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Experience (good and bad) with Vista Backup Center

microsoft.public.windows.vista.performance maintenance






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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2007
Trumba
 

Posts: n/a
Experience (good and bad) with Vista Backup Center
My first reaction to the "all or nothing" approach to backup was negative...
I want to decide what to back up and when. But after I've used it for a
while, I've grown to like that approach. Disk space is just too cheap and
those decisions are just a speed bump that might prevent me from taking a
backup at all. Or from backing up everything I should.

That was the design philosophy, as I understand it, and now I agree. I have
an 80GB system and with an external 150GB I can take a file backup everyday
for weeks and the occasional CompletePC backup when things are installed.
It's very handy.

It would be nice to be able to specify when to start a fresh backup set. I
do that now by partitioning the external drive into two logical drives. When
one fills up I switch to the other.

I'm not so happy with Restore however.

Having to boot the CD to do a CompletePC restore is silly. Having an option
to install a recovery environment to a separate partition seems like it would
be simple enough. I guess I can do it by downloading 1GB of tools, but...

A bigger complaint is that the restore tries to be too simple. It's not like
having a one-click operation is necessary to convince me to restore my
system... I HAVE to restore my system. And it's extremely frustrating when I
get cryptic error messages about disk size, number of disks etc.

Problems I've had:

Wouldn't restore an image from an 80GB drive to another 80GB drive that
because it was a few hundred MB smaller when formatted. (In spite of the
system disk having 20GB free.)

Didn't like my drive configuration because it backed up from F and the new
disk installed as E. (I had to plug in a dummy IDE to get past that.)

Installs to a RAID card drive when configured with one JBOD disk, but not
when configured as RAID 1. (Which sort of defeats the purpose of having a
RAID card. This is a Promise card listed on the Hardward Compatibility site.)
Maybe it's a card problem, but it's hard to troubleshoot with a lame error
like "not enough disks". The command line option sees the same configuration
either way.


So basically, there should have been a lot more effort put into making sure
that if it's a valid backup image and a reasonable system, Restore will let
you configure a way to get it on the machine. Sure, one-click is nice if you
haven't changed the configuration at all, but if the system is older, it's
quite likely you CAN'T get the same configuration after a failure. More
complicated scenarios are acceptable when I need to get my system back.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2007
Rock
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Experience (good and bad) with Vista Backup Center
Here's the way to post a suggestion to MS: mswish@microsoft.com

If you want more features, look at something like Acronis True Image Home,
Version 10. I use both Complete PC backup and ATI.

"Trumba" <trumba@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote
> My first reaction to the "all or nothing" approach to backup was
> negative...
> I want to decide what to back up and when. But after I've used it for a
> while, I've grown to like that approach. Disk space is just too cheap and
> those decisions are just a speed bump that might prevent me from taking a
> backup at all. Or from backing up everything I should.
>
> That was the design philosophy, as I understand it, and now I agree. I
> have
> an 80GB system and with an external 150GB I can take a file backup
> everyday
> for weeks and the occasional CompletePC backup when things are installed.
> It's very handy.
>
> It would be nice to be able to specify when to start a fresh backup set. I
> do that now by partitioning the external drive into two logical drives.
> When
> one fills up I switch to the other.
>
> I'm not so happy with Restore however.
>
> Having to boot the CD to do a CompletePC restore is silly. Having an
> option
> to install a recovery environment to a separate partition seems like it
> would
> be simple enough. I guess I can do it by downloading 1GB of tools, but...
>
> A bigger complaint is that the restore tries to be too simple. It's not
> like
> having a one-click operation is necessary to convince me to restore my
> system... I HAVE to restore my system. And it's extremely frustrating when
> I
> get cryptic error messages about disk size, number of disks etc.
>
> Problems I've had:
>
> Wouldn't restore an image from an 80GB drive to another 80GB drive that
> because it was a few hundred MB smaller when formatted. (In spite of the
> system disk having 20GB free.)
>
> Didn't like my drive configuration because it backed up from F and the new
> disk installed as E. (I had to plug in a dummy IDE to get past that.)
>
> Installs to a RAID card drive when configured with one JBOD disk, but not
> when configured as RAID 1. (Which sort of defeats the purpose of having a
> RAID card. This is a Promise card listed on the Hardward Compatibility
> site.)
> Maybe it's a card problem, but it's hard to troubleshoot with a lame error
> like "not enough disks". The command line option sees the same
> configuration
> either way.
>
>
> So basically, there should have been a lot more effort put into making
> sure
> that if it's a valid backup image and a reasonable system, Restore will
> let
> you configure a way to get it on the machine. Sure, one-click is nice if
> you
> haven't changed the configuration at all, but if the system is older, it's
> quite likely you CAN'T get the same configuration after a failure. More
> complicated scenarios are acceptable when I need to get my system back.


--
Rock [MS-MVP User/Shell]

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