in the operation; both the creation of the compressed archive and the restoration of that archive. Your best bet would be to use an imaging application that allows you to use VSS, or something comparable, so that you can access these files. I suggest you play around with some of them and find the one that best suits your needs. Everyone has their favorites. I use Drive Snapshot. I also use Active@Disk Image as a backup. I like their bootable environment very much.

    Remember, you can always build your own PE disc. That way you are sure that it can read your drives. I am wary of live linux based discs for the reasons you mentioned. Try Windows-based instead.
     
  3. Okay, thanks. One other question though... Could I create a backup archive from a live CD environment that has NTFS read/write support? (Parted Magic comes to mind.) The files wouldn't be locked when Windows isn't running, no?
     
  4. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    That sounds all well and good. In theory that seems like it would would work; simply copying every system partition file in a PE and then putting it back when the need arises. But that's not going to work here. Don't forget Windows based system have something that unix bases systems do not; the registry. The registry is, for the lack of a better analogy, the brain for the body that is Windows. Without that the pieces might all be in place but it won't know how to use them. You'll end up with a system that does not have a brain, one that does not know how to function.

    I know this is not what you want to hear, and that for whatever reason you're resisting this idea, but the fact is that for a Windows based system you need to use an imaging solution. A sector-based imaging solution would be preferable. That would enable to to back up everything you'll need, including the MBR and registry.
     
  5. *grumblegrumble*

    Okay, thanks... I suppose I'll stop wasting time looking for archive-based backup solutions.
     
  6. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Those kind of solutions are good for file backups. But in order to backup everything, and restore it when there's nothing left, you need to use an imaging solution.
     
  7. cm1971

    cm1971 Registered Member

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    I would recommend Clonezilla. It is open source and easy to use.
     
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