Windows Backup Restore Configuration

Snookred 1 Reputation point
2021-02-18T17:14:44.997+00:00

It looks like the "Backup and Restore" feature on Windows 10 is ostensibly the same as the Windows 7 feature by the same name.

I've always operated my computers with multiple instances of Windows (i.e., multi-boot). This NOT only provides for instant recovery when system problems invariably appear but it also provides a means to experiment with new software, on something you might call a test system, before allowing it on the system you really depend on working properly. As a result I have no interest in ever trying to use "Backup and Restore" for the purpose of fixing problems that arise with the operating system. However, what I'd call user work product data (i.e., documents, pictures, videos, music, etc.) is stored on a separate drive that is shared amongst all (typically 3) instances of Windows that can be independently booted.

What is unclear is whether or NOT "Backup and Restore" will work better if configured/setup on each instance of Windows OR should it ONLY be run on one of those Windows systems. There is only one NAS device being used as the target location for storing the backup files for several computers configured in this manner.

What is pretty unclear is what persistent data, used to manage the backup/restore operations, is stored on the backup device verses the local system which I assume would be in the registry.

Windows 10 Setup
Windows 10 Setup
Windows 10: A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.Setup: The procedures involved in preparing a software program or application to operate within a computer or mobile device.
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  1. Daisy Zhou 20,461 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor
    2021-02-19T09:12:43.16+00:00

    Hello @Snookred ,

    Thank you for posting here.

    Based on the description above, I assume you have four logic drivers on the machine.

    A driver: OS1
    B driver: OS2
    C driver: OS3
    D driver: Public data that OS1 and OS2 and OS3 can all access the public data on drive D.

    Public data: what I'd call user work product data (i.e., documents, pictures, videos, music, etc.) is stored on a separate drive that is shared amongst all (typically 3) instances of Windows that can be independently booted.

    Then you need to back up A and B and C respectively.

    And you only need to back up D drive one time.

    Hope the information above is helpful.

    Should you have any question or concern, please feel free to let us know.

    Best Regards,
    Daisy Zhou

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  2. Snookred 1 Reputation point
    2021-02-19T16:52:14.403+00:00

    It looks like you understand my machine configuration. Something I didn't mention which could be relevant is that with respect to this question all of the OS's are Windows (even though this technique does allow me to run Linux on some computers) and they all have the same computername. Computername looks to be what is used as the name of the root directory on the backup device for all of the backup files originating from that computer. I have Backup & Restore configured so that it does NOT include (for backup) any files from the C: drive. It only includes files from what you refer to as the D: drive.

    Each of the C: drives (A, B, & C in your parlance) are similarly configured from a Windows perspective. They are actually created from each other using a cloning process rather than being separately installed. Therefore they all start off with the same Backup & Restore setup which in my case involves daily automatic invocation during evening hours when I tend to NOT be using the computers. This means that whichever OS partition is booted and running at that time of day would be expected to try and backup the files from the D: drive. However, this also means that the currently booted C: drive may NOT be the one that previously ran the backup operation. My thinking is that depending on where persistent data is being stored this may or may NOT be a problem. I could pretty easily disable the backup on all but one of those systems. It's NO big deal if the backup does NOT get run every day as long as I make sure and boot the one that is actively backing up frequently enough.

    I would never try and use this kind of backup to restore an OS. That is what cloning is used for and I have yet to ever be left without any OS that doesn't work properly. That would require drive failure rather than a simple Windows Update that screws things up. I have system images safely stored and ready to recover from a drive failure.