Understand your scheduled backups

The Windows 2000 backup utility offers a number of options when performing a backup. However not all of these options are available when you schedule a backup in advance. For example, while there is a check box to select whether you want protected files automatically backed up with system state, the selection is ignored when you schedule a backup and the system protected files are backed up even if you de-select the option.

The reason is that the system protected files are an important part of the system state, so they are always backed up in a scheduled backup. The option exists so that you can choose not to create a system state backup when doing an interactive backup for purposes such as creating a smaller system state image for support reasons.

Similarly, a scheduled backup always does either a normal or

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copy backup of the system state, even if you have selected another backup type such as differential or incremental. Here again, the reason is that the system state must be complete and coherent if it is backed up at all. The Windows backup utility insures this by backing these files up completely even if another type of backup is selected.

Microsoft discusses this in Knowledge Base Article 242881 "Advanced Settings Are Not Honored with Scheduled Backups."

Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.


This was first published in November 2003

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