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Thread: How do I backup Windows settings and programs but WITHOUT data files?

  1. #1
    Fustrated is offline New Member
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    Exclamation How do I backup Windows settings and programs but WITHOUT data files?

    I already manage my data file backups; I don't want or need a Windows settings and programs backup that includes user data files—it's redundant, and makes the backup image too large. Also, creating a system image that does not include data files minimizes the chance of recreating certain problems. To be more specific, many times I unpack files on my Windows 10 system originating from Unix or Linux systems that do not have the same restrictions on filename conventions that Windows has in place. In Unix and Linux systems, it is possible to have filenames with an extension separator, but no file extension, and those systems support filenames using special characters prohibited in Windows. Attempting to open, rename, or delete such files results in this particularly frustrating quandary: All such attempted operations fail because Windows is "schizophrenic" about them; you can SEE the files as plain as day, but any attempted operation results in a "file not found" error. How can it NOT be found if you are LOOKING at it?

    Anyway, my solution to that problem was to dedicate a partition for the unpacking of files that may contain such problems. When such files are unpacked, I move the non-problematic files to a different location and reformat the partition. Easy-peasy. The only other viable solution requires installing Ubuntu in a dual-boot configuration. Windows directories are easily managed in an Ubuntu shell as far as deletion is concerned, but that method of controlling such problems is kind of overkill, requiring the sacrifice of disk space I'd like spent more efficiently.

    Previous versions of Windows had backup tools allowing users to customize what exactly was backed up. Windows 10 presents no such solution; now, it's all or nothing.



    Does anyone have a good idea about creating settings and applications backups WITHOUT also backing up user data files?

  2. #2
    RolandJS's Avatar
    RolandJS is offline Senior Member
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    I am a Windows 7 user. I'm wondering if you have a C-partition for Windows 10 and 3rd party programs, and, have a D-partition for all your data folders and files? If not, I have no idea on how to help.

  3. #3
    AshishM is offline Moderator =Moderator
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    Regarding Backup, and assuming you have an extra portion or external storage to save the backup.

    1. Type Control in the Run Prompt (Win + R), press the Enter Key
    2. Switch to Large Icons view
    3. Click on Backup and Restore
    4. Select the location where you want to save the backup
    5. Click next, and select "Let me choose", and then click next again.
    6. Here you can uncheck all the user data and check the box which says "Include System image of drives: primary Drive"
    7. Click next, and preview what we will be backed up, and all you should see is System image.
    backup user data unchecked.jpg
    system image backup.jpg

  4. #4
    Lewis-H is offline Windows Enthusiast
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    There are several ways to back up your PC.

    Select the Start button, then select Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Backup and Restore.

    Do one of the following:

    If you've never used Windows Backup before, or recently upgraded your version of Windows, select Set up backup, and then follow the steps in the wizard.

    If you've created a backup before, you can wait for your regularly scheduled backup to occur, or you can manually create a new backup by selecting Back up now.

    If you’ve created a backup before, but want to make a new, full backup rather than updating the old one, select Create new, full backup, and then follow the steps in the wizard.

    --
    Lewis
    Apps4Rent | O365CloudExperts | CloudDesktopOnline

  5. #5
    monk's Avatar
    monk is offline New Member
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    I think a system image is like a snapshot of a drive, which means even data files are included.

    Given that, you can only avoid backing up data if you follow what Roland said, which is to have the data in another partition.

    Also, depending on the backup software, a system image may or may not have to backup the whole drive (that is, including partitions) for proper recovery, which means if partitions have to be included, then the data will have to be placed in another hard drive. This might also help with minimizing fragmentation of the boot drive and replacing hardware.

    Finally, I think the process involves redundancy and what's practical. That is, a backup process might do a system image with or without differential or incremental backups, and a file backup of only data files. That way, one can do a partial recovery by using only the file backup or a full recovery using the system image followed by restoring the latest versions of data files. Redundancy is also helpful in case on set of backups fails.

  6. #6
    pratibha91 is offline Beginner
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    The most important rule of backups is that any important data should exist in two or more physical locations at once. ... While system backup will backs up everything, from your Windows system directory and installed program files to your personal data. These backups will be much larger and take much longer to create.

  7. #7
    pratibha91 is offline Beginner
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    To backup your files using an external hard drive, you typically connect the drive to your computer or laptop with a USB cable. Once connected, you can choose individual files or folders to copy onto the external hard drive. In the event you lose a file or a folder, you can retrieve copies from the external hard drive.

    Data Backup includes several predefined sets for your default destination choice. If you would like full control over your backup settings, set up a custom backup by following these steps:

    Step 1
    Create a new backup set by pressing the plus icon in the bottom left of the Data Backup window as indicated in the screenshot below. You can also go to the File → New Backup Set dropdown menu option to create a new set.


    Step 2
    Create a name for your custom backup set in the textbox at the top of the backup set screen. In our example we have named it ‘My Custom Backup’, but feel free to choose a name that helps you better remember what the backup does (For example: Work Drive to Home Drive Backup).


    Step 3
    Select a backup type from the dropdown menu. Options include Simple Copy, Clone, Versioned, and Synchronize. For more information about the backup types see our how-to guide on choosing a backup type.


    Step 4
    Choose one or more sources for your custom backup by dragging the source into the ‘Sources’ area of the backup set window or click the source area to open a file explorer window to select your source. You can choose an entire drive, folders, or individual files as your source.


    Step 5
    With your source(s) selected, you can now select your destination for your custom backup.


    Step 6
    With your source(s) and destination selected, you can now set your destination options. These options are described in more detail below.

    set-backup-destination-options.png
    Create New Folder(s)

    You may choose this option to create a new folder for each of your source volumes or folders in the destination volume or folder with the same name as the source volume or folder. This option does not apply to Full or Incremental backups.

    If you have multiple sources selected, it is automatically selected (and cannot be turned off). It cannot be selected for Synchronization. If this option is selected for a Clone backup of a bootable volume, the resulting backup will not be bootable.

    MISSING ITEMS
    You may choose one of the methods for handling files and folders that exist in the destination volume or folder that are missing from the source volume or folder (this option applies only to Clone, Simple Copy, and Synchronize).

    Leave- do nothing, leaving the old files in place.

    Delete- remove the file, permanently

    Move to Trash- put the file in the Trash to be removed later

    reference - [prosofteng{dot}com/support/data-backup-pc/how-to-set-up-a-custom-backup]

  8. #8
    johnson_br is offline New Member
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    Default Way to back ups!

    Back up

    There are several ways to back up your PC.

    • Select the Start button, then select Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Backup and Restore.
    • Do one of the following:
    • If you've never used Windows Backup before, or recently upgraded your version of Windows, select Set up backup, and then follow the steps in the wizard.
    • If you've created a backup before, you can wait for your regularly scheduled backup to occur, or you can manually create a new backup by selecting Back up now.
    • If you’ve created a backup before, but want to make a new, full backup rather than updating the old one, select Create new, full backup, and then follow the steps in the wizard.

    Note: Do not back up files to the same hard disk that Windows is installed on. For example, do not back up files to a recovery partition. Always store media used for backups (external hard disks, DVDs, or CDs) in a secure place to prevent unauthorized people from having access to your files; a fireproof location separate from your computer is recommended. You might also consider encrypting the data on your backup.

    Hope this is helpful.
    Bruno J.

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