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I am thinking of setting up my wife lattop to use the build in Windows 7 backup rather than WD Anywhere Backup. (WD Anywhere Backup keeps crushing on my vista machine and I am losing faith in it)

Any there are problems with the Windows 7 build in backup software that I should know about?

I would like the backup to be done whenver the external usb hard disk is plugged in.

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Last time I used Windows 7 backup... it wouldn't let me RESTORE from the backup. Didn't work at all. – Vervious Jun 30 '10 at 16:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Windows 7 backup has the potential to be awesome. It's bundled free with the OS and uses the volume shadow copy service to let you back up files that are in use. And the Windows install CD is smart enough to let you restore from a backup archive if you run into problems.


I got it to work and backup a few times, and then trouble. It just quit working.

Other people have had the same problem as me and there has been a Microsoft TechNet question open for almost a year now with no good solutions from Microsoft:

Some people have tried a workaround successfully which involves repartitioning your HD, but others have not. So beware.

I've since given up on Windows 7 backup, but might revisit it later if they do solve the problem.

Instead, my current backup solution consists of using two pieces of software to make redundant backups.

The first one costs money but it is really fantastic. It is called Rebit and works like Time Machine on OS X.

You install the software and covert an external HD into a Rebit appliance. Then every time you plug the drive in, the software automatically starts backing up your drive.

The second is a free software from Paragon. It is the most full-featured free backup program I've found and even lets you perform differential backups. It is free for personal use.

Good luck!

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In W7 you have to set up a schedule to backup your files, It won't do it automatically when you plug the usb drive in.

W7 also has "Create System Image" feature, this makes a full disk image of your hard drive, in the event of a hard disk failure, you can install a new hard drive, then restore the image to it, you are back up and running in a very short time compared to a full re-install of W7. It is not a flexible as other image softwares out there.

Personally I have used Acronis for years to make images of my hard drives. The software is powerful and can be intimidating on first use, I suggest you read the user guide carefully before installing and using, many of the features you do not have to use if you don't want to.

user guide


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