Windows 7 forum


Windows 7 Backup -- How/why does it work?

by Kafountine / November 25, 2012 2:07 AM PST

I've backed up my files using the automatic backup function of Win 7. I (foolishly) assumed it would save things the way I have them on my machine: ie: libraries, etc.
Instead, I find a list of "Backup file 1, Backup file 2, etc." up to 700+ files.
To find out what they are I've got to click down through multiple layers, then click back again to get to the main list.
What a major PIA this is?
Is there some way to convert this to a "proper" format?

Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Windows 7 Backup -- How/why does it work?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Windows 7 Backup -- How/why does it work?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Windows backup is flakey, there're much better alternatives
by wpgwpg / November 25, 2012 2:14 AM PST

I suggest you get away from the Windows backup program and get yourself a good commercial backup program. This forum is fraught with problem reports for the Windows one. I know I was very unimpressed when I tried it. Three I'm familiar with and like are Norton Ghost (which I've been using for 8 years without the 1st problem), Easeus Todo Backup Free, which you can download from and Memeo which has a 30 day free trial and you can buy it for $29.99 - you can download it from . You can get Ghost for next to nothing (like I did) if you watch the sales.
The March 2012 issue of PC World was very high on the FREE program from Easeus and so is CNET. In my experience with a variety of configurations I have to say I'm very impressed. Like Ghost it will back up to a networked drive, and it will create a boot CD for when your PC won't boot. See CNET's review of it at;1#editorsreview .
CNET has a lot of backup program reviews at;sideBar .

Some of these are free (last time I checked there were over 300), some have free trials (over 1000), and some are purchase only (over 200).
External hard drives are best for backup. You can get a 500 GB one for around $60 and a 1 TB one for around $70. You can also buy a 32 GB flash drive for under $10. It's the best insurance you can ever buy!

I hope this helps. Good luck

Collapse -
by Kafountine / December 1, 2012 2:33 AM PST

That helps! I'll check into the other programs.
NOW, what do I do with the backup I created in Windows? Would I transfer that to the new backup or simply start over and discard the old backup?
I'm worried that I might lose some valuable photos that may be in there somewhere.

Collapse -
What I'd do w/old backups
by wpgwpg / December 1, 2012 2:39 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks!

I'd make a new full system backup to a good sized external hard drive, recover what I needed from the old backup, then delete the old backup.

Collapse -
restore those backups first, then as CNET has proved in this
by DChrisL / December 2, 2012 12:14 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks!
Collapse -
Can't answer why. But I'll share what I do.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 25, 2012 2:15 AM PST

1. I don't use any MSFT backup apps. They burned me years ago and today, folk continue to get burned. It works most of the time but let's face it, that's not good enough,

2. What do I do?
a. Backup the entire machine. I use Clonezilla for this.
b. Backup simply with GoodSync or SyncBack.
c. Backup to more than one device and place. Local hard drives, dropbox.
d. A few select items go on a portable USB stick that I can grab and go in case of fire, flood, etc.

Forget MSFT backup and make your backups "Hard To Kill."

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,224 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,453 discussions
Laptops 20,090 discussions
Security 30,722 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,937 discussions
Windows 10 1,295 discussions
Phones 16,252 discussions
Windows 7 7,684 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,215 discussions

Finding the best 360 camera

GoPro, Pixpro, or Ricoh?

You can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a 360-degree camera. We tested three of them to find out what kind of quality and ease of use you can expect at each price point.