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

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: