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Win 7 Backup & Restore Centre vs. 3rd party backup software?

by ATP-1 / June 11, 2012 3:46 PM PDT

I am resuming my search for some reliable, effective & suitable windows 7 on-premise backup software.

Along the way, I have encountered mention of Windows 7 built-in Backup & Restore Centre. I have had a quick look at it.

Are there any here familiar with use of this Windows Backup & Restore Centre, & able to comment on its advantages & disadvantages, & how it compares to 3rd party backup software?


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All Answers

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After years of backup.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 12, 2012 5:24 AM PDT

I learned to not use any Microsoft backup software. Microsoft has failed to unify their systems. That is, backup on XP might or might not restore on Vista or 7. And most any combination of versions. Not to mention other failures. Since the backup is in some proprietary format you end up with bum backups.

Why not backup with simple tools like Goodsync, Syncback, Roadkil's Unstoppable Copier or even Windows Explorer?

You'll end up with files that are just like they were before without any anxiety of not being able to restore.

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Best app for backup
by Silvertop / June 15, 2012 10:57 AM PDT

The best method for backing up a system is to use an application that produces an image of all your drives. Free ones like Macrium Reflect or Easeus do a good job and are reliable. The regular data can be saved using explorer or an app that will synchronize your folders with your files and a backup of those files. I find FreeFileSync to be the best one and it is free. All your data files can be found in C:\users\*your name*. That is the default location of all your docs, music, pictures and videos. Of course it is assumed you have an external backup device such as a external hard drive. This method is tried and tested over the years and works. I have lost data using Microsoft's backup so I do not recommend you use that method.

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RE: Win 7 Backup & Restore Centre vs. 3rd party backup softw
by dj_erik / June 15, 2012 11:14 AM PDT

It really depends on what you are doing...

If you have a complex setup such as Apple BootCamp or Dual boot with Linux, I would recommend to use third party software such as Acronis, Paragon, Backup Exec, etc... From experience Windows built in backup software doesn't work well with multiple partitions or various partition formats.

If you have a single drive and a possible data drive, Windows built in backup can work flawlessly and has the ability to backup the whole drive to a VHD, so it's even recoverable on a virtual computer. I've tested this out well on Windows workstations on both recovery of the computer to the same computer clean and recovery to a Hyper-V environment.

As far as third party improvements, good third party software can usually backup complete images as well as incremental backups and restore to different hardware or various VM environments without any issues. Restoration can be simply a file or the complete computer and usually at specific time. Looking at my Windows backup, it stores a month worth of daily backups of system images incremental. The added cost usually comes with added support as well, and that can definitely be a benefit when your down.

Hope this details some of the finer points of Windows backup vs third party software. In all honesty, Windows has come along way since the XP days for backup and restore and although they are still not the best, the free price tag definitely makes it something to look at.

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