Windows Legacy OS forum


Windows XP SP3 Backup Utility

by silkphoenix / March 14, 2013 9:18 AM PDT


My Desktop crashed after last Tuesday's Microsoft Update. I have to reinstall Windows XP, and I completed it successfully.

I have a backup (using MS Backup Utility) in my external drive. I tried to restore my files and folders back to my new desktop, but they won't show up. The restore process proceed but no files were processed. I used the same username and password for my new desktop.

I have tried to use 'Original Location", "Single Folder" and also "Alternate Location" and none of them worked. The restore process proceed but I no files or folders appeared on my desktop.

Could someone please let me know how could I fix this problem? FYI, I saw all those files and folders in the Backup utility window.

Any suggestions/comments are much appreciated. Thank you.

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All Answers

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 14, 2013 9:39 AM PDT

That backup utility has only one nice feature. It keeps a few small companies in business recovering files for folk.

When I see this I have a lot to check including removing the user password and check if the restored files are under some other folder.

The drive letter must be the same and the folder might have to be the exact same. The Petre folder is not the same as the petre folder (no match there.)

If a SINGLE FOLDER restore fails, you want to research MS BACKUP recovery software titles.

In the future just sync your folder with same on the external. I use SyncBack and since the files are not held hostage by proprietary software, restore is a snap.

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Windows XP SP3 Backup Utility
by silkphoenix / March 14, 2013 11:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Thud.

Thank you, Thud.

I search already and none of the files/folders were in any of my drives. I'll try to remove the user's password to see if it works.

Yes, the drive letter is the same, which is "C" and what do you mean by "the folder might have to be the same". What folder are you talking about? Please clarify.

Thank you.

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I'm sure you know what a folder or subdirectory is.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 15, 2013 2:06 AM PDT

Please tell the forum if you don't so we know where you are.

OK, the next 2 lines will have 2 words and these are folder names. Ready?


In the wacky world of computers that subtle difference is enough to cause a restore failure since your home or the folder name that is to be restored to could be different than before.

It's a quirk you must know about and look out for. WHY DID I HIGHLIGHT THIS? Your first post wrote " same username and password for my new desktop. " and the small world that it is had me bump into this area.

I can't guess why it's not working but we know the XP Backup is unreliable.

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Windows XP SP3 Backup Utility
by silkphoenix / March 16, 2013 6:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Thud.

OK, I finally figured out the problem. I was able to restore all files after I UNCHECKED the following:

1. Restore Security Settings
2. Preserve Existing Volume Mount Points

After that, all of my files and folders were restored successfully into my PC.

FYI, I chose the option "Alternate Location" and restore the files and folders into a new folder on my desktop.

Thank you for all of your help.

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Some backup recommendations
by wpgwpg / March 14, 2013 9:56 AM PDT

I suggest you get away from the Windows backup program and get yourself a good commercial backup program. I've seen forums 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 since 2004 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 $15. It's the best insurance you can ever buy!

I hope this helps. Good luck

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