ReneeC

When Vista was first released some of the new features were an enigma because there wasn't much documentation. there are things that are still enigmatic.

When I first got installed my vista system, I made a complete image backup of it. When I felt like that was out of date, I discarded it.

I've been attempting to get new backup copies but I've noticed that they seem highly abbreviated. Then I read this:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/technetmag/issues/2007/09/Backup/default.aspx

It indicates that Vista makes one complete backup and sets a bit somewhere setting Complete PC Copy to then do differential backups where there are differences from the baseline.

So.... what happens if you don't have the baseline This article makes no reference to how to reset that state.

Does anyone have any idea




Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

magicalclick

I read this in the page " Volume Shadow Copy Service is used to compute the differences between snapshots taken as well as to handle the process of moving the old data out to the shadow copy area on the destination disk "

If there is no vhd file, I think it will just create a new baseline, like when you backup on a new drive, it creates a new baseline. Thanks for the article, cuz now I see that the main vhd is stored with latest backup instead of the first backup, so disgarding the old backups is very easy.





Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

ReneeC

I have volume shadow copying turned off and there is no VHD file on my system disk. Still when I ask for a full volume backup onto dual layered DVDs, Microsofts PC Complete BAckup only copies two DVD and says, I'm finished. It should require at least sevn to nine dual layered DVDs.




Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

magicalclick

I am confident that your DVDs has everything you need. I tried that before, I backed up everything on DVDs and recovered it (althought by my stupidity, I destroied my unbackedup media drive). It is pretty strange that they said they don't compress, but their vhd file is way smaller than the source drive.

Also I didn't turn on volume shadow copy as well. I think they use volume shadow copy module to calculate during backup process, you don't need to turn it on. If you turn it on, you can recover files without PC backup feature; it is a separate feature from PC backup. The shadow copy feature is already used on Windows Server 2003.

Anyway, the only way to know for sure is to recover it.

By the way, vhd file is not stored in system (srouce) drive. It is stored in backup (destination) drive. If there is no vhd file in the destination drive, volume shadow copy is not used since there is no older files to be archived. If you backup on a HDD for several times and somehow find a way to remove all shadow copies, you will end up with latest backup. It is not like the old differencial design where you need the baseline from the 1st backup and recover recursively forward. It is using the last backup and recover recursively backward. Pretty interesting.





Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

ReneeC

If you are sure I am getting all of my data, can you explain two things to me

1.) How are they storing 29 Gb of image data on two DVD's

2.) Why is it now requiring only 2 DVDs to back up 29 Gb of data when the original copy of 23 Gb required 4-5 DVDs






Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

magicalclick

Maybe it failed




Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

ReneeC

That's my whole point. Vista omplete PC backup is telling me I have a successful image backup of 30 Gb of data on two dvds. I don't. It's an error. I really need a baseline of my NOW system.




Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

magicalclick

Huh... that's just too crazy. I will have to try it out as well. I will back it up using DVD again. And reformat C drive, and try to recover from there. I think I have only backup on DVD once, maybe the second time it will do just what you encountered, but that's just so wrong.




Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

ReneeC

BUT what that was exactly what the author said. That was the behavior she described in the article. It is crazy. There has to be some way to re-init. I despeartely need to back on my system and can't do it.






Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

ReneeC

Here it is again:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial145.html

"Your computer has now been successfully backed up and you should store the media or external drive in a safe location in the event that you need it in the future. In the future when you make further Complete PC Backups to the same drive, it will only backup the differences between your last backup and the current state of your computer allowing the backups to complete much quicker."

How do you turn this off Where is the control store




Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

ReneeC

So this weekend I bought a Lenovo running Vista Business. Before I backed it up, I added Vs2005, (3.54 gigabytes), Vs2005 Sp1 (1/2 gigbyte + 1 gigbyte of back up information) - Photoshop (.5 Gigabytes), Office 2003 .5 Gigbytes) the Windows SDK 1 Gigabyte)

The lenovo shows 23.9 gigabytes in use. I did a complete Backup and it required only two dual layer DVDs. My larger system is similar with a little more software on it. It requires two dual layer DVD's.

I've read extensively on the net where there is a host of conflicting information. Some say there is compression, some say there is none. Most of the reviews are consumer oriented. There is nothing really technical disclosed about Complete PC Backup. Does it compress Does it attain a 2:1 compression ratio

I ask these things because I still don't if my system is really backed up. I like Vista a lot. It's professional and polished but it's also "fluffy" and not really targeted at professionals because it doesn't supply you with much technical information.

I ask these things because I want install Orcas and before I do that, I want to be sure that I have a backup of my Pre-Orcas system.






Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

JohnWein

It's possible that Vista backup is similar to the Windows Home Server disk layout. The way I understand it, it keeps track of 4096 chunks of bytes. One chunk might be used by tens or even hundreds of programs or dlls.





Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

ReneeC

I understand that but it's unlikely that is significant on a gigabyte basis meaning over a large number of files. Even more problematic is that vista Complete PC Backup has to maintain not only the data but the metadata. The metadata for tiny subchunks would soon grow larger than the space that is saved.

I've been thinking about this and when Explorer says, "This disk has 29 gigabytes in use, that absolutely has to include metadata. A small amount of metadata is required to describe the volume being backed up which has to be relatively insignificant. So here is the actual question: What's the nominal and highest compression ratio achieved in PC Complete Backups

No one ever says. It's possible perhaps that my 30 gb disks are being backed up by two dual layered dvds but that would be the worlds greatest compression algorithm. It's not likely.

But for a moment lets say that it does. That opens up a systemic commentary. That says that 50% of the space on a windows volumes is redundant. That's not an impressive comment. Either the premise is true or it isn't. If it's true, PC Back is broken. If I'm incorrect .... at least 50 percent of the data on all Windows disks is redundant.

Either one is not good.






Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

magicalclick

I don't know the truth yet since I haven't try it again. But from what I have known, there is a chunk of disc spaces in Vista is used for application caching. And we all know we don't backup on caching. Just a thought. And you know if you have some application that has tons of XML file, the compression can be greater than 2:1. And maybe they don't backup indexings.

I trust MS on this one. And if it is not working, I guess you can sue them for data lose. And you can record everything as evidence.





Re: Hot Technology A real puzzle with Vista Complete Backup

ReneeC

And it's silly to back up paging files and hibernation files too. That's five gigs right there.

It occurred to me how to put this to the test and I will. Co-incidently, I just ordered a high performance disk for my new lil Lenovo. It's the system disk of course. The test.... is to do a recovery on that disk. If my system runs, it works and if it doesn't, well I just have a lot of work to reinstal lenovos software.

We should know in the next couple of weeks. Smile