Why did WHS 2011 dumb down the dialog for excluding folders from backup? RRS feed

  • Question

  • WHS v1 had a not-very-shiny but eminently functional and useful dialog for customizing a client machine's backup to exclude specific folders.  It listed the folders in descending order of size with the current size clearly displayed.  It was great for excluding bulky folders of things like media, log files, etc that maybe you don't want to backup.

    Now with WHS 2011 I just get a list of folders.  No useful sorting, no size information, no context.

    Why remove a very useful feature like this?

    Sunday, September 25, 2011 11:51 PM

All replies

  • Actually, this functionality is still there.

    When customizing the client PC backup you can (de)select any folder to be included from backup. From the Dashboard, right-click the client PC at the "Computer and Backup" tab and select "Customize Backup for the computer->Add or remove backup items->...".

    - Theo.

    No home server like Home Server
    • Proposed as answer by Ken Warren Monday, September 26, 2011 12:37 PM
    Monday, September 26, 2011 9:25 AM
  • Theo,

    OP was asking a different question. I am wondering myself as well. 2011 configuration dialog is dumb. It doesn't show anything else besides folders and it won't let you exclude separate files which might be a huge problem.

    To repeat the question, more specifically, how does one exclude a single file?

    Miha Markic [MVP C#] http://blog.rthand.com

    Sunday, June 17, 2012 2:21 PM
  • You place it in a folder by itself, and exclude that folder. There is no other way.

    By design, Windows Home Server will back up your entire PC, and allow bare metal restore (to the same size HD or larger) of a fully functional PC. You may know exactly what needs to be backed up, or you may not (really) know. When you start excluding folders you run the risk of excluding something that you actually need, resulting in a backup that won't run (or won't run properly) when restored. 

    That said, there are folders that I would recommend excluding. For instance, if you do a lot of work with virtual machines, you should probably not back up the folders where the virtual hard drive files are stored for a couple of reasons. First, if you back up a virtual hard drive while the VM is running you can wind up with a damaged vhd. (VMWare generally recommends not backing up their virtual hard drive files for this reason.) In addition, a virtual hard drive is usually a very large file, and depending on your virtualization tool and what you're doing in the VM, large parts of the file may change regularly. The result is that you back up the entire file repeatedly, defeating the Windows Home Server client backup storage mechanisms. Better in that case might be to install the connector in the VM (if running a supported OS) and let it back up like any other client machine.

    You may also be able to exclude media folders from backup; if you keep copies of your media on your server already, there's probably no need to back them up as well. 

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Sunday, June 17, 2012 10:20 PM
  • I think we know all that. However, in the previous version of WHS you *had* an option to exclude files as well folders. I don't remember if it was showing file attributes as well.

    The question still doesn't have a valid answer. Why the heck would I move my files around (to folders) just to enable or disable theirs backup? What if I can't move them? IMO WHS went for the worse in this case without any good reason. Perhaps it was to make it easier for simple users, but if so, why not keep the powerful version for power users?

    Miha Markic [MVP C#] http://blog.rthand.com

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012 8:10 AM