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Questions about Complete PC Backup & Restore

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2008
pc nerd
 

Posts: n/a
Questions about Complete PC Backup & Restore
I want to build a PC. I've browsed around the 'net looking for information on
Complete PC Backup. The only thing that I've found on the 'net explains how
to do a backup & restore. I've browsed around the Microsoft Vista discussion
groups & found out that it is possible to do incremental (I wish that it
would do differential instead of incremental backups.) as well as full
backups.

So, here are my questions.

Can I give the backup files names or does Windows? For example, before I
install certain software can I give the backup a file name such as "before
installijng XYZ software"?

The way I understand it with incremental backups, the full backup has to be
restored first & then the incremental backups are restored next starting with
the oldest & proceeding to the latest. Since the Complete PC Backup does
incremental backups, does the Restore wizard restore the incremental backups
in order?

Thank you.
David
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2008
John Inzer
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Questions about Complete PC Backup & Restore
pc nerd wrote:
> I want to build a PC. I've browsed around the 'net looking for
> information on Complete PC Backup. The only thing that I've found on
> the 'net explains how to do a backup & restore. I've browsed around
> the Microsoft Vista discussion groups & found out that it is possible
> to do incremental (I wish that it would do differential instead of
> incremental backups.) as well as full backups.
>
> So, here are my questions.
>
> Can I give the backup files names or does Windows? For example,
> before I install certain software can I give the backup a file name
> such as "before installijng XYZ software"?
>
> The way I understand it with incremental backups, the full backup has
> to be restored first & then the incremental backups are restored next
> starting with the oldest & proceeding to the latest. Since the
> Complete PC Backup does incremental backups, does the Restore wizard
> restore the incremental backups in order?
>
> Thank you.
> David

===================================
I guess I'm not actually answering your questions
but hopefully am providing some alternative ideas...

I'm thinking it may be a better idea to simply
create a System Restore point before installing
new software.

Windows Vista -
How to create a System Restore
point in Windows Vista
http://www.winhelponline.com/articles/139/1/

Using Windows Vista
System Restore
http://tinyurl.com/2qhd77
or...
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...ystem-restore/

Have a look at Acronis True Image Home...
maybe it's what you are looking for:
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing...cts/trueimage/


What's the difference between differential
and incremental backups (and why should I care)?
http://tinyurl.com/5bu6ok
or...
http://www

--

John Inzer
Digital Media MVP

Notice
This is not tech support
I am a volunteer

Solutions that work for
me may not work for you

Proceed at your own risk




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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2008
Adam Albright
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Questions about Complete PC Backup & Restore
On Mon, 26 May 2008 06:56:02 -0700, pc nerd
<pcnerd@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

>I want to build a PC. I've browsed around the 'net looking for information on
>Complete PC Backup. The only thing that I've found on the 'net explains how
>to do a backup & restore. I've browsed around the Microsoft Vista discussion
>groups & found out that it is possible to do incremental (I wish that it
>would do differential instead of incremental backups.) as well as full
>backups.
>
>So, here are my questions.
>
>Can I give the backup files names or does Windows? For example, before I
>install certain software can I give the backup a file name such as "before
>installijng XYZ software"?
>
>The way I understand it with incremental backups, the full backup has to be
>restored first & then the incremental backups are restored next starting with
>the oldest & proceeding to the latest. Since the Complete PC Backup does
>incremental backups, does the Restore wizard restore the incremental backups
>in order?
>
>Thank you.
>David


You're still confused. System Restores and Backups are different
animals.

Windows has a build-in feature called System Restore (Type 'System
Restore' at the start button, then click) that creates Restore points.
These are system snapshots that copies critical files that allows you
to rollback your system to a prior time and if everything goes well
restore your PC to a point before it/you did something that prevents
it from working properly. Vista will automatically make Restore points
on it's own, plus you can make your own anytime. Older Restore Points
may get removed automatically depending on how much hard drive space
is set aside for them. They can take up lots of hard drive space. It
makes sense to create a Restore Point BEFORE you make any hardware
change or install new software or when you fiddle with your system.
Vista will generally make Restore Points on it's own when it deems it
necessary without asking. That way if something goes wrong, you simply
rollback to a prior point in time and things are as they were BEFORE
you did whatever you did that messed something up.

There are all kinds of backup methods the two most popular briefly
summarized below.

Disk Imaging
Many people like this method, but it has it's own problems, mainly you
won't know if it works until you need to use it, then if it doesn't
work it's too late to try to correct it. Disk Imaging typically
creates a giant image file which is a snapshot of an entire partition
or even your entire system spanning multiple hard drives. This is a
sector by sector copy so in theory if something goes wrong, you should
be able to restore your system byte by byte. This image file is stored
on another partition or better a different hard drive or burned to a
series of CD's or DVD's. While this can be effective, it can be time
consuming and is useless unless you do it on a regular basis to stay
current.

Terms like full backup and incremental backup refer to how the backup
is made. A full backup copies everything, while a incremental backup
only copies things that have changed since the last backup. Unless
you're smart about it, you can waste a lot of time and effort making
endless copies of the same thing, like repeatedly copying your
installed software and system files, rather than simply copying your
data.

Copying verses Imaging

In my opinion a superior method. You use software that scans what you
have already backed up, it creates a list of what hasn't been backed
up and what was backed up that you've now deleted and no longer have
original files for. You then folder or folder or file by file decide
how to proceed and it will delete the backups for original files now
deleted and backup files you haven't yet got backup for yet.

This method is best used when you only backup data, which is the
preferred method and what most professionals do since there is really
no need to back up installed software if you have install CD's,
whatever to install them from again if the need ever comes up.

As far as using the built-in backup that comes with Vista, I wouldn't
touch it with a ten foot pole. Simply not reliable. There are many
good third party backup packages out there. The important thing is get
into the habit of doing it faithfully otherwise it is pointless. A
sloppy hit or miss backup procedure is just as bad an not backing up
at all.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2008
pc nerd
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Questions about Complete PC Backup & Restore
Thanks for the quick reply. After I build my PC, I was thinking about
combining System Restore & Complete PC Backup. I know that it is more time
consuming.The idea being that all (I hope) traces of an installed program
would be removed & it would be as if I had never installed the software in
the first place. In other words, I create a backup of the hard drive first &
then I create a restore point before I install the software. Then if I have
problems with the software, I can completely remove it. Come to think of it,
the system restore would be redundant.

You still haven't answered the following questions:

> > Can I give the backup files names or does Windows? For example,
> > before I install certain software can I give the backup a file name
> > such as "before installijng XYZ software"?


> > The way I understand it with incremental backups, the full backup has
> > to be restored first & then the incremental backups are restored next
> > starting with the oldest & proceeding to the latest. Since the
> > Complete PC Backup does incremental backups, does the Restore wizard
> > restore the incremental backups in order?


Thank you.

"John Inzer" wrote:

> pc nerd wrote:
> > I want to build a PC. I've browsed around the 'net looking for
> > information on Complete PC Backup. The only thing that I've found on
> > the 'net explains how to do a backup & restore. I've browsed around
> > the Microsoft Vista discussion groups & found out that it is possible
> > to do incremental (I wish that it would do differential instead of
> > incremental backups.) as well as full backups.
> >
> > So, here are my questions.
> >
> > Can I give the backup files names or does Windows? For example,
> > before I install certain software can I give the backup a file name
> > such as "before installijng XYZ software"?
> >
> > The way I understand it with incremental backups, the full backup has
> > to be restored first & then the incremental backups are restored next
> > starting with the oldest & proceeding to the latest. Since the
> > Complete PC Backup does incremental backups, does the Restore wizard
> > restore the incremental backups in order?
> >
> > Thank you.
> > David

> ===================================
> I guess I'm not actually answering your questions
> but hopefully am providing some alternative ideas...
>
> I'm thinking it may be a better idea to simply
> create a System Restore point before installing
> new software.
>
> Windows Vista -
> How to create a System Restore
> point in Windows Vista
> http://www.winhelponline.com/articles/139/1/
>
> Using Windows Vista
> System Restore
> http://tinyurl.com/2qhd77
> or...
> http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...ystem-restore/
>
> Have a look at Acronis True Image Home...
> maybe it's what you are looking for:
> http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing...cts/trueimage/
>
>
> What's the difference between differential
> and incremental backups (and why should I care)?
> http://tinyurl.com/5bu6ok
> or...
> http://www
>
> --
>
> John Inzer
> Digital Media MVP
>
> Notice
> This is not tech support
> I am a volunteer
>
> Solutions that work for
> me may not work for you
>
> Proceed at your own risk
>
>
>
>
>

Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2008
pc nerd
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Questions about Complete PC Backup & Restore
I know that System Restore backs up Windows files. Does it also back up the
Registry? I can't decide between Home Premium or Ultimate. I know that
Ultimate has features that I will never use. For example, I can use Acronis
True Image with Home Premium instead of buying Ultimate. I can always use the
"anytime upgrade" option.

So, if I use System Restore to create a restore point before installing new
software does it remove most files from the hard drive & all I'd have to do
is delete the files & folders the program created? Would using System Restore
& deleting all of the files & folders the program created remove all traces
of the program?

Thank you.

"Adam Albright" wrote:

> On Mon, 26 May 2008 06:56:02 -0700, pc nerd
> <pcnerd@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
>
> >I want to build a PC. I've browsed around the 'net looking for information on
> >Complete PC Backup. The only thing that I've found on the 'net explains how
> >to do a backup & restore. I've browsed around the Microsoft Vista discussion
> >groups & found out that it is possible to do incremental (I wish that it
> >would do differential instead of incremental backups.) as well as full
> >backups.
> >
> >So, here are my questions.
> >
> >Can I give the backup files names or does Windows? For example, before I
> >install certain software can I give the backup a file name such as "before
> >installijng XYZ software"?
> >
> >The way I understand it with incremental backups, the full backup has to be
> >restored first & then the incremental backups are restored next starting with
> >the oldest & proceeding to the latest. Since the Complete PC Backup does
> >incremental backups, does the Restore wizard restore the incremental backups
> >in order?
> >
> >Thank you.
> >David

>
> You're still confused. System Restores and Backups are different
> animals.
>
> Windows has a build-in feature called System Restore (Type 'System
> Restore' at the start button, then click) that creates Restore points.
> These are system snapshots that copies critical files that allows you
> to rollback your system to a prior time and if everything goes well
> restore your PC to a point before it/you did something that prevents
> it from working properly. Vista will automatically make Restore points
> on it's own, plus you can make your own anytime. Older Restore Points
> may get removed automatically depending on how much hard drive space
> is set aside for them. They can take up lots of hard drive space. It
> makes sense to create a Restore Point BEFORE you make any hardware
> change or install new software or when you fiddle with your system.
> Vista will generally make Restore Points on it's own when it deems it
> necessary without asking. That way if something goes wrong, you simply
> rollback to a prior point in time and things are as they were BEFORE
> you did whatever you did that messed something up.
>
> There are all kinds of backup methods the two most popular briefly
> summarized below.
>
> Disk Imaging
> Many people like this method, but it has it's own problems, mainly you
> won't know if it works until you need to use it, then if it doesn't
> work it's too late to try to correct it. Disk Imaging typically
> creates a giant image file which is a snapshot of an entire partition
> or even your entire system spanning multiple hard drives. This is a
> sector by sector copy so in theory if something goes wrong, you should
> be able to restore your system byte by byte. This image file is stored
> on another partition or better a different hard drive or burned to a
> series of CD's or DVD's. While this can be effective, it can be time
> consuming and is useless unless you do it on a regular basis to stay
> current.
>
> Terms like full backup and incremental backup refer to how the backup
> is made. A full backup copies everything, while a incremental backup
> only copies things that have changed since the last backup. Unless
> you're smart about it, you can waste a lot of time and effort making
> endless copies of the same thing, like repeatedly copying your
> installed software and system files, rather than simply copying your
> data.
>
> Copying verses Imaging
>
> In my opinion a superior method. You use software that scans what you
> have already backed up, it creates a list of what hasn't been backed
> up and what was backed up that you've now deleted and no longer have
> original files for. You then folder or folder or file by file decide
> how to proceed and it will delete the backups for original files now
> deleted and backup files you haven't yet got backup for yet.
>
> This method is best used when you only backup data, which is the
> preferred method and what most professionals do since there is really
> no need to back up installed software if you have install CD's,
> whatever to install them from again if the need ever comes up.
>
> As far as using the built-in backup that comes with Vista, I wouldn't
> touch it with a ten foot pole. Simply not reliable. There are many
> good third party backup packages out there. The important thing is get
> into the habit of doing it faithfully otherwise it is pointless. A
> sloppy hit or miss backup procedure is just as bad an not backing up
> at all.
>
>

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2008
Adam Albright
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Questions about Complete PC Backup & Restore
On Mon, 26 May 2008 09:38:00 -0700, pc nerd
<pcnerd@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

>I know that System Restore backs up Windows files. Does it also back up the
>Registry?


The Registry is the main system file so it would seem that is part of
the process. However if some copy other than those already made
including secret hidden ones which Windows always made of the Registry
happens, I don't know.

>I can't decide between Home Premium or Ultimate. I know that
>Ultimate has features that I will never use.


Then you answered your own question. Neither I or anyone else can
decide for you. Depends on what features you need or think you need.
For most people, my opinion, buying or upgrading to the Ultimate
version is overkill. It just gives Microsoft more money for adding
mostly more eye candy. Newbies and other people that are easily
impressed with bells and whistles then to gravate towards such things.
If you're impressed with that kind of thing then get it.

>So, if I use System Restore to create a restore point before installing new
>software does it remove most files from the hard drive & all I'd have to do
>is delete the files & folders the program created?


Normally you shouldn't need to do that. Rolling back is like having a
time machine. You are in effect rolling back the state of your system
to how it was at some selected earlier point in time. In theory and
generally in practice too it is like whatever you did never happened.
It isn't perfect, but works reasonably well.

>Would using System Restore
>& deleting all of the files & folders the program created remove all traces
>of the program?


You seem to be worrying too much. Nobody can answer such questions
accurately. Using other routines built into Windows doesn't always
remove all traces of software you no longer want either. That's just
how things are. Ditto for your data.

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