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Old 03. May 2011, 09:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do I backup "Users" folder in win 7?

I never thought I'd see the day I had to ask something like this but I'm sick of running into brick walls. I am sick of wasting my precious download limit and my time so am asking your advice and yes, I have googled and am still not getting enough answers. All I want is to backup my User folder, the whole lot, which is only about 50GB.

Fairly new laptop running windows 7. I installed Comodo backup, a newer version than I had on my old XP machine but didn't like it (can't remember why as it was months ago) so uninstalled it. I then installed FBackup and used it once back then but at that time I had most of my data on a different partition which I have since deleted after returning it all to my Users folder. Have had nothing to really backup since until a couple of days ago and opened FBackup. It opened but no matter where I clicked on the window I just got a little ding sound and had to use Task Manager to close it, twice. So uninstalled it.

Ahhh, let's go portable I'm thinking so opened several programmes I have downloaded but they either didn't do compression or did nothing. Sorry didn't take notes of which did what.

Well what about just using a straight zip programme was my next brain wave? So I opened Tugzip which I had installed but for the life of me couldn't figure out how to make an archive. I think this was the programme I discovered was missing the GO button when I googled. Uninstalled that.

So let's try some portable zip programmes........
Peazip - either nothing happened or I was doing it wrong
7zip - Yay, finally some action. Took a couple of hours and at the end I had a message saying like a hundred things couldn't be backed up as access was denied. This included My music, My videos etc., so much important stuff that I closed the message in disgust instead of doing the sensible thing and copying it or saving it. Sigh.

So then I try googling Access denied zip backup windows 7 and do see a few hits for taking ownership and stuff but don't really understand it all, especially seeing as how I don't get why microsoft would encourage you to store all your junk in their folders and then not let you copy or zip them. I'm also concerned that in changing these things I might open up folders to attack???

So I need a means to backup my Users folder, preferably compressed, via a programme that is portable or installed but not too big a download.

Thankyou for any help/advice/links that will allow me to achieve this

PS I can't use a drive imaging programme as I accidentally made my drive dynamic when I thought I was creating a new partition (too long a story).
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Old 04. May 2011, 12:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Those permissions are restrictions on read/write for folders of users other than you, even for administrators.
You'll have to visit the folders, and then gain permissions (requires admin privileges). Not sure of an easier way.
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Old 04. May 2011, 08:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks J_L for replying. However I think I've not explained myself properly. I actually only want to back up my own folder, Robyn, not all the folders under Users. Should I have to change permissions on my own Users folder, the one called Robyn?
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Old 04. May 2011, 11:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you can read/write your own folder, then there should be no problems backing it up.
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Old 05. May 2011, 07:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Where do you want to back it to? On another hard disk?

Maybe you could try a folder synchronizer utility like FreeFileSync.
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Old 05. May 2011, 12:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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FreeFileSync would be spot-on. I've been using it for folders up to 80 GB without any issues.

The global settings allow you to copy both locked files and file system permissions. You can also save your sync settings for any job, as a batch file (via the programs own interface), and use these to run scheduled backups via Windows Task Scheduler.

Quick, reliable, and highly recommended.
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Old 06. May 2011, 07:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I can read and write to my own folder. I am trying to backup to the same drive ready to copy to my external drive.

FreeFileSync has created a backup of 51GB from a possible 51.2GB. I got some errors along the way....
Error traversing directory
"C:\Users\Robyn\AppData\Local\ElevatedDiagnoti cs"
Windows Error Code 5: Access is denied
was the first, then, amongst others, the NTUSER.dat files (The caller does not have sufficient backup priviledges or is not an administrator)

I guess at least my important data is backedup and the stuff that couldn't be done doesn't matter?

Thankyou Oaken
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Old 06. May 2011, 11:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Glad you are most of the way there.

If you want a copy of these AppData folders try the following;

Go to the relevant Programs folder, right-click the FFS executable/s > Properties > Compatibility (and/or "Change settings for all users" if Robyn account is a limited one) > Check the "Run as Administrator" box > Apply > Apply/OK

*You may need to use admin credentials if the Robyn account is limited?

If you DON'T want a copy of the AppData folders/similar then you can setup filters to exclude them (see program help file).

If from the program menu you select Advanced > Global Settings, and check the two boxes in the top section then files such as NTUSER.dat should also get copied across without difficulty.

For this type of backup I'd suggest using the Mirror/synchronize mode for best results.
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Old 06. May 2011, 11:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Excellent information - thankyou very much. I shall fiddle with all this more now it is the weekend.
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