CompletePC Backup Beta Chat Transcript (June 23, 2006)

Chat Topic: CompletePC Backup!
Date: Friday, June 23, 2006



Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Welcome to today’s chat with the Windows Core File Services Team on CompletePC Backup.  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.

 

CompletePC Team [MS] (Expert):
Hi this is PaulT, I’m a developer working on Windows Backup.

 

Hi I am IvanPash, I am dev lead working on Windows backup.

 

Hi this is Varun, I am a tester working on Windows Backup.


Prabu A [MSFT] (Expert):
I’m Prabu, Program Manager for the backup engine of CompletePC backup. I also own the Windows Server Backup feature shipping with Longhorn. Looking forward to some great questions and suggestions.

Jegan [MSFT] (Expert):
I am Jegan, one of the Testers for CompletePCBackup and Windows Server Backup

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
I’m Dan Stevenson, lead PM for storage management in the Windows team.

I’m the guy who smashes hard drives on stage, if you’ve seen any of the comments on WinHEC and TechEd.

Eduardo L [MSFT] (Expert):
Hi, I’m Eduardo Laureano, Program Manager at the Core File Services team responsible for some of client backup related features. Fire away your questions regarding CompletePC and we’ll answer to the best of our knowledge.


Sushil Baid [MSFT] (Expert):
me dev lead, backup engine for complete pc backup. Also work on windows server backup. looking fwd to good interaction/discussion/questions.

Eduardo L [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: When you do a CompletePC backup does the image work for just that PC or can that image be restored on another PC almost like imaging software?
A: Good question. It does work like other imaging software indeed and the images can be used for disaster recovery and be restored to another computer. The limitations on this are architecture related (x86 should be restore to x86 and not to ia64, for instance). Of course your new machine needs to have enough hard disk space to apply your image, a larger disk image can’t be restore to a smaller disk.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Hi Everyone!  My name is Wendy and I just recently joined the Longhorn/Windows Vista team.  Previously I was part of the R2 and MSN 9.0 Beta Teams.  My job is to see that you BTs get what you need to have the best beta experience ever!  We’ve got lots of great things in the works for you BTs!



Sandeep Pathak[MSFT] (Expert):
Hi, I am developer for the CompletePC Backup/Restore and Windows Server Backup.

CompletePC Team [MS] (Expert):
Q: Are we able to use the Complete Backup/Restore with DVD’s and CD’s?  Or just with Hard drives.
A: Yes CompletePC supports backing up to DVDs. CDs are not support since they are too small and will require too much media swapping.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will Complete Backup allow us to extract individual files and/or folders or only full partitions?
A: For Windows Vista, only the entire volumes. We are looking at more granular restore in the future; you’ll get file/folder restore in the server backup feature based on this same technology. Also note you can mount the backup images in Virtual PC or Virtual Server to copy files out.

Prabu A [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Do you have to back up an entire physical hard disk, or can you select individual partitions to back up?
A: You can select individual volumes. However, the UI will always force you to select all your Critical Volumes in the backup. Critical volumes are those hosting some part of the OS. You can add/remove additional data volumes from the backup.


Sandeep Pathak[MSFT] (Expert):
Q: hey sandeep, weren’t you at WinHEC?
A: I was not there at WinHEC. Probably you met some other Sandeep.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: As I understood the bad block from disks will be also retreived on restore. Before RTM will be able to get read of these bad blocks if the drive is a new one?
A: Great question. We do plan to address this by Vista RTM by rescanning the disk post-restore (only when bad clusters are found in the source disk).

Eduardo L [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Are there any plans to address the ‘booting into XP erases Vista recovery points’ and will this also have an impact on the shadow copy features of CompletePC backup?
A: This is a current known issue that would require backporting a lot of code to previous versions of Windows. Currently we don’t have the bandwith to address this issue. Yes it does affect the CompletePC backup. When you attach a disk with CompletePC backups on it, and log to an older version of the OS, the older version of volsnap (the Volume Shadow Copy Service driver) will delete the shadow copies on that disk.

Abhinav [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Do back-ups contain any sort of recovery record that could be helpful to recover data from a corrupted back-up archive?
A: No

Prabu A [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How about BluRay? (I know Microsoft tends to like to downplay BluRay, so I insist on having it be supported ^_^)
A: Good question. We allow the backups to run but do not support it as a feature.

 

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Well, this didn’t take long for you guys to be brilliant, today  :-0 Today’s first Best Question goes to Arcadi (who had to leave the chat already, unfortunately) for asking “As I understood the bad block from disks will be also retrieved on restore. Before RTM will be able to get read of these bad blocks if the drive is a new one?”



Jegan [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: If you have 4 operating sytems on 2 hard drives, is Vista capable of a system restore on the other operating systems?
A: CompletePCBackup is capable of backing up and restoring all volumes that are Mounted in Vista and formatted NTFS

CompletePC Team [MS] (Expert):
Q: Can I lock down a CompletePC backup so that it’s encrypted, and do the usual NTFS permissions apply? What if I have a BitLocker drive and I want to back that up – is the backup also encrypted?
A: The CompletePC backups cannot be encrypted on a file level (via EFS). The files are ACL such that only administrators have access to them.

If the drive being backed up is encrypted by BitLocker the backup is not going to automatically encrypted.


Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Backup only is available for disks. Restore for old tapes will it be available?
A: There will be a downloadable tool for restoring data from tape backups. You can use the prior OS restore app for restoring the entire system (e.g. XP, Windows Server 2003) from tape.

Eduardo L [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Let’s say my notebook’s drive is encrypted with BitLocker and I want to back it up. Can I expect my backups to be encrypted as well? As I understand it, it is a part of many companies’ policies to have not only sensitive data encrypted, but the backups too
A: No the backups are not encrypted, however the volume sthat are in the VHD are encrypted. Therefore you cannot just mount the VHD and read the volume.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Are there plans to allow booting of a backed up image in Virtual PC, or Virtual Server sometime in the future?
A: It is an interesting feature for the future, but we’re not planning to support that right now. Also, note that file/folder restore via Virtual PC will be supported by RTM, although it doesn’t work in Beta 2.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: Fly like an eagle.
A: Only with lots of Hydoxycut.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can you mount vhd’s in explorer?
A: You need to use Virtual PC / Virtual Server. The CompletePC backup images are not right now mountable in VPC/VS, but will be by Vista RTM.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Any chance of tape being a supported media, some of us still rely on this media

Prabu A [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I have three different OS on my harddisk. It is possible to back up the other OSs as well or only Vista?
A: CompletePC backup is an image based backup. if you include all the volumes hosting the OS components of your other OS(s), they will also be backed up.


Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
for the tape question — I replied too quickly. No, we will not be able to add it as a supported media.

Eduardo L [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Let’s say my notebook’s drive is encrypted with BitLocker and I want to back it up. Can I expect my backups to be encrypted as well? As I understand it, it is a part of many companies’ policies to have not only sensitive data encrypted, but the backups too
A: I’ve answered in a different question. No the backups are not encrypted, however the volume sthat are in the VHD are encrypted. Therefore you cannot just mount the VHD and read the volume.


Eduardo L [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: In which SKUs will CompletPC Backup be included?
A: Business SKUs and Ultimate

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
As a reminder, we will have a copy of the transcript on Connect this afternoon for anyone who cannot attend the ful chat today.

Jegan [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I have noticed that WinRE gives full NTFS access to non encrypted volumes, unlike XP recovery console which required an admin password, what was the reasoning behind allowing this feature?
A: WinRE installed on Disk will ask you for the Local Admin Password. I guess the documentation for it is not yet very complete at this point / might not have reached you.

CompletePC Team [MS] (Expert):
Q: Eduardo L – To expand on the previous question, will the SID information carry over or will the image be treated as a new PC and installation codes re-entered? If not the latter, is there an option to wipe out SID information to force this?
A: If the RAID array is implemented in hardware CompletePC backup does not know it is an array. It just sees a volume, which it will backup and can restore to any disk with big enough size.

If the RAID is implemented in software by the Windows Dymanic Disk Manager then the restore process will recreate the RAID array before restoring the image.


Prabu A [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: May I backup and restore via WSS and DPM2006?
A: Our team is not aware of the strategies and plans for DPM2006 to support backing up Vista machines. We suggest you post this question to their newsgroup. Good question though.


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

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I have noticed that WinRE gives full NTFS access to non encrypted volumes, unlike XP recovery console which required an admin password, what was the reasoning behind allowing this feature?
A: I suggest you follow up with this question on the newsgroup; we don’t have the WinRE owners on the chat today. I do know that some authentication happens depending on how you enter WinRE (CD vs. partition).

Sushil Baid [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Does backup bypass device driver filters that are installed over the logical drive being backed up?
A: volume Backup is done block level. hence, file system filters are bypassed.

Eduardo L [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there a command line version of CompletePC backup available? If so is it accessible both through Vista and WinRE, and is there any documentation currently available?
A: Yes there is, the tool is called wbadmin. It is available in regular Windows and Windows RE. It contains inline help, and by server RTM additional KB articles and white papers should be available.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will CompletePC be tapped by services such as OneCare? In addition, is it possible for an application to take advantage of CompletePC via some sort of API and specify which directories/volumes used by the applcation should be backed up?
A: Any application can use the command-line interface, wbadmin.exe. There are no other APIs. I can’t speak for OneCare’s plans, but you can definitely file a request via the beta program to register your interest.

CompletePC Team [MS] (Expert):
Q: Eduardo L – To expand on the previous question, will the SID information carry over or will the image be treated as a new PC and installation codes re-entered? If not the latter, is there an option to wipe out SID information to force this?
A: After restore all local account SIDs are going to be preserved.

May be Sysprep is what you are looking for?


Eduardo L [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I understand that CompletePC is only in Business and Ultimate.  What about VSS?
A: VSS is a service available in all SKUs. For instance, it is used by System Restore which is present in all SKUs including Starter

Jegan [MSFT] (Expert):