Backup and Restore is an important part of Windows Vista, added in Windows Vista SP1 and included in all future versions allowing users to make backups and restores from existing backups made earlier on. It is an alternative to NTBackup, which was previously included with Windows XP. While it does the same job, there are many differences between the two and this article will discuss them.
In Windows XP, backups were only stored on the computer where they had been created, but this was very difficult for people who had a large number of computers. They needed to manually store these backups in various folders that were scattered across their hard drives. This could become quite time consuming, especially for large companies with hundreds of computers, and also resulted in lost backups due to corruption. If you were to do this with the newer versions, you would be saving hundreds or even thousands of times more than you can ever imagine, if you did not use the advanced backup facility of Windows.
Windows Vista has a new backup and restore facility called the Advanced Restore feature that was released in Vista SP1. What this does is save backups to external sources, like DVDs or CDs, which allows the user to access them even if the computer that created them was brought online for some reason. Not only is this a good feature, but it also has many other advantages over the older version of NTBackup.
The biggest advantage that Advanced Backup has over the older version is that it has automatic backups, and the ability to create and modify the backups before backing them up to the external sources, without the need to manually do so. The backup can be automatically scheduled at any time, and the user can even make changes to the backup without having to log in to their computer, so it is safe and secure to run. It also allows for creating an image of the drive, which is useful if you wish to backup all your data to the external sources, and then recover all the data from the image, making the backup system more efficient.
While the Advanced backup and restore system of Windows Vista has many benefits, it does have a few disadvantages too. Firstly, it is not as effective as the older version of NTBackup due to the fact that it cannot store backups on multiple computers. However, it is still better than the XP alternative.
Advanced backup and restore are probably best suited for those that have a large number of computers, and many backups on a regular basis, and that use one or more computers as an operating system. Windows users with a few computers on one computer may wish to use the Windows Backup Plus software that is included with Windows Vista, but this software is not as reliable as the other versions, and also not designed for large amounts of data backup and restores. If you need to do a lot of backup and restores, it is probably more suited to running in a dedicated server.