Windows 7 Backup Limitations - A Full Review

Posted by @Helen

December 25, 2014

Much attention has been paid to the limitations of Windows 7 backup since it was released. By gathering the defects stated by both Windows7 itself and the users, here, a comparatively complete list will be displayed.

Although Windows7 backup improves much compared to the built-in backup of former Windows OS (Operating System), such as Windows XP, it still has many limitations. Not only the users complain about its disadvantages, Windows7 itself states the faults of its backup objectively. Comparing and contrasting the insufficiency of Windows7 backup, a relatively sufficient list of the shortcomings is made.

Items which Windows backup will not back up

When using Windows backup, there are two ways to choose which to backup—let me choose andlet Windows choose. When you choose the former, you cannot backup:

  • Files stored on hard disks that are formatted using the FAT file system.
  • Files that are in the Recycle Bin.
  • Temporary files on drives smaller than 1 GB.
  • All files in known system folders (folders that contain files that Windows needs to run), and known program files (files that define themselves as part of a program in the registry when the program is installed).
  • Directory and file related to the running operating system.
  • Single or multiple files and folders.
  • Disks and partitions without drive letter.

If you let Windows choose what is backed up, the following items are what you cannot backup:

  • Network shared files.
  • Data on the storage device which your backup image file is backup to. For example, you can't backup partition D if your image file is saved to partition D.
  • Files on a drive that is not formatted using the NTFS file system.

Notes:In order to backup the files that is not formatted using the NTFS file system, you can convert a hard disk or partition to NTFS format. However, after you convert a partition or disk to NTFS, you cannot convert it back. If you want to use the FAT file system on the partition again, you will need to reformat the partition, which erases all data on it. Besides, although the chance of corruption or data loss during a conversion is minimal, you should back up all data on the partition before you begin.

The kind of Windows backup is always a full one

Periodically, Windows creates a new, full backup. Each full backup is known as a backup period. When you view your file backups, you see all of the backup periods labeled with date ranges. Windows backup itself says that it backs up all selected folders the first time it runs and then it only backs up files that are new or have been modified since the last backup was made. However, actually, every time it backs up, it makes is a full one.

Defects about image files

  • If you're using Windows Backup to back up your files, you can have a system image created each time your files are backed up. However, by default, this system image will only include the drives required for Windows to run.
  • Though you can restore previous versions (copies of files and folders that Windows automatically saves with restore points) of files, you can't open or copy them.

Weak points in storage

  • If you're saving your system images in a network location, you can only keep the most current system image for each computer.
  • Windows Backup will need the username and password to access the network location when saving your backup.
  • You cannot back to a tape

In addition to all the limitations mentioned above, there are still some shortcomings holding by the users. For example, some users complain that the interface of Windows7 backup is not "intuitive" or "confusing and difficult to understand"; Windows backup is time-costing.

Because of the many shortcomings, you’d better not put Windows backup as your priority. As an alternative, a third party of backup software is a much better choice. There are a lot of such programs, such as AOMEI Backupper. It is a powerful backup and restoration software.

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