Using Windows Vista backup and restore

By JCherner ·
For backing up Windows Mail, I rotate between two external drives (call them drive 1 and drive 2). One of the drives I keep next to my computer. The other I keep off-site. This way, if my computer and current backup drive are lost (fire, theft, etc.), I still have a backup. I reverse the location of the drives weekly.

As you know, Windows backup adds incremental data to an original backup (as opposed to re-creating an entire backup).

QUESTION: When I reverse backup drives (from Drive 1 to Drive 2), will Windows Backup back up incrementally from where it left off on Drive 2, or incrementally from where it left off on Drive 1?

I hope you can understand the question.

Thank you for your help.

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All Answers

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No it will not

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Using Windows Vista backu ...

The Windows Backup will only perform an Incremental Backup from the last Backup point. What is ion the Media that it is saved to is on no real importance tot he Backup Software provided that there is enough space and no errors on the media the Backup Program doesn't really look at it for anything else.


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Worry or Not Worry

by JCherner In reply to No it will not

Does that mean my back ups on Drive 1 and Drive 2 are OK, even though I rotate the drives? In other words, Windows Backup will automatically look at what's backed up and incrementally add from there???

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What it means is that if one go missing

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Worry or Not Worry

And you are relying on Incremental you will loose some data. Instead or relying on just one Full Backup and then Incremental you should perform a regular Full Backup and then on the Off Day's only use the Incremental to save time.

Provided that you have access to both Working Drives things will be OK and your Data is safe but it is going to take a long time to recover it. However if one drive fails or goes missing things are then different.


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Full backup

by JCherner In reply to What it means is that if ...

Unfortunately, it takes 4 days to do a full backup of my Windows Mail (using Firewire 400)!!! I have millions of emails. So it's not feasible to do frequent full backups. If you have any other backup solutions, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing them. Thanks again for your help.

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Well if you have that much data

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Full backup

And it is in things like E-Mail why not archive the bulk and only keep the last 1 gig or so? I keep a minimum of 500 Megs of E-Mail and when it reaches something like 12 GIG I archive it. So about 2 or 3 times a year I archive the stuff that isn't being used wipe it off the HDD's that I am using and keep it stored.

That way you still have access to the Data when it is required but it's not wasting space on a HDD/s. I currently have 5 HDD's in a Safe and another two in USB Caddies that are the current Archive and the previous one which is available when needed.

If you are using anything else you really need to look at what it is you are doing as that is way too much Data to be Backing up even on a semi Regular Basis. For any form or DR Plan you need regular Backup's to be available as well as Archive Stores. One set of Archives and Backup's occupy several TERR of HDD Space here and I have 3 complete Sets one in use, one on Site to replace the current set and one Off Site. Of course you don't need to rotate the Off Site Archive just the Backup Drives.


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Archiving mail in Windows Mail

by JCherner In reply to Well if you have that muc ...

Thanks. How does one archive mail that is in Windows Mail? I'm familiar with Vista's backup program, but not with any archive program. Thank you. Joe

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Archiving isn't backing up

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Archiving mail in Window ...

Mainly because it is for Long Term Storage so you need to store in a different manner without any Encryption.

This is because it is quite possible that what you do today may not be readable under a new OS with different software.

Just like when you Backed up encrypted Data on XP it was unreadable on Vista so you need to proceed differently with a platform independent solution. I personally prefer Plain Data Copies to external Media that will be readable so I use HDD's in IDE or Firewire Caddies for large Data Storage for small Business who do not have a working DR Plan in place and understand what is involved.

I've seen places where the Backup isn't considered as Important so they give the job to a Security Guard who is told to push button 1 then 2 and so on then when it starts they go on their rounds not taking any notice of the Backup. In that case the Tape ran for 30 seconds then stopped. This went on for 8 months and then when the HDD died they had no Data Store to work from that was newer than 8 months old.

For Archiving you need to treat the Data Differently to a Backup as it is being stored and is very unlikely to be wanted while that current OS is in use so you need to make sure that the Data has a fighting chance of being read without needing to spend thousands of $ to get to it.


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What you are asking wouldn't work anyway because ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Using Windows Vista backu ...

Eventually, within 2 weeks you wouldn't have a working backup left, because the incremental writes would have overwritten any full backup that ever existed.

You cannot rely on incremental additions if you don't have a basis to work from.

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You could do away with both backup drives ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Using Windows Vista backu ...

You could just backup online by automatically forwarding all incoming emails.

That would absolve you of any worry.

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