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How do you do backups in XP?


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#1 OFFLINE   jeffw_00

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 01:23 PM

HI - I have 5 WIN98SE PCs - I do incrementals every night, and fulls every week.  I use PKZIP (command line - it's all automated) and store the zip files on a different machine than the one backed up.  I've completely and easily restored trashed disks with a simple set of PKZIP restore comments.I'm told this won't cut it for XP, because not all the information is in the files, some is 'hidden' or in file tables or some such?  If so - what's the best way in XP to replicate my automated backups?  (preferably without paying a bundle for software).I hope my expectations aren't too high - XP should be step forward, I would think 8-}/j

#2 OFFLINE   Ed_P

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 01:38 PM

Win 98 has files & folders hidden and etc also.  The Font folder being one that comes to mine.I think most Win XP users use an imaging type of backup such as Drive Image or BootitNT.Regardless of which product you use I recommend you partition your hard drives such that your data files/My Documents folder are located on a partition/drive separate from your OS and App files.  In addition to making it easier to do restores & recoveries backups can be easier also.
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#3 OFFLINE   James M. Fisher

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 06:16 PM

This is all good advice from EdP , jeffw_00. :happyroll: I highly recommend an imaging program for XP. DriveImage is my particular favourite, but I have used Ghost from DOS with no problems.There's a good article on Planning Your Partitions here.I always refer folks to Fred Langa's excellent (and thorough!) Backup articles here:http://www.langa.com.../backups(1).htm
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#4 OFFLINE   Temmu

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 12:44 AM

i use acronis true image; once when i load the os & drivers; once when i get all the software on, and once in a while after that!  (i image my os and software partitions only)i keep my data & downloads on a the same, separate partition, and that gets backed up to cd every whenever.  (the cd gets used at friends' houses to recover ~their~ pcs... :D )
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#5 OFFLINE   jeffw_00

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 04:29 PM

Thanks guys - but unfortunately many of our financial apps keep the data where they please.   I'll look at DriveImage, but no one has said whether PKZIP was sufficient or not?(i.e., is the PC more than the sum of all the files on the disk?)/j

#6 OFFLINE   Ed_P

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 11:12 PM

I don't think many of us have used PKZIP since we stopped using DOS so it's hard to say.  If the Win XP systems will be using NTFS file systems will PKZIP support it?  Will your financial apps?  You may want to talk to your programmers and see if they will work.  You can also ask them to make the apps more Windows compliant so you can move the data files around.

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is the PC more than the sum of all the files on the disk?
IMO Yes.  It's the marriage of some of those files to the hardware that comprises the pc.Take a backup of a pc and restore it to a new computer and there's a good chance it won't boot except in Safe mode.I'll be dipped!I just did a quick search of the 'net and PKWare still exists and apparently so to does PKZip.  And their website indicates that it's Windows version supports 98/Me/NT4/2000/XP. So, whether PKZip will handle all your needs, I don't know.  I think you're more familiar with it than we are so let us know how it works for you.

Edited by EdP, 02 September 2004 - 11:21 PM.

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#7 OFFLINE   jeffw_00

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 02:32 PM

Ed - let me ask it this way - if I take a complete backup of an XP PC's disk (not a bit-by-bit image, but files and folders, as if I used xcopy or pkzip), expand that backup to another disk, and then swap that disk into the original PC - will it boot and work normally?  For 98Se I've proved the answer is yes (except for a few games that recorded the disk sector they were installed to, and thus needed re-installation).  For XP - why shouldn't the answer be "YES" too?/j

#8 OFFLINE   dicknite

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 03:09 PM

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if I take a complete backup of an XP PC's disk (not a bit-by-bit image, but files and folders, as if I used xcopy or pkzip), expand that backup to another disk, and then swap that disk into the original PC - will it boot and work normally?
I've tried this several times and my answer is a resounding NO!Windows Registry seems to be the main stumbling block.  Product registration keys and hardware driver differences have also caused major headaches.A bit-by-bit copy is all I have found to be reliable for whole-disk backups...  Another reason being that (I've not used Pkzip for years, so don't know about it...) MSBackup and NTBackup have file-size limitations that got in the way.What I do is a complete Ghost image of the drive weekly, putting it on DVD's.  Then weekly I also do an NTBackup of all data and directories that I might need to grab a copy of the data that has changed after an accounting boo-boo or something.  Then, nightly I have NTBackup do an incremental backup of the drive(s)...  My backups go to a different computer on the network.  Most of this, other than the Ghosting, is done with Scheduled tasks and I never have to think about it...Hope this helps..d|:^)Dick

#9 OFFLINE   James M. Fisher

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 03:14 PM

That's a good backup program you've developed, Dick.(and a big fish, too!)  :o
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#10 OFFLINE   jeffw_00

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 03:57 PM

Guys - I'm apparently explaining myself very badly.  You al sound like what you're hearing is that I want to copy my hard disk, somehow change the hardware (upgrade it, move to a different machine, etc), and then run the new hardware off a restored disk.No!What I want to do is backup my disk to another disk, and then replace the first disk with the 2nd one in the original machine (because, after I did the backup, the first disk died).For this not to work means there's something more to the system than the hardware, and the data contained in the file structure.  I.e., there's something important on the disk that can't be extracted by a hierarchical xcopy.  Something that Ghost captures but we mere mortals cannot.  This is not the case for 98SE and frankly I'm surprised that people claim it IS the case for XP.  THe registry, drivers, etc., are all just FILES which can be copied and restored.   Some are suggesting that XP uses something in addition to what is stored in files, so that the state of a machine cannot be captures with a complete copy of its file system.  (I use the word "copy" rather than "image" because an "image" implies all the bits on the drive, rather than all the bits in all the accessible files on the drive).  If I have to spring $70 for ghost when I upgrade to XP, so be it, but I'd like to understand what it is that ghost captures off the disk that a copy or pkzip cannot.thanks for your patience/j

#11 OFFLINE   dicknite

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 04:44 PM

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What I want to do is backup my disk to another disk, and then replace the first disk with the 2nd one in the original machine (because, after I did the backup, the first disk died).
:o And I even quoted where you said that...I, like you, have done that on 98 machines, but have not tried it on XP.If you could get PKzip to copy all (ALL) the running windows files, through shadowing or something, then maybe it would work...Can you run PKzip from PC-Dos or something prior to XP booting up?  That way you could copy the Windows files without getting a "file cannot be copied because it is in use" thingamawhacker...Sorry for the oversight in my original post.d|:^)Dick

#12 OFFLINE   jeffw_00

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 05:05 PM

Hi - i don't want to boot from else where as I want it to be automated.   I saw on a forum that the issue might be that the boot sector for an XP machine needs to be specially initialized - a high-end program like ghost takes care of this, but at $70/machine - there's gotta be a better way.   Maybe after I magically "SYS" a new hard disk I can put the PKimage on it and be on my way. maybe not/j

#13 OFFLINE   James M. Fisher

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 05:37 PM

What about a "drive copy" type program? Often these come bundled with a new drive and/or can be freely downloaded from the drive-makers' site.Regarding "SYS": XP does have the "fixmbr" command, but it has to be run from the Recovery Console: http://tinyurl.com/w98
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#14 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 05:46 PM

jeffw_00, on Sep 3 2004, 03:55 PM, said:

Guys - I'm apparently explaining myself very badly.  You al sound like what you're hearing is that I want to copy my hard disk, somehow change the hardware (upgrade it, move to a different machine, etc), and then run the new hardware off a restored disk.No!What I want to do is backup my disk to another disk, and then replace the first disk with the 2nd one in the original machine (because, after I did the backup, the first disk died).For this not to work means there's something more to the system than the hardware, and the data contained in the file structure.  I.e., there's something important on the disk that can't be extracted by a hierarchical xcopy.  Something that Ghost captures but we mere mortals cannot.  This is not the case for 98SE and frankly I'm surprised that people claim it IS the case for XP.  THe registry, drivers, etc., are all just FILES which can be copied and restored.   Some are suggesting that XP uses something in addition to what is stored in files, so that the state of a machine cannot be captures with a complete copy of its file system.  (I use the word "copy" rather than "image" because an "image" implies all the bits on the drive, rather than all the bits in all the accessible files on the drive).  If I have to spring $70 for ghost when I upgrade to XP, so be it, but I'd like to understand what it is that ghost captures off the disk that a copy or pkzip cannot.thanks for your patience/j
Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > BackupYou don't have to have a tape drive to use Backup: it can save to a file or directly to CD-R/DVD+/-R/RW. It also backs up the Registry. This is what you would do to do what you used to do with Windows 98. The only problem here is you have to first re-install Winddows XP on the new drive.

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#15 OFFLINE   James M. Fisher

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 06:58 PM

Peachy, on Sep 3 2004, 05:44 PM, said:

Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > BackupYou don't have to have a tape drive to use Backup: it can save to a file or directly to CD-R/DVD+/-R/RW.
Well, not directly to CD-R/RW/DVD.  ;)First create the Backup file to another partition, then burn to a medium using third-party software. http://www.winnetmag...rage_24412.htmlhttp://support.micro...b;EN-US;q315255
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#16 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 07:03 PM

James M. Fisher, on Sep 3 2004, 06:56 PM, said:

Well, not directly to CD-R/RW/DVD.  ;)First create the Backup file to another partition, then burn to a medium using third-party software. http://www.winnetmag...rage_24412.html
Yes you can if you format the media using packet-writing software like DirectCD, Drag To Disc or whatever Nero calls theirs. But only in XP and not in Windows 2000. :o

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#17 OFFLINE   dicknite

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 07:15 PM

JeffW_00,A light just went on in this old head!I have my parents computer set up with an extra hard drive just sitting there waiting for the inevitable crash - I actually installed Windows onto it as a master drive, then put it in the slave slot and installed windows on another drive that is now the master. (Since it is on the same computer, I don't think you will be violating the EULA installing it on both hard drives - if this concerns you, check it out first.)I then do a complete backup to it using backup every night.  So, that drive is sitting there with nothing but a clean install of windows on it, and the backup files.If/when the primary drive crashes, I simply change the cable over, make the slave the master and run backup to restore everything to its original location.Now - their computer is 98 - and I have done it and it works great...  Not sure that it would in XP, but cannot think of why not...d|:^)DickEDIT: The light just dimmed a bit - if you have multiple machines, even with hard drives as cheap as they are nowadays, it might be cost prohibitive...

#18 OFFLINE   James M. Fisher

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 07:16 PM

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Yes you can if you format the media using packet-writing software like DirectCD, Drag To Disc or whatever Nero calls theirs. But only in XP and not in Windows 2000.
I did not realize that NTBackup could use DirectCD-type software to store the file. Good to know!
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#19 OFFLINE   Marsden11

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 07:39 PM

I'm not wild about imaging myself. I would rather make a small backup of My Documents and the System State, do a clean install and use the restore features in NTbackup.MY problem with image files is that they capture every bit... even the bad ones so if your system is not 100% healthy... you image the crap as well as the good stuff. I seriously try to limit my use of 3rd party utilities... I prefer to use what ships with Windows in an effort to keep the code as simple as possible. Why and code complexity to an already maze of code?My method is a Slipstreamed CD with XP and SP2. Load all the software and drivers; configure to my liking. Fire up NTbackup and Restore MY Docs, Documents and Settings folder and System State. In this whole process, the machine is physically disconnected from my network which includes the Internet. (Can't pickup crap from network or Internet.) After the restore is complete, I make a new backup of My Docs, Documents and Settings and System State. After that, it is just Incremental backups each night. The individual backup files are stored on 2 different machines with RAID5 arays in my network... The problem with Imaging software is that not all programs can capture a true image. If there are files and handles open, the image software can't access those files. With hard drives soon approaching half a terrabyte, who really cares about zip files and compression. It is only an issue if you are sharing really large files across the Internet.

#20 OFFLINE   James M. Fisher

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 07:45 PM

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The problem with Imaging software is that not all programs can capture a true image. If there are files and handles open, the image software can't access those files.
I have used DriveImage since v4 as well as Ghost and have never had a problem in this regard. Previous versions of DI would boot to DOS to image the system partition, but with v7, this is no longer an issue.It has always been on my "Windows Wishlist" that MS replace (or supplement) Backup with a simple image creator.
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#21 OFFLINE   Marsden11

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 07:54 PM

They did... Volume Shadow Copy in 2003 Server.It backs up files that are open for exclusive access.It provides backups of volumes that reflect the state of those volumes at the instant the backup is started, even if the data changes while the backup is in progress. This feature makes sure that all the data in the backup is internally consistent and reflects the state of the volumes at a single point in time.It notifies programs and services that a backup is about to occur, which allows them to prepare for the backup by cleaning up on-disk structures and by flushing caches and log files.

#22 OFFLINE   James M. Fisher

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 08:30 PM

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They did... Volume Shadow Copy in 2003 Server.
Also in XP Pro, but that technology has it's own limitations and in no way resembles an imaging program like Ghost or DriveImage.Volume Shadow Copy Technology
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#23 OFFLINE   jeffw_00

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 08:32 PM

Ok - ummm - al lot of discussion here - dicknite - for a long time I've had my machines do a weekly copy of the windows directory to another directory ON THE SAME DRIVE.  Then, whenever windows gets corrupted, I do a couple of renames in DOS-before-windows and I'm back in business.I've seen a lot of comments (including one from the PKZIP people) who say I can use anything to backup everything but the O/S - and a few people here say - re-install the O/S and then restore everything else from backup - but.....1) If I re-install the O/S, then I get a new registry, aren't all my APPs hosed?2) Where IS the O/S?  Which directories?3) My sense, at least for 98, is that the O/S directories get changed everytime I install an app (and like, every time I run one).  So - i don't think this works.also - I don't think recovery console comes with the home edition.also also -my backups are disk to disk, not to removable media (they're unattended, so natch)So although you've all shared, and that's good.  I'm not sure I'm closer to answering my original question except to buy (5 copies?) of Ghost.../j

#24 OFFLINE   James M. Fisher

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 08:43 PM

jeffw_00, on Sep 3 2004, 08:30 PM, said:

1) If I re-install the O/S, then I get a new registry, aren't all my APPs hosed?
Yes, you will need to reinstall the apps.

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2) Where IS the O/S?  Which directories?
Usually /Windows, but it depends which version and if it is an upgrade or not. The OS also has files on the root drive (usually C:)

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3) My sense, at least for 98, is that the O/S directories get changed everytime I install an app (and like, every time I run one). 
No. The registry gets changed, some files may be dropped in the System folder however.

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also - I don't think recovery console comes with the home edition.
Sure do. It has to be installed though.http://support.micro...kb;EN-US;307654
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#25 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 08:51 PM

jeffw_00, on Sep 3 2004, 08:30 PM, said:

1) If I re-install the O/S, then I get a new registry, aren't all my APPs hosed?
Well, like Marsden11 said, slipstreamed SP2 XP CD. Or in my case DVD so that you can unattend install all your favourite apps. As you acquire new apps, just add it to the source tree of your CD/DVD and burn a new one. Rewriteable media is perfect for this kind of job.

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