What’s new with backup and Restore on Vista SP1

What’s new with backup and Restore on Vista SP1

  • Comments 11
  • Likes

Vista SP1 Backup & Restore contains many updates that improve reliability. Great effort has been put into improving the overall quality of File Backup, Complete PC Backup and System Restore.

Many of those important changes may not be visible to users, but if you run Backup and Restore tools, you can see some functionality improvements that many users had asked for:


Backing-up EFS files

File Backup now backs up EFS (Encrypting File System)  encrypted files. For those concerned with security, the encryption on those files are kept throughout the process. So don’t worry, you won’t compromise your document’s security by using our Vista SP1 backup tool.


Restoring Complete PC to a new motherboard

With SP1, you can use Complete PC Restore to a new motherboard that uses previously absent disk controller. That means, if the new hardware requires an inbox driver that was previously disabled when the Complete PC backup was taken, the required critical driver will be enabled in the last stage of the restore to ensure the machine will be bootable.


OTS credentials for scheduling Backup

In Vista (pre-SP1), only someone logged in as administrator could configure backup. Now, it’s possible for standard users to configure a backup. When scheduling a backup, standard users will be asked to supply administrator credentials. That is what we call over-the-shoulder (OTS) credentials. That is because… well, if the user doesn’t know the credentials, the administrator usually type it over the user’s shoulder :-)


We appreciate your help

Since Vista, the backup team has received a lot of constructive feedback and we thank you for helping us in improving our product. Not all the feedback was incorporated into SP1 but be assured that we do hear your requests and take them into consideration in our plans moving forward.


Don’t forget to leave us a comment, your feedback will help us design new features!


-- Christine Fok

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • PingBack from http://meratechspace.net/news/2008/03/10/whats-new-with-backup-and-restore-on-vista-sp1/

  • Next Step, give us something like Apple's Time Machine.

  • Hi, Alan

    If you intent to restore previous copies of your files, you can use Windows Vista Shadow Copy Service. Check info on how to do it here: http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2006/08/01/444439.aspx

  • But it's still a blind backup. Some people simply don't use backup if they can't choose what to backup, what not to backup by file extension. For example, for developers, it's important that their code files are backed up. Of course, MS will say Vista backup is targeted at consumers and people who don't backup but then you're asking for feedback, so this is it.

  • Hey,

    Don't forget despite SP1 EFS files backup support, you'll still have to export EFS certificates.

    To learn how to do this, check here:



  • Ha! Seems I am too late to come and post what I want to say.

    Alan: Yes Give us Apple Time Machine, maybe Apple could consider release Time Machine for Vista LOL.

    anomymous (11-mar 5:40): Totally agree. Thats we what we have been keep saying and I always feel I am talking with puppet who always ignore what we say and decided to go for their 'I am going to do all these goodies for you and decide what you want' approach. And they keep ignoring Apple Time Machine with the same intention but do allow us to exclude files we don't want to backup. Not to mention their automation is a lot further by defining a very making sense auto backup schedule based on the likeness of changes to occur.

    The baseline though, I have did a restore test for my big VM image backed up using Vista, and it does working. So I will still keep using that and keep kicking MS butt and hopefully they come up with what we need- and before SP2.

    One thing I don't understand is despite there are a lot of components does not REALLY have dependency to others (like this backup patch for example), they insist to release it as a consolidated SP so customers has to wait so long before they get benefit from it, and they always try to keep everything so the ripple effect on potential bug is also a lot bigger. Time for MS to learn Software Engineering again- SP does not have to release in Waterfall schedule, but instead put in something like a 'Feature Update' patch so ppl know we will have new goodies everyday.

    Lastly, if MS still think there is no justification for giving us a better designed backup with file include/exclusion, why not at least patch it as a Ultimate Extras so ppl who spent hell lot money would be pleased on what they have paid?

  • This change in backup creates a need (vs my previous desire) to delay changing over to vista.

    I currently use ntbackup on a small number of client computers that do application development and CAD.    On the app development machines there is a ton of test data that does not need to be backed up, but the source code does need to be and every day.  

    These users work locally for performance but also because one of the app development programs works very poorly (numerous warning message popups...) when the source code is on a network drive and not on the computer itself.

    This new tool simply will not work for me.  It also seems that if I want a M-F backup I will have to create 5 scheduled tasks instead of one.

    Ntbackup worked just fine and although I am not against the new functionalities I don't know why Microsoft took so many of the old functionalities away...Please bring them back and quickly!

  • How can we exclude files from the backup?   I have 100gb of ZIPPED image files and also a partial extraction of those ZIP's which is 164,540 files..  I'm already backing up the 100gb ZIP files, I don't want to also backup the 164,540 other files.    Having an interface for this is CRITICAL functionality in my view, and a number of others shared on the web, I might add.  In the mean time, I'd really like to know -  

    re: adding  a folder to the FilesNotToBackup registry key, which lives under HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore.

    a) does it actually work as a workaround?  i've heard different stories

    b) is it save to add a folder, or should this only be a last resort.


    ewart at ihug.co.nz

    (now I wait for the email spam!!)

  • It has been said many times before, but let me chime in. Please,

    * Allow me to choose which folders to backup;

    * Allow me to choose which file extension to backup;

    I'm a web developer and since my source files aren't being backed up by Vista's Backup and Restore I have to use a different backup solution.

  • Hello, everyone

    Include/Exclude files of Vista backup is our #1 requested feature, and we are definitely considering it to the next release of Windows. Thanks for writing down your opinion in our blog, and keep sending us feedback!

    Regarding the other question, Vista does not honor FilesNotToBackup key as of right now.



  • Great improvement with Vista complete backup and I would prefer to keep all my backups within the vista environment.

    So please, please get the next release with include/exclude files as I would then use it.  Reiterating all others the ability to choose and verify files backed up would be great.  Maybe an "advanced" button is required..

    keep up the good work, I am finding Vista 64 a reasonably pleasant experience.