A week or so back I got to test the Back-up built into Vista Ultimate. Not due to any problems caused by Vista but, because of some Hard drive issues. I was using the on board Intel RAID controller on my ASUS P5W64-WS Pro Motherboard. This thing has been causing a little trouble for a while. So, hoping it would solve all my woes, I decided to get an above board RAID controller.
Anticipating trouble with the transfer, I decided I needed a full back up of my PC. This was too much to send up to Mozy so I started looking at the back-up built into Vista.
In Vista Ultimate There is a back-up option called “Complete PC Backup”.This lets you back-up an image of your entire computer to multiple CD/DVDs or an external hard drive. It's surprisingly quick… It took 10 minutes or so for it to make the image.
My initial switch over to the new RAID controller went perfectly. No need for the back-up… That was until one of my drives failed. *sigh* The I had trouble. I did a couple of dumb things I won't get into here but, needless to say, I finally needed that backup I made.
Here's the cool part… Once I got my drive situation sorted out I was in business. To restore a “Complete PC Backup” in Vista to new disks boot to the Vista DVD. After it loads, you will see and option to “Repair Vista”. Click that link and you will be taken to another page with the option to “Restore from a Complete PC Backup”. Vista will then look for the back-up. So, make sure your external Hard drive is connected or the First disk of your Back-up set is in the drive.
Vista will then format/partition your disk to match the information contained in the back-up. When the restore is done the PC will reboot and Windows will be back to the state it was in at the time of the backup. This worked perfectly for me and I was extremely relieved when all was done. Here's the bad: I believe the “Complete PC Backup” is only available in Vista Business and Vista Ultimate. So, you Home Premium users will need to upgrade to Ultimate to get this feature. Sorry.
So, If you've picked and poked at your Vista installation until something breaks, you got this nifty feature to save you. Well, only if you have Business or Ultimate AND actually make a back-up first. Otherwise… Well.. umm… oops.
© 2008, Robert Owen. All rights reserved.