Win 7 best backup software

#1
I am running Win 7 and wondered what is the best backup software? Use a TCC command? Windows Backup? Robocopy? something else? What I am lookin for is a full drive backup, includoing every file / folder included.
 
May 20, 2009
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#2
I am running Win 7 and wondered what is the best backup software? Use a TCC command? Windows Backup? Robocopy? something else? What I am lookin for is a full drive backup, includoing every file / folder included.
In my opinion You might consider an off-line backup to do an image of the disk.
One is at "http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/index.htm".
If You read newsgroups at "www.grc.com" there are people that say good things about macrium.


Regards

Rodolfo Giovanninetti
 
#3
I am running Win 7 and wondered what is the best backup software? Use a TCC command? Windows Backup? Robocopy? something else? What I am lookin for is a full drive backup, includoing every file / folder included.
I use Disk2vhd;

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/disk2vhd

Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk - Microsoft's Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online. Disk2vhd uses Windows' Volume Snapshot capability, introduced in Windows XP, to create consistent point-in-time snapshots of the volumes you want to include in a conversion. You can even have Disk2vhd create the VHDs on local volumes, even ones being converted (though performance is better when the VHD is on a disk different than ones being converted).
These scripts can be used to mount/unmount the VHD from the command line;

https://jpsoft.com/forums/threads/mountiso-add-support-for-vhd-vhdx-files.8902/#post-50329

Joe
 
#5
For my boot disk, I've been using the free version of Macrium Reflect (link) for a few years. You need to use the GUI to create the configuration files, but once they are defined, it can be invoked from the command line. I have a cron job that runs every night, and once a week it creates a full image of my C: drive, and writes it to a file on my D: drive.

On the day when the cron isn't imaging the C: drive, it does incremental copies of my D:, E:, and other drives to a Samba file server using the free version of SyncBack (link).

Once a month, I plop a 4TB drive in an external dock, and run a TCC script to image the C: drive, and incrementally copy all the other stuff to the external disk. That disk then gets tossed in a safe until the next month.

For both SyncBack and Reflect, once you're configured them using the GUI, they can be controlled by TCC from the command line, which makes them great for doing backups in scripts that kick off at 4am every morning.
 
May 26, 2008
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#6
Image level backup? I would use what's built in to Windows 7. It works great and is easy to restore from a bare metal state through Windows setup.

If you want something more robust, like incremental/differential image level backups, automatic retention of so many versions, etc., then check out Macrium Reflect.

For File level backup there are tons of options out there. My favorite right now is Duplicati. It's open source, does deduplication/compression/encryption, block level backups, can target dozens of types of storage including various cloud providers....
 
May 26, 2008
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#8
Macrium Reflect will do image level backups but you can still do granular restores (like specific files).

File level backup systems are usually more efficient at backing up just file data but they don't usually work for image level restores (disaster recovery).

Edit to add: Even default Windows 7 image level backups will let you do granular restores. The backups are stored in VHD format which you can mount and extract specific files. But Windows 7 image level backup is a poor choice for long term retention of multiple versions as each backup is large.
 
#9
Edit to add: Even default Windows 7 image level backups will let you do granular restores. The backups are stored in VHD format which you can mount and extract specific files. But Windows 7 image level backup is a poor choice for long term retention of multiple versions as each backup is large.
One of the reasons I've used Macrium (and DriveImageXML before it) was that it can be used with BartPE. For those unfamiliar with BartPE, it's freeware that lets you build a bootable CD with to help restore a fubared system. A lot of vendors make BartPE modules that can be run from that CD, and Macrium is one of them.

In other words, if my C: drive gets hosed, and my PC is no longer bootable, I can boot from the BartPE CD, and reimage the C: drive from my most recent backup (worst case is a week old), restoring the boot records and etc. I'm not sure how much it's improved, but at least in the XP days, you couldn't do that with the Windows backup utility. If you had a nonbootable system, you'd have to install a barebones bootable Windows system in order to be able to use the backup/restore software. I remember back around 2000 or so, people used to dedicate something like 10GB to make a drive like R: and put a second Windows installation on it. Then, if C: got hosed, they'd boot off of R: and use it to restore the C: drive. With BartPE/Macrium, that wasn't necessary.

It may be that Windows Backup has gotten a lot smarter and better (I hope so), but I've not looked, since the BartPE solution has always done everything I've needed it to.