Thursday, June 2, 2016

LPT: Backing up your Windows 8+ computer

If you ever tried to backup a Windows machine with a more or less recent system image (as in Windows 8+), you may have noticed that there is no longer a UI for doing full system backup.

You can backup files (actually, file libraries - things like My Documents, Desktop, etc) - but if you have something in c:\src - you are now out of luck. Evidently, someone in Windows division decided that less is more.

To the PM who thought that it was acceptable to ship an OS without system backup in 2016 - screw you! I hope you get zero rewards next review period.

Luckily, there is still a way to do full backup. In an elevated PowerShell prompt, type this:

wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:D: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet

Here D: is a USB drive on which the backup will be stored, and C: is the system drive, if you have more than one volume, list them separated by commas, like so: "-include:C:,E:,F:".

Obviously, the backup drive should not be backed up.

You can even make a scheduled task of it, making sure that you machine is backed up every few hours.

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