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Using backup with Vista Home Premium


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#1 WVBrady

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 09:55 PM

After I downloaded the latest update of my Vista Home Premium to my HP Media Center computer, it wouldn't boot up. I tried everything that I knew to restore to a previous condition without success, so I restored to the factory setting, losing everything on my C: drive. That is water under the bridge at this point. I do have an external Seagate hard drive for a backup.

My question is how to copy from the external drive J: back to the C: drive. When I went to the backup center, it said that a backup had not been set up. The only way I could see to do it was to backup the (pretty much empty) C: drive onto the J: drive. What I am worried about is whether this will cause me to lose the data that is already on the J: drive.

Thanks for any help (please make it simple := ) )

Brady
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#2 JUICYboy

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 11:40 PM

Sometimes I hate windows you spend more time fixing them then using them productively.

The Simplest way in my opinion is having a retail license of WVista cd and using the REPAIR option if that does not fix your boot issues you are going to have to re-format your C: drive, and install a new WVista O.S.

Once you do that you would be able to load your programs back into the O.S. from your external back up.

Good-luck

#3 WVBrady

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for the response. I was not able to get the repair to work and I reformatted the C: drive and reinstalled Vista. It seems to be working ok. My question is how to use the backup copy on the external J: drive. When I tried to do it, I got a message that backup had never been established. THe only way I know how to do it is to back up the nearly empty C: drive onto the J: drive. What I am afraid of is that this will wipe out the data on the J: drive.

So, the basic question is: How do I safely copy the data from the J: drive to the C: drive?

#4 caperdog

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 07:36 PM

had to reread. windows backup creates an image file, is that what you have on J: drive ? or is it direct copies of files and folders ?

if it is an image you should be able to boot from your DVD and re-install the image, if it is a "Complete PC Backup"

VHD images may be restored to a hard drive/partition either by inserting the Vista DVD while the computer is booting up, or from a pre-installed Windows PE Recovery Environment.

if you have files and folders copied on J:\

Drag and Drop ... select folders and files to be copied from J:\ , drag them to your C:\ and drop them.

windows backup wants to back up the operating system as well as documents and creates an image file which can later be restored.
if you want to backup the files on the J:\ and include them in the image file, first copy them to C:\ , then create image file.
as long as there is enough room on J:\.
you may not need these files in your system backup as you are storing them on the same drive anyway. i would only include them in the image file if i were going to store the backup somewhere else. (another hard drive or DVD)

Edited by caperdog, 01 June 2010 - 08:12 PM.


#5 WVBrady

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 03:47 PM

Thanks for the response. Sorry about the delay in responding; I have been doing a lot of reading, trying to educate myself.

had to reread. windows backup creates an image file, is that what you have on J: drive ? or is it direct copies of files and folders ?

if it is an image you should be able to boot from your DVD and re-install the image, if it is a "Complete PC Backup"

VHD images may be restored to a hard drive/partition either by inserting the Vista DVD while the computer is booting up, or from a pre-installed Windows PE Recovery Environment.


I have Vista Home Premium. It is my understanding that only the more advanced versions will create an image file. Is that correct?


if you have files and folders copied on J:\

Drag and Drop ... select folders and files to be copied from J:\ , drag them to your C:\ and drop them..


That is what I did.

windows backup wants to back up the operating system as well as documents and creates an image file which can later be restored.
if you want to backup the files on the J:\ and include them in the image file, first copy them to C:\ , then create image file.
as long as there is enough room on J:\.
you may not need these files in your system backup as you are storing them on the same drive anyway. i would only include them in the image file if i were going to store the backup somewhere else. (another hard drive or DVD)


This is my question now: How can I create an image file? Can I purchase some additional software to do this? Note that my recovery disk did not work and when I tried to make another one, I got a message saying that I had already created one and that I was not allowed to make any more. I was able to return to the original factory settings by using the recovery file on the C: drive partition. If my C: drive had konked out, I would not have been able to do this.

Oh, I did not get a separate CD with the computer; it was already installed by the distributor.

TIA,
Brady

Edited by WVBrady, 05 June 2010 - 03:56 PM.


#6 caperdog

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 06:14 PM

you are right, only business and ultimate versions have the backup utility. this is very good free backup software,
http://www.todo-backup.com/ ,that can create an image of your entire drive. this program will be needed to restore the image to a messed drive. there are lots out there so look around.

#7 WVBrady

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 08:27 PM

you are right, only business and ultimate versions have the backup utility. this is very good free backup software,
http://www.todo-backup.com/ ,that can create an image of your entire drive. this program will be needed to restore the image to a messed drive. there are lots out there so look around.


Thanks for the link. I am reading about it now and will try it out tomorrow.

Next problem: I have been updating Windows as I was notified, without paying too much attention to it. Occasionally I would have some minor problems, but I was able to overcome them by using restore points. The last time, I was installing Service Pack #???. That was when I had the problems that caused me to have to restore the original system, losing all updates. Now the problem is that I read that they are no longer supporting Service Pack 1 (as of April 2010) and that I cannot install Service Pack 2 unless SP1 has been installed. What can I do????

TIA,
Brady

#8 caperdog

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 10:08 PM

i think you can just turn on automatic updates and it will bring you up to speed. i haven' t read anything about needing SP1 to install SP2.
download here and try http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;displaylang=en

you do need SP2 to upgrade to SP3

#9 WVBrady

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 11:51 PM

i think you can just turn on automatic updates and it will bring you up to speed. i haven' t read anything about needing SP1 to install SP2.
download here and try http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;displaylang=en

you do need SP2 to upgrade to SP3

I was not able to download the backup program that you linked, but I found another one that seems to work: Paragon Backup and Recovery 10.2 Free Edition. I was able to do a complete backup, but I suppose I won't find out if it works ok until something bad happens. The only problem that I had was that after I had completed the backup and scheduled future backups, it said that there was insufficient room on the backup disk. I hope that it just didn't recognize the existing backup and that it will do an incremental backup, but it never used that term.

One thing that I do not understand is that when I click on My Computer, it says that there is 280 GB free out of 456 GB on the C: drive, indicating 176 GB is used, but on the backup disk it says that there is 24.9 GB free out of 149 GB, indicating that only 124.9 GB is used. Do you know why there is this discrepancy?

Thanks again for your help,
Brady

Edited by WVBrady, 07 June 2010 - 11:57 PM.


#10 caperdog

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 10:30 PM

so you have moved all files from external hard drive to C:\ , then created a backup image and stored it on external hard drive (J:\) and the backup image file is 124.9 GB. Is this correct ?

if so and you are wondering why 176 does not equal 124.9 ... the backup imaging software will try to compress data to save space. if you are dealing with a lot of .jpg or mp3 files you will not see a big difference as they are already compressed.

the only true way to know if you have a good image is to remove your C:\ drive and install a blank drive the same size and install the image and see if it works.

back up drive may need more space to work with the image if it has to copy new files to it. maybe that is the space it is crying for. i would not assume that incremental backup is happening. a back up drive the same size as the drive you are backing up would be ideal, although i am not saying that it has to be.

if you have moved all of your files and folders to C:\ and you no longer have a direct copy of them on the external, well personally i would like to have a direct copy. its what saved your butt the last time.
if it were me and i wanted to maintain a backup image of my drive i would install another internal 500 GB drive in the machine to use with the imaging software and maintain a manual backup of important stuff on the external hard drive

manual backup trick: say you have a copy of My Pictures on the external and you want to update it . select My Pictures folder and drag it to the external. when message box pops up saying there is already a folder called My Pictures do you want to overwrite it hold down the "shift" key and click the NO button. this will make it copy only the changes inside the folder, not overwrite(re-copy) the whole thing.

#11 WVBrady

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 11:13 PM

...so you have moved all files from external hard drive to C:\ , then created a backup image and stored it on external hard drive (J:\) and the backup image file is 124.9 GB. Is this correct ?

Yes.

back up drive may need more space to work with the image if it has to copy new files to it. maybe that is the space it is crying for. i would not assume that incremental backup is happening. a back up drive the same size as the drive you are backing up would be ideal, although i am not saying that it has to be.

I was just looking today. I can get a 500 gig external drive for $90 + shipping. If the backup disk was the same size, would it not use compression?
Another note: It just started my scheduled backup, and judging from the fact that it had been running for a few minutes and stated that it was 0% completed, I would say that it does not do an incremental backup like Windows does. I wonder why?

if you have moved all of your files and folders to C:\ and you no longer have a direct copy of them on the external, well personally i would like to have a direct copy. its what saved your butt the last time.

Why is it not a direct copy, because it is compressed? Does this compression make it less reliable?


if it were me and i wanted to maintain a backup image of my drive i would install another internal 500 GB drive in the machine to use with the imaging software and maintain a manual backup of important stuff on the external hard drive

If I am correct that the Paragon software does not do an incremental backup, I may do this with the 500 GB drive updated occationally and the external drive more often using Windows incremental update.

Thanks again for all your help and please add any other suggestions or comments that you think appropriate.

Brady

#12 caperdog

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 08:34 PM

imaging software would still compress the data. i cannot explain how the software does its thing or whether it does incremental backups or not. there should be documentation at Paragon's website that shows how the program works.

it is not a direct copy like having a copy of smileybates.jpg on two different drives. the software creates one image file, maybe called bradybak.img, that contains all data. is it less reliable? no, i don't think so, the advantage would be if your hard drive died you could quickly restore on a new blank drive and continue where you left off (without installing all your software and files again).

issues that bug me are:
1. is the image good ? (i see paragon provides a way to mount the image so you can see the files. that is good)
2.you need the software to restore the image. as software evolves will new versions support old images ? you will have to put the version you downloaded in a safe place just in case.
3. if drive dies will it restore from some type of boot disk?

in my mind incremental backup is essential. i would not want my machine to try and backup 300 GB on a daily basis. i wouldn't be able to use it for anything else :huh:




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