Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

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YankeeTarheel
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Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#1 Post by YankeeTarheel » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:06 pm

OK, this may take some time and setup. I'm usually pretty good with this stuff but I've run into some road blocks, particularly with the Windows 7 Restore from Backup.

Here's the situation:
My old Dell Optiplex 960 quad desktop, with double .5 TB RAID drives, and an upgraded Corsair power supply, has crashed on me a couple of times, mostly unable to re-boot. The last time it took me 48 hours to get it running again.

My house is wired with Cat-5 and Cat-6, that I ran myself, first in 1999 and again in 2009. I have both wired and wireless connections, several switches and hubs, 2 additional routers set up as access points, and a range extender as well. There's a NAS drive, plus a router drive on a USB 3 port, which, unfortunately requires SMBv1 to access. In addition to PCs, laptops, phones, and iPads connected there's a couple of printers, and a specialized, super-secure Cisco router for my wife's work that only allows her company-issued notebook and company-issued printer to access it. I suspect it's a VPN link.

After the first crash and recovery, I ran a thorough backup. I couldn't for some reason, write it to the NAS, but I was able to write to the router's attached USB drive, a 4tb WD. There are clear files out there that actually have data. I can manually go into them and open them. But they are in over 600 backup directories, each of which mimics part of my desktop.

When it crashed the 2nd time, I had to reinstall Win 7, complete with close to 200 updates...and all the data on the RAID HDD was lost.

The RESTORE function refuses to recognize than any of the 600+ directories actually exist, not matter what I do. It sees the directories, but not the files within them. Most of the crucial data is either on the NAS or also on my Surface Go, but not everything.

Meanwhile since the Optiplex is from 2010, I decided it was time for a new desktop. My older son convinced me that building a new machine would be a better option than buying a pre-built. Let's just say that the build didn't go as well as expected--I haven't built a PC probably since 2002, at a guess. But right now it's running (mostly) smoothly. I'm hoping it will carry me for at least 5 more years:
Thor V2 Tower (comes with 4 fans and front-panel ports)
ASRock Motherboard with built-in WiFi and BlueTooth
AMD R 2700x processor
Noctua processor heat sink and fan
960gb SSD
2x2TB Hitachi 7200 drives in a RAID pair
16GB DDR4
Corsair 850 watt PS
dual Nvidia GTX 550 vid cards SLI connected. (Yes, they are older but I'm not a gamer--came out of an Alienware machine I replaced the MB in. That has a GTX 1060 instead which, I'm told, does more than the twin 550s).

The DVD/CD RW isn't quite running right, but that's only temporary. Alienware keyboard and mouse my son isn't using is the temp input.
It has a fresh install of Windows 10 and no problems at this time.

But, again, when I tried to restore from the Windows 7 backups on the Router hard drive, it couldn't find the folders. So I copied them to the local RAID drive...same result.
I'm now running limited S/W on the Optiplex: Ms Office 2016, Chrome, and IE for the moment. It can access the LAN via WiFi or RJ45 with no problem.

But how the FUCK do I extract the data from the 600+ backup folders without painstakingly go through them one by one?

Any (useful) suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#2 Post by Wino » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:22 pm

No expert, but if folder files there and can't be seen expect it has to do with file extension. Can you transfer the folders to a thumb drive then try to read?
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#3 Post by YankeeTarheel » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:40 pm

Wino wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:22 pm
No expert, but if folder files there and can't be seen expect it has to do with file extension. Can you transfer the folders to a thumb drive then try to read?
If I could figure out WHICH files it needs (because it also put out a series of Catalog folders as well) Here's the folder structure: (I'll substitute YT or Yanktar where appropriate)
READYSHARE (the Netware Router's name for the USB drive)
S_Drive (Netware's name for the uppermost folder)
public (my general folder name)
YankTar_Biz_Docs

Now it gets busy. There are two directories at the same level: YANKTAROPTIPLEX, and WindowsImagBackup

Under WindowsImageBackup there is one folder: YanktarOptiplex

OK, so now we have S_Drive\public\Yanktar_Biz_Docs\WindowsImageBackup\YanktarOptiplex
and under that are two directories: Backup 2019-03-11-190913 (created 3-11-2019), and Catalog (same date)

Under Backup 2019-03-11-190913 are these files:
Capture1.PNG
Under Catalog are 2 files: BackupGlobalCatalog and GlobalCatalog.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#4 Post by senorgrand » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:48 pm

Might be time to migrate off 7, as Microsoft won't support it after mid-January 2020.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#5 Post by YankeeTarheel » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:56 pm

on the other path, S_Drive\public\Yanktar_Biz_Docs\YANKTAROPTIPLEX\Backup Set 2019-03-11 15908 created 3-11-2019
(there's another from September 2018)

There 2 directories under Backup Set 2019-03-11 15908: Catalogs, and Backup Files 2019-03-11 150908 (notice: "Files", not "Set")
Catalogs contains GlobalCatalog.wbcat

Backup Files 2019-03-11 150908 contains ANOTHER sub-Directory called again "Catalogs", and also a series of over 600 zip files labeled Backup files 1.zip to Backup files 612.zip
The Catalogs directory has, for each zip file in the other directory, 2 files, "Backup files 1.wbcat" and "Backup files 1.wbverify" up to "Backup files 612.wbcat" and "Backup files 612.wbverify"

These Zip files each contain a part of the C: drive's structure, as in C\Users\YT\AppData, Documents, Downloads, and Pictures (609.zip for example--and there's readable data in these files)

So the only solution that I see is having to open each .zip file one by one and create the file structure and copy the files into them...tedium.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#6 Post by YankeeTarheel » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:57 pm

senorgrand wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:48 pm
Might be time to migrate off 7, as Microsoft won't support it after mid-January 2020.
I'm doing that--the new PC is Windows 10, but the problem of recovering the data is the same--Win 10's ability to recover Win 7 backup files dies on the same field.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#7 Post by Wino » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:59 pm

Note Pad should open .xml files and .vhd are compressed files open with WinZip.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#8 Post by senorgrand » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:13 pm

YankeeTarheel wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:57 pm
senorgrand wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:48 pm
Might be time to migrate off 7, as Microsoft won't support it after mid-January 2020.
I'm doing that--the new PC is Windows 10, but the problem of recovering the data is the same--Win 10's ability to recover Win 7 backup files dies on the same field.
Yay Microsoft! :(
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#9 Post by max129 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:19 pm

Here is what I would recommend:

1) It seems that you can mount the drive onto a new machine - Yes?
2) Find a local kid who uses Linux. Pay her/him to come over, mount the WIN7 file system and write a bash script to find all the files you want and move them over to the new computer and file system.

The problem is that there are no proper tools on DOS/Windows to manage a file tree.

But if you have access to the drive with proper tools, it looks like this.

Where *SPLAT* is the volume/path to the top of the file tree mounted

% find *SPLAT* -type f -print > all-files.txt

; now you have all the regular files in a list with their locations
;
; Then make a simple file with all the extensions you care about (find them in the all-files.txt file)
; The extensions file will be called something like "extensions.txt" and will look like this

doc
docx
xls
xlsx
ppt
pptx
ai
psd

; and so on
; Then you run this command:

% for i in `cat extensions.txt`
do
grep "${i}$" all-files.txt >> get-files.txt
done

; I know this looks ugly, but it would take maybe 5 seconds for thousands of files.
; Now you have a file with the paths and filenames of the files you want copied to your new drive
; I will ignore (for a minute) the complexity the yo may have multiple versions of the same filename
; And next you copy the files from *SPLAT* to the target location
; Where the target location is *TARGET*

% for i in `cat get-files.txt`
do
cp *SPLAT*/$i *TARGET*/
done

; Now all the files are in the new location. Granted, all in one big folder, and they lost their creation dates

; Uh-Oh, I have a lot of files with the same name. - OK
;
; Here is the ugly version answer
% for i in `cat get-files.txt`
do
# check for file name already used

# get just the name of the file itself, get rid of the path

file_name=`basename $i`

# now see if that sucker already exists

if [ -f *TARGET*/$file_name ]
then
# Yes - it exists
unik_num=1
while [ -f *TARGET*/${unik_num}.${file_name} ]
do
let unik_name=$unik_name+1 ; try the next index number
done
; now we Know that the current indexed file name does NOT exist, so

cp *SPLAT*/$i *TARGET*/${unik_num}.${file_name}
else
cp *SPLAT*/$i *TARGET*/
fi
done

; Would I do it exactly like this? Nope, I would do more data analysis and find a way to rename the dupes first,
; but that exceeds the kid who know Linux
; Forgive me - I ignored this for a couple of days.
; Tell me the city where you live and I can find the kid to help.
; Just about all other methods will take a lot of work. You need to get the new files to the new location ASAP
; And don't let computer hardware age like that OR find a more reliable backup strategy that can survive many years.
; I still have more than 100 mag tapes from the 1980s - they are all still 100% readable. We are migrating them
; them to cloud storage this year.
;
; You can use a service such as Carbonite to do all this for you in the Cloud. One of the biggest problems with
; any local backup is FIRE. In 1984, a fire burned down an HP development site in Palo Alto. They would have lost
; $2 million in software had I not taped it out and kept it in my car trunk.
; Now that we have Cloud storage, we never keep stuff local.
; BUT do have a remote location where you store, ON PAPER, your cloud storage encryption keys. If they go up in
; a fire, your data is lost.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#10 Post by Wino » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:24 pm

OK, the big guns are here, so I'm out!! LOL

I'd try another complete reset to see if that will correct the problem you're having getting your backups to machine.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#11 Post by max129 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:31 pm

While the above may look hard, it is really a one cup of coffee task. But with old Windows tools, not so easy.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#12 Post by YankeeTarheel » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:44 pm

Thanks, Max.

I'm going to have to study this as I don't know Windows script language, so it will take a while...it's been since the 80's since I wrote interactive command strings (in SuperWylbur, Wylbur+, and NIH Wylbur). But once I learn the language elements I should be able to write the script(s). I did, after all, program for 30 years, but, in Pascal, PL/I, Fortran, but mainly in SAS--which I don't have access to anymore.

All the backup files are on an external drive, not on the internal RAID. I don't trust the Cloud, or OneDrive, but have my most critical keys in a fire safe.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#13 Post by max129 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:05 pm

YT - the problem is that the above is UNIX Bash shell scripting.
You can't actually do this in native Windows CMD language - not enough verbs
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#14 Post by YankeeTarheel » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:52 pm

max129 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:05 pm
YT - the problem is that the above is UNIX Bash shell scripting.
You can't actually do this in native Windows CMD language - not enough verbs
Ouch! Maybe I can set up an older pc in Linux. Does the old vi editor run under Linux?

Or I'll come up with something to do it. Just haven't programmed in about 7 years.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#15 Post by max129 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:12 pm

YT - you had me at "vi editor". That most useful product of Bill Joy.

Here is a serious offer. If you can install Linux on anything that can connect into your drive, I will do the rest.

I can start an online session, share screens, have you punch a login hole in your firewall, login, and get your files moved over.

It should take an hour.

OR, I can simply share screens, send you bash commands via the zoom.us chat and you can copy/paste them into Linux.

I do this sh*t several times a day when customers have data they cannot access.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#16 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:28 am

That's a hell of an offer, Max! And I thank you. I have no idea if I can get Linux installed and running--and connected to the LAN.
I didn't like vi but I could make it do a lot....25 years ago working as a contractor at Sandoz (By the time they became Novartis they had migrated to distributed processing on NT from their VAX machines--and SAS ran a hell of a lot slower!)

Just woke up so my brain is running about 20-25%...
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#17 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:47 am

Meanwhile, while I'm pulling things back together without accessing the backups, I've got ANOTHER weird problem:

My new machine cannot access the UEFI from a 16:9 monitor! (for those unfamiliar, UEFI is the upgrade from BIOS). I can only access it with a 4:3 monitor. Makes no sense, right?
The UEFI is (supposedly) set to recognize 16:9 but it won't. I don't know if it's an issue with the ASRock MOBO, the AMD 2700x CPU, or the GTX 555 vid card(s).
With a 4:3, I was able to establish all the HW for Win 10, but unless I have a 4:3 monitor as the primary, I cannot get to the UEFI. Curiously, it boots perfectly to Windows 10.

Nothing I've found makes any sense or recognizes the situation. Nothing on ASRock's site, not Nvidia's (GeForce). The 555 was made for Dell's AlienWare, but they don't have anything either.
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#18 Post by YankeeTarheel » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:26 am

Found some work-arounds:
1) Turns out that using a DVI to HDMI adapter gets around the monitor problem. Whether then using an HDMI to VGA on an older 16:9 monitor, or going into the newer HDMI-only monitors (also 16:9) the UEFI will appear. Very strange, but....it works and I won't need to play switching cables when I need the UEFI. It's a weird work-around, but since my newest monitors were always intended to be used with the new machine, it's not a work-around after all...I guess.

2) The backup files aren't recognized as ZIP files but WinRAR can unzip them en masse and the Restore function can recognize the unzipped folders. Meanwhile, I'm copying them from the new PC's RAID drive to the router's 4TB attached drive.

3) I cannot recommend the Netgear Nighthawk R8000. Despite its power and flexibility, it tends to drop both RJ45 and WiFi for no reason periodically. The WiFi is more dependable, but the RJ45 connections to the various hubs, switches, and access points tends to drop too frequently. NetGear doesn't seem to want to recognize this problem. I've updated the firmware, dropped it back to earlier versions, moved it to the latest again, all with no noticeable improvement. The older model R7800 seems far more reliable. Naturally, like all electronics these days, NetGear doesn't want to support their shit more than 90 days without you PAYING to support their stuff. Not sure Belkin or Linksys/Cisco is any better. My wiring is sound--I have the tools to check my RJ45 fittings, and all the newer wiring is Cat-6.

Anyway, I'm hopeful I'll be able to restore all my files to both my older Win 7 desktop and the new Win10 build. I just need a new optical drive for the new tower, a Blu-Ray/DVD/CD burner.
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." -- Mark Twain
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#19 Post by YankeeTarheel » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:08 pm

I found a way around it! Ready to swap machines, put the new one under my desk, and the old one in the dining room till I get the new rig fully up to snuff.
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." -- Mark Twain
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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#20 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:07 am

Now using the new machine with the old one relegated to the "Test Desk". I've had far worse turnovers!
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." -- Mark Twain
My son says: "Don't argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!" -- YT

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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#21 Post by Bisbee » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:57 am

Yea Linux...
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

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Re: Anyone here Expert on Windows 7 backups?

#22 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:46 am

Bisbee wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:57 am
Yea Linux...
I used Unix machines 20-25 years ago, but never operated or maintained a Unix or Linux computer. So I know nothing about how to install, operate, or what apps go with it.
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." -- Mark Twain
My son says: "Don't argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!" -- YT

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