Disaster and my saviour… Windows Vista Backup Restore

21 10 2007

This week I decided to spend the last of my Nerd fund on a new 500 gig hard drive for the Bohemoth. In the last few weeks I have been loving Vista’s Media Centre and have been recording heaps of shows to convert to xvid and then watch at a time that is more convenient to me and Rach (which isn’t very often with two young kids). Anyway, the shows are all being recorded in HD and were starting to take up some serious disk space. An overnight batch process takes the shows, converts them to xvid and then deletes the huge ms-dvr files that VMC creates.

Anyway, I digress, after installing the 500 gig drive, I decided it was time to merge the two partitions on my existing HD into one. I got some software to help, read the manual, all ok with Vista, all ok with resizing the OS drive so I gave it a go.

D0h. BSOD. Reboot. BSOD. Reboot. BSOD. Shite.

I tried to recover the drive using the new Vista SP1 Recovery disk, but it didn’t want to know, so I did something that usually brings doom and gloom to my life, I wiped the partition and reinstalled Vista 64 bit and got ready to broach the subject of ‘we just lost everything’ with my understanding wife. But I didn’t need to, you see I have been using Windows Vista Backup application since the first install of Vista RTM last year, when I changed machines I made sure I configured the backup again to save off to one of my external hard drives.

The process of restoring is really really easy, open the Backup and Restore center, and choose Restore files. If you have lost everything, then you need to choose Advanced Restore that lets you restore a backup from another computer, or in this case this computer pre catastrophe.

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 Next choose ‘Files from a backup made on a different computer’ – the only choice, then click next.

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Next choose the backup set to restore (I have two, one that I broke by being overzelous deleting and one that is good)

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 Next up, choose which backup you want to restore

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 If you want you can choose the restore everything, or search through the backup for that all important single file

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After about an hour everything was restored, including Music, Documents and thanks to storing them in my Documents folder all my Virtual Machines (phew).  Some funny things happened in the restore, it seems a lot of settings are restored, so I now have a heap of folders that have settings in my Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders, I also seem to have a load of Sidebar gadgets in the gallery that don’t appear to be have the gadget files behind them, but they are little things compared to losing everything.

Vista backup and restore you are my saviour.

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