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Backup program question

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Bill W, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Bill W

    Bill W Flightless Bird

    My critical files are on my XP computer. For many years I have used 3rd
    party backup programs to backup files to an external drive. I also keep a
    portable drive in our safe deposit box. With all of the 3rd party backup
    utilities available on the market today, I'm concerned that if I ever had to
    perform a disaster recovery I might have trouble obtaining a copy of the
    software I use.

    My question is - what is wrong with using the universal XP backup program?
    I guess I really don't know why I opted against it in the first place. It's
    readily available and appears to do a good job. My only concern would be
    reconciling the latest version of a file from the full and differential
    backups in the event of a file restore. I think I'd really like to use the
    XP backup. Any opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Pegasus [MVP]

    Pegasus [MVP] Flightless Bird

    "Bill W" <xxx@xxx.com> wrote in message
    news:4C2AE13C-3F7D-4059-A2DE-B92722894C14@microsoft.com...
    > My critical files are on my XP computer. For many years I have used 3rd
    > party backup programs to backup files to an external drive. I also keep a
    > portable drive in our safe deposit box. With all of the 3rd party backup
    > utilities available on the market today, I'm concerned that if I ever had
    > to perform a disaster recovery I might have trouble obtaining a copy of
    > the software I use.
    >
    > My question is - what is wrong with using the universal XP backup program?
    > I guess I really don't know why I opted against it in the first place.
    > It's readily available and appears to do a good job. My only concern
    > would be reconciling the latest version of a file from the full and
    > differential backups in the event of a file restore. I think I'd really
    > like to use the XP backup. Any opinions on this would be greatly
    > appreciated.


    The native Windows backup program (ntbackup.exe) does a reasonable job but
    it has two problems:
    - It's not perceived as user-friendly
    - It will not run under Windows 7 (but there is a KB download that lets you
    extract files from a .bkf file)

    My own preference has always been to use robocopy. It requires some
    scripting but restoring files is a breeze, no matter what operating system I
    use. And when it comes to backing up locked files then hobocopy does an
    equally fine job.
     
  3. smlunatick

    smlunatick Flightless Bird

    On Mar 12, 4:40 pm, "Bill W" <x...@xxx.com> wrote:
    > My critical files are on my XP computer.  For many years I have used  3rd
    > party backup programs to backup files to an external drive.  I also keep a
    > portable drive in our safe deposit box.  With all of the 3rd party backup
    > utilities available on the market today, I'm concerned that if I ever hadto
    > perform a disaster recovery I might have trouble obtaining a copy of the
    > software I use.
    >
    > My question is - what is wrong with using the universal XP backup program?
    > I guess I really don't know why I opted against it in the first place.  It's
    > readily available and appears to do a good job.  My only concern would be
    > reconciling the latest version of a file from the full and differential
    > backups in the event of a file restore.  I think I'd really like to usethe
    > XP backup.  Any opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.


    Windows backup program tends to not be compatible when the levels of
    Windows changes.

    I would recommend Comodo Backup. It has a simple file copy mode,
    which is like the "Copy and Paste" method. With this mode, you would
    have a exact copy of the files on the external hard drive in the
    original format.
     
  4. Ken Blake, MVP

    Ken Blake, MVP Flightless Bird

    On Fri, 12 Mar 2010 09:40:27 -0700, "Bill W" <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:

    > My critical files are on my XP computer. For many years I have used 3rd
    > party backup programs to backup files to an external drive. I also keep a
    > portable drive in our safe deposit box. With all of the 3rd party backup
    > utilities available on the market today, I'm concerned that if I ever had to
    > perform a disaster recovery I might have trouble obtaining a copy of the
    > software I use.
    >
    > My question is - what is wrong with using the universal XP backup program?
    > I guess I really don't know why I opted against it in the first place. It's
    > readily available and appears to do a good job. My only concern would be
    > reconciling the latest version of a file from the full and differential
    > backups in the event of a file restore. I think I'd really like to use the
    > XP backup. Any opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.



    In addition to the answers you've already gotten, I wanted to add a
    couple of points:

    1. If you are just backing up critical files (data files) you may find
    it easier not to use *any* backup program. Simply copy the files to
    the external drive.

    2. Using differential backup makes it faster to do backups. But it
    makes it much slower and harder to do restores. It also increases the
    risk of restoring incorrectly. Moreover, one other weakness of a
    differential backup is that it doesn't recognize that a file has been
    deleted. In most cases that might not matter, but there are situations
    where it could matter. So my view is that full backups are much better
    than differential ones.

    --
    Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP (Windows Desktop Experience) since 2003
    Please Reply to the Newsgroup
     
  5. bobster

    bobster Flightless Bird

    I agree completely with Ken Blake. Complete backups are better than
    incremental ones which sometimes turn out to be excremental ones.

    I have a 320gig external drive mounted in a Vantec eSATA connected
    enclosure, total cost about $80. I use Casper 6.0 to clone my complete "C"
    drive to this external drive about once a week.. It's a user friendly
    system and is highly reliable. After the first "learning" clone it takes
    about 6-8 minutes for subsequent clones.

    I can screw around all I want with my "C" system knowing that if I trash it
    I have a pristine one available in less than one minute on the external
    drive. Really hard to beat if you can afford $80.

    =============================================================
    "Ken Blake, MVP" <kblake@this.is.an.invalid.domain> wrote in message
    news:fc1lp5hgr4obvqajurbiuv9gj6978n9bna@4ax.com...
    On Fri, 12 Mar 2010 09:40:27 -0700, "Bill W" <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:

    > My critical files are on my XP computer. For many years I have used 3rd
    > party backup programs to backup files to an external drive. I also keep a
    > portable drive in our safe deposit box. With all of the 3rd party backup
    > utilities available on the market today, I'm concerned that if I ever had
    > to
    > perform a disaster recovery I might have trouble obtaining a copy of the
    > software I use.
    >
    > My question is - what is wrong with using the universal XP backup program?
    > I guess I really don't know why I opted against it in the first place.
    > It's
    > readily available and appears to do a good job. My only concern would be
    > reconciling the latest version of a file from the full and differential
    > backups in the event of a file restore. I think I'd really like to use
    > the
    > XP backup. Any opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.



    In addition to the answers you've already gotten, I wanted to add a
    couple of points:

    1. If you are just backing up critical files (data files) you may find
    it easier not to use *any* backup program. Simply copy the files to
    the external drive.

    2. Using differential backup makes it faster to do backups. But it
    makes it much slower and harder to do restores. It also increases the
    risk of restoring incorrectly. Moreover, one other weakness of a
    differential backup is that it doesn't recognize that a file has been
    deleted. In most cases that might not matter, but there are situations
    where it could matter. So my view is that full backups are much better
    than differential ones.

    --
    Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP (Windows Desktop Experience) since 2003
    Please Reply to the Newsgroup
     
  6. Anna

    Anna Flightless Bird

    Re: Installing XP on one computer for another.


    > "duckstandard" <duckstand@lavabit.com> wrote in message
    > news:5214dad9-b641-42c0-a88a-3fbd380159b0@z11g2000yqz.googlegroups.com...
    >> Hi, I was wondering if anybody knows when windows xp registers
    >> hardware on install. Like this, when you install windows xp it copies
    >> all the files I assume, then reboots, then installs windows.
    >>
    >> I was wondering if I could stop the computer before it reboots, put
    >> the drive in another computer and resume the install where it may then
    >> register the motherboard, hardware, and drivers and all that?
    >>
    >> I know I have completely stopped the install before it reboots and
    >> start it and it installs just fine, just haven't moved the hard drive
    >> to another computer to resume the install. Any thought on this?


    duckstandard later adds...
    > For many reason, one just to see if it can be done. Another is to have
    > an install ready to work on and with whatever computer it's put in.
    >
    > Lets say another computer doesn't have a working cd drive, can one
    > start the install where it merely copies files and stop it just before
    > it reboots, and then put it in the other computer without the working
    > cd drive to finish installing and setup on 'that' computer.



    "Ronin" <wanderer> wrote in message
    news:-Ob6C74hwKHA.4752@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
    >I realize this isn't exactly what you want, but this I'm pretty sure this
    >works (I haven't done it in a few years.) Take the HD you're going to
    >install to, place it into a functioning machine, copy the i386 folder to
    >it, put the HD back into the machine you're installing, use a bootable
    >floppy or CD startup disk (from Bootdisk.com for example), then navigate to
    >the i386 folder and run SETUP. I'm sure it's not nearly so simple, but I
    >can't remember any of the hitches I must have run into.
    >
    > That Dell CD may be a simple, generic, OEM disk. If so, it will probably
    > work fine for other systems. I only recall seeing those OEM discs or a
    > "recovery partition" solution coming from Dell.
    >
    > --
    > Ronin



    "Paul Randall" <paulr901@cableone.net> wrote in message
    news:-OLN$b7hwKHA.3764@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
    > I'm guessing that there is more going on than "merely copies files" before
    > that reboot. I'm thinking the only way to find out for sure would be for
    > someone to use a Dell branded OEM CD to get to that reboot point, on both
    > a Dell and a Compaq, and then use a binary file/folder tree compare of the
    > two disks to find the differences. I'm thinking that for sure there will
    > at least be differences in the registry files and the drivers being used
    > on that reboot.
    >
    > -Paul Randall



    Ronin, Paul, and possible the OP...
    Some years ago we did work with a process the objective of which was to
    directly move/transfer a HDD containing an XP OS from one PC to another PC
    in order to avoid the need to run a Repair install of the OS on the
    recipient machine. For the most part it was a hit or miss proposition (at
    least based on the process we used as detailed below) in that sometimes it
    worked, other times it didn't. I do recall that we had very little (if any)
    success where OEM machines were involved. We nearly always used this process
    on "generic" (non-proprietary hardware/systems) PCs.

    I don't recall using a process similar to the one Ronin described so the
    process he/she describes might be a more effective way to achieve the
    objective. (Ronin: Note the OP indicates that the recipient PC does *not*
    have a working optical drive). The process I describe obviously required
    both involved machines to be equipped with working optical drives. (While
    it's hard to imagine a user would be particularly interested in installing a
    system/boot drive in a machine that did not contain an optical drive, I
    suppose there's always a reason.)

    Here are some notes (subsequently slightly edited) that I prepared a number
    of years ago for members of a local computer club who were interested in
    this issue...

    BEGIN
    The following comments pertain to a situation where both the "source" &
    "destination" PCs are non-OEM machines so that we're dealing with
    non-proprietary components and systems.

    The most direct way to accomplish this objective is to simply move the HDD
    from one PC to another PC. In a surprising number of cases (in our
    experience) the HDD will boot without incident and basically function in the
    new machine. Naturally it will be then necessary to install the
    "destination" motherboard's drivers and any other necessary drivers
    following such a successful transfer. Nearly needless to say this "process"
    doesn't always work (to put it mildly). But (again, in our experience) it's
    frequently worth a try. Interestingly, the fact that an AMD-based system &
    an Intel-based system are the involved systems in the move does not
    automatically negate the possible success of such a transfer of the HDD.

    In any event, unless you are willing to accept the distinct possibility of
    substantial data corruption/data loss caused by an unsuccessful move of the
    involved HDD resulting in an unbootable/dysfunctional drive should the HDD
    be returned to the "old" machine, under no circumstances should you work
    with the original HDD. Using a disk-cloning program, *always* clone the
    contents of the HDD before proceeding, then work with the clone.

    I'll outline another process that (from time-to-time) we've successfully
    used in the past, but with some important cautionary notes...

    1. In no way is this process guaranteed to work. While it has been
    successful for us in the past working with PATA (IDE) HDDs the rate of
    success was considerably less than 100%. As I recall we had a considerably
    poorer rate of success when we undertook this process involving SATA HDDs
    although at times it did work as well with those types of drives.

    2. I can't remember the last time we used this procedure but it's been a
    long, long while. Obviously we use the more-or-less usual "tried & true"
    procedures for transferring the data from a boot/system HDD from one machine
    to another.

    3. Before undertaking this process we (wherever possible) *always* cloned
    the subject HDD to another HDD and worked with the clone. At the very
    minimum important/critical files were first copied off the subject HDD
    before proceeding. If you do decide to undertake this process I would
    strongly advise you to do the same. Unless all the data on your HDD is
    unimportant and dispensable to you, under no circumstances would I advise
    you to work with the original drive along the lines I will detail unless you
    maintain a comprehensive backup of its contents. It's *always* best to work
    with a clone if at all possible.

    Here are the steps:
    1. With the HDD to be moved still in its source machine, boot up normally.
    2. Insert the XP OS installation CD in your CD/DVD drive. (It's important
    that the installation CD contain the same SP included on the installed
    system. If, for example, your system contains SP3 the installation CD should
    be "slipstreamed" to include SP3).
    3. At the "Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP" screen, click on "Install
    Windows XP".
    4. At the next "Welcome to Windows Setup" screen, make sure the "Upgrade
    (Recommended)" option is shown as the "Installation Type" (it should be the
    default). Click Next.
    5. Accept the End-User License Agreement and click Next.
    6. Enter your "Product key" and click Next.
    7. On the "Get Updated Setup Files" window, select the "No." option and
    click Next. (If the "Getting Updated Setup Files" window does open, select
    the "Skip this step." option and click Next.)
    8. The installation program will begin - "Copying Installation Files", after
    which the "Restarting Computer" message will appear. AT THIS POINT,
    IMMEDIATELY REMOVE THE XP INSTALLATION CD AND SHUT DOWN (POWER OFF) THE
    COMPUTER.
    9. Remove the HDD from the source machine and install it in your destination
    computer. Ensure that the HDD to be transferred is the *only* storage device
    connected to the destination computer.
    10. Power up the computer, IMMEDIATELY installing the XP installation CD in
    your CD/DVD drive as the system boots. (Actually it's probably a better idea
    to have the XP installation CD inserted in your optical drive *before*
    beginning the bootup process.)
    11. When the "Press any key to boot from CD" appears on the screen, do so.
    12. An onscreen message will appear to the effect that "This computer is
    already in the process of being upgraded to Microsoft Windows. What do you
    want to do?" Press Enter "To continue the current upgrade."
    NOTE: If the transferred HDD is a SATA HDD, you may have to go through the
    F6 routine for the system to recognize the SATA drive. It depends upon the
    motherboard's BIOS - some will detect the SATA drive without further user
    intervention, others will not, necessitating the user to install the SATA
    controller driver during the installation of the operating system. So have
    your SATA HDD controller driver on a floppy disk handy should you need it.
    13. The installation of the operating system will continue and the
    transferred HDD should (hopefully!) subsequently boot without problems.
    14. You will, of course, need to install whatever motherboard & other
    drivers, e.g., video, sound, etc., that are needed by your destination
    system.
    15. You'll also receive a message about the need to activate the system
    within (usually) three days.

    NOTE: Re step 12. - If after pressing Enter to continue the installation a
    message appears that this or that file is invalid and setup cannot continue,
    power off the machine (with the installation CD still inserted) and then
    power on the machine to repeat step 12. Hopefully the process will continue
    notwithstanding the system's detection of an "invalid" file.

    On a number of occasions where we used this process the system froze at the
    XP splash screen following the final auto reboot. Usually a reboot resolved
    the problem and the system thereafter booted without any problems.

    And again, should the transfer of the HDD prove successful, ensure that you
    create current comprehensive backups of your data immediately following the
    transfer.
    END

    Let me again emphasize that it has been a very long time since I've
    undertaken the process described above.
    Anna
     
  7. Bill W

    Bill W Flightless Bird

    Thank you all very much for the very valuable information. This is exactly
    what I need. Thanks again.


    "Bill W" <xxx@xxx.com> wrote in message
    news:4C2AE13C-3F7D-4059-A2DE-B92722894C14@microsoft.com...
    > My critical files are on my XP computer. For many years I have used 3rd
    > party backup programs to backup files to an external drive. I also keep a
    > portable drive in our safe deposit box. With all of the 3rd party backup
    > utilities available on the market today, I'm concerned that if I ever had
    > to perform a disaster recovery I might have trouble obtaining a copy of
    > the software I use.
    >
    > My question is - what is wrong with using the universal XP backup program?
    > I guess I really don't know why I opted against it in the first place.
    > It's readily available and appears to do a good job. My only concern
    > would be reconciling the latest version of a file from the full and
    > differential backups in the event of a file restore. I think I'd really
    > like to use the XP backup. Any opinions on this would be greatly
    > appreciated.
     

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