Question How does Windows 10 "File History" work?

Nov 1, 2020
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Hello,

I'm trying to understand how Window 10 File history feature works. In particular I'm trying to understand whether it creates a separate full backup for each time it is run, or does it just add to the existing backup? I.e. is it like time machine on mac?

Hope that question makes sense! In essence i'm trying to decide whether it's a good way to make regular backups of my data.

Thanks!
 
Nov 1, 2020
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https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/file-history-in-windows-5de0e203-ebae-05ab-db85-d5aa0a199255

"File History only backs up copies of files that are in the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders and the OneDrive files available offline on your PC. "


There are much better tools to use.
I use Macrium Reflect. Full drive images, rather than "some of it".
Hi again!

I've never used macrium reflect, might give the free version a go. Unfortunately incremental backups are not available on the free version. How do incremental backups appear on the hard drive? Do they appear as different folders with dates? Is each folder linked to earlier dated folders? Just trying to understand if the macrium incremental backup is a full backup each time it's run, or is it just backing up the changes? If it's the latter, how would you go about restoring the data if you're after a particular file on a particular date say? Would you simply open the macrium software and would it show the back up in a 'time machine' view?

Oh and one more thing: If you're migrating your OS to a new system, would an incremental backup work for that, or would you be after an image (is there a difference).

Thanks!
 

USAFRet

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In Macrium:

Images, either Full, Differential, or Incremental, end up as files in a specified folder.
Full is the whole drive or partition(s)
Differential is all the changes since the last Full
Incremental is all the changes since the last Incremental.

Only those files that were actually changed.

Lets say you keep Full + Differential for 30 days. New Image once per day.
You can recover at any point in that time, by selecting the relevant Image for the day desired.
That combines the selected Diff and Full, and writes all that to the target drive.

Incremental works the same way, except that you need all the Incrementals in between.

Also, if you're looking for one particular file from a particular day, Macrium has the function to Mount an image as a drive letter.
You can go in and retrieve a single file, without recovering that whole image to a drive.
"I need the version of my term paper from last Wednesday" - No problem.

I run Macrium nightly or weekly on all my house systems.
All systems, each physical drive on its own schedule.
All in one folder tree on my NAS.
Each system is a subfolder, each drive is a sub under that.

Different systems:


The drives in my main system:


Individual Images of the C drive, Full and Incrementals:
 
Reactions: thelondoner
Nov 1, 2020
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Hi again,

quick follow up ques: if i’m attempting to migrate everything from one pc to another (both win 10 optiplexes), what’s the most efficient way of doing this? Will hot swapping work/be stable, or is it a case of doing a fresh install and reinstalling the applications again?

Trying to think of a way to do this which doesn’t necessitate installing all the software and settings again! Main tricky ones are anaconda, windows office and eclipse, python and some other smaller stuff i’ve probably installed and used and possibly used by anaconda but can not remember!

Thanks for the screenshots above. Very helpful!
 
Nov 1, 2020
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Why are you wanting to move things between two Optiplex's?

Unless they are identical, simply moving the drive+OS may fail.
And if they are identical, why the move?
Current one is a 390, new one is a 7010. Different models. Bit of a mini upgrade to a sata iii compatible machine and for usb 3.0 ports. Finally moving into 'the future', but am still 8 years behind everyone else! :)

Struggling to find the best way to do the move. My current plan is to do a clean OS install on the new pc's ssd, get all the software running and test it. And only when i'm 100% sure everything is running as intended, then I can mirror it to my samsung pro 850, and hotswap that in. Thoughts on this or do you have a better idea? :)
 

USAFRet

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Current one is a 390, new one is a 7010. Different models. Bit of a mini upgrade to a sata iii compatible machine and for usb 3.0 ports. Finally moving into 'the future', but am still 8 years behind everyone else! :)

Struggling to find the best way to do the move. My current plan is to do a clean OS install on the new pc's ssd, get all the software running and test it. And only when i'm 100% sure everything is running as intended, then I can mirror it to my samsung pro 850, and hotswap that in. Thoughts on this or do you have a better idea? :)
The clean OS install needs to be done while the drive is living in the PC where it will live.

If the 850 Pro is going to be that drive....it needs to be in the new system (7010) while you do the OS install on it.
 
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The clean OS install needs to be done while the drive is living in the PC where it will live.

If the 850 Pro is going to be that drive....it needs to be in the new system (7010) while you do the OS install on it.
I was thinking of doing the install on the existing ssd drive that's in the 7010 then using samsung magician to clone the drive onto the 850 pro once i've tested and am happy with all the settings, and then putting the 850 pro into the 7010. Is cloning in some way inferior to doing a fresh install on the 850? My rationale is simply so I can get all the software up and running to how I want it, in case I inadvertantly lose some kind of important settings/passwords etc. Anaconda is very pinitecky regards to settings, kernals and what not.
 

USAFRet

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That will work (probably).
You're just doing more effort, in the first install and then the clone operation.

A fresh install on the desired drive is preferable to a clone to the desired drive. But it will probably work.

And you'd put the 850 Pro in before the migration.
Do this with both drives connected internally.



-----------------------------
Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
-----------------------------
Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
If you are cloning from a SATA drive to PCIe/NVMe, install the relevant driver for this new NVMe/PCIe drive.
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

If you are going from a smaller drive to a larger, by default, the target partition size will be the same as the Source. You probably don't want that
You can manipulate the size of the partitions on the target (larger)drive
Click on "Cloned Partition Properties", and you can specifiy the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
-----------------------------
 
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That sounds super complicated! I think my head exploded! :ROFLMAO:

Thought of one alternative idea lol - clone the existing SSD as a backup, then I can install a fresh OS onto it on the new machine from scratch. That way i'll have a clean OS install and not a clone! And i'll have the clone as a backup in case anything goes wrong :) (Will of course test the clone to make sure it boots up to the desktop before wiping the main ssd!).

Oh and I think samsung magician handles the partition sizes automatically. I've used it in the past to clone the OS from a samsung evo 860 250gb drive and onto the 850 pro drive - didnt specify how to handle partitions etc when I did this. I'm assuming the instructions you posted above are relevant to Macrium? Is it super complicted software to use? Do you need to be a IT specialist?
 

USAFRet

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Samsung and Macrium are reasonably equivalent.

Most of that isn't that complicated. But it does highlight the absolute need to disconnect the old drive at the end of the process, and power up with ONLY the new drive.

What drive is in the 7010 now?
 
Nov 17, 2020
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Windows will automatically create a backup copy of your files on this disk when it is connected to your computer. The problem is that the file history reverts to the default settings.
 
Nov 1, 2020
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Samsung and Macrium are reasonably equivalent.

Most of that isn't that complicated. But it does highlight the absolute need to disconnect the old drive at the end of the process, and power up with ONLY the new drive.

What drive is in the 7010 now?
It’s a liteon 256gb ssd. Apologies for delay. Can’t recall the model!
 

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