Vista Backup & Restore – does anyone have issues or thoughts

Up until Vista I used CMS (called BounceBack I think, it’s somewhat obtuse), Norton’s Ghost (basically unchanged since '94 and not really supported), Norton’s Save & Restore (see Ghost 9.0), and now Norton 360 (have it, but have never used it)... These were all mildly adequate in XP but not even integrated and always required constant maintenance.

When I changed to Vista 64, none of the above was supported, except 360 so (and also wanting a more comprehensive AV solution) I bought Norton 360. Norton's AV and firewall items are fine for my security needs but I've been remiss with backups in that I haven't done or setup a good backup regiment for my Vista systems (been having too much fun just setting them up).

I am planning to use all phases of Vista's backup support; full image (starting today, and then an image-backup after each manual restore point), scheduled weekly file backups, and daily restore points (shadow copies). I would really like to know if I am missing anything; before I am a year or so into backups and I get a stupid virus or crash a raid0 drive (all of my online data is on raid5 volumes)...

Vista BU & R looks like one of the really unnoticed but better, new features. Does anyone have or know of any issues, or even just have any extra spare thoughts concerning Vista's integrated backup solution?

Thanks for any comments
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  1. Vista's solution is pretty complete, but is it really what you are looking for? A complete PC backup in Vista requires that you restore the image by F6 off the installation media and going through a pretty comprehensive restore procedure. It restores partitions, restore points and states as well as data, which is nice to have. I tried this several times - it works well, but is annoying in all the things required for a good restore and the length of time for a restore if I am only missing a few critical files. So MS analysts recommend 1 complete PC backup to get your partition, state and structure (only needs to be done 1 time or after any major restructure of your directory structure) and a second file and directory backup that can be recovered through the Backup and Restore tool. For me, it is much better, and just simply faster, to just copy off the files and directories that I think are critical to a second drive on a regular schedule. My recommendation is to use the different levels of backup and see what's entailed with a restore to see if you think it's worth it.
  2. Thanks for the input - I have put an 8G partition with WinRE on each of my dedicated backup drives (just 4 external esata seagate 750G drives - I'm just a little soho guy). And I totally agree WRT keeping the image backups current, that's why I said I'd do an image backup whenever I did a 'manual' restore point (whenever I make a significant change). The image backups are just to restore a crashed/horribly infected raid0 system volume (Intel's matrix-raid). I'm letting raid 5 and regularly scheduled file backups handle the data side...

    It's a done deal now and it 'looks' clean. Best laid plans... we'll see how it works out; who knows, I may be cursing MS the next time something goes amuck...
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