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Windows Vista File Backup Beta Chat (August 24, 2006)

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Chat Topic: Live Chat on Windows Vista Backup
Date: Thursday, August 24, 2006


Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
At this time, I’ll let the experts introduce themselves.

           

Welcome to today’s chat with the Windows Vista Backup team.  We will try to answer as many questions as we can today. Participants should type their questions, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.” Those posts will go into a private queue, from which our experts will draft answers and repost questions in the upper window with their answers. (To confirm: if you selected the “Ask the experts” check box when you posted, you don’t need to resubmit.  

 

At this time, I’ll let the experts introduce themselves.


Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Hello my name is Ivan Pashov and I work on backup

 

Hello my name is Amit Mohindra and I work on backup test

Dan and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Hi I'm Paul, a developer working on Windows Backup.

 

and I'm Dan, one of the PMs on the backup team.


Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Hello there! Ivo and Eduardo here, we are on the development and program management team respectively. We're excited to answer your question, fire them away!

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there a way to make a image/Backup like Norton Ghost?
A: Absolutely. Windows Vista provides Complete PC Backup and Restore. It creates a complete image of your PC, all your volumes included, that can be saved to DVDs, external disk or additional internal disks.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Hi Everyone, I am the test lead for backup and recovery features in Vista

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What format is used to format a blank DVD during backup?
A: UDF

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Does backup let you span multiple DVD-R discs that have not been formatted?
A: Yes

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I am super pleased with the new Backup tool, especially after the LiveMeeting earlier this week. It seems to work really well and is a huge, huge improvement. Thanks!
A: Thanks!

Dan and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Q: Does backup let you span multiple DVD-R discs that have not been formatted?
A: We will span as many disks as you need. If the disk is not formatted, we need to format it (we'll ask you first). Since we use UDF, a "live" file system, the files are written incrementally, so you don't have to worry about filling up an entire DVD with just 50 MB of backups.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will Task Scheduler "wake" Vista from suspend and/or hibernate to run the scheduled backup?
A: It will not wake the machine up. It'll catch up with tasks that have not been ran upon awake/turned back on.

Dan and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Q: Will Task Scheduler "wake" Vista from suspend and/or hibernate to run the scheduled backup?
A: No, we don't. While the task scheduler does let you specify that a task should wake the computer up, that's not widely supported, and we chose not to require it.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: If you do a backup of just your files (documents, additional files, pictures, etc) and not the system files, could you 'restore' them to a later build (or a different SKU of Vista)?
A: Yes the backups made with RC1 or RTM builds can be restored on newer builds and on different SKUs.

Due to some internal format changes backups made on the Beta2 builds cannot be restored on builds newer than Beta2, but you can extract the files directly from the zip files.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will a file backed up by ultimate be useable in say home basic?
A: Yes,


an and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Q: So far the Back-up feature appears to be a great improvement over Windows XP's implementation. Do you plan to make any major changes to it before RTM?
A: Aw shucks. Between now and RTM, we're focused on quality issues. As one of our VPs said, there are only 2 bugs in backup -- "can't backup" and "can't restore". Various problems with hardware and dependent components conspire to cause those bugs to surface from time to time, and we're cranking away at fixing them.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: When you backup to removable media such as a CD, CD-RW or DVD/DVD RW, does the back up process create image of the data, or just a collection of the files and folders that user selects?
A: the backed up files are put into zip files and upon restore the data is restore from these zip files

Dan and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Q: What have your statistics shown when it comes to Windows users backing up their data, are they pro-active about it?
A: Our usability studies and our own personal experience clearly indicate that people just don't back up, at least not until they've been burned, and it's too late. We had hoped to be a little more proactive in warning users to back up in Vista, but we couldn't find a notification mechanism that was consisent with the Windows Shell team's requirements.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
For those just joining us, today’s chat is with the Windows Vista Backup team.  To post a question, please type your question, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.”

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: when I copy the backup created from a different computer to the local disk, where should I put it? The "On a local disk or CD/DVD drive" option doesn't allow to select the specific folder containing the backup - and it doesn't pick it up in the disk root
A: File Restore will scan the root of the drive to find available backup sets. There shouldn't be a need to copy to the file over to anohter machine. when using the restore wizard ui pick the option "Restore files from a different computer" and then connect to the network share or attach the backup disk.

Dan and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Q: When can we expect to see the tool to be able to access legacy .bkf backups?
A: We're working to provide a Web downloadable tool to restore the old backups. We could use some beta tester support on that  -- there's a lot of process around shipping a tool like that, so it would help us to have your feedback on the need for this tool.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How does complete PC backup only take two DVD's to do a complete backup, but it takes 20GB on my external drive?
A: This chat is actually about the file backup in Vista, not about CompletePC. Still I can answer that question. When writing on DVDs CompletePC compresses the data to save space. When it backs up to a hard disk it puts the data raw to allow better differencing between the shadow copy.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Why doesn't Previous Version create a back up of the file everytime it is edited, ie. Word Doc, Photo?
A: Previous Versions are based on volume snapshots which are created each time the user explicitly asks for it, or when any application or driver is installed, or once a day if none of the other events happen during the day. At present the file system does not support true versioning and so we only have snapshot granularity.

Dan and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Q: If I want to write my own backup program for Vista, is there new APIs besides existing BackupRead and BackupWrite ?
A: All of our in-box backup apps are based on VSS, which is documented on MSDN. There aren't APIs to script our apps, but you could easily build your own. Many third-party backup apps use VSS.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Why do you use zip and not say RAR since RAR has internal mechanisms that allow for recovery of archive corruption?
A: ZIP format is the most common and widely available on all platforms. We picked a format that would enable a broader range of users to take advantage of Windows backup solution.

Dan and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Q: Can 3rd party ISV's buid upon the backup functionality in Vista?
A: Please see the answer to #32. VSS is the OS backup API that we use, and other apps can use too.

Dan and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Q: Can you give us some insight into what ISV's are working on for tape backup? Will anyone simply add the tape interface to the Vista Backup or are they rolling out their own "complete" solution? Specific interest HP DAT72 USB drive.
A: These would be separate standalone solutions from the ISVs. We don't have a pluggable model in our backup apps, and we don't plan to support tape regardless.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How does Previous Versions compare to the Volume Shadow Copy Service in XP and Server 2003, what are the big differences?
A: It is based on the same technology, but the major difference is that it is now available for files and folders on local drives. Previously one could only retrieve older versions of files on network shares where the shadow copy service was enabled.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How do you do an "image" back up of a drive like Ghost does?
A: Please see the answer for  "Is there a way to make a image/Backup like Norton Ghost?"

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I compressoin used for the VHD file for Complete PC Backup?  If so can the user control the level of compression?  How?
A: This chat is actually about file backup, not about CompletePC.

Still to answer the question, CompletePC does use compression when backing up to DVDs. The compression level cannot be controled, it is automatic.

Dan and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Q: Will Vista backup integrate with Microsoft Data Protection servers ?
A: Sort of. You can back up to a file share on a server, and you can protect that server in turn using DPM (Data Protection Manager). There is no further integration with DPM right now, but we think there's a lot of potential in the future to combine client backup with server backup, both DPM and offerings from ISVs.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Did you think about making the full PC restore in all version of vista not only premium because in 64 bits it will be though to have a third party version
A: Complete PC backup and restore will be available for premium SKUs independent of the platform (32 bit or 64 bit). If this doesn't answer your question, please clarify.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will there be support for file versions in future releases?
A: Can you rephrase your question with more info? I'm not sure what kind of file versioning you're talking about. thanks

Dan and Paul [MS] (Expert):
Q: is Windows One Care Live "plug in" to Vista's backup adding features to it (from steverez1)
A: Hi Steve/Bryan. OneCare and Vista backup apps are separate. While we have some ideas for the future, there are no concrete plans right now.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is it possible to make a differential backup of data on HDD (compared to backup DVD) before restoring everything ? I.e. to make sure no recent data will be lost in case of wrong restore.
A: yes, it is possible to make differential backups of data on HDD's. We donot support backup of shiny media (DVD, CD)

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: will there be a new previous version client for 2k3/xp?
A: No. The Volume Shadowcopy Service in Vista and Longhon Server is backward compatible and XP or 2k3 will not require a new client to access previous version of files stored on VSS enabled network shares hosted on Vista or Longhorn Server machines

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: RE q18: I backed up from one PC and copied the files to the root of another PC. When running the restore wizard it failed to see it unless I put them into a directory named after the current PC on the root - is this by design? if so it isn't clear....
A: Did you use the option to restore from another computer?  You shouldn't need to copy the backup to a new machine. Is there a reason why you did this?

What you did should work though, if you used the exactly same directory structure as it was in the original machine

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can hard disk backuped by Complete PC Backup bootable itself?
A: Actually this chat is about file backup, not CompletePC.

To answer the question, if order to restore a CompletePC backup you have to boot in the Windows Recovery Environment either from the install media or from the partition created by the manufacturer of the computer.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: > Q: [8] Will Task Scheduler "wake" Vista from suspend and/or hibernate to run the scheduled backup?.                   Can this be an option to wake PC from suspend / hibernate ? All BIOSes support wake at HH:mm:ss function
A: One could theoretically modify the task using the task scheduler UI to wake the machine up, but the backup UI doesn't provide a way of doing this, nor is this configuration supported. A related issue is that the backup task is configured to not run when the machine is on battery power.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: Is it true that Sir Mixalot will be doing an update to his hit single "Baby Got Back", called "Baby Got Backup" for the release of Vista?
A: Yes, our people are talking to his people :-)  J/K

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
For those just joining us, today’s chat is with the Windows Vista Backup team.  To post a question, please type your question, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.”

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can File Backup handle files on another PC on a home network? If so, how is that set up?
A: The backup runs only on one machine. So the answer the question, no there is no automated way of backing up data on another machine on the home network.

You can however copy the data on HDD and then move the HDD to the machine running backup and then backup the data

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is it possible to make backup fully automatic - i.e. designate some DVDs as automatic backup media (by their IDs or burning autobackup.inf file on them) and then disk put inside tray - all backup will start automaticaly without user interactions ?
A: Backup will start automatically and try to use the DVD that's currently inserted in to the configured backup target drive. If backup cannot use that disk it will notify you, so you can provide another media.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: ACLs on overall backup rather than individual files (like NTBackup) seems to be an issue. People can just copy the  Backup file to another volume (thereby losing the ACLs protecting it) then able to restore all files with full rights to them - why do this?
A: 1. We ACL the zip files and their directory to restrict access.

2. The ACLs on the actual files stored in the backup catalog (on the backup media), and we restore them during restore. (And we use them to figure out which files you are allowed to restore)

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will the "Previous Versions" icon be changed by RTM to something Vista-ish?
A: Actually we never got feeddback on that icon before. :-)  We feel like it represents well previous versions. I'm open for ideas though. :-)

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Are there any plans to develop an online component of Backup Center so users can have an off site location for protecting data? Could this be realized through a possible Live Backup service in the near future?
A: Great idea. No concrete plans at this time, but this is something we'd love to do in the near future.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Woohhoooo!  First Best Question Winner goes to MrDee for asking "Are there any plans to develop an online component of Backup Center so users can have an off site location for protecting data? Could this be realized through a possible Live Backup service in the near future?".....please send the usual mail to me.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: When you started development on Backup in Vista, what your main goals for this release?
A: Our main goal was to get people doing backup. From that, we came up with some requirements around simplicity, usability, and support for consumer hardware.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will backup support HD DVD and BlueRay burners
A: At the time when Vista ships there are not enough HD DVD burner units available to test it properly. Still from the point of view of backup HD DVD is just an Udf media and it should work when the Udf team enables it.

For Blu-Ray, the situation is similar, the Udf team supports BD-RE, and backup should work fine on it, as another Udf media.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: In re Q.17 (about usability studies), why couldn't you put something in the Getting Started with Vista or the Tour (tutorial) about backup?
A: We have tried a number of ways to increase awareness about backup. There are lot of interesting and important features in Windows Vista that are clamoring for attention, so we don't always get as much as we ask for. We would certainly like to get feedback on the newsgroups about the need to increase awareness of backup, and suggestions for doing so.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Looking at back up in Windows of past, how would compare Windows Vista to XP and prior versions of Windows?
A: The Windows Vista backup solution was redesigned and coded from the scratch to better address user concerns. The previous backup solution, used in XP got a lot of negative feedback and not a very interesting adoption rate. Because of that we made the Windows Vista solution much simpler to use and configure, in such a way that you can set it up once and not worry about it until you actually need to restore your files.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can Backup in Vista encounter incompatibility with a particular file type, if so, which?
A: Windows Backup isn't incompatible with any particular file types, but it will only backup certain files.  The files backed-up depends upon the file types (categories) selected when configuring the backup.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How will the new backup features be presented to users? Will there be any reminders or suggestions to create backups?
A: Jake, that's a good question. We would have liked to have a notification after a certain period of time (say, 30 days) to let the user know that backup is not configured, and they should set it up. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a way to do that which fit within the requirements of the Windows Shell team, so we had to punt on it. I would welcome feedback on this in the newsgroups, including suggestions on how we can increase awareness of backup.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Where do the ACLs get stored on DVD or CD media? What about the alternate data streams?
A: The ACLs are persisted in our proprietary database which is stored alongside with the backup. The alternate data streams are included in the backup.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is DVD-RAM a supported and recommended medium?
A: DVD-RAM is supportted. In general we would recommend write once media (DVD-R/DVD+R), because repetetive erasing of the disks increases the probability of failures. But again DVD-RAM should work fine.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: no time to implement location based backups? how about compiling a list of all files that will be backed up before it physically does it and giving user option to 'discard' certain files. somthing like the restore files/folder dialog would be ideal.....
A: this is considered for future release

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will LUA accounts have full access to Backup features, including the ability to burn to optical media? I know this is an issue with some third-party tools.
A: Backup does require admin privileges -- that's because it runs as a highly-privileged task to scan the entire disk for files. Protected admins can elevate to configure backup; standard users need to fast-user-switch to do so (this is due to an interop bug between UAC/LUA and auto-play pop-up suppression in the backup wizard). To restore files, you do not need to elevate, unless you want to restore everybody's files.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Ivo-Eduardo-question about automatic backup - we've misunderstanding. My question is about removing all user interactions for doing backup. I.e. experienced user define set of DVDs for backup and then newbie insert them in tray and backup initiated automat
A: It is possible for an administrator to configure the backup to be created on a shiny media (CD, DVD, ...). If at some later time a media disc is needed a regular user can insert the media in the tray, and continue the backup process.

Feel free to ask again if this doesn't answer your question. thx!

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: will there be a possibility to create a checksum for your backup dvd-r's? and that you can save this checksum somewhere so that you can check your backups for integrity directly or after a while?
A: This is not in our plans for Windows Vista RTM due to time constraints mainly.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I understand VHD files can be mounted in Virtual Server, Virtual PC by accessing the VHD backup file, in future (or now) would it be an idea to be able to run the Vista PC in recovery mode from the vhd?
A: That would be a nice feature, and we are definitely considering it for the future.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Second Best Question Winner goes to Jake for asking "Will LUA accounts have full access to Backup features, including the ability to burn to optical media? I know this is an issue with some third-party tools."  Congrats and please send me the usual eMail.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there a way to examine the backup files on DVD or CD media? I heard the files are compressed?
A: the files are compressed in zip files and can be browsed on DVD or CD media

Still the better way to do this is to go through advanced restore, choose backup made on a different computer and point to the LAST cd in the backup. This will allow to browse or search the files in the backup via our UI.

That assuming you want to examine on a different machine. If it is on the same machine, just restoring from the latest backup allows you to browse/search the files backed up.


Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Did the Shell Team turn you down on placing something in the Security Center to show that Backup needs to be configured or that a backup has not been done?  Something like when the Firewall needs to be turned on.
A: Security Center is a separate area; we didn't actually spend a lot of energy in that direction. While backup is important, I don't know if we want users thinking of it in the same negative context as security :)

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can files backed up from Vista x86 be restored to Vista x64, and visa versa?
A: yes, it should be possible to restore file irrespective of the architecture on which the backup was made.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: To gain more awareness for the backup feature why not incorporate it with the security center? That way it will take advantage of the security icon near the clock. I think this feature could tie in very well with the security center.
A: This is similar to question 68. We didn't actually give much attention to that area, but it is something we should follow up on, given the feedback here today, but we do need to balance the thinking around security vs. around backup. Thanks.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: I do not see any Vista Backup feature focus on Aug 22nd on the feature focus page http://windowsbeta.microsoft.com/featurefocus/default.aspx. Is the link broken?
A: Yes/No.  The FF Calendar and links are currently down for maintenance.  We expect them to back live tomorrow.  Thanks for your patience.

Darwin\Paul (Expert):
Q: Can Windows backup be used to backup an entire volume the way it could be done in XP?  If not, why not?
A: That is what Complete PC backup is for. Complete PC Backup will take a full image of the computer with everything on it.  File backup is for backing up user data files, and intentionally excludes things you can get back by reinstalling your applications and OS.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How often should you backup?
A: Weekly is the recommended freequency. But that can depend on your usage pattern.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: RE Q62 - surely this is a very minor addition that would satisfy many people - you alreay have the dialog to read the catalog file for an existing backup - why not create a temp catalog file before the backup - open the dialog and allow people to discard?
A: Actually the implementation details are more complicated, and having just a temporary catalog is not enough.

The most important point is that we are trying to address the needs of the majority of our users, which were confused about the location based UI in NtBackup.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What is the relation between Backup and WET? Similarities, when run on Vista, and differences.
A: Steve, it would take a few minutes to get into all the details. A lot of the differences stem from the different requirements. Backup needs to be easy and fast to set up, and is expected to run multiple times, and the files it backs up will change over time (new locations, new files, etc.). WET is a one-time (hopefully) experience, and the files it grabs are static.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q(68)  Why negative?  I don't think of it that way.  I do think of backups as making my data more secure, though.
A: Colin, that's a good point, and I would appreciate you posting that feedback in the newsgroup to see if other testers will concur.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will we be able to restore different revisions of a file? Sorta like time machine?
A: Yes. If you are using the Previous Versions tab as the entry point you can select as many versions as you'd like, otherwise you have to start the restore wizard multiple times and choose the backup set from where you want to restore. The restore wizard asks you how you want to deal with name collissions if other versions of the file are already present in the location chosen for the restored file.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Dan - Secuirty center protects you from threats on the Internet, many of which attempt to lose you data, keeping those applications up-to-date helps to prevent you from losing your data... essentially doesn't a backup app to the same thing?
A: In a sense, yes. The decisions made around feature placement are pretty complicated, but this is good feedback, and I'd appreciate it if you could float a trial balloon in the newsgroup to see if folks are interested.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I understand that after a full backup, File Backup defaults to incremental backup. Can we override that (as Admin) to force a full backup? Can we set conditions for this, e.g. after 1 or x DvD's etc?
A: Yes you can always force a full backup to be created anytime you feel like it. No conditions can be set for creating a regular, this would be a  manual process.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
We will need to wrap up this chat in about 20 minutes. Please post any other questions (select the “Ask the experts” check box) that you would like us to answer.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I completePC backed up my BitLockered encrypted disk onto my unencrypted e:\ - I was quite disappointed to see that restoring the completebackup restored the disk without encryption - will this change before RTM?
A: The way the BitLocker encryption is implemented, it is under the volume shadow copy driver, so the backup application always see plain text data, not the encrypted bits.

Also during restore the encryption has to be recreated from scratch, this is the way BitLocker works.


Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
A: Thanks!

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: So what you are saying about the backup center, is something like what's in OneCare?
A: Backup & Restore Center is our control panel. It links/includes features for file backup, which is technically and conceptually similar to OneCare. It also includes Complete PC Backup, Shadow Copy, and System Restore, which are unique to Vista.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q(71) Doing the first one is a huge improvement!  :-0
A: Thanks!

Darwin\Paul (Expert):
Q: RE q 57  But what if you don't wnat to back up the entire PC just one volume of four.?
A: Complete PC lets you select the disks you want to image. File Backup also lets you select which disks you want to scan for files to backup.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will there be any more further improvements performance wise from now to RTM?
A: There are improvements related to shadow copy creation that are coming around RC1 timeframe. Our backup solution takes advantage of such an improvement. Do you have any specifics perf concerns?

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How is System Restore different from Backup?
A: Good question. The answer is pretty clear -- System Restore is for rolling back system state in the event of a bad driver, misbehaving app, etc. It doesn't touch your data. Backup is for storing a copy of your data or entire computer in a separate place, in case of a user or hardware error.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Are there any plans for backup to be added to the security center?
A: Not for Vista RTM. But we welcome feedback on how to increase awareness around backup, and its importance (on the newsgroups).

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: When we build a 64 system with all the correct drivers it is important to make a full restore pc.It is realy important to have the possibility to make a full  restore pc in all version,basic,home premium not only ultimate in 32and64
A: CompetePC backup works both on 64 and 32 bit processors.

The availability of CompletePC on different SKUs is a business decision made by the marketing team.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Ivo: and continue the backup process.   Does it mean user has to click any button other that "Ok" - i.e. pick files for backup etc.. ?  My suggestion is about making user not doing anything except putting CD/DVD in the disk tray - after backup it'll eject.
A: the current logged in user will receive a system tray notification when a media is required. Depending on the specific situation they may not to do anything apart from inserting a blank media in the tray.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I know in OneCare, if you backup your computer, you can't use that backup unless you have OneCare on the system you are wanting to put the new backup on, is it virtually the same with Complete Backup for Vista?
If you have Vista Basic and change to Vista Ultimate, will it work?
A: File backup in Vista uses the zip format, so you can extract the files on a non-Vista machine, rare as that may be :)

 

Complete PC Backup uses VHD, which is accessible from Virtual PC or Virtual Server (as well as via Complete PC Restore)

Darwin\Paul (Expert):
Q: Is it not possible in Complete PC Backup to just backup a partition rather than the whole disk?
A: Sorry, to be clear, Complete PC backs up volumes not disks. So if you have C: D: E: on a disk, you can pick the volumes on that disk to back up.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is it not possible in Complete PC Backup to just backup a partition rather than the whole disk?
A: CompletePC is targetted at creating full system backups of the whole computer and it always includes the system volumes in the backup.

So to answer your question, no backing up only 1 non system volume is not supported through our application.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will a future version of Windows support versioning in Previous Versions? If not, could you add it to your list please? Thanks :)
A: I'm not quite sure what you mean by "versioning in Previous Versions" -- the Previous Versions / Shadow Copy feature is a form of versioning.

Darwin\Paul (Expert):
Q: with reguards to the previous versions capability of vista with files, is it possiable to regulate how muhc space this takes up on the drive and how many previous coppies of a file are saved?, or is this a from creation thing?
A: yes, however this is not exposed in the UI. you can use vssadmin to control the size of the shadow storage area in MB. there is a non-adjustable maximum of 64 shadow copies, so you can have a maximum of 64 previous versions. the system will keep as many as can fit in the shadow storage area size specified.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: will it be possible, to backup an entire boot partition? so that you burn everything to dvd and can boot from the dvd and you can play everything back. and realy everything. ore can you still backup just files and not the entire disk?
A: Yes! there is a great featured called Complete PC Backup & Restore that you can use. It's on Vista Ultimate (and the Business and Enterprise SKUs). We had a feature focus on it a few weeks ago, so there should be a nice chat log and live meeting archive that you can look at.
Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will Backup Center cause conflicts with thirdparty backup solutions or can both co-exist?
A: We did consider having a pluggable model so 3rd party backup apps could add their own "backup center". But due to time constraints we could go on this path. however we are publicly documenting our backup tasks so vendors can disable the in-box backup if they want to.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: RE Q46: was simulating having 2 HDs in one PC with the OS on one and the backup on the other, then OS disk exploding. Pull out the other disk - put it into another PC and try to restore from there. I did select "another PC" only option as no BKups done yet
A: Yes backing up the internal disks to another disk (internal or external) is giving the best experience. If something happens to the internal disks you can bring the backup disk to another computer. To restore from it, you need to go through advanced restore, backups made on a different computer and point to the backup disk.


Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will previous versions see any major changes from Vista to Server Longhorn? IE: To suit server needs, etc..
A: Nothing major planned at this time. Server admins will be able to put a shadow copy storage area on a different volume (which is not supported in Vista).

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can I completly backup an XP partition and restore it after many installs of Vista?  Will it still be bootable?
A: With Complete PC Backup, you could back up the XP partition while booted into Vista, and you could restore it as part of restoring Vista. But you can't back up and restore /just/ the XP partition.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I believe that with the escalating storage capacities that are and will be available -  backup is becomming an out-dated model. Are there any plans to move to a real time synchronising model with snapshots, for example?
A: Interesting observations. We certainly hope the snapshot capability in Vista (called Shadow Copy or Previous Versions) gives you some of that functionality.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q(68), if the Security Center is working to educate users about security against malware and theft, then why wouldn't it work to educate people about securing their data?  You already said people aren't backing up very often now, so what's to lose?
A: Yes, good points. It is good to get this kind of feedback, so we can share it with the folks who decide about visibility, notifications, etc.

Darwin\Paul (Expert):
Q: what happens to a backup splited to more than 2 disks, if one disk gets damaged? can i rescue a part of the backup?
A: yes, you can restore a backup and skip the missing disk. furthermore you can easily open a File Backup using the built in zip folders support in Explorer, or any other standard zip utility/repair tool if the backup is damaged beyond the ability for us to restore it.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Are you communicating with Developers about how they should write there applications to make it easier to back up files produced from those apps?
A: The applications should properly register the extensions supported by them in the system registry.

They must include a well formed mime type and if possible perceived type in order for the file backup to be able to properly classify those files as documents, pictures and etc.


Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I still think a shield in my notification area telling me to get off my duff and back up my stuff is mandatory if I expect to have good habits.
A: Across the entire Windows we try to have the minimum amount of notifications. We got clear customer feedback that notification balloons are somewhat annoying to the users. We'll use other means such as marketing to advertise backup features well to our user community

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: And how is System Restore different from Backup with OneCare ?
A: Well, first, System Restore is just for restoring system state, in the case of a bad driver, misbehaving app, etc. In terms of file backup, it is very similar to the OneCare file backup.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: refering to Q23, and I'm sure this has been asked before, but why can't vista put a shadow copy on a different volume?
A: It is possible to set the diff are on a different volume via some VSS command line tools, but it is not exported in the backup UI.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: So, can you use the VHD from System Restore to make a P2V ?
A: I think you mean the VHD from Complete PC Backup. System Restore is the system state repair feature (bad driver, misbehaving app).

 

The answer, for now, is no. The VHD can't boot into VPC/VS, but it can be mounted in VPC/VS.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I like Apples implementation of Backup in Leopard (Time Machine), what is your opinion of this feature and did you ever consider using 3D elements for this feature or possibly a future release?
A: We didn't actually investigated this feature. Our design goals involved making backup as easy to use as possible and to get backup used by as many users as possible. With these goals we constructed our application.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there a possiboility that a complete PC backup can be done to a network drive?
A: Backing up to a network was on our plans, but due to time limit we coudl not finish it for Vista. It will be considered for future releases.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How does Vista's backup handle 3rd party email programs (such as Thunderbird or Eudora)?
A: Our "email" file category focuses just on the popular email file extensions, specifically the ones in Windows Mail and in Outlook. The other apps would be covered by the "Additional files" category.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: Wendy - what's scheduled for Live Meeting/Live Chat in the next few days, aside from Lonhorn Server Manager tomorrow?
A: UDF is FF next week and WET chat is Friday.

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I like Apples implementation of Backup in Leopard (Time Machine), what is your opinion of this feature and did you ever consider using 3D elements for this feature or possibly a future release?
A: We didn't actually investigated this feature. Our design goals involved making backup as easy to use as possible and to get backup used by as many users as possible. With these goals we constructed our application.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How can i protect my backup files?
A: First, keep them on a safe place. And you may want to put older back ups in a safe deposit box, or a drawer in your office (or home, if it's an office backup).

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there any plans to work in an online backup service with vista's capabilities?
A: Great question. That's something we want to work with the Live team on.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: So is Vista Backup the same product as OneCare Backup ?
A: No they are different products, with slightly different goals and targetted customer base.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will backup be one the Vista technologies you heavily promote after RTM? I hope so.
A: We definitely hope so. Please suggest that on the newsgroup, and we'll pass that along.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Please note that standard-size CD/DvD do not fit well in most bank safe deposit boxes - just at a bad angle. Tape does!
A: Touche!

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will Backup ever be available to non-admin accounts? It would be great if users could back up parts of their profiles.
A: We hope to fix that issue in the future (so non-admins can elevate via over-the-shoulder, instead of fast-user-switching).

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Ivo - Bob is IT administrator. Alice is his wife who know nothing but how to use MS Excel/Account software. Bob goes on vaction to Hawaii (ip) and configure DVDs for backup and tell Alice to put them in tray then she will finish her annual tax preparation
Can Bob make sure all Alive work will be backed up without training Alice on how to initiate backup process and picking files ?
A: TAG, let me try to explain this case step by step. When Bob configures the backup he will choose which categories of files to be included in the backup. Among the categories we have Pictures, Documents, Music, etc. Then he will select to backup to DVDs. The tax document will be classified as documents, or "Additional Files". So whenever Alice inserts the DVD and clicks to continue backup will pick up her important tax resturn doc.

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: So is Vista Backup the same product as OneCare Backup ?  I have heard in the OneCare NG's that Vista was going to have OneCare, is this what is going to happen and is the Backup the same?
A: Vista Backup is different than OneCare

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will there be interim improvements to backup after RTM or nothing until a sp?
A: We plan to ship our updates in the SPs. The only thing that would go out earlier would be a major security issue, which I hope we don't have <knock on wood>

Backup Team  [MSFT] (Expert):
Thanks for the chat guys, see you soon


Darwin\Paul (Expert):
looks like we're out of time. thanks for the great questions everyone!

Ivo - Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
We had an awesome time chatting with you guys! Hope to see you again on the newsgroup!

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
thanks folks! Cheers.


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