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Bryan
02-10-2011, 11:19 AM
I have an external backup of my Win7 system. What I would like to know is what happens if there is a catastrophic failure of my PC.

If I have to replace the PC, can I use the backup on a new machine or will Windows somehow lock me out due to changed PC specifications?

Would I somehow be able to reuse the backup (I have used Acronis)?

Would it just be a case of obtaining a new Product key and what happens to the old key, does Microsoft de-register it?

wainuitech
02-10-2011, 12:37 PM
Depends ( lot of help that is eh! ) :D

If the PC is changed then unless the hardware is close enough, or identical you may get a BSOD if you tried to put back the Backup (on boot up).

Some people say the hardware doesn't matter as windows 7 will ignore it, and install new divers to suit -- Afraid this is wrong, sometimes it does exactly that, other times it packs a HUGE hissy fit, and simply crashes.

Even if you did manage to load in the Backup, it may say you need to reactivate due to hardware changes - Legally if its OEM, you are not allowed as the original software was licensed for the original Hardware.

Microsoft dont de-register the original product key, if it's OEM it simply dies along with the PC.

There was an article posted here a while back, some shop was taking old OEM keys and selling them again on different Computers -- MS got hold of the place and ???? Lets say they would have been fined at least.

What you should really be backing up is all your data and important things you cant afford to lose. Hardware can be replaced,software reinstalled -- Data not always recoverable.

Personally I wouldn't trust Acronis to back up my data (anymore) -- seen it fail way to many times. You would be better off making one single image using the inbuilt windows backup, then saving your data separately (various programs that work perfectly) on a regular basis.

One question:
I have an external backup of my Win7 system.What I would like to know is what happens if there is a catastrophic failure of my PC.
Is this drive always connected to the PC ??? if so then thats dangerous as well -- If the PC has a catastrophic failure -- and the drives connected, it could very well take out the backup drive as well ( seen it happen)

Erebor
02-10-2011, 01:54 PM
Personally I wouldn't trust Acronis to back up my data (anymore) -- seen it fail way to many times. You would be better off making one single image using the inbuilt windows backup, then saving your data separately (various programs that work perfectly) on a regular basis.


Mate could you expand a bit on this as it is something that I am a bit confused about as well. I have a Lenovo Laptop which has a reinstall partition but of course if the HD craps out that is useless and even then it requires me to update it all which takes for ever, so I have been using Win7 backup to create an image on an external drive but to be honest not sure what I would be able to do with this and would I be better just backing my Data?

Speedy Gonzales
02-10-2011, 02:16 PM
Burn the ISO on the partition. Then at least you've got a DVD. To reinstall windows

pctek
02-10-2011, 02:30 PM
Win backup. Yuk. Use something like Active@ instead. and have copies of importnat files and installs and stuff on a separate drive. Copies, note, meaning have them in at least 2 separate locations.

wainuitech
02-10-2011, 03:06 PM
Mate could you expand a bit on this as it is something that I am a bit confused about as well. I have a Lenovo Laptop which has a reinstall partition but of course if the HD craps out that is useless and even then it requires me to update it all which takes for ever, so I have been using Win7 backup to create an image on an external drive but to be honest not sure what I would be able to do with this and would I be better just backing my Data? I say I wouldn't trust Acronis, Results from a lot of testing, and some other peoples problems its almost a "hit & miss affair" as to if it does the backups correctly.

Doing a complete HDD backup in case of the drive failing is a good idea, BUT it also has to work. Have seen it several times where its gone through all the process, looks OK, then when required its then discovered it has actually failed.

The inbuilt backup for Windows 7 works much better, may not be as fast, but so far have not seen it actually fail. After making a backup it will ask to make a recovery CD, you make the CD and keep the backup in a safe location, if required simply attach the Backup Drive, boot from the CD, it should locate the last backup, then give options to restore.

How I have several customers doing fully automated backups ( but can be done manually) is to make an image using either Windows 7 inbuilt, or a better option is Active@disk Image (http://www.disk-image.net/) this can be stored on a external drive or a network location. Not free but works very well.

Then using free backup software ( and theres plenty to select from) I Suggest and use Fbackup (http://www.fbackup.com/), set it to a schedule and back up all the important data that regularly changes,or do it manually. As an example see Picture in that link.

I also do another auto backup daily, but thats using Windows Home Server.

Reasons I use Fbackup, it saves data in a zipped format, meaning it can be taken away and accessed from any PC, it doesn't save it in a specific format that requires the program to extract/ run, as long as you have a PC that can open Zip files ( and any PC can) you have access to the data. In the event of a complete failure of the PC, you can simply copy/paste the data back if you want.

At the end of the day it all boils down to one thing when doing backups - They HAVE to work, thats why it pays to test them every so often, they are of no use if they fail, and its to late when a disaster happens to find out.
To test out a Complete drive backup, you really need a spare HDD, install that after disconnecting the current working one and make sure the backup has worked.

Speedy: FYI :)
Burn the ISO on the partition. Then at least you've got a DVD. To reinstall windows Windows 7 or a factory recovery doesn't have an ISO file anymore, it uses whats called a WIM file -- while similar its also quite different. If you were to open the Recovery Partition of a name brand PC, you would see several files including install.WIM,Factory named.WIM, ImageX.exe -- this along with various other files is what installs the OS/WIM file.

While you can simply copy out the Main WIM file, you then need to boot from a WinPE CD, and run ImageX ( all command Prompt) to install, there is also a answer file that allows the partitions to be created by diskpart as per original other wise you have to create partitions manually first.

R.M.
02-10-2011, 03:43 PM
Personally I wouldn't trust Acronis to back up my data (anymore)

From my experience this week - my Acronis backup didn't work (due to an earlier version that failed for 64bit machine only). After a new hdd for my OS and much mucking around after work each day, I'm finally back to where I want to be...

AND - I have now got a backup with Active@ as suggested by Wainui. :)

Alex B
02-10-2011, 04:20 PM
Win backup. Yuk. Use something like Active@ instead. and have copies of importnat files and installs and stuff on a separate drive. Copies, note, meaning have them in at least 2 separate locations.

Whats wrong with Windows 7 Backup?

Jayess64
02-10-2011, 09:42 PM
I say I wouldn't trust Acronis, Results from a lot of testing, and some other peoples problems its almost a "hit & miss affair" as to if it does the backups correctly.

Doing a complete HDD backup in case of the drive failing is a good idea, BUT it also has to work. Have seen it several times where its gone through all the process, looks OK, then when required its then discovered it has actually failed.


All a bit scary. I must say that I have reloaded Acronis images several times without problems, including transferring to a new mother board (same brand, different model) and a new HD. Have I just been lucky? The current version of Acronis can do a validation when the image is created and I have tended to believe it when everything checks out OK.

pctek
03-10-2011, 07:12 AM
Won't allow you to use another partition on the same drive. Takes forever. Makes a large file.