Questions

MS Backup for XP PRO

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MS Backup for XP PRO

paul.kuczwara
Good Morning All,

I have been using MS Backup that is standard in MS XP PRO.
On my laptop I have ~146k files/ directories etc., using ~50gig.

About last month, I ran the backup. The Selection Information evaluation ran for a VERY long time, the file count was over 2 million files. From what I could gather the file path that was showing in the evaluation dialog is c:\..\protect\S-1-5-19\GUIDs. It did not seem to get out of this directory path. After the first 60k files and 10 gig's or so.

When I search for these sub-directories,'s-1-5-19' and 'protect' are not found. Has anyone seen this before?

When I look at some of the files, on my drive there appears to be some kind of hidden security tag associated with the file that flashes up and then immediately disappears, I can see it if I do a print screen immediately after I press properties and then look at the security tab on the files properties, and then pasting it into a Word doc.

I did a file dump into a text file and scanned for the 'Protect' and 'S-1-5-19' directories, but they did not exist. Has anybody seen this before, and how can I fix it?

Regards,
Paul
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    0 Votes
    ---TK---

    if your backing up over 2 million files... My first thought is that you have directory after directory after directory after directory.... get the point? XP can have a file directory as far a 256 characters deep (I think) if you exceed that limit, your data is gone... C:\ equals 3 characters, spaces are considered a character also... if this is not the case then ignore it... but its just a thought, maybe it helps...

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    paul.kuczwara

    Good Afternoon TK,

    I can still access all of the files on the computer. I have acquired another backup tools and it backups fine using TBI Image. Did a MS patch somehow cause this issue? The path it seems to be stuck in, is the c:\Document and Settings\...\

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    0 Votes
    ---TK---

    It was just a shot in the dark... another post suggested that it could be restore points that are getting backed up also...? Its really hard to say when your not in front of the PC... and restore points really do add up after a while...

    Yeah if you can access them odds are you aren't having the issue of to many characters...

    To clean up the restore files I would go to your "run command" and enter this no quotes "c:\windows\system32\cleanmgr.exe /dc" click the tab at the top "more options" > 3rd one down click "clean up" and then try the back up again...

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    ThumbsUp2

    ... and you don't want to do that.

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    or protected recycle bin, like Norton's.

    Anyone mention that those S- numbers are SIDs for users?

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/163846

    localservice\Application Data\Microsoft\Protect\S-1-5-19

    or

    %systemroot%\System32\Microsoft\Protect\S-1-5-18

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/reskit/distrib/dsck_efs_mkqd.mspx?mfr=true

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_protection_application_programming_interface

    Abuse:
    http://www.spywareguide.com/product_show.php?id=2372
    This certainly can't be the only malware which does this.

    Intelliforms?
    http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:pG5IxBh4D8sJ:www.accessdata.com/downloads/media/Decrypting%2520Intelliforms%25209-8-08.pdf
    (Google's "view as HTML" link.)

    Updates?
    "C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Microsoft\Protect
    You can delete the Protect folder and its contents. However, the Protect folder and its contents will be re-generated upon your next visit to the Microsoft Update Website."
    http://www.graphixanstuff.com/Forum/index.php?s=80343f12ed4d955f1704794d81f57267&showtopic=9397&pid=81154&st=0&#entry81154

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/fix-for-outlook-2007-constantly-asking-for-password-on-vista/

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    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Afternoon ThumbsUp2,

    Thanks for your Reply and TK's help.

    How large are the restore points? Would there location be something like "c:\...\protect\s-1-4-19\<large list scrolling of GUIDs>"?

    I am running the cleanup utility now and it is taking a very long time.

    Regards,
    Paul

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    When you write "c:\...\protect\s-1-4-19\", is that unexpanded path the info you are getting? No wonder you are confused.

    You'll have to enable viewing hidden files (in Explorer >Tools > Folder Options > View >).

    Documents and settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\Protect\

    or

    %systemroot%\System32\Microsoft\Protect\

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    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Afternoon Seanferd,

    Yes I understand how to view hidden files. My question was at first. What has happened as to cause the Windows Backup to fail. Looking for some files in the "c:\..\protect\SIDs". (getting hung there looking) I have done the backups as I have always done and last month this started happening. I was just trying to figure out what happened and why.

    Regards,
    Paul

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    so I mention that you have to view hidden files to do so.

    Can you find the directories in those paths?

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    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Morning,

    I ran the clean utility, but when the backup runs it still appears to get hung in the "c:\...\protect\SIDs" directory.

    Regards,
    Paul

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    0 Votes
    Wizard-09

    How many profiles are on the computer in question and are you running it in admin mode, do you need this files can you even see the folders it talks about or files?

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    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Afternoon t_mcnally_2001,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Can I safely remove/delete the "All Users", "Default User" and "administrator" profiles since I am the Administrator for this machine?

    Regards,
    Paul

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    0 Votes
    ThumbsUp2

    Those profiles are used by the system. Don't touch them! You can destroy your system. The 'All Users' profile is where settings are stored which apply to all users. The 'Default User' profile is what the system uses as a template when creating new users.

    By the way, you may be the administrator of your system (or at least think you are), but you are not using THE Administrator account on a daily basis (or at least you should not be doing so). There is a built in 'BOSS' account named 'Administrator' which you can log into (if you know how) and change other user's accounts as well as anything else which requires the special permission given to THE Administrator account.

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    0 Votes
    ThumbsUp2

    I haven't used MS Backup for years now because it is relatively useless. I can tell you all kinds of horror stories where people THOUGHT their data was safe because they used MS Backup religiously, only to find that they could not extract their data from a backup file later when they really needed it. If you have problems restoring your data later, you have no way to recover.

    If the backup utility will NOT let you configure which folders are being backed up (I can't remember if it will), the backup you're creating won't be worth a hoot since you can not use a total system backup file to restore the system if you should have a HDD failure and need to replace it. You will have to reinstall Windows on a clean drive first, then reinstall all software, then get everything patched, THEN restore just your data files, documents, pictures, etc..., and that is ONLY if the backup utility can read its own backup file and locate these things to be restored. It has been my experience that the MS Backup utility won't be able to read its own files and will refuse to do a restore for you, at least until after you've gotten Windows back up to the same patch level as what you're running right now which was used to create the backup in the first place.

    If you're going to use MS Backup, look to see if it will allow you to configure WHICH folders are being backed up and then ONLY backup your personal documents, pictures and anything else you have personally created, NOT the Operating System and the files that it uses and NOT any additional software that you've installed.

    If the backup utility will not allow you to configure which folders it will be backing up, look for something else to use.

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    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Morning ThumbsUp2,

    Thanks for your reply. That is the conclusion that I am coming to as well. My intension was in the case of a disk failure was I could just reload the backup. But that is, at least with MS Backup, not very practical as you have so rightly stated. I was thinking along the lines of "Carbonite" an off-site/online automated backup. Are you familiar with this tool? "http://carbonite.com/". If so, what are thoughts? Do have something that you like as alternative backup tool?

    Regards,
    Paul

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    0 Votes
    Wizard-09

    www.acronis.co.uk/, it's what i use it's very good.

    Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.

    If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as Helpful so that others may benefit from the outcome.

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    0 Votes
    ThumbsUp2

    Third party backup software abounds all over the internet. All you have to do is search for it. Of course, it's just like anything else. You get what you pay for. Some have more features than others. Some work better than others. Not one of them is 100% foolproof. All you can do is try one, then test it to see if you can recover from a disaster.

    One which was previously mentioned is Acronis. I suppose you can say that it's the 'industry standard', a very well known program with very few bugs. It even allows you to make a full 'mirror' image of the HDD, including boot sector and hidden files/folders, so that you can simply restore the entire image to a new HDD, should the need arise.

    One backup solution I use at work is called HandyBackup. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that Acronis has, but it allows for unattended scheduled backups of chosen folders and/or files, creates dated and compressed ZIP files as the backup file format (meaning you can open them with any unzip utility should you need them later) and allows us to push the backup files to either network storage or to removable media (including REV drives).

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    and you want to backup the entire system, use the ASR wizard, not the backup wizard.

    If you are using ntbackup from the command line, see the command line reference for this.

  • +
    0 Votes
    ---TK---

    if your backing up over 2 million files... My first thought is that you have directory after directory after directory after directory.... get the point? XP can have a file directory as far a 256 characters deep (I think) if you exceed that limit, your data is gone... C:\ equals 3 characters, spaces are considered a character also... if this is not the case then ignore it... but its just a thought, maybe it helps...

    +
    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Afternoon TK,

    I can still access all of the files on the computer. I have acquired another backup tools and it backups fine using TBI Image. Did a MS patch somehow cause this issue? The path it seems to be stuck in, is the c:\Document and Settings\...\

    +
    0 Votes
    ---TK---

    It was just a shot in the dark... another post suggested that it could be restore points that are getting backed up also...? Its really hard to say when your not in front of the PC... and restore points really do add up after a while...

    Yeah if you can access them odds are you aren't having the issue of to many characters...

    To clean up the restore files I would go to your "run command" and enter this no quotes "c:\windows\system32\cleanmgr.exe /dc" click the tab at the top "more options" > 3rd one down click "clean up" and then try the back up again...

    +
    0 Votes
    ThumbsUp2

    ... and you don't want to do that.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    or protected recycle bin, like Norton's.

    Anyone mention that those S- numbers are SIDs for users?

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/163846

    localservice\Application Data\Microsoft\Protect\S-1-5-19

    or

    %systemroot%\System32\Microsoft\Protect\S-1-5-18

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/reskit/distrib/dsck_efs_mkqd.mspx?mfr=true

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_protection_application_programming_interface

    Abuse:
    http://www.spywareguide.com/product_show.php?id=2372
    This certainly can't be the only malware which does this.

    Intelliforms?
    http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:pG5IxBh4D8sJ:www.accessdata.com/downloads/media/Decrypting%2520Intelliforms%25209-8-08.pdf
    (Google's "view as HTML" link.)

    Updates?
    "C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Microsoft\Protect
    You can delete the Protect folder and its contents. However, the Protect folder and its contents will be re-generated upon your next visit to the Microsoft Update Website."
    http://www.graphixanstuff.com/Forum/index.php?s=80343f12ed4d955f1704794d81f57267&showtopic=9397&pid=81154&st=0&#entry81154

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/fix-for-outlook-2007-constantly-asking-for-password-on-vista/

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    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Afternoon ThumbsUp2,

    Thanks for your Reply and TK's help.

    How large are the restore points? Would there location be something like "c:\...\protect\s-1-4-19\<large list scrolling of GUIDs>"?

    I am running the cleanup utility now and it is taking a very long time.

    Regards,
    Paul

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    When you write "c:\...\protect\s-1-4-19\", is that unexpanded path the info you are getting? No wonder you are confused.

    You'll have to enable viewing hidden files (in Explorer >Tools > Folder Options > View >).

    Documents and settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\Protect\

    or

    %systemroot%\System32\Microsoft\Protect\

    +
    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Afternoon Seanferd,

    Yes I understand how to view hidden files. My question was at first. What has happened as to cause the Windows Backup to fail. Looking for some files in the "c:\..\protect\SIDs". (getting hung there looking) I have done the backups as I have always done and last month this started happening. I was just trying to figure out what happened and why.

    Regards,
    Paul

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    so I mention that you have to view hidden files to do so.

    Can you find the directories in those paths?

    +
    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Morning,

    I ran the clean utility, but when the backup runs it still appears to get hung in the "c:\...\protect\SIDs" directory.

    Regards,
    Paul

    +
    0 Votes
    Wizard-09

    How many profiles are on the computer in question and are you running it in admin mode, do you need this files can you even see the folders it talks about or files?

    +
    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Afternoon t_mcnally_2001,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Can I safely remove/delete the "All Users", "Default User" and "administrator" profiles since I am the Administrator for this machine?

    Regards,
    Paul

    +
    0 Votes
    ThumbsUp2

    Those profiles are used by the system. Don't touch them! You can destroy your system. The 'All Users' profile is where settings are stored which apply to all users. The 'Default User' profile is what the system uses as a template when creating new users.

    By the way, you may be the administrator of your system (or at least think you are), but you are not using THE Administrator account on a daily basis (or at least you should not be doing so). There is a built in 'BOSS' account named 'Administrator' which you can log into (if you know how) and change other user's accounts as well as anything else which requires the special permission given to THE Administrator account.

    +
    0 Votes
    ThumbsUp2

    I haven't used MS Backup for years now because it is relatively useless. I can tell you all kinds of horror stories where people THOUGHT their data was safe because they used MS Backup religiously, only to find that they could not extract their data from a backup file later when they really needed it. If you have problems restoring your data later, you have no way to recover.

    If the backup utility will NOT let you configure which folders are being backed up (I can't remember if it will), the backup you're creating won't be worth a hoot since you can not use a total system backup file to restore the system if you should have a HDD failure and need to replace it. You will have to reinstall Windows on a clean drive first, then reinstall all software, then get everything patched, THEN restore just your data files, documents, pictures, etc..., and that is ONLY if the backup utility can read its own backup file and locate these things to be restored. It has been my experience that the MS Backup utility won't be able to read its own files and will refuse to do a restore for you, at least until after you've gotten Windows back up to the same patch level as what you're running right now which was used to create the backup in the first place.

    If you're going to use MS Backup, look to see if it will allow you to configure WHICH folders are being backed up and then ONLY backup your personal documents, pictures and anything else you have personally created, NOT the Operating System and the files that it uses and NOT any additional software that you've installed.

    If the backup utility will not allow you to configure which folders it will be backing up, look for something else to use.

    +
    0 Votes
    paul.kuczwara

    Good Morning ThumbsUp2,

    Thanks for your reply. That is the conclusion that I am coming to as well. My intension was in the case of a disk failure was I could just reload the backup. But that is, at least with MS Backup, not very practical as you have so rightly stated. I was thinking along the lines of "Carbonite" an off-site/online automated backup. Are you familiar with this tool? "http://carbonite.com/". If so, what are thoughts? Do have something that you like as alternative backup tool?

    Regards,
    Paul

    +
    0 Votes
    Wizard-09

    www.acronis.co.uk/, it's what i use it's very good.

    Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.

    If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as Helpful so that others may benefit from the outcome.

    +
    0 Votes
    ThumbsUp2

    Third party backup software abounds all over the internet. All you have to do is search for it. Of course, it's just like anything else. You get what you pay for. Some have more features than others. Some work better than others. Not one of them is 100% foolproof. All you can do is try one, then test it to see if you can recover from a disaster.

    One which was previously mentioned is Acronis. I suppose you can say that it's the 'industry standard', a very well known program with very few bugs. It even allows you to make a full 'mirror' image of the HDD, including boot sector and hidden files/folders, so that you can simply restore the entire image to a new HDD, should the need arise.

    One backup solution I use at work is called HandyBackup. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that Acronis has, but it allows for unattended scheduled backups of chosen folders and/or files, creates dated and compressed ZIP files as the backup file format (meaning you can open them with any unzip utility should you need them later) and allows us to push the backup files to either network storage or to removable media (including REV drives).

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    and you want to backup the entire system, use the ASR wizard, not the backup wizard.

    If you are using ntbackup from the command line, see the command line reference for this.