File History. What are the defaults included in a backup? Solved

  1.    08 Sep 2016 #1

    File History. What are the defaults included in a backup?

    Iíve been trying Win 10 File History and am most confused.
    First I did a Test run and selected just one folder (Test Folder) to be backed up to an external drive.
    After the backup had been running for about 5 minutes & my Test Folder was only about 2Mbs in size I looked in my external drive to check out what was occurring.
    Unfortunately what I didnít realise is that there seems to be a default bunch of folders that File History backs up whether you selected them or not. Worse, these include the vast bulk of my system drive including Windows, Program Data, Program files, Program Files(x86) etc.
    I hadnít added these and they didnít appear in Backup Options/Back up these folders!
    Iíve searched around & have yet to find a list of which folders are included by default.

    So I aborted the back up and then began adding numerous folders to the exclude list, (Iíd placed the Test Folder in Users/Myname) but after while I decided that this approach would take ages since I could only select 1 folder at a time! This surely couldnít be the correct method as Iíd end with dozens of entries in the exclude list.
    Well I ran it anyway and got garbled results. God knows what it intended to back up but it certainly wasnít what I expected so I aborted again. Two aborts and it now looked like Iíd borked the whole show.
    Luckily I found the TenForums batch file to reset it (thanks for that).
    So, am I a complete idiot, is there secret File History documentation that Iíve yet to find or is it just another Microsoft bug?
    (BTW, Iím still on Home version 1511 - havenít seen the infamous Anniversary update yet and will be very wary when it turns up).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Posts : 189
    Windows 10 (2), Win 8.1 (1), Win 7 (1)
       08 Sep 2016 #2

    This is what it saves:

    I. Standard Libraries
    A. Documents
    1. C:\Users\{user name}\Documents
    2. C:\Users\Public\Documents
    B. Music
    1. C:\Users\{user name}\Music
    2. C:\Users\Public\Music
    C. {Picture Related}
    1. Pictures
    a. C:\Users\{user name}\Pictures
    b. C:\Users\Public\Pictures
    2. Saved Pictures
    a. C:\Users\{user name}\Pictures\Saved Pictures
    3. Camera Roll
    a. C:\Users\{user name}\Pictures\Camera Roll
    D. Videos
    1. C:\Users\{user name}\Videos
    2. C:\Users\Public\Videos

    II. Standard Folders
    A. Standard Windows User Folders
    1. C:\Users\{user name}\.oracle_jre_usage
    2. C:\Users\{user name}\Contacts
    3. C:\Users\{user name}\Desktop
    4. C:\Users\{user name}\Documents
    5. C:\Users\{user name}\Downloads
    6. C:\Users\{user name}\Favorites
    7. C:\Users\{user name}\Links
    8. C:\Users\{user name}\Music
    9. C:\Users\{user name}\OneDrive
    10. C:\Users\{user name}\Pictures
    11. C:\Users\{user name}\Saved Games
    12. C:\Users\{user name}\Searches
    13. C:\Users\{user name}\Videos

    You can verify this by going to "Settings" > "Update & security" > "Backup" > "More options". It gives you a list a folders/files that will be backed up.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    09 Sep 2016 #3

    Ah yes, that list (found in Backup Options/Back up these folders).
    I'm aware of that and had removed all entries except for my Test Folder
    yet when I ran a backup it began backing up a bunch of windows files and folders as mentioned.
    So, what if I run the Reset batch file then remove all entries in Backup Options/Back up these folders and run again.
    This should surely come back and state something like: 'There are no files to backup'.
    But no, it still starts backing up stuff - this time the whole Documents folder (huge), a folder called: $OF and who knows what else - I cancelled it.
    I also find in the FileHistory backup folder on my external drive 2 config files: Config1.xml, Config2.xml (plus Catalog1.edb).
    The config files contain a list of the folders it's backing up which in no way reflects what I selected for backup (in this instance nothing).
    I've searched for these config files elsewhere but it seems they only exist in the FileHistory backup folder.
    So how to reset File History config files. The batch file reset doesn't do it.
    Still investigating...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 35,371
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18317
       09 Sep 2016 #4

    Hello David, :)

    In addition to removing folders you don't want included in File History, you might also see if excluding them may help.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    09 Sep 2016 #5

    Brink said: View Post
    Hello David, :)

    In addition to removing folders you don't want included in File History, you might also see if excluding them may help.
    Yeah I tried that - no luck. As I said it seems something's broken somewhere. No matter what I select or unselect it continues to backup something different. This is reflected in the Config#.xml files produced in the backup folder. They include a list of what's to be backed up regardless of what you select or deselect. I've tried many times with different selections but it makes no difference.
    I've scoured my system drive for copies of these config#.xml files without success. It seems they are produced when a backup starts & and can only be found in backup folder. I've scoured the web looking for explanations on how to refresh or clean them but no luck.
    I've run SFC /SCANNOW on my system & there's no problems found. I've run the batch file reset to no avail.
    During this long and tiresome exercise I have learned one thing: Windows 10 File History is buggered and is not for me.
    Thanks for everyone's help
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 35,371
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18317
       09 Sep 2016 #6

    I prefer to manually back up (copy) my files to another location for safe keeping. This way I can just simply copy back if needed.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    09 Sep 2016 #7

    Yes I agree, that's what I've been doing since Cobian Backup stopped working a while back. Trouble is, it's possible to forget some days, it takes an awful long time and it's way over the top when just a few files are changed or added.
    I'm still looking for an alternative to Cobian but having tried several I've yet to find one that's suitable.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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