How does Windows Backup work? Solved

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

  1. Posts : 25
    Windows 10, 2018 fall upgrade
       03 Jan 2019 #1

    How does Windows Backup work?


    Hi there!

    I recently bought a new computer and want to learn about- and use the windows backup feature. Ive read somewhere that when using this feature, by default everything in the folder "Users" will automatically be back upped, is that correct?

    When I insert an USB device and start the backup procedure, what does actually happen? Does the windows backup feature backup (i.e. copy) all of the actual files onto the USB- device, or does it "only" make a backup mirror that produces some compressed files on the USB device that needs special programs to be opened?

    I would like the backup feature to produce copies of all the actual files in the folders, so that I can take the USB device and get access to all files in any other computer, no matter of the original backup feature or not.

    Further, after having made my first (complete) backup onto my USB device, does the following backups only backup the newly made/ most recent changed files (added text, added pictures and so) onto the existing backup, or will it start from all over again?

    How much space will the backup feature use? If the folder "Users" for example is 50 GB, will the backup file o
    in the USB device be of the exact same size? And what happens when the USB device (for example 128 GB) eventually run out of space? Can I continue on another USB- device, or do I have to make a completely new version of my backup onto a new USB device (in that case it needs to be larger than the first one) ?

    (I read somewhere that the Backup- feature will only work with one and the same external device, hence the last question).

    Thank you for your attention!

    BRG/ Örjan
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    03 Jan 2019 #2

    Hi and welcome to forum.
    MS is depreciating that feature and it may be gone soon. There are many much better applications like Macrium Reflect which can also be used as free with very little missing from payed version.
    New Macrium Reflect Updates Solved - Windows 10 Forums
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    03 Jan 2019 #3

    Perhaps you are thinking of this - Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10 | Tutorials

    This doesn't make an image you can use to restore Windows but rather backs up versions of your personal files.
    Slowandlow said: View Post
    Ive read somewhere that when using this feature, by default everything in the folder "Users" will automatically be back upped, is that correct?
    No, it backs up Libraries, Desktop, Contacts and Favorites by default but you can add or exclude other locations. Have a look at the tutorial above.

    Slowandlow said: View Post
    When I insert an USB device and start the backup procedure, what does actually happen? Does the windows backup feature backup (i.e. copy) all of the actual files onto the USB- device, or does it "only" make a backup mirror that produces some compressed files on the USB device that needs special programs to be opened?
    It copies the files. They are not in any different format. You can see them at <BackupDriveLetter>:\FileHistory\<OriginalDriveLetter>\Rest\Of\Path

    Slowandlow said: View Post
    I would like the backup feature to produce copies of all the actual files in the folders, so that I can take the USB device and get access to all files in any other computer, no matter of the original backup feature or not.
    Yes you can access the files from any PC. They are copied "as is" not in any weird format. If it is a Word document then if your other PC has Word installed it can open it.

    Slowandlow said: View Post
    Further, after having made my first (complete) backup onto my USB device, does the following backups only backup the newly made/ most recent changed files (added text, added pictures and so) onto the existing backup, or will it start from all over again?
    Only new/changed files are saved if using the same backup disk, else (if you use a new disk) it will start again. You can't extend it over multiple disks as far as I know.

    Slowandlow said: View Post
    How much space will the backup feature use? If the folder "Users" for example is 50 GB, will the backup file o
    in the USB device be of the exact same size? And what happens when the USB device (for example 128 GB) eventually run out of space? Can I continue on another USB- device, or do I have to make a completely new version of my backup onto a new USB device (in that case it needs to be larger than the first one) ?

    (I read somewhere that the Backup- feature will only work with one and the same external device, hence the last question
    What will happen is it will copy everything once to your backup drive. If you then change a file then at the frequency you define it will save the changed copy too (keeping the old version). If you have 50GB of stuff to backup then your backup will take 50GB on day 1. If you change MyWordDocument.docx every hour for a month and you have backup frequency set to hourly then (assuming it is 100kb) your backup will be 50GB + 24*30*100kb = 50.06 GB

    If you don't have the drive connected it will store changed versions on your C drive until you plug the external drive in again at which point it will automatically copy all the changed (or new) files to your backup disk. If you use a new drive you'll have to start again - as you can't extend it onto a new backup drive. You could (manually) copy everything on the old backup drive onto a new bigger backup drive and continue using that
    I imagine - I manually copy things to File History backup location and it works fine.

    You can also (if you are running out of space) delete old versions of files (older than a year and keep the current version for example). See here for instructions on that - Delete Older Versions of File History in Windows 10 | Tutorials
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 10,186
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       03 Jan 2019 #4

    Slowandlow said: View Post
    ..I recently bought a new computer and want to learn about- and use the windows backup feature...
    There are two possible 'backup' features you may be talking about, 'File History' or 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)'.
    CountMike said: View Post
    MS is depreciating that feature and it may be gone soon....
    CountMike is talking about the 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)' feature.
    lx07 said: View Post
    Perhaps you are thinking of this - Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10 | Tutorials...
    lx07 has given a good description of the File History function and the tutorial gives more details. As this is the first thing Cortana finds if you type 'backup' in the Search box I suspect this is the one the OP is asking about.

    I would just like to add that File History makes one change to the files it backs up, it appends the time and date of the copy to filename.

    A backup of a file called 'FILENAME.DOC' will be named as 'FILENAME (yyyy_mm_dd hh_mm_ss UTC).DOC' in the History folder. This allows for multiple versions of the same file to be backed up. When using File History to restore a file the datestamp is automatically removed. When manually copying a backup you will have to rename it yourself.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 25
    Windows 10, 2018 fall upgrade
    Thread Starter
       03 Jan 2019 #5

    Thanx everyone!!

    I now understand that what I was asking about was not how to backup windows and its settings, but "only" how to back up my files! It seems the File History backup- feature is what I want to use. The different tutorials seem to be answering exactly what I was asking about.

    I think I will use the File History backup on one USB- memory for my daily backups, and then use another, larger USB- memory to make a manually backup/ copy of the entire Users- folder every now and then. That should keep me from getting totally paranoid about the fear of loosing any files...

    May I just ask some other related questions; I read that the File History eventually will be replaced by the windows Timeline, as I understand this has not yet happened, how does the Timeline work now? When I scroll down the Timeline I find recent events and documents, when I click and open for example a text document from the Timeline, does this open the most recent version of the file, or the older version from the time of the event..? (I wouldn't want to open old/ outdated versions by mistake).

    When restoring my files after using the File History backup- feature for a while, can or do I have to choose which (date of-) versions of the files I want to open/ restore/ copy? I don't want to find old versions of my files and works, just be able to recover the most recent saved versions of everything. Is this possible when restoring, and will it be obvious how to do when/ if needed?


    Thanx again for taking your time to help me understand all this!!
    BRG/ Örjan.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 10,186
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       03 Jan 2019 #6

    Slowandlow said: View Post
    ... I read that the File History eventually will be replaced by the windows Timeline, as I understand this has not yet happened, how does the Timeline work now? ....
    That was the rumour when Timeline had yet to be released. Now that it's here it seems to perform a completely different function. Timeline as it works now records what you were working on and when, allowing you to easily go back to what you were doing on a particular date. It doesn't store the files, just a date and a link to them. If you have deleted the file concerned in the mean time Timeline will not restore it for you.

    File History continues to work as it has always done.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    04 Jan 2019 #7

    File History can be unreliable. Ensure you are making regular full system backups - many on the forum (including me) favour Macrium Reflect Free
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 25
    Windows 10, 2018 fall upgrade
    Thread Starter
       04 Jan 2019 #8

    Hello again!
    I did add my USB- memory stick and dedicated it as "File History driver". Everything went fine, I got a nice copy of every folder/ files chosen, I found each and every file deep down in the file explorer of my USB stick. Wonderful! But...

    Some hours later I got a notification in the action center, sender was Windows Defender Security Centre (Virus & threat protection). The message was "Unauthorised changes blocked. Controlled Folder Access blocked C:Windows...svchost.exe from making changes to memory". I did nothing, during the night the same message appeared once an hour.

    I went to the setting/ backup/ backup using file history, clicked "more options" below the on/ off- slider, and in the new window I could read that the last (and only) backup was made several hours earlier, at the time of when I did the first installation/ backup of my file history USB- driver.

    Well that was interesting. After installing the OpenOffice 4.1.6 on my computer, I learned that to be able to install and use the OpenOffice program, I did need to teach my computer what to do. The solution was to add the blocked files to the list of "added allowed apps" (found at Windows Defender Security Center/ Virus & threat protection/ Ransomware protection/ Allow an app through controlled folder access).

    I found out that this was also necessary to do, in order to get the automatic File History Backup to work. I did as follows (by trial and error): follow the path above, click the "+ Add an allowed app"- sign. In the "open/ file explorer"- window, type the following path in the upper adress field:

    C:\Windows\SysWOW64

    Hit enter, scroll down (deep down...) to the file (not folder) "svchost" (listed as Type: Application, when right clicked, properties are .exe). Select this file, press "open", file explorer window closes, and the file is now added to the list of allowed apps in Windows Defender!

    Repeat the steps above to also add the same file (svchost.exe) found at this adress path:


    C:\Windows\WinSxS\wow64_microsoft-windows-services-svchost_31bf3856ad364e35_10.0.17134.1_none_a590904aa2d8e5ca

    Select the file "svchost", press open and now also this file is added to the list of allowed apps. Now have some patience and let the computer do its stuff. Check that the backup feature is set to "on", if you don't get any error messages from action center, it should work as intended. You should get a fresh update within some hours or so.

    Case closed!

    Note 1: I am not completely sure if the first file is necessary to add (the backup worked only after I added the second file, and did not work when I removed the first file, but then worked again when I added the first file yet again). But when both of those two files are added in the "allowed apps", the backup now is working as intended!

    Note 2: It seems that the automatic backup feature does not make a backup exactly once an hour, but rather every now and then (some hours apart), im not sure if this is true, or why it is like that, or if it matters at all...


    Thanx again for all the input!

    BRG/ Örjan.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 10,186
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       04 Jan 2019 #9

    Slowandlow said: View Post
    Note 1: I am not completely sure if the first file is necessary to add (the backup worked only after I added the second file, and did not work when I removed the first file, but then worked again when I added the first file yet again). But when both of those two files are added in the "allowed apps", the backup now is working as intended!

    I have never had to add svchost.exe to allowed apps for File History to work. Invariably when controlled folder access has blocked access to memory I have found that a Restart would make the block go away. Svchost is a very bad thing to allow through controlled folder access. It is a shell process that is used to host a multitude of services and often targeted by malware to host it's malign services.


    I only add apps that were blocked for file access, your Open (and my Libre) Office being a prime example. In order to save files to my user folder (including saving the jumplist of recent files to appdata) I have allowed access for soffice.bin.


    Note 2: It seems that the automatic backup feature does not make a backup exactly once an hour, but rather every now and then (some hours apart), im not sure if this is true, or why it is like that, or if it matters at all...

    Hourly is far to frequent for my needs . With the frequency my user files change daily is probably more than I need but that is the maximum interval you can set. No, it doesn't always make a backup on the set interval. It seems intelligent enough to recognise that when there are no changes there's no need for another backup.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 25
    Windows 10, 2018 fall upgrade
    Thread Starter
       04 Jan 2019 #10

    Hmm, that sounds reasonable (and not so good) for me, I thought I was clever to find out how to get my backup work..!

    I forgot to tell about this before:

    Note 3: By accident I discovered that my USB- stick at some point was listed as "disconnected" in the "more backup options"- window. I don't know how and why, since I didn't remove the USB- memory. Maybe this has something to do with my issues with not getting any automatic backups done (since the very first backup did apparently work fine) ?

    Malware sounds like no fun. I´ll try to remove the svchost- files from the "allowed apps"- list mentioned above, remove the USB, restart the computer, insert the USB again and sit down and watch if something will happen...

    Maybe its easier (and enough) to simply shut the auto off and press "backup" a couple of times a day..?

    Has any other have had the same problem with Controlled Folder Access blocking the (svchost) auto backup feature?


    / Örjan.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Related Threads
Robocopy backup won't work in Backup and Restore
I tried to use the built-in Windows program called Robocopy to back up my files using the following command on the command line: robocopy Documents J:\robocopy /e This command works fine on my laptop But it would not work on my desktop...
Let say i want to encrypt my c:\ drive with bitlocker and make a system image from it, i first unlock the drive right...(if not set to automatic) then make the image... but how does a restore work??? if the PC does not boot anymore? and i got the...
I recently purchased a laptop with the Win 10 o.s. Will the Erunt program run with Windows 10? I ve used it on XP and 7, but haven't tried it on 10. I d like to find out if it does indeed work before I try installing it. Thank you.
sys image backup does not work in Backup and Restore
I am using an ASUS A88XM-A mother board. I have made several system image backups on several different external drives. When i have tried to recover my system with the the backup drives I get the message the file format is incorrect ntfs your bios...
I've noticed after upgrading Windows 7 to 10 that Backup and Restore (from 7) remains available in the Control Panel. The app appears to work, but I tried running a backup, including system image, on a friend's system and heard that it failed. I...
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 22:28.
Find Us