Backing up dual boot Win7 / XP Pro SP3 System

#1
Hi, I just found out that my old reliable, Novastor Novabackup, now in version 11, with Windows 7 support, will not back up the system state in a dual boot environment. This is not supposition, Novastor's official position is that it does not support dual boot.

So, now I'm left looking around for a way to back up and restore my system. If anyone knows of a utility or backup program that can handle this I'd appreciate the reccomendation.

I'm also wondering if Nide N' Seek might do the trick? Somehow I doubt that just hiding the partitions from each other is going to be enough to let me do a reliable full system backup.

I have imaged the entire system, though I have no way to know if even that is reliable now, but that is not a good day to day solution. That is to say, I do a nightly differential backup, once a month I do all the various updates, drivers, Window Update, etc, and after I'm satisfied that it's stable I do an incremental backup for that month. I then erase all of the differnetials except the last pre-updates one, and start the month over. ( Lucky for me I have LOTS of external space. :} )

Any day I so much as install something that gives me the least bit of trouble I just restore yesterday's system state, and poof problem goes bye bye.

So, I kinda feel like I'm flying without a chute at the moment, and any ideas / help / recommendations would be appreciated.
 
#3
Disk Copy can do sector-by-sector copy of an entire drive.
Thanks for the reply.

I'm less worried about my image backup then I as about being able to recover from more minor issues by using a system state restore utility.

The problem I'm having is that I can't find out that is Windows7 & XP Pro dual boot friendly. The program I've used for years, NovaBackUp, doesn't support dual boot systems so I have to find something to replace or supplement it with.
 
#4
Hello VaMage.
Why doesn't NovaBackUp support dual-boot systems? Does it say a specific reason?
Seems to me it should work fine from either system, providing you have installed it in both...
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#5
It does a full image of the drive. That includes the boot record. If for some reason the restored image fails to boot its not too difficult to correct anyway (just startup repair from a W7 disc and you're in again).
 
#6
Hello VaMage.
Why doesn't NovaBackUp support dual-boot systems? Does it say a specific reason?
Seems to me it should work fine from either system, providing you have installed it in both...
I have no clue why, but as a very long term customer, since the 80's, I spoke directly with management there, after tech support came back with an official answer from their QA.

The program will do a system state backup, it's just a choice on the menu, and writes out a 30MB file. When you go to restore the system state the program abends, tells you that you need to reboot, which usually indicates success except for the abend . When you reboot it hasn't actually written anything out to disk.

This was true with backups done in both Win7 & XP, installed in both, and the order didn't matter, it's the same abend in both.

After about 2 days of working with their tech support, who are always good and willing, the support tech kicked it upstairs and "officially not supported" was the answer that came back.

I've contacted two other backup vendors, I'd rather not say who has I haven't documented the results that carefully, one outright said no and the other gave me double talk worthy of a resident of D.C.

I have a suggestion to give Acronis a try, I know nothing about them but if they have a free trial d/l it might be worth taking a couple a swings at.

Addendum:

It does a full image of the drive. That includes the boot record. If for some reason the restored image fails to boot its not too difficult to correct anyway (just startup repair from a W7 disc and you're in again).


Addendum:

It does a full image of the drive. That includes the boot record. If for some reason the restored image fails to boot its not too difficult to correct anyway (just startup repair from a W7 disc and you're in again).
Thanks, that is a good work around so I can be sure to always get it back.

But, I run differentials daily, having to image the drive daily, so I can roll the system state back one day, or even two or three depending on when the problem occurred, and how long it took me to catch, just won't work.

This normally isn't an issue, I can go long periods of time without needing to ever restore a previous system state, BUT I'm doing a lot of popping between OS'es, and migrating to Win7, not all of which has come up roses, so being able to roll back one or sometimes even both OS's and then start fresh has saved me a lot of re-installs. (Not that I haven't done more of those in the last couple of months then I have in the last couple of years. <GRIN> )
 
Last edited:

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
They've also got "todo backup" on their site. Not sure if that's useful but might be worth checking into if you want something you can run in Windows. If you don't mind investing the nice thing about newer versions of Acronis is they have a try mode that'll allow you rollback if you don't want to keep changes made to the system.
 
#9
hI,

Comodo have a product ( still beta) called Time Machine. I believe it will be free.

It takes snapshots of the system to which you can roll back..

If you are looking for a FREE app. to make partition/drive backup images - Paragon Drive Backup and Recovery 10 has by far the most features.

Free Backup Software: Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Free Edition - Overview
Thanks for the replies.

It looks like Acronis has a trail D/L, and Comodo is also new to me and worth a try.

I'll likely give both a shot, and I wrote to Acronis sales / support so I'll report back here as to their response. I would think that this is a pretty common issue for those of us that use dual boot, hence my surprise that disaster restore, other the ghost / clone / sector level which takes forever not to mention the space.

I guess if all else fails I could use restore points, but they just don't seem to be a comprehensive as snapshots, system state backup, Try It which I can see would be very cool, or Time Travel which I'll have to read up on.

Thanks again.