Backup Software needed

gardenman

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Hi, I recently upgraded to Win10 and have customized my system and I am happy with it. I'm looking for specific backup software and I'm not having any luck. Here are my requirements:

* Free
* System Backup with ability to skip folders (IMPORTANT)
* Recovery boot CD
* Backup to blueray discs.
* Win 10

The problem I keep running into is that I have a huge amount of media (movies/music) already backed up to blueray discs and I want to skip over that and just backup windows and most of my software.

I have tried everything from Macrium Reflect Free, EaseUS Todo Backup, AOMEI Backupper and a few others. All of them are missing my 2nd requirement.

I was able to do this on Win7 with Paragon Backup & Recovery 14 Free Edition. It doesn't support Win10. They have a new version which does but it cost money.

Here's a little more info on my drive layout and will hopefully help you to understand why I need to skip folders while doing a system backup:

940 GB media files already backed up
237 GB of games I don't want to backup
181 GB of Windows + Software that I do want to backup
All of the above is on a single partition.

Of course I expect the backup program to compress that 181 GB down quite a bit.

I know I could buy an external hard drive and backup the whole hard drive, but I just see no point in backing up the media files that I already have backed up in another way.

Any help appreciated.
 
Have you tried standard Windows 10 backup app? It lets you add/remove folder to a backup job. Combine it with one-off "Create recovery disk", and you should be OK.

Whatever strategy you choose - make sure you can test the bare-metal restore before you will need it.
 

gardenman

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Jun 16, 2016
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Thanks for the reply.

The backup included in Win10 is apparently the one used in Win7. It wasn't a well-liked program and I think that's why MS didn't create a native one for Win10. I tried it anyway:

In Windows 10, I went to "Control Panel".
Went to "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)".
Clicked on "Create a system image".
Set area to backup to.
The only option is to "Start backup" and I tested it.

There is no way to exclude folders.

There is also a "Set up backup" option. I think that is for simple file backup and not a system backup that can be used to back up Windows.

I need a system backup with excluded folders.

I've heard of many problems using the Windows backup. I'd prefer not to use this and since I can't exclude folders it won't work anyway.
 

gardenman

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That worked... kinda. I did the same steps as above except I went to "Set up backup". It allowed me to included a system image with the chosen files and I was able to exclude certain folders.

By the way, I'm just testing this out in a Virtual Machine for the time being.

Now I have 3 problems:

1. NO compression, at all. I backed up a system that takes up about 22 gigs and the backup was a full 20 gigs. I skipped a few folders as I was testing it out so there's no compression at all.

2. I haven't tested backing up to blue ray discs yet. I hope that goes smooth. I hope it allows me to choose the blue ray drive as a destination for my backup and just keeps asking me to put in a new one in when needed. I also hope the restore goes that smooth also. If it's not capable of doing that, then it will be useless to me. If I need to restore my system it needs to all be done from this backup on blue rays.

3. I haven't tested the restore out yet.

Not sure if I will because I really want compression on that 181 gigs that I'll have to back up. That'll take up 8 or 9 discs.

So overall, this will kinda work, but I'd rather have a better option, particularly one with compression. I knew MS would screw it up some way. I mean what backup program doesn't include compression these days?
 
If these 181 gigs are media (pictures, movies, audio) - they are not compressable. Make a test: Start WinZip / WinRAR / 7-Zip / Send-To-Compressed-FOlder, and put your 180gigs there, leave overnight. In the morning, check the archive size. If it ls less than 150gb, I would think about compression.
 

gardenman

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Jun 16, 2016
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Thanks for reply. This 181 gigs is executables, DLLs, bitmaps, etc. It's Windows, Program Files, Program Files (x86), Users, etc. Those types of folders. Should be very compressible. At least 50% anyway. Seems like it should be less than 181 gigs.

The media I have backed up separately and in a separate folder.

I could probably skip over several more folders of programs that I have backed up (original setup files). I'll look into this and see if I can trim that 181 GB number down some. I swear it should be smaller, seems like something huge is stuck in 1 of those folders somewhere. I'll investigate.

I honestly do have everything already backed up, but I'm talking original setup files. It would literally take me 2 months to re-install windows and all of the regular software that I use daily onto it. Which is why I'm trying to find a good backup program that will let me take a good image of it all and restore it all (minus the media & games) quickly.

Anyway, the media is already backed up separately.

I AM still looking for good software too. Today I tested a good 7 programs. All were deficient in one way or another. http://www.thewindowsclub.com/free-imaging-backup-recovery-software-windows The last one I tried today was Redo Backup & Recovery. It didn't allow me to skip folders (aka media folders) like most other programs I've tried so far.
 

gardenman

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Jun 16, 2016
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I finally got it figured out. I went back to Paragon Backup & Recovery 14 Free after seeing someone on YouTube using it Win10. On their website, they don't mention Win10 for version 14, but in version 15 they said it has been updated to support Win10. Therefore I assumed version 14 wouldn't work in Win10. I was wrong.

I was able to get that 181 GB down to about 70 GB or so after discovering a few additional media folders and virtual machines that I had forgotten to exclude earlier.

I also switched to a BD-RW DL disc which is 50 GB. Once all of it was compressed, I was able to fit the whole backup on 1 disc! Very happy with that. I also tested it by restoring it to a virtual machine and everything worked. There were minor errors but it didn't seem to affect anything that I'm aware of.

Before I figured all of this out I tried the MS backup a few more times and had numerous problems with it. I even lost about 10 GB of free space (which I still haven't recovered) because a backup ran out of space half way through (even though I gave it plenty of space and it was only using 10 of 40 GB). Anyway, I don't recommend anyone ever using MS Backup. It's also buggy. It wouldn't allow me to put the update on a disc because it was a "scheduled" backup. That was BEFORE it gets to the question about whether or not you want to schedule it, or make it a one time backup. That's what you call poor design.

I think paragon wrote their own drivers that allow them to edit the file system, which is how they are able to exclude folders while doing a disk sector level backup.

Anyway, I appreciate your help and comments Alabalcho.
 
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