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Can't backup volumes mounted to NTFS folder?

Last response: in Storage
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June 2, 2011 2:03:41 AM

Windows 7 backup fails when trying to backup files on partitions mounted to NTFS folders. Does anyone know a way around this? I sure hope so...all of my data worth backing up is in partitions mounted to NTFS folders. :??: 

Thanks!
a b $ Windows 7
a c 104 G Storage
June 3, 2011 12:20:25 AM

Hi there,

Tell the group which version of Win-7 are you using, exactly what you mean by fail, and how you have your Windows BackUp and Restore set up.
Are you trying to BackUp to a separate HDD from your system drive and Partition that is formatted with NTFS?

Also take a look in your Event Viewer, Application and Services, Windows, Microsoft, BackUp and see what the errors are. Will help point you more directly to the problem.
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June 3, 2011 2:01:29 AM

Thanks so much for the reply!

I'm running W7 Ultimate. When I say "fail" i mean that the W7 backup software says that there was a problem regarding VSS service and that the backup could not be completed. I currently have backup set to only backup the OS on my SDD RAID array right now and it's functioning fine.

My system setup is this: I have my OS only on a small SSD RAID 0 array, I have a standard 1TB HDD being used as a data drive carved up into partitions corresponding to the W7 library folders with those partitions mounted to those folders and NOT drive letters. This lets programs like iTunes and certain games maintain their default data-folder installation parameters without that data having to go onto my SSDs. Pretty nifty. I also have a 500gb drive dedicated to backing up the OS RAID and the data drives.

The problem is that these library folders are kind of in limbo as far as the OS is concerned; they're kind of on the main drive, but they're really not. I suspect that VSS kind of doesn't know what to do with them for this reason. In any case, the end result is that I have my OS backed up, but not any of my crucial data.

At first I thought that the OS simply couldn't "see" the partitions on the HDD because they were mounted to folders, but Disk Defrag can see them fine, so that can't be it. I don't know what to do besides assigning drive letters to all of these stupid data partitions, but then my "computer" window will be a complete mess. It seems like there should be an easier, more elegant solution to this problem.
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 104 G Storage
June 3, 2011 3:04:03 PM

Hi there,

Mounting a volume to an empty folder within a Library is an interesting way to keep files in a library but on a separate HDD.
Win-7 BackUp and Restore says it backs up all files within the Libraries, where ever they are stored, so possibly they are being backed in your incremental backup. I don't think you will have the data HDD in the System Image the BackUp and Restore does.

You might try, instead of mounting a volume into an empty folder of a library, place the folder they are in (from your data disk) in the library instead. Win-7 says it backups all the library contents.

Also here is a good article on BackUp and Restore from MS
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Back-up-and...


"Windows Backup allows you to make copies of data files for all people that use the computer. You can let Windows choose what to back up or you can select the individual folders, libraries, and drives that you want to back up."

Since it says you can choose the folders, libraries, or drives to backup, possibly you can set up the "data" HDD to be backed up on a separate schedule from the SSD. I have not tried that, but you think it would be like Acronis where you can choose different HDDs or folders and back them up on different schedules.
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a c 228 $ Windows 7
a c 378 G Storage
June 3, 2011 3:17:46 PM

As an alternative to mounting folders, windows 7 allows junctions (symlinks for linux people). You can create folders on a different drive then create a junction point on the OS drive that redirects to the real folder.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753194%28W...
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 300 G Storage
June 3, 2011 4:03:16 PM

Using junctions, do you know if the data under the junction (in the linked directory) is backed up, or has to be backed up separately?

This topic has come up a few times recently in the context of Small OS SSD and Install Apps to Hard Drive.
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a c 228 $ Windows 7
a c 378 G Storage
June 3, 2011 4:15:29 PM

WyomingKnott said:
Using junctions, do you know if the data under the junction (in the linked directory) is backed up, or has to be backed up separately?

This topic has come up a few times recently in the context of Small OS SSD and Install Apps to Hard Drive.


That I'm not sure of. I know most linux/unix backup software I use has the option to follow symlinks. I don't use windows backup, but I'd assume it knows how to handle it's own file structures. Of course, this is windows, so who knows. I'd just try a quick test and see what happens when you try to back up a single junction point.
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June 3, 2011 4:56:56 PM

Wow lots of great info! Thanks guys!

@John I think the way the whole Library thing works is that W7 has its usual data-dump folders - Documents, Music, Videos etc - and each corresponding library link is just a window that displays all of the contents of the desired location in a single window. So you can include as many folders in a Library as you want, it's true, but I'm concerned with the contents of the original "Documents" folder, for example.

The reason I'm doing this is because I'm trying to minimize 1) the amount of space taken up on my small SSD RAID array, and 2) the amount of writes to the same SSD array to maximize life span of the drives.

It's been my experience that you can change the default data location of some programs, e.g. iTunes music doesn't HAVE to be in C:\users\Your User Name\Music\itunes, but you often can't change that location for other programs, e.g. my crappy webcam software and the save-game locations for most computer games.

If I created another folder, say, F:\Documents and included it in my Documents Library, any program looking to install to C:\Users\YUN\Documents would have to be manually changed or the data manually moved each time it was added. Back up would work though, but it would kind of defeat the purpose :) 

@Hawkeye - great suggestion! thanks!
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Best solution

a c 228 $ Windows 7
a c 378 G Storage
June 3, 2011 4:59:55 PM

I found this page. It has some interesting/useful info, but doesn't seem to answer the question, doh!

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb756982.aspx
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June 4, 2011 12:55:24 AM

Hawkeye22 said:
I found this page. It has some interesting/useful info, but doesn't seem to answer the question, doh!

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb756982.aspx


haha D'oh, indeed! When I get some free time I'll try the "junctions" thing and let you know how it works out. Thanks again for helping me out!
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December 26, 2012 7:22:22 AM

Best answer selected by jazzmac251.
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