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Resolved Back-up problem

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by Nick Wright, 2012/12/29.

  1. 2013/01/02
    Nick Wright

    Nick Wright Inactive Thread Starter

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    I seriously doubt that its the hardware.
    A good proportion of the logged failures/BSOD`s evaporated when I uninstalled the Norton.
    More disappeared when I removed a Cloud Back-up client (Livedrive)
    The remaining problems -including this backup niggle are being experienced by others too you only have to google them and you find people with the same issues.
    The common denominator is Windows 8 .
    And I`d rather keep researching the problem until I`ve got a Definitive answer to what is amiss rather than going through all the hassle of returning a machine to the shop then having to re-install EVERYTHING again, especially if it proves to be unneccessary.

    Besides - if I take it back to the shop They will just say "its a software issue "....then charge me a fortune for support, No thanks... I`ll take it back if I can definitely say its hardware, not until then though.


    Edit :I`m going to try some third party backup programs next -I`ve been promised an Acronis backup program.

    its just possible that the new microsoft backup solution "File History" has a bearing on my problem - its one of the only differences I can see between 7 & 8 `s way of backing up. - I did try to use it but it would not recognise the external USB drive although it DID recognise a USB thumb drive (64GB)-which was not big enough.
     
    Last edited: 2013/01/02
  2. 2013/01/03
    chronix

    chronix Inactive

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    with BSoD's you looking at few possibilities when it comes to that...in most cases it is the os that goes faulty but you have to get the memory & hdd checked as well for they also coz the BSoD. if both are perfectly OK then one of the bga chips on the mother board is faulty, if it's a new machine you say i would advise you to take it back coz the only way to repair the chip is by re-balling it or replacing it.
     

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  4. 2013/01/03
    Nick Wright

    Nick Wright Inactive Thread Starter

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    Actually I give up.
    Obvious I`m not going to get a definitive answer.
    The straw that broke the camels back is this - I tried to use "file history" again using a network drive and after receiving error messages I opened the Event viewer to see what was going on.

    I found this and hundreds of identical messages:-

    "File was not backed up due to its full path exceeding MAX_PATH limit or containing unsupported characters "

    "If you want it to be protected, try using different directory and file names. "

    So windows didn`t back up many of my files because IT DIDN`T LIKE THEIR NAMES "

    & THAT is pathetic.

    I`m not about to trawl through my entire book library and music library renaming everything because the operating system can`t handle larger file names or directory paths.
    I`m going to stick with my windows 7 machine which I have never had problems with.
    this thing is just a toy now.
    Thank you everybody for your advice.
    the best suggestion I heard was from TonyT, -don`t use windows back-up AT ALL.

    Linux is looking more and more attractive to me every day :)
     
    Last edited: 2013/01/03
  5. 2013/01/03
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    Frustrated? I see why.

    The Max Path is this:

    drive:\folder\subfolder\filename + a null terminator

    The total characters cannot exceed 244 because of a limit imposed upon folders, the need to reserve characters for alternate 8.3 short names for files.

    These are illegal characters:
    < > : " / \ | ? *

    Spaces count as characters.

    The problem is not actually Windows 8. The problem is either in the max path exceeded, illegal characters in file names or most likely, the File History program itself. Not all software programs are coded alike and they don't all support the max number of characters allowed. File History may have a lower max path.

    For what it's worth, no built in backup program has ever worked all that well in Windows, except System Restore and the newer disk imaging. Windows backup has never worked well enough, that's why business don't use it, they use 3rd party software of their IT staff write custom backup scripts.

    I consider my data valuable, it's as valuable to me as a client's tax data is valuable to an accountant. Thus I manually backup or use a script and I then know it's done right and I can be comfortable.

    As an aside, I run a linux laptop and a couple linux servers at home. I manually backup them too.
     
  6. 2013/01/03
    Nick Wright

    Nick Wright Inactive Thread Starter

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    So "file history" will only back up Paths under 244 Characters. or in other words will only back up "the right kind of data ".
    Aint up to much then is it?

    I`d settle for being able to save a disk image.
    (but guess what? -That don`t work either.)

    I too regard my data as VERY valuable. -If you count up what I`ve paid for all my books and music downloads - the cost runs into THOUSANDS of pounds. Any file names are file names given by the originators of the files and if I`ve got to edit them all and store them in an "approved" location or path in order to be able to back them up then it just makes nonsense of what a computer is supposed to do.
    As I have previously mentioned - the backup was fine on the windows 7 machine so at least my data is safe (sort-of).


    Ah well, thanks for trying to help me - I DO appreciate it you know.
    perhaps I should get a new hobby - something simple...
     
  7. 2013/01/04
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    Well, 244 characters in a path is quite enough. Here's a tip when downloading and when you get the Save as... dialog: In the Save as... dialog you can change the file name and it will be saved using the name you use. For example, if want to download the file:
    One Flew Over the Cukoo's Next.mp4, that's 34 characters in the name alone. In the Name field in the Save as...window you can replace the full name with just "Cukoo's Nest.

    File organization also reduces characters. For ebooks, I organize by author. I have a folder called multimedia, inside that a folder called e-books, inside that a folder called Vonnegut, inside that I have 15 e-book files. There's no need to have a folder for each individual e-book.

    The multimedia folder is in the root of a separate partition. I don't store data in Window's Libraries, or else I move the libraries to a separate partition or a separate drive. That way if the operating system goes awry, my data remains intact and untouched by malady.
     
  8. 2013/01/04
    Nick Wright

    Nick Wright Inactive Thread Starter

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    The thing is - I now have a book library with maybe 100,000 books in it , & like I`ve said -I am NOT trawling through that many files and renaming them. -The file names are chosen or organised by Calibre the E-book program and renaming and re-organising them will make the program useless.
    Calibre chooses to have a folder for each book so in my case there IS a need for this.
     
  9. 2013/01/04
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    You might want to try something like this:
    1. Use the SUBST command to assign a drive letter to the beginning of your your parent Calibre library storage folder.

    2. Now backup that drive letter and you've eliminated the entire length of the path above your Calibre library storage folder.

    The command:

    subst L: "C:\Documents and Settings\Claudio Dwight Rudolphvansconianmehadovich\My Documents\My Calibre Library "​

    assigns drive letter "L:" to the path "C:\Documents and Settings\Claudio Dwight Rudolphvansconianmehadovich\My Documents\My Calibre Library ".

    Not only can you now browse more easily to "L:\" in Windows Explorer, (and yes, the original "C:\Documents and Settings\Claudio Dwight Rudolphvansconianmehadovich\My Documents\My Calibre Library" is still there too), that long 100-character path that was being prepended to all of the folders and files in "My Calibre Library" backup, would now be a mere 2-characters long.


    And finally, the command:

    subst L: /D​

    will remove the substitution. (The "/D" parameter means Delete).

    -- edit --

    Note that I do NOT right know if Windows 8 even has the SUBST command.
     
    Last edited: 2013/01/04
  10. 2013/01/04
    Nick Wright

    Nick Wright Inactive Thread Starter

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    That does sound like a good suggestion, thank you.
    I will keep it in mind if I do choose to move back over to 8.
    At the moment its in the naughty boy corner and will remain there until it convinces me it can behave itself.... :)

    (BTW the calibre library is already in the C:\ root directory so unfortunately it wouldn`t really help.)
     
    Last edited: 2013/01/04
  11. 2013/01/05
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    You're welcome.

    (BTW, there are always limits).
     
  12. 2013/01/05
    Nick Wright

    Nick Wright Inactive Thread Starter

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    "(BTW, there are always limits). "

    Clearly, but there are reasonable limits and unreasonable limits.
    And I think the "limits" these backup programs impose are unreasonable.

    (its just my opinion...)

    Look at it this way... If I can choose and manually copy (backup) files to another drive then why is it so hard (and flipping complicated..) for a program to do it?
     
  13. 2013/01/05
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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  14. 2013/01/05
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    I use Calibre as well, but I only use it for ebook conversion. I use a Kindle to read them.

    One way to circumvent the max-path limit is to create a zip of the e-book library, then backup just that one file.

    Since that seems to be the culprit that stops Windows backup, remove that Library from Windows backup and manually back it up.
     
  15. 2013/01/05
    Nick Wright

    Nick Wright Inactive Thread Starter

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    Calibre is THE program to have if you are an E-book collector. Its open source, & Very very flexible, you can get or write plugins for almost anything but it does like to organize its own library`s.You can even use it as a server and load books onto your internet device `via the cloud`.
    I have yet to find an equivalent program.
    Calibre will also connect to and synchronize with your kindle or android or iphone etc.
     
  16. 2013/01/05
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    agreed 100%!
     
  17. 2013/01/06
    giles

    giles Inactive

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    I would recommend you download and try (trial) Acronis True Image. It works full out in trial mode and gives you enough time to really check it out to see if it fits your purpose. You need the newest version from Acronis for Windows 8.

    I've been using it for years and have never had a problem. Acronis backs up your entire system, everything. You can literally throw your hard drive away, put another in, boot from an emergency boot DVD (Acronis will make one) and restore everything, boot up and you're right back to where you were when the last backup was made. In addition, Acronis will do incremental backups, backing up only what has changed since the last backup.

    Once you start Acronis, it takes a snapshot of the system and works in the background and you can continue using the system. My calculations show that backing up 1.5T would take between 3 and 5 hours on a dual processor, around 3.0 with SATA drives. Even if it's double or triple that it's better than 5 days. Incremental's would take much less, depending on the changes since last update. I normally run updates on the 1st, 10th, and 20th of each month. I have updates years old because the incrementals are so small. Acronis also compacts the data, if you want, which saves a great deal of space, and will backup to most any device, and allows you to set the file size.

    All in all I think the fact that Acronis is reliable is the key.

    Giles

    (added) You can also mount any of the backups (including incrementals) as a virtual drive and look at or copy anything.

    (added) The snapshot Acronis takes when it starts isn't a whole system copy, it just notes whenever a file is changed and automatically saves the original file. When it gets to that file in the backup it just backs up the original file.

    A lot of this was noted in earlier posts and not original in this one. Just putting it all together with new stuff.
     
    Last edited: 2013/01/06
  18. 2013/01/06
    Nick Wright

    Nick Wright Inactive Thread Starter

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    Thanks Giles I`ll give it a whirl. :)
     
  19. 2013/01/15
    Nick Wright

    Nick Wright Inactive Thread Starter

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    Right. After much frustration, lots of searching, & a few self inflicted bald spots, -I finally chanced upon this thread in another Forum.

    http://www.w7forums.com/oh-no-my-backup-won-t-work-heres-help-you-if-your-case-t6386.html


    The last post mentioned turning off the Shadow volume Copy too.

    So I tried this and attempted the back up again expecting Failure but was delighted to be rewarded (a day later) with the beautiful message "Your backup has completed successfully" - and that`s a FULL Backup complete with a full system image BTW.

    So as previously mentioned earlier in the thread, it clearly does merit disabling it before backing up.

    I don`t know if it will work for anybody else but it has worked for me and I can finally rest easy with the knowledge that my accumulated book and music collection is finally safe. (or as safe as can be expected).

    I Still won`t be using "File History" though, - I find its limitations with longer paths and File names are to restrictive for Me. I`ve got my Directory structure and file naming system just how I want them after long experimentation and don`t want to alter them just so the file history function works, (and I`ve managed without it up to now so I won`t miss it).

    Thank you to Everybody who offered suggestions.
    Thread closed.
    (Still don`t know why it worked O.K. on the Windows 7 machine with the shadow copy switched ON though - the Machine specs are near identical, the only difference is that the P6 has a second internal 1.5TB drive).
     
    Last edited: 2013/01/15
  20. 2013/01/15
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    A successful restore is the way to verify that "your backup has completed successfully ".
     
  21. 2013/01/15
    Nick Wright

    Nick Wright Inactive Thread Starter

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    Yeah, I think I`ll do that when I HAVE to.. until then I`ll trust the displayed message.
    A restore is after all only used when everything go`s T**s up, -its insurance. -If it was a bad back-up restoring could wipe the very files I`m trying to protect.
     

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