Long-time subscriber Richard Fuller wrote from New Zealand to ask about using his old favorite backup program, but using it in Windows 7 instead of Windows XP:
At last I’ve been able to replace my decrepit old PC with a new whiz-bang running Windows7, so I’ve been groping around in the dark for best part of a week trying to find my way in unfamiliar territory.
Installing most things from the old computer went as smoothly as could be expected, with the exception of Iomega Automatic Backup. It’s a programme I’ve used since first introduced to the wonders of Zip drives well over a decade ago, and has the advantage that not only does it copy files each time they’re saved but saves a new version each time rather than overwriting the previously backed-up file. It’s less of an issue now, but in the days when I did much heavy spreadsheet work and VBA macros I lost count of the number of times it saved my bacon after I made a blunder of some sort, so for all its shortcomings I’m rather fond of it and it’s always done the job.
Sadly Iomega stopped supporting the programme many years ago, but my copy continued to work as advertised on the old XP machine. However, trying to install it on the Win7 device caused a crash, recovery from which wiped out a day’s work installing programmes. The technician at the computer shop showed me how to configure the installation for compatibility with an earlier OS, so with much trepidation I tried again, only to have a repeat performance. Fortunately, that time Windows was able to recover by itself rather than having to resort to the rescue disc supplied by the shop.
My question is this: should I try setting the compatibility for, say, Win2000 rather than XP? IAB would originally have been built for such an earlier OS, but I chose XP compatibility because it ran perfectly well thereon. Do you think it’s worth having another go with an earlier compatibility setting, or is the risk too great?
If worse comes to worst and I have to get something more modern such as Karen’s or Acronis, how can I obtain it through you? When I click on the Acronis links on your web site header, all I get is a list of “Ads by Google” for various other products.
Thanks once again for the benefit of your wisdom.
I wrote back to Richard to say that I think the risk is too great to try to run old backup software in emulation mode. Plus, there are some types of files that have meta-data that’s not captured as such by earlier backup programs — or so I’ve read in the past. I don’t think you’re going to be successful.
I consider backups to be critical insurance. If something happens, I want to know that I can RESTORE from the backup, too. I remember one time in the far past where Drive Image didn’t check the backups when they were made, I started the restore, and in the middle of the restore, it found an unrecoverable error in the backup. Complete start over. Argh. Ever since, I’ve stayed with "current" backup software.
Regarding the links in my header that kept linking to Google ads, those links really are Google ad links.
I suggested that he use http://terryscomputertips.com/Acronis, which should get him to the right place.
Richard also mentioned Karen’s Replicator. It does file-by-file backups, but it really doesn’t do the same thing that Acronis True Image does. It’s big advantage is that it’s free. I use both, for different types of backups.
I know that Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate also include XP Mode, for those times when you have to have a program tha won’t run under Windows 7. Unfortunately, that’s not a solution to this problem. XP Mode operates as a virtual computer — running the backup program from within XP Mode would simply back up the Windows XP installation in the XP Mode virtual computer. It wouldn’t back up the Windows 7 installation or the rest of the hard drive.
Many thanks indeed. I tried Replicator and didn’t like it much. It was an awful fag to set up, some of the dialogue boxes didn’t display properly on my fancy new Asus 24″ monitor, and then it refused to let me edit two of the tasks.
I’m downloading the free trial of Acronis to see how that goes, and will use your link should I decide to buy it. But best of all I would really like to find a programme that can back up a file each time it’s saved, as Iomega did. That way you’re always up to date. Having copies of each revised save was a further bonus, and the files were just copied as is, that is to say no compression or other fancy stuff, so they could be copied back manually if need be. Indeed, that’s how I transferred my files to the new machine.
You might recall that some time ago we discussed the merits or otherwise of backing up to DVDs, which I did for seven years on the old machine without a problem. But the discs are a high-quality Mitsubishi set, not cheap and nasty Chinese rubbish. I’d be a wealthy man if I had a dollar for each time the three main backup DVDs had been written and rewritten and formatted. On the other hand I had a lot of trouble with Imation DVDs, as sold in large quantities by discount retailers here, and all had been consigned to the bin within a few months, so I believe the secret is to use only top-quality Japanese discs.
Thanks once again for your help.
All the best,
Richard wrote back one more time about one of the features of Acronis True Image Home 2012:
Hullo again, Terry,
Sorry to be a pest, but having now downloaded a trial copy of Acronis I’ve just come across the "Try and Decide" feature, which seems to be an absolute gem. Looks as though it might be a safe way to have another crack at installing Iomega Automatic Backup. If this works as advertised (see attached Help page) it alone is probably worth the price of Acronis. Brilliant for those of us with just enough knowledge to be an absolute menace.