Complete PC Backup: full vs. incremental

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by kub, May 28, 2008.

  1. kub

    kub Guest

    I would like to *manually* save different versions of Complete P
    Backup, but Vista won't give me that option and will only sav
    incremental backups. As someone noticed here on the forums, "using th
    *scheduled* backup is the only way to get the checkbox to create ful
    backups, each and every time you want one". However, scheduled backup
    is not what I want to do, as I'm losing control of the exact P

    Can I rename the earlier backup to something else (eg
    "WindowsImageBackup1"), so Vista would create a new folde
    "WindowsImageBackup" and save a new full backup into it? If yes, when
    rename the folder from "WindowsImageBackup1" back t
    "WindowsImageBackup" in order to restore the earlier version of PC, wil
    it get corrupted or confuse Vista
    kub, May 28, 2008
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  2. kub

    Brink Guest

    Hi Kub,

    You can select a different location to save the complete PC backup on
    to have a different backup instead of incremental. For example, on
    another partition, drive, or CD/DVD.

    Hope this helps,


    *There are no dumb questions, just the people that do not ask
    '*VISTA FORUMS*' (
    *Please post feedback to help others.*
    Brink, May 28, 2008
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  3. kub

    kub Guest

    So if I want to save, say, five different PC configuratons, I would
    need to create five partitions on my USB HDD? Is it my only option? The
    simple trick with renaming folders won't work?
    kub, May 28, 2008
  4. kub

    Brink Guest

    Sorry Kub,

    It will only let you select a listed drive letter or CD/DVD and not any
    location in the drive.



    *There are no dumb questions, just the people that do not ask
    '*VISTA FORUMS*' (
    *Please post feedback to help others.*
    Brink, May 28, 2008
  5. kub

    kub Guest

    Yes, that's why I'm asking about the renaming trick:

    Let's say, I save a Complete PC Backup and rename it t
    "WindowsImageBackup1". Then I save another backup on the same disk, an
    Vista automatically creates a new folder "WindowsImageBackup" for it.
    rename it "WindowsImageBackup2", and go on... Finally, I have fiv
    different backups on the same disk. Whenever I want to restore from an
    of them, I rename the needed folder back to "WindowsImageBackup" an
    boot my restore DVD. Vista finds the right folder and ignores the othe
    four, because they have modified names

    Will this trick work with Vista
    kub, May 28, 2008
  6. kub

    Mark Guest

    Alright, so the scheduled backup was not what you wanted, I tried. But, that
    is where the checkbox is... and it has to be set to us the command line
    function for making backups.

    From and elevated prompt: (if no options used, it defaults to the
    *scheduled* backup options)
    wbadmin start backup
    [-backupTarget:{<TargetVolume> | <TargetNetworkShare>}]

    Pay particular attention to the -backupTarget command. You will see that you
    can use other than the default and create the separate folders you were
    looking to do. Unfortunately, this also means that you probably have to use
    the command line option to restore the backup since it won't be standard
    naming convention.
    Mark, May 29, 2008
  7. kub

    Mark Guest

    PS. The Backup Recovery command states it is only valid in Windows 2008, but
    in the preceding paragraph it states it can be started from the Vista
    Installation DVD by going to the Repair Option and opening a command prompt
    from there. Then the command is similar to the backup:
    wbadmin start sysrecovery

    For more details, look at the previously supplied link.

    Mark, May 29, 2008
  8. kub

    C.B. Guest

    The limitations of Vista's backup program are the reason I decided,
    long ago, to purchase Acronis True Image Home 11. I do full backups only and
    I can have them backed up to a location on one of my external hard drives. I
    can then create a new folder and move it to that folder. I can then copy it
    again or move it anywhere I wish on that drive or my other external drive. I
    keep several different backups this way.
    When I decide to restore I simply navigate to the particular folder I
    want and restore the backup from within that folder. The individual backups
    themselves retain the same name (all of them) but the folders can be renamed
    to your heart's desire, such as backup 01, 02, 03, etc. etc. etc. or you can
    rename them according to date, software, etc., etc., etc.

    C.B., May 29, 2008
  9. kub

    Dave T. Guest

    Please forgive me for butting in C.B., but I have a tender spot in my
    heart for folks who give recommendations for Acronis True Image. I
    bought it based on a recommendation very similar to yours and it turned
    out to be a very expensive headache. I could get it to do a disc image,
    but never could get it to do a data backup. It is extremely buggy,
    complicated and difficult to use. Finally, when I uninstalled it, I
    ended up with a damaged master boot record. They're tech support forum
    has more traffic than this NG, and that should indicate something to all
    of us. If it works for you, I'm glad. I will preach against it.
    Dave T., May 30, 2008
  10. kub

    Nonny Guest

    If that was true, you wouldn't be seeing all the recommendations for

    YOU may have had problems with it, but apparently you're in the
    minority... here or elsewhere.
    Nonny, May 30, 2008
  11. kub

    Martin Stein Guest

    I also bough TrueImage and I am not happy with it. A scheduled backup does
    not work, and for my problem support told me months ago that it's a known
    problem and they will come out with a new version. Something as simple as
    backing up on a regular basis does not work! And the tool is hard to use, I
    agree with C.B.
    Martin Stein, May 30, 2008
  12. kub

    Dave T. Guest

    Nonny, I didn't come here to banter back and forth. Please go to the
    Support forum, and you may be surprised at what you learn.

    Acronis has a bunch of serious problems since the intro of v. 11. If you
    take the time to study the forum, you will find that no answers are ever
    given. If you have a problem, they will tell you to send them a mountain
    of logs and other things, and then the thread ends with no solution ever
    given! When I quit it, I had a problem that caused the backup to hang
    and this is a known problem since at least October of last year. Acronis
    says they have the solution, but a new build never comes! They're
    business model calls for a new version about every year, and that means
    you pay for (hopefully) a fix! Tech support directed me to a work-around
    from another user that called for a registry hack to DISABLE ONE OF MY
    CPU CORES!!!!!

    That was the day I uninstalled Acronis.

    You made the statement in effect that it's just me, and I should keep my
    mount shut. That type of arrogance is uncalled for.

    Dave T.

    "Your attitude serves as a lens through which you see life, and it's
    best when that lens is focused on the positive possibilities." - Ralph
    Dave T., Jun 1, 2008
  13. kub

    DSReasner Guest

    Kub - If you are still monitoring replies to this thread... There are a few
    chats and articles by the Vista storage team out on the Vista site that
    indirectly address your questions. The PC Complete Backup utility was not
    intended for this use. However, you can copy the image and the corresponding
    MEDIAID.BIN file to a new location and Microsoft states that you can restore
    from the moved image. For now, I've been creating full images here and there
    and then moving the files to my maintenance partition. The problem is that
    even when you move the files to a user-created folder on the same
    drive/partition (your proposal), Vista seems to recognize that you have
    previously created an image at that destination. Further, the instructions
    at the confirm backup settings page imply that you will be proceeding with an
    incremental image. I've created my images at very specific time points and
    have not wanted to "test" whether Vista can actually find the files. What we
    need is a way to scrub the disk so that Vista will treat the same disk as a
    destination that hasn't been used for a full image before. Anyone know how
    besides dropping down and working at the command level?

    DSReasner, Jun 1, 2008
  14. kub

    Nonny Guest

    I am having no problems so I have no need to visit that forum.

    I had ONE instance with an incremental upgrade to version 9 that
    required me to use the bootable CD to clone a disk rather than the
    Windows GUI.

    I got a support answer to that problem and the next incremental update
    worked fine for me with no problem.

    There are a lot of folks in the various Windows groups that are having
    problems with their OS or their MS programs.

    They too are a minority.
    Nonny, Jun 1, 2008
  15. kub

    Dave T. Guest


    My statement stands. My experience, and the experience of others, will
    not allow me to recommend Acronis. There are better backup solutions out
    there, and what I will recommend is that NO ONE should spend their money
    on the strength of a recommendation from ANYONE on the ng's. Let the
    buyer beware.
    Dave T., Jun 1, 2008
  16. kub

    kub Guest

    Don't see this as a problem, if I make a copy of the backup folder on
    the same disk (say, as "WindowsImageBackup - copy 1") and continue
    incremental backups to the master folder. Question is, if I want to
    restore PC from that copy, can I simply rename the current master folder
    to "WindowsImageBackup - copy 2", and the needed previous copy - back to
    kub, Jun 2, 2008
  17. kub

    DSReasner Guest

    Kub - Yes, you should be able to copy your full image backup and, thereby,
    create a snapshot of your system. Then, you can add to the image with
    incremental changes. If at a later date you want to restore to the earlier
    snapshot, you can select the snapshot manually using the restore from files
    made on another computer option. Because the image is volume based and can
    be used to restore images between (similar) workstations, you can restore
    from your snapshot rather than the "native" more recent image.

    DSReasner, Jun 3, 2008
  18. kub

    kub Guest

    So I don't even need to rename the copied folder back to the original
    "WindowsImage Backup"? The restore program will still find it along with
    recent image?

    (P.S. I am asking instead of just trying it, because I don't have a
    separate installation to play with, and I'm afraid of creating a mess
    with my current working Vista -- reinstalling it from scratch would be a
    disaster for me. :()
    kub, Jun 3, 2008
  19. kub

    C.B. Guest

    Acronis True Image 11 does have its problems, which is why I'll try
    Norton Ghost 14 when my subscription expires. I've read many reviews of
    Norton Ghost and it seems to have quite a few problems. I especially dislike
    its integration with Google Desktop. I refuse to have anything Google on my
    computers so if I can't disable this feature or avoid it by doing a custom
    install I won't even install the trial edition.
    I agree with your comments concerning Acronis tech support. They don't
    seem to know how to fix the problems I experienced and it takes them a long
    time to answer a support request. Acronis doesn't want to follow the
    configuration settings I implemented and after providing tech support with
    screenshots of my settings they blamed the problem on Vista. I also agree
    with your statement regarding changes Acronis makes to a system. For some
    reason, during every install, it always created an extra C Drive option for
    System Restore which I would always have to delete before System Restore
    would function again.
    Do you have any ideas on other good image software available? If there
    is nothing available besides these two programs I'll probably have to stick
    with Acronis.

    C.B., Jun 6, 2008
  20. kub

    Dave T. Guest

    C.B., There are several choices, most of which I have not used so I
    won't even mention the names. The one I am currently using is Retrospect
    HD Express. Incredibly simple to set up and use, not a lot of useless
    buggy add-ons like Acronis. It doesn't mess with the Master boot record,
    no virtualization crap, it just works. You want a backup? It will give
    you a backup which consists of a disk image, and incrementals.

    Now let me say I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THIS PROGRAM. I use it, it works
    for me, it's easy to use. that's all I'm saying. Everyone needs to do
    their homework before throwing your money at something. I wasted $50 on
    Acronis because people on this NG said it was super-duper. NOT. I am
    beginning to think that Acronis has become part of a cult religion
    because the restore manager functions with a Linux kernal.

    I used Ghost v9 in the past, and was happy with it as far as it goes,
    but I have had a lot of problems associated with Norton products and
    have made a decision to move away from them. Maybe I'll try them again
    in the future but they have a lot to prove first.

    Dave T.

    "Your attitude serves as a lens through which you see life, and it's
    best when that lens is focused on the positive possibilities." - Ralph
    Dave T., Jun 6, 2008
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