Windows 7 backup stops partway through

  Pineman100 21:46 31 Jul 2011

I run Windows 7 Home Premium. I regularly use the Windows 7 backup function to save a full system image to my Seagate external hard drive.

Recently my scheduled backups have stopped partway through - the progress bar suggests this happens about a third of the way through. I get no error report of any kind, the backup just stops.

I also have Acronis True Image 11, so I've tried using that to image my system instead. The Backup Wizard gets as far as the "Data To Backup" window, I click Disks and Partitions>Next and ATI just hangs.

I can see my backup drive and its contents normally in Windows Explorer - the amount of free space greatly exceeds the size of my C: drive, so there's no space problem. Norton Internet Security finds no problems.

I'm very worried that I have no backup protection! Any suggestions on what the problem might be, please?

  rdave13 22:16 31 Jul 2011

I don't use Acronis or Win7 backup so I can't advise. I use Paragon HDD disk manager and clone the HDD rather than image it. If you have a HDD spare and a caddy try 'cloning' it using Acronis. Again no idea how Acronis does this but worth peace of mind if you, at least, have a clone if your images have been corrupted.

  Pineman100 09:22 01 Aug 2011

Thanks very much for that suggestion, rdave13. I'll try it after I've dealt with my present worsening of the problem.

As an emergency backup I've been trying to do a straight copy of all my data folders from my C: drive to my backup drive.

Once again, it got about a third of the way through (overnight!) and then seemed to stop, reporting "About 11 hours 45minutes to go" (!). At the same time, Norton Internet Security 2011 reported that it was running a full system scan.

When I tried to stop Norton it hung. When I tried to stop the copy process and close Windows Explorer, it hung. And Ctrl-Alt-Del refused to fire up the Task Manager. So I had to crash out and shut down using the power button.

I'm now trying to copy my data files once again, this time in Safe Mode. All fingers and toes crossed.

  Pineman100 11:37 01 Aug 2011


As explained above, I've resorted to an emergency procedure of copying all my data folders to the external HDD. I'm doing it in Safe Mode to avod having Norton start up.

This works fine for about 15 - 20 minutes, but then Windows backup starts trying to do a system image, and the whole copying process slows down to an abolsute crawl. I've checked in Control Panel and Windows backup isn't scheduled to do this - in fact I have no backups scheduled at all. But it's still trying to do it.

Can anyone advise me on how to disable the Windows 7 backup function completely, to stop it interfering with my data copying, please?

  Pineman100 16:33 03 Aug 2011

Further update:-

I've successfully saved all of my data to my external HDD, as an emergency measure.

I then decided to try using Acronis True Image 11 once more, to create a system image.

This time the process ran successfully for nearly three hours, and was only 15 minutes from completion when it reported "unable to complete - destination media may be damaged". (That wasn't the exact wording, but close enough).

So it looks as though my problems may have been due to some damage on my backup drive. The drive still appears to be functioning normally, so I'm hoping that a full reformat will find and exclude any damaged sector(s).

But before I do that, I obviously need a full system backup. So I've ordered a new external HDD (2TB and cheaper than my old 1TB was when I bought it!). Once this arrives I'll backup to it, then reformat the old external HDD and (assuming the reformat works) use it as a duplicate backup for extra security.

Does that sound like a sensible plan? Or would you dump the old HDD?

  robin_x 16:51 03 Aug 2011

Have you tried chkdsk to scan and fix/mark bad sector on the suspect drive?

chkdsk x: /r from a command prompt where x is a partition on the drive. You may only have one, in which case x is the drive letter.

No need to reformat then I think.

In any case you can never have too much storage. I'd keep it as an extra duplicate or for files that can be replaced.

eg downloads.

Also I don't know how much data you are backing up but it seems very slow. Macrium Reflect Free is pretty fast and easy to use. I get about 1GB/min to ext USB2 HDD.

Only thing to note with Macrium if you setup a new HDD is that images must be restored to a partition of the same size as original. ie an existing one.

EASEUS Todo, allows resize, but I don't like it so much for other reasons (V2.5 is slow and fiddly. EASEUS Todo v1.1 is better IMHO) .

  Pineman100 18:32 03 Aug 2011

Thanks for those thoughts, Robin.

I confess that (to my shame) I hadn't thought of using chkdsk - an obvious way to go (now that you've suggested it!). Does the /r switch mean "repair"? And can I use ckdsk without destroying the data on the drive?

Obviously I don't plan to do anything with that drive until I have backed up to the new one.

My total C: drive (OS, software and data all on that one drive) is about 250GB (loads of photos - I'm an enthusiast). So my roughly three hours for a full system image doesn't seem bad, does it?

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