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Solved Questions on Vista's backup facility

Messages
35
#1
Hi,

I have a very nice Vista Biz, 32 bit system. I've believe that I've backed up the whole system, using the command line:

wbadmin.exe start backup -backuptarget:"\\LENOVO\Vista backup" -allCritical -VSSfull -quiet
That produces a backup structure worth about 25G on the remote drive - maybe a 50% reduction of space.

I'm using the command line because in its wonderfulness, MS provides no way to access a network drive using the backup's GUI.

This batch file setup is convenient for me, but I'm wondering this about it:

  • Does this command truly back up the entire partition?
  • Does it also back up the small active system partition that contains the BCD?
  • Does it back up the MBR?
  • Will the restore be available via the RE disk? Even if the data is out on the network?

I would appreciate any insight you could give. I want to make sure I can restore this system in its entirety should I lose the hard disk.

Be blessed,
Paul
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    dell precision
    Memory
    2G ddr2
    Graphics Card(s)
    matrox

ilikefree

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Messages
2,877
Location
New Zealand
#2
I use Macrium Reflect to make an image to restore from.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Thinkpad T400
    CPU
    Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo P8700 @ 2.53GHz
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    LENOVO 64734VM
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    2.00GB Single-Channel DDR3 @ 531MHz
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    Intel Mobile Intel 4 Series Express Chipset Family
    Sound Card
    Conexant 20561 SmartAudio HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15 inch
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    1280 x 800
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    1x 180GB Intel 530 series SSD
    1 x 120GB Hitachi 5400rmp
    1 x 650GB Western Digital Elements 5400rpm
    1x 1Tb Western Digital Elements 5400rpm
    Internet Speed
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    Other Info
    Weakest part of my computer is the graphics chipset.
    Only ever used a laptop.
    Also use USB Freeview TV Card
    Lenovo Docking Station
    External Speakers
    Other bits a pieces as needed

richc46

Staff member
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Gold Member
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20,105
Location
Fairfield County, CT
#3
You may also like shadow explorer. It will recover your stuff if ever accidentaly deleted.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS420
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    6 gig
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    ATI Radeon HD3650 256 MB
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    Intergrated 7.1 Channel Audio
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    Dell SP2009W 20 inch Flat Panel w Webcam
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ilikefree

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Messages
2,877
Location
New Zealand
#4
You may also like shadow explorer. It will recover your stuff if ever accidentaly deleted.
But not if your restore points have gone as that is where it gets the files from.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Thinkpad T400
    CPU
    Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo P8700 @ 2.53GHz
    Motherboard
    LENOVO 64734VM
    Memory
    2.00GB Single-Channel DDR3 @ 531MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Mobile Intel 4 Series Express Chipset Family
    Sound Card
    Conexant 20561 SmartAudio HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1280 x 800
    Hard Drives
    1x 180GB Intel 530 series SSD
    1 x 120GB Hitachi 5400rmp
    1 x 650GB Western Digital Elements 5400rpm
    1x 1Tb Western Digital Elements 5400rpm
    Internet Speed
    Medium for New Zealand
    Other Info
    Weakest part of my computer is the graphics chipset.
    Only ever used a laptop.
    Also use USB Freeview TV Card
    Lenovo Docking Station
    External Speakers
    Other bits a pieces as needed
Messages
35
#5
I've used Macrium Reflect and thought highly of it. The free version doesn't do incrementals, but then I'm not doing them here either. Does it also back up the BCD and MBR, and is it easy to restore from? I've had network problems restoring from Paragon's free backup prog.

As for the VSS explorer, I thought versions were accessible via the Property sheets, even in Home Windows versions. But I'll definitely keep it in mind in an emergency.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    dell precision
    Memory
    2G ddr2
    Graphics Card(s)
    matrox

whs

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Messages
2,026
Location
Germany/Florida
#6
To answer your questions:

1. It does backup the whole partition and creates a VHD file which you can attach with Disk Management.

2. It only backs up the partition you have in your command. It does not work like Win7 imaging where the 100MB active partition is automatically dragged along.

3. It does not backup the MBR

4. That restore question I cannot answer. I never tried a network drive.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell
    CPU
    Q6600
    Memory
    4GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP w2207h
    Hard Drives
    2x250GB HDDs
    1x60GB OCZ SSD
    6 external disks 60 to 640GBs
    Other Info
    Also 1xHP desktop, 1xHP laptop, 1xGateway laptop
Messages
35
#7
whs, thanks for that explanation. I'm not sure what you meant by attach with Disk Management, as I couldn't see the share in DM, but the other answers have convinced me that this backup is not adequate. I could construct a new BCD and MBR on the fly, but why go to that effort?

I decided to retry Macrium free, since I'm not looking for incremental here, and it is very good. It took a while, but everything is backed up. I need to cut a rescue disk and try that out, which I can't do until I put an optical drive in this thing (well, maybe I can put it on a usb stick....), just to make sure everything is airtight.

Thanks all for your insight. I'm going to mark this thread solved. And I'll give MS another mark for an inadequate facility for a critical function. I may end up going this route for my Win7 box as well, because I'm not sure if the indigenous facility there is much better than this one.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    dell precision
    Memory
    2G ddr2
    Graphics Card(s)
    matrox

whs

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Messages
2,026
Location
Germany/Florida
#8
1. Re Attach - go to the Action tab on the top left of Disk management (next to File), there use the Attach function. You will see, it is pretty obvious. You have to navigate to the VHD and then OK. This will mount the VHD like any other partition which you can open e.g. in Computer. You can even image it with Macrium. This volume will disappear when you reboot.

2. Re Macrium - I have once made a video tutorial about it which also shows the recovery portion. Maybe it is helpful: Imaging with free Macrium - Windows 7 Forums
PS: the tutorial applies exactly the same to Vista.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell
    CPU
    Q6600
    Memory
    4GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP w2207h
    Hard Drives
    2x250GB HDDs
    1x60GB OCZ SSD
    6 external disks 60 to 640GBs
    Other Info
    Also 1xHP desktop, 1xHP laptop, 1xGateway laptop
Messages
35
#9
Strange, I looked once again, and I don't have that function on disk management. By tab I take it you mean the menu, right?

That was a good thread over at SF. I think there is one error though - isn't the MBR separate from the service partition? This might shed light on the weirdness expressed there on restoring the MBR from Macrium. I would have to do a test run on this, as I find it hard to follow verbally.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    dell precision
    Memory
    2G ddr2
    Graphics Card(s)
    matrox

whs

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Messages
2,026
Location
Germany/Florida
#10
1. Re Attach - I am on Windows7 and assumed that the Attach works the same in Vista. But maybe it does not. You may heve to scout for it. I am sorry if I mislead you. But I do not have a functional Vista at this location. So it is difficult for me to check.

2. Re MBR - the MBR is in the 512 first bytes of the disk - any disk. It is normally not neccessary to restore it. You normally do that only if you made changes in the bootmgr (active partition respectively).
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell
    CPU
    Q6600
    Memory
    4GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP w2207h
    Hard Drives
    2x250GB HDDs
    1x60GB OCZ SSD
    6 external disks 60 to 640GBs
    Other Info
    Also 1xHP desktop, 1xHP laptop, 1xGateway laptop
Messages
35
#11
Maybe it is a Win7 thing, because my Win7 laptop shows attach very plainly, and it's only Home Premium, but I can't see it at all in Vista Biz.

I can see where if you replace the partitions in the same place they were, the old MBR should still function. So if I do a recovery, my first attempt will be to leave the existing MBR alone.

Thanks,
p.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    dell precision
    Memory
    2G ddr2
    Graphics Card(s)
    matrox

whs

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Messages
2,026
Location
Germany/Florida
#12

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell
    CPU
    Q6600
    Memory
    4GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP w2207h
    Hard Drives
    2x250GB HDDs
    1x60GB OCZ SSD
    6 external disks 60 to 640GBs
    Other Info
    Also 1xHP desktop, 1xHP laptop, 1xGateway laptop
Messages
35
#13
Aha. Thanks much for that. I don't think my Win7 CPU will do virtual, but the Vista box will. So I'll hold onto that for a future date.

Be well,
p.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    dell precision
    Memory
    2G ddr2
    Graphics Card(s)
    matrox
Messages
35
#14
I just tested a dry run of Macrium's Linux Rescue disk, and it performed flawlessly, with one exception. It found my network and successfully ran DHCP for the machine, but then it couldn't log on to the network itself. I'm on a workgroup, and maybe the lack of a workgroup spec is the obstacle.

Even without the network this is a great system and I'm going to use it. But I'd like to clear this up if possible.

Thanks,
p.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    dell precision
    Memory
    2G ddr2
    Graphics Card(s)
    matrox

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