locked
What on Earth were you people thinking? RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    What could possibly be the reason for intentionally not allowing the user to backup precisely the files they want to backup?  Cant' exclude files.  Can't backup EXEs and other extensions.  Can't can't can't!!!

     

    Why why why did you make a good backup module worse instead of better?

     

    I just have to know.  What were you thinking?

    Friday, November 16, 2007 3:39 PM

Answers

  • I think the closest to an official answer you'll get is the one in the announcements section of this topic folder. In my opinion, the change was made because the way it was originally deployed in 1.x was odd. Although I know that many people liked to have the capabilities that the design loophole created, selecting files by type at the top level and then adding another "rule" to backup everything in a specific location was confusing as it ignored the file type rule from the upper level. The current method starts at the file type and allows you to exclude a file type by de-selecting it. Once it has scanned for files to backup, you can then select to exclude files or folders from the backup. Expand the tree and uncheck a folder or entire branch to exclude a location. Clear the check mark from specific files that have been identified as matching the types to be backed up.

    The only thing you cannot do in the new model is add an entire folder to the backup plan, ignoring the file types. The exclusion of program and system files has always existed, but could be over-ridden by adding an entire folder to the plan. This was basically a flaw in the design.

    That said, part of me thinks that I *should* have the ability to add an entire folder or modify the file type list to suit my needs.

    -steve

     

    Friday, November 16, 2007 7:08 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I think the closest to an official answer you'll get is the one in the announcements section of this topic folder. In my opinion, the change was made because the way it was originally deployed in 1.x was odd. Although I know that many people liked to have the capabilities that the design loophole created, selecting files by type at the top level and then adding another "rule" to backup everything in a specific location was confusing as it ignored the file type rule from the upper level. The current method starts at the file type and allows you to exclude a file type by de-selecting it. Once it has scanned for files to backup, you can then select to exclude files or folders from the backup. Expand the tree and uncheck a folder or entire branch to exclude a location. Clear the check mark from specific files that have been identified as matching the types to be backed up.

    The only thing you cannot do in the new model is add an entire folder to the backup plan, ignoring the file types. The exclusion of program and system files has always existed, but could be over-ridden by adding an entire folder to the plan. This was basically a flaw in the design.

    That said, part of me thinks that I *should* have the ability to add an entire folder or modify the file type list to suit my needs.

    -steve

     

    Friday, November 16, 2007 7:08 PM
    Moderator
  • I agree with Sven and I'm frustrated beyond words at what MS have done with this "upgraded" version. I literally just finished removing Norton Internet Security from 5 PCs in an office environment and replacing it with OneCare. The major attractions were a) better integration between components b) better licensing terms and c) a better backup system than Vista comes with (which is a farce in its own right). But hey, at least with OneCare I could add C:\ as a folder and get a full backup.

     

    So...we purchased a NAS to store the backups, I devised a time rotation which would result in backups for the PCs each day, and went ahead with the installation. Now, less than 24 hours later, I find that MS are pulling this stupid stunt with the backup functionality. This means that I now get to uninstall OneCare from the PCs and look for a solution that isn't going to screw me over by dictating what I can and cannot back up.

     

    MS: when people back up their PCs THEY EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO RESTORE THEM TO A WORKING STATE WITH THE BACKUPS THAT THEY CREATED. What the hell is so hard to comprehend about that concept? What business is it of yours whether or not I want to back up my executables? Or my Windows directory? Or frankly anything else on my hard drive that I damn well choose? What makes you think that forcing me to reinstall the OS, reinstall all my applications, and run a whole mess of updates BEFORE I can use the "backup" that I created with OneCare is a sensible way to configure your software?

     

    Enough.

     

    I'll be returning the software to the retailer in the morning as it is not fit for the purpose for which it was sold. If I get any grief, which I doubtless will, then I will charge it back with the credit card company and tell the store to take it up with MS. More to the point they can take it up with whichever of your "study groups" decided that this asinine way of doing things was even remotely acceptable.

     

    You had a great chance to grab a decent sized share of a lucrative market among home and small business users with OneCare. You just blew it big time.

    Saturday, November 17, 2007 12:50 AM
  •  Speedie98 wrote:

     

    MS: when people back up their PCs THEY EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO RESTORE THEM TO A WORKING STATE WITH THE BACKUPS THAT THEY CREATED. What the hell is so hard to comprehend about that concept? What business is it of yours whether or not I want to back up my executables? Or my Windows directory? Or frankly anything else on my hard drive that I damn well choose? What makes you think that forcing me to reinstall the OS, reinstall all my applications, and run a whole mess of updates BEFORE I can use the "backup" that I created with OneCare is a sensible way to configure your software?

    I'm sorry that you're disappointed in OneCare because of the backup functionality differing from your expectations.

    OneCare backup was never designed to perform a full PC backup and trying to use it that way by including C:\ would have met with failure. OneCare backup was designed to backup important documents, pictures, etc. Not program files and not system files. In the even of a system failure, the backups are portable in that they can be restore to any PC running OneCare *after* the operating system was restored, typically with a Windows disc or system restore process provided by the OEM. Programs, including OneCare would need to be reinstalled.

    What you are seeking is way beyond the scope of a US$49.95 (for 3 computers for 12 months PC protection) program whose primary purpose is security and whose secondary purpose is to provide peace of mind for the average home or small business user in their important *data* files are "protected" by being backed up.

    If you wish to do full PC backup in your environment, you can turn off backup monitoring in OneCare and use a different solution while still reaping the benefit of everything else provided by OneCare. Personally, I use three different solutions:

    1. Full PC backup provided in Vista Ultimate

    2. Acronis True Image full backup

    3. Windows Home Server (during the beta, I am awaiting delivery of the HP unit from Amazon) for *all* of my home PCs.

    -steve

     

    Saturday, November 17, 2007 2:55 AM
    Moderator
  • Then it should be plainly stated that the backup is not a complete backup, and only covers some user data. That information is not explicit, nor does it state anywhere on the package that you can't actually control what is backed up to any great degree. In fact the page on the OneCare website that describes the Backup and Restore in detail states that:

     

    "The first time you run Backup, Windows Live OneCare makes a copy of all your important files and folders. This is a full backup. "

     

    It's patently not a full backup. Nor does it even hint at the fact that your applications or operating system aren't considered important.

     

    >>What you are seeking is way beyond the scope of a US$49.95 (for 3 computers for 12 months PC protection) program whose primary purpose is security and whose secondary purpose is to provide peace of mind for the average home or small business user in their important *data* files are "protected" by being backed up.<<

     

    Really? This functionality wasn't beyond the free NT Backup utility that used to be included with 2000/XP (in which you could choose what to back up to an extremely granular level), so it's interesting that expecting it to be included in a paid addon package for an allegedly more advanced and certainly more expensive OS is suddenly an unreasonable expectation.

     

    Also where is it stated to the potential buyer that backup is only a secondary purpose of the software? Or that MS reserve the right to castrate the functionality within the package while leaving you no option but to upgrade?

     

    >>1. Full PC backup provided in Vista Ultimate<<

     

    Which won't back up to a network drive because, you know, this has only been available in similar image-based packages for several years now. And home users don't have things like network shares on other PCs in the house or (gasp) home NAS boxes.

     

    >>2. Acronis True Image full backup<<

     

    Necessitating yet another purchase. So now we're up to $300+ for the OS, plus $50 for OneCare, plus third party backup software to replace the incapable backups in both Vista and OneCare.

     

    >>3. Windows Home Server<<

     

    ...and yet another purchase.

     

    No thanks. I'd rather pay more for a product that honestly states what it does up front and doesn't foist mandatory unwanted upgrades (I use that in the loosest sense of the word) on its users.

    Saturday, November 17, 2007 3:31 AM
  • Speedie98

     

    I understand your frustration at the removal of the Inclusion feature, that was to be expected from a few users who have been attempting to use the OneCare backup in ways that weren't intended. In fact, from what I can gather it's the exsct reason this ability was removed, since many confused the purpose as a system level backup, which it never was.

     

    I also agree that the 'literature' isn't as clear about this being a 'data backup' as it could be. However, it also never states that programs or the operating system are backed up, so it isn't making mis-statements. Most confusion here comes from more technical users who assume certain abilities in backup which aren't required for a program designed for individual home or SOHO users, which is the OneCare target market.

     

    I understand your general confusion, in fact it's exactly what 's always happened to all the non-technical users in reverse. The reason it happens is that technical users are so used to having everything designed for them that they immediately assume things which are not true about OneCare. Interesting that this doesn't seem to occur with the non-technical users, since most of them will ask questions if they're not sure. The most dangerous assumption for them was the belief that backup included programs if they included the folders, so this ability was removed.

     

    Your course of action makes sense and is appropriate for the customer situation you have. OneCare isn't suited to the backup scenario you require, though the rest of the product might suit the malware protection requirements. Since most NAS devices can be made to appear as local drives, I'd think the Vista backup could be 'tricked' into using the NAS in this way, but I've never attempted this so it's only a guess.

     

    Good luck at finding the combination you need, I don't think it exists for low cost since business products generally come at a higher expectation and thus cost.

     

    OneCareBear

    Saturday, November 17, 2007 6:24 AM
    Moderator
  • They did it because they think the users are too stupid to know how to properly use a feature. They think everyone is 4 years old and they don't want the tech support time spent on explaining things to people. Problem is, this is going to cause more tech supoort issues than it will help.

     

    They know better about your data to be backed up than you do. You don't know what you are doing so they do it for you.

     

    Also, they didn't want it to be better than Vista's backup feature in some versions, giving XP people even less reason to upgrade to Vista.

     

    There are MUCH better programs out there that do what WLOC does and does more and does it better. Some of those programs have TRUE online backup where you choose what files to backup to the offsite backup facility, not just pictures. I mean since you PAY EXTRA for that feature, it's your choice, unlike WLOC which thinks pictures are the only thing that's important.

     

    WLOC 2.0 is a downgrade, not an upgrade. First time I have seen a company go backwards like this.

    Sunday, November 18, 2007 3:53 PM
  • Scortch2,

     

    The OneCare backup design has been focused on a particular segment of the user population, of which you claim not to be a member. Most would take that information and use their energy to change direction to a product that supplied the abilities that they require.

     

    The primary purpose of the OneCare backup has always been the backup of user data, not programs or operating system files. This is purposefully limited and focused on the non-technical Home/SOHO user population. It will, however, also provide for the requirements of some portion of the technical population though obviously not all.

     

    OneCare is not positioned to compete in the business market space of several PCs or more, that is the realm of the ForeFront Client Security and related product family. However, there is a market segment between the Home/SOHO and Active Directory based business networks that the ForeFront products address that Microsoft products don't currently address well. Whether this is by choice or oversight I don't really know, but it's quite clear that ranting won't get it resolved.

     

    If you really wish to see your needs provided for, you'd be better served to describe the market space that's not being addressed. Unless there is a clear understanding that a significant number of potential customers are being missed between these two product groups, there's not likely to be any attempt within Microsoft to address it. I've been one of only a very few who've voiced this concern since late in the original OneCare Beta.

     

    You keep focusing your efforts on changing the focus of OneCare to become more technically oriented, which you've been told time and again isn't appropriate to this product. What I believe you want is a product that would allow more advanced controls than OneCare but still include the core features of AntiVirus, AntiSpyware, Firewall and maintenance tools that it provides. If this isn't correct, then try to enlighten us in a more positive way as to where I'm incorrect and what you really want.

     

    There are a few others like you out there, but none of them have spearheaded a focused description of what their desired product would be. They only pick at random features of a product that will never be what they desire. Since OneCare and ForeFront Client Security, along with the Windows Defender and MSRT products are all really modular components of the same AntiMalware engines and the Windows Filtering Platform, it's obvious that multiple products can be supported. Showing the need for an additional product niche (Technical users? Small to Medium business w/o AD? Something else?) is the real challenge.

     

    OneCareBear

    Sunday, November 18, 2007 10:03 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    >>The primary purpose of the OneCare backup has always been the backup of user data, not programs or operating system files.<<

     

    This is the point that both you and Stephen are either missing or intentionally ignoring. This has NEVER been stated and your own product information pages STILL state that the program does a full backup. And up until MS decided to foist this downgraded "upgrade" onto unsuspecting users it also was NOT the case. I had the backup feature set to back up my entire C: and I can see all of the Windows files (including drivers, DLL files, executables, everything) in the last backup that was taken.

     

    http://onecare.live.com/standard/en-us/prodinfo/backuprestoredetails.htm

     

    Quote: "The first time you run Backup, Windows Live OneCare makes a copy of all your important files and folders. This is a full backup. The next time you run Backup, OneCare compares the files on your computer to the files it has already backed up."

     

    It is very clearly NOT what any sane person would call a full backup. Full = complete = everything. What you are backing up is a limited subset of files that in no way would allow a user to recover from a hard drive failure or other catastrophic event. And you don't make them aware of that.

     

    You're also both missing/dodging the point that a full system backup was always available in XP via the free NT Backup utility that was included with it. Full system backups, to network shares, with no hassles. If you want to provide a dumbed down version then that's great, but those of us with Vista who know what we're doing now have no way to make a full backup to a network share. And that's after we've paid for a vastly more expensive OS and then paid for OneCare on top of it.

     

    So please explain how this represents progress?

    Monday, November 19, 2007 12:27 AM
  •  

    OneCare Bear: you want constructive ideas and that's fine, but you have to expect that people are going to need to vent when you/MS try to nanny them and tell them that it's for their own good because, when you boil it down, you consider them too stupid to understand functionality that has existed in Windows for years.

     

    Regarding your question about the market that MS are missing: I don't think they're actually missing a market, more missing the way that many SOHO users work these days (and have been moving towards since Windows 98). Multiple PCs in the household. Networks set up, often workgroup based. And a key requirement is that if they lose a hard drive, they want to be back up and running ASAP.

     

    Hard drives fail with alarming regularity these days as they are built down to a price rather than up to a standard. Not all systems come with a PC restore CD or DVD. Not everyone buys a Dell or Gateway. Even if they have a restore CD/DVD, it doesn't cover any third party applications that they've installed, it doesn't cover the fact that they may have uninstalled unwanted bundled software, and that they are likely to have changed bunches of settings. It also doesn't save them from having to spend hours running Windows Update, with associated multiple reboots, just to get their PC back to where it was. Having done that, they then have to customize everything again then finally restore their data files from OneCare. It's a process that takes literally hours and it's completely unnecessary with a full backup.

     

    My question to you is what's more confusing to your customer base? That they have an alleged backup but still need to jump through the hoops outlined above? Or that you present them with two options: back up everything, or back up certain files? And if they do the full backup then they can restore their PC to the state at the time of backup quickly and easily?

     

    Vista has Complete PC Backup, but it will only back up to an internal drive. It won't back up to a network share whether it is mapped with a drive letter or not. Ironically the backup in OneCare won't allow you to back up to a second internal drive as it's not judged safe enough. So which is it? Are users supposed to be backing up to drives off the PC or not? And if so, why aren't they given the tools to do it when those tools used to be a free part of the OS?

     

    Vista also has file backup, but it's the same castrated subset of files that OneCare now offers.

     

    Again, I come back to the point that Windows going back at least as far as 2000 has had the ability to do a full system backup to a network share. Yet as the prevalence of networks and thus network shares has become more prevalent, MS seems bent on taking the retrograde step of removing the ability to back up to them despite their suitability for the purpose.

     

    Bottom line: going from an OS that included full network share backup capabilities in the year 2000 to a more expensive and supposedly more advanced OS in 2007 that doesn't include it (even with a paid addon) is not progress. It is a huge step backwards that MS should have addressed in OneCare, and appeared to have, but apparently haven't. So effectively we're paying now for a more expensive OS and additional software from MS, and you're giving us worse backup capabilities than we had 7+ years ago.

    Monday, November 19, 2007 1:02 AM
  • Speedie98,

     

    First, get it through your head that neither Steve nor I are Microsoft employees, we are volunteer Moderators who also use the product ourselves. As such we have been involved in the product beta process since before the first official release, so we have a deeper understanding of its history and purpose than many who post here, but we are really only posting our opinions, not official Microsoft statements, though we may echo them if they are known.

     

    That said, it's clear that you mis-understand some fundamental things about backup and also have little understanding of the issues that Microsoft intended to address with OneCare and also those that they didn't.

     

    You seem to have decided that the term 'full backup' means 'image backup' which is entirely untrue. Microsoft hadn't provided such ability in the past and in fact until recently recommended against the use of this type of backup. Actually, a 'full backup' only implies a backup of all the files within a particular backup set, not necessarily all files on a drive. Any Network Administrator is fully aware of this distinction, since they often perform a weekly full backup that includes only portions of the data files on one or more drives and/or systems, and then perform incremental or differential backup of the same selections for the remainder of a week.

     

    Note that I also stated in my earlier response to you that I felt this could be more clearly presented as a data backup, but there is noting anywhere stating that either programs or operating system are included, this is completely your own inference and in no way stated by Microsoft. Simply copying all the files from a drive will not result in a successful backup of the operating system and programs, since it will miss critical information such as the registry and some hidden files that are necessary to recover the system as a whole.

     

    You also reference the NT Backup utility, which was considered a major failure by Microsoft since almost no one (very small percentage of customers) ever bothered to use it. This was the reason the OneCare backup was created, and also why it was changed to operate by file type groups rather than folder heirarchy. It was not intended to address technical users, but rather exactly the opposite. It was also determined that most such users wouldn't attempt to rebuild a failed drive themselves, but rather would return the PC to the manufacturer/store or some other technical support entity. Whether a rebuild CD or imaging were used to rebuild the PC doesn't really matter, OneCare was only concerned with restoring the personal data files after this was complete.

     

    The fundamental purpose behind the creation of OneCare was good basic protection from malware and simplification of some maintenance tasks including a simple data backup scheme that more users might actually bother to perform. It wasn't intended to compete with either mojor business or imaging products and was thus kept somewhat limited to simplify its use.

     

    The key thing to understand is that OneCare isn't intended to compete with high end products from other vendors, nor their own business products. It's positioned as a simple entry level protection and maintenance suite at a low annual cost for the home and SOHO markets.

     

    You are focusing on technology rather than purpose, so you are inherently looking at the wrong product, which has been my entire point. That you don't understand this is obvious, just as it has been with Scortch2. Put simply, OneCare isn't the product you are looking for, and unless its direction changes drastically it's not likely it ever will be.

     

    OneCareBear

    Monday, November 19, 2007 5:47 AM
    Moderator
  •  OneCareBear wrote:

    That said, it's clear that you mis-understand some fundamental things about backup and also have little understanding of the issues that Microsoft intended to address with OneCare and also those that they didn't.

     

    You seem to have decided that the term 'full backup' means 'image backup' which is entirely untrue. Microsoft hadn't provided such ability in the past and in fact until recently recommended against the use of this type of backup. Actually, a 'full backup' only implies a backup of all the files within a particular backup set, not necessarily all files on a drive. Any Network Administrator is fully aware of this distinction, since they often perform a weekly full backup that includes only portions of the data files on one or more drives and/or systems, and then perform incremental or differential backup of the same selections for the remainder of a week.

     

    I stopped reading at this point since you are clearly out of your depth. If you cannot make a distinction between a backup being a full backup of files and an image backup (which is by definition a full backup, and also implies use of a different backup technology type operating at block rather than file level) then you have no right whatsoever to be telling anyone to get anything through their heads.

    Monday, November 19, 2007 6:42 AM
  • OneCareBear,

      Ok, first you say that the team designed WLOC for computer illiterates and then you go off talking about Network Administrators knowing the difference in what "full backup" means. Which is it? It's either made for computer illiterates or it's made for Network Admins. Normal people are insulted by your and the team's attitude toward the customer, much less an admin.

     

    You can't seem to understand the difference between a full file backup and an image backup. NO ONE here has ever mentioned an image backup or wanting one. There IS a difference and we at least, know what it is.

     

    As pointed out above. Microsoft themselves tell the users .....

    How Backup works

    Windows Live OneCare Backup works in stages. First it scans your computer to look for files that are new or that have changed since the last time you ran a backup. Next it shows you the file types that are included in your current backup. You can make changes to this list or add other files and folders. The Backup Wizard then prepares your files, compresses them, and copies the files to the location you choose.

    The first time you run Backup, Windows Live OneCare makes a copy of all your important files and folders. This is a full backup. The next time you run Backup, OneCare compares the files on your computer to the files it has already backed up. If a file has not changed since the last backup, OneCare skips it. Instead, it backs up only those files that are new or have changed since the last backup. This incremental backup saves space and time during subsequent backups.

     

    So, Microsoft is either trying to fool the customer into buying a product that doesn't deliver on what it tells people it can do or, they have no clue what they are talking about. They need to rewrite that entire section so they it's not a lie.

     

    They should just remove this crippled poj they call a backup and let the professionals handle real backup. People like Symantec, McAfee, BitDefender and others. People who know what customers want and need. People who are in touch with the users. Microsoft is so far off base and out of touch. Well, at least the WLOC team and you are. They could care less about the customers.

     

    Wait till people find out WLOC 2.0 is a downgrade and it's too late since they have already renewed.

     

    At this point, WLOC isn't a product for anyone as it lulls them into a false sense of security and then they purchase the product only to find out it's a waste of money and not what they were led to believe it was. Microsoft needs to learn what backup means and understand what people out there want.

     

    OneCare needs to stop pretending it's a product anyone should be looking for. That's what you can't understand. You only agree with Microsoft because it's a product YOU want. I really can't figure out why you can't understand people don't want a product that makes itself out to be something it isn't.

     

    Maybe Microsoft should just stay in the OS business and leave the rest to the people that know what they are doing and what people want for the rest of it.

    Monday, November 19, 2007 7:41 AM
  • Speedie98,

     

    Look up full backup online, it's a confused set of statements to be sure, but it also isn't consistently stated as all files, that's your own personal definition. Unfortunately, it's not as clear as within the software itself, which does state data backup at various stages. This is the simple reason you are confused and can absolutely be improved in the literature, but it still doesn't indicate anywhere that programs or OS files are included.

     

    Scortch2,

     

    Beyond the above, you have chosen to display the most confusing statement to make your point, which is fine. However, you have added accent to the words you choose, which doesn't exist in the original text, only in your own mind. It clearly shows where your confusion lies and why the wording should be changed to include 'data files' or some such as I've stated in every previous post in this thread.

     

    However, unlike what you have decided this means, it does not state all files on the disk, but rather "all your important files" which is the vague statement that needs to be replaced. This doesn't state what you believe, but isn't a clear statement of data files either, so both sides can be argued and niether can ever 'win'. It simply doesn't say what you believe it does, nor is it as clear as it should be to avoid confusion for those with a fixed understanding what backup means. Unfortunately, all backup programs use many words such as 'full' in different ways, so your definition will be distorted to some extent by the programs you have used personally.

     

    As for admins, the key issue here is that the more technical users including admins are generally the most confused by OneCare. This is precisely because they have a preconcieved notion of how OneCare works based on their past experiences with other products. Since they have less experience, the non-technical user tends to read less into such statements and so doesn't fall into the same traps. However, in this case you are correct that words like 'all' and 'important' don't provide a clear definition of 'data files', so yes, this should be changed.

     

    As to not providing what people want, that's your own opinion and preference. It provides the data backup that most users require so that with a re-built PC OS and OneCare installation the user could recover their important personal files, which is all that is really stated.

     

    What percentage of the current or future users will accept this has yet to be determined, only a tiny handful have argued against it at this point in time. Microsoft will need to measure this against the number of issues the earlier method was causing and decide if the trade-off is worth the cost of a few lost customers. That's the difficulty in any sofware design decision, which is always a trade-off between features and complexity.

     

     

    OneCareBear

    Monday, November 19, 2007 2:07 PM
    Moderator
  • The confusion obviously is with you and Microsoft deviating from the description and what people are led to believe.

     

    Only a tiny handful have been doing the beta. When it gets out to all the customers, there will be a much larger number of people upset.

     

    What I highlighted is there, it will and does confuse people as most people see full backup to mean exactly that. Things like all the files and able to choose your files and folders just add weight to what we are talking about, Microsoft not providing what they say they will provide. You can try and twist the meaning anyway you want, it still does not change what is said. My highlighting it was only to show you what Microsoft says since you don't seem to have read it and keep harping about their intent. They can intend to do something all day long but what they write down for the customer to read is something different.

     

    You may read it differently than the rest of us but, that goes along with you believing differently than the rest of us on how WLOC should work also. Out of touch with the normal customer base.

     

    At least all the other programs provide you with the capability to choose files, that it doesn't automatically select, thus allowing for a TRUE FULL file backup (not image). Doing this, they allow for the fact that some program may have data files that they have not thought of to include in their extension list. They can not think of everything out there being used by all the different programs. Just think of how many online games there are alone, including stand alone and web based, that have patch files and hundreds of other file types. These files are important too to some people as it keeps them from having to spend hours and hours downloading them again or keeps them from having ot go back into the game and setting everything back up for every character, wasting hours of their time. The team just simply can't think of every file extension and they can't determine what is important to the customer, only what is important to themselves. That's the part these other companies understand and have done right by simply adding the ability to choose what the program doesn't in it's categories.

     

    If admins are confused by OneCare, then they should not be admins. They should be digging ditches or something. Up until WLOC 2.0, the program was capable of doing exactly what is stated and that statement was clear.

     

    It's called expectations. When you see someone add an ability, you expect other companies to at least match those capabilities and then when they do, at least not take them away in a so called upgrade.

     

    What issues was the previous method causing? Users being able to choose what they wanted to be backed up is an issue? Was the issue a programming mistake that caused problems? What exactly was the problem that caused Microsoft, the ONLY company, to remove such a useful feature?

     

    It all boils down to this. The WLOC team has decided what files are important to them and only allow for backing up those files. They do not give the customer the ability to choose what files and folders are important to the paying customer nor do they have the ability to think of everything that is out there, or what is to come down the road. One simple feature covers those bases completely and efficiently and they decide to remove a VERY important feature. It's like deciding to remove the entire backup section of WLOC, because there were issues.

     

    The meaning of what I highlighted has only changed because of WLOC 2.0 and the removal of a feature. It was what brought some people to WLOC in the first place as not all the companies that are providing that ability now, were doing it back then. Now that they have paid for their subscriptions based on what WLOC WAS capable of doing, they will now be forced to upgrade to a downgrade. It's too late now for many though as they have already renewed their subscriptions and they have no idea what they are about to be hit with.

    Monday, November 19, 2007 8:15 PM
  • I never expected One Care to backup system files,  etc. I expected it to do what the trial program did. Now that I've installed and have been using it for months on 3 computers, One Care backup is changed so that I can't decide which files to back up! I can only decide which files NOT to back up! I have limited space on my backup drive and now it is to be used for files I don't need to back up. I place files in specific folders EXACTLY so that I know which folders to back up. (If I accidentally delete or change a file extension that One Care doesn't back up, I'm out of luck. This is not acceptable! If ONe Care has not been backing up all of the files in those folders, I've been bamboozeld from day one!
    Tuesday, November 20, 2007 3:27 AM
  • Yep, I can no longer tell it to backup my World of Warcraft folder or other online game folders that contain patches, interface files that are addons and so on. WoW uses .exe files for their patches. It means with WLOC I would have to do a lot of manual backups, which defeats the purpose of a backup program automating things. It's why I run Norton 360 now. I have over 1GB of patch files for WoW alone and interface files and saved settings for each character that I would have to backup manually with WLOC. That's a huge amount of time to loose getting things like I want and downloading all the patches again. Like I said, that's just for WoW, that doesn't count the other online games and programs WLOC will not backup.

     

    Norton 360 works great though. I just feel for all those other people out there in the same position, that have renewed their subscriptions though and will loose this ability and have to go somewhere else to find what was once offered in WLOC.

     

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007 6:43 AM
  •  brlfq wrote:
    I never expected One Care to backup system files,  etc. I expected it to do what the trial program did. Now that I've installed and have been using it for months on 3 computers, One Care backup is changed so that I can't decide which files to back up! I can only decide which files NOT to back up! I have limited space on my backup drive and now it is to be used for files I don't need to back up. I place files in specific folders EXACTLY so that I know which folders to back up. (If I accidentally delete or change a file extension that One Care doesn't back up, I'm out of luck. This is not acceptable! If ONe Care has not been backing up all of the files in those folders, I've been bamboozeld from day one!

    brlfq,

     

    Exactly what types of files are you backing up?

     

    Do they include executable types or are you just concerned about backup by folder location?

     

    What are the locations of these folders? Are they stored in program files? The root of the drive? Nested under your personal profile folder?

     

    Have you really tried to perform the backup using the new method and failed in some way (missing files)?

     

    OneCareBear

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007 10:44 AM
    Moderator
  •  Scortch2 wrote:

    Yep, I can no longer tell it to backup my World of Warcraft folder or other online game folders that contain patches, interface files that are addons and so on. WoW uses .exe files for their patches. It means with WLOC I would have to do a lot of manual backups, which defeats the purpose of a backup program automating things. It's why I run Norton 360 now. I have over 1GB of patch files for WoW alone and interface files and saved settings for each character that I would have to backup manually with WLOC. That's a huge amount of time to loose getting things like I want and downloading all the patches again. Like I said, that's just for WoW, that doesn't count the other online games and programs WLOC will not backup.

     

    < SNIP >

     

    So finally after multiple months of us asking you make the first actual statement of what you can't do with the new WLOC backup method.

     

    So what it appears you're stating is that you [were] backing up folders containing program updates, including both executable and other types, correct?

     

    Are these files all installation types, so that by executing or at least copying them you can rebuild the complete WoW program from scratch? Or are you actually backing up the files within the Program Files WoW folder?

     

    Have you used this method to restore WoW in the past? IOW, have you tested your backup method to confirm that it actually performs as expected?

     

    This is the type of information that might actually result in change. I also noted early in our previous discussions that the only potential hole I could see was the issue of backing up program installation files that were downloaded rather than installed from CD/DVD. However, I only perform downloads of utilities and other smaller programs, which don't really take much time to download again and are actually better off being updated to current revs anyway.

     

    If your method actually works and is common to at least a few other online games, it could indicate a significant exception to items the WLOC Team is aware of. This is what was being asked for in the beta, and could have made a big impact if it had been stated back then.

     

    OneCareBear

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007 11:16 AM
    Moderator
  • I could have sworn others mentioned these types of files and others, including source files.

     

    Anyway, yes, I have used this method to rebuild my WoW installation several times. I have built new systems and being able to reinstall WoW from DVD/CD and then use the patch files that were downloaded over the years, to get it up to date and using my saved variable folders and interface folders to put it back to the way it was before I started over, has saved me many many many hours of time downloading the patches again and resetting up everything. I do this with my other online games too. Some of them store things like friends list on the computer also. Have you ever built up a friends list over many years? Could you rebuild one from memory?

     

    There are tons of people out there that have had to rebuild their online games for one reason or another and depend on backups of patch files and other files to save them massive amounts of time.

     

    Sure, I could rebuild everything by re-downloading everything and spending time sitting there on each character setting everything back up the way I had it but, the backups cut that process to a minimal amount of time. It's no different than backing up other files someone else considers important, that could be rebuilt with enough time.

     

    Online games use all sorts of file extensions and every company uses something different. You know how many online games are out there? As I said, wow uses executable files for their patch files. They are downloaded and ran, which patches the game and then it downloads and runs the next one. This continues one by one until they are up to date. Depending on load at the patch servers and connection speed, this could be MANY MANY hours. I'm talking possibly 10 hours or more for some people depending on servers load and connection speed. Dial up users, well, they just start it and go to bed or something. That's why most people backup, if nothing else, the patch files.

     

    There are like 8 million+ WoW users and many million that play other online games that have the same issues and do the same thing. This is what I am talking about. So many companies use so many different file extensions and even .exe. It's also what I mean by "Important" being something different to everyone. To me, it's important data to backup that saves me tons of my time. Isn't that what a backup should do? Along with backing up irreplaceable files?

     

    I keep my online games on their own partitions so it's not on the main drive and the files are only stored in the games directory. That's why it was important for me to have the ability to choose the folder I wanted to backup, no matter where it was and even executables (patch files). Sure, not everything in the game folder needs to be backed up as I can restore some of it from the original DVD/CD but, you know how many files get replaced in an online game over the years? Anyway, it's just easier to select the main folder and be done with it. Others may want to dig further in and select only the folders that contain just the saved character data and patch files. With so many files changing daily as I play the games, it's just easier to have a program that will take care of all that on a regular basis, instead of having to do it manually. 

     

    Either way, that's not possible with WLOC now. It's why I went with Norton 360.

     

    So, what were the issues the team were facing by allowing someone to choose what they wanted to backup? What was so bad that they would remove such a critical feature for so many people?

     

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007 8:02 PM
  • I'll chime in with a couple more examples:

     

    - I have several personal and business websites. The source files for them are in their own folders and include .php, .htm, .js, .inc and many other extensions. It's also common for me to have .old files which exist from taking a copy of a file before making radical changes to it. My guess is that many SOHO and home users also have websites of one kind or another that live in their own folders, and for which all manner of non-standard file extensions are critical.

     

    - I have SQL dump files in my My Documents folder and also in C:\SQL Backups which are critical.

     

    In both of the above cases, simply backing up needed folders is a) simpler and b) the only way to have a complete backup of required data files. These are just off the top of my head examples of situations where OneCare can't know more about what a user considers critical than the user does, and the user needs to be given some credence for having the capability to make their own decisions.

     

    Perhaps you (as in Microsoft) should take a look at the way the IBM Tivoli CDP product works. It has a basic section where you can choose applications whose files you want backed up (dummy mode for want of a better term) and a section where more advanced users can select folders and non-standard extensions to be covered.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007 8:15 PM
  •  OneCareBear wrote:

     brlfq wrote:
    I never expected One Care to backup system files,  etc. I expected it to do what the trial program did. Now that I've installed and have been using it for months on 3 computers, One Care backup is changed so that I can't decide which files to back up! I can only decide which files NOT to back up! I have limited space on my backup drive and now it is to be used for files I don't need to back up. I place files in specific folders EXACTLY so that I know which folders to back up. (If I accidentally delete or change a file extension that One Care doesn't back up, I'm out of luck. This is not acceptable! If ONe Care has not been backing up all of the files in those folders, I've been bamboozeld from day one!

    brlfq,

     

    Exactly what types of files are you backing up?


    All types. I have folders that contain installation files, exe's, etc. If I download a program from some Companies website, I want all of those files backed up AND I want to specify which folders that are backed up. One Care's default backup was over 100 gigabytes!

     

     OneCareBear wrote:

    Do they include executable types or are you just concerned about backup by folder location?

    They include all types of files. The backup software should backup every file in the folders I specify. If I've accidentally renamed a filetype that One Care doesn't backup, I'm up the creek!

     OneCareBear wrote:

     

    What are the locations of these folders? Are they stored in program files? The root of the drive? Nested under your personal profile folder?

    Most of the folders are off the root; "c:\netfiles" for example. Some are nested several folders deep; "c:\Pictures\Nikon\New Pics\Thanksgiving" for example. I don't think you can store folders in program files, can you? I can see that perhaps I might want to backup a folder that's in the "Program files" folder if that's what  you mean. The folders I may decide to backup may be any on any drive connected to my computer.



     OneCareBear wrote:

    Have you really tried to perform the backup using the new method and failed in some way (missing files)?

    Yes, but that is a separate issue. (I deselected all of the choices One Care made except "other files" and told it to backup. It created the proper folders on my backup drive but didn't backup. That's when I discovered the "feature" that won't allow me to specify the folders I want backed up! And the further feature that One Care does'nt backup certain file types.)


    If version 2 doesn't allow me to specify which folders to backup AND version 2 doesn't backup every file in those folders, it is useless to me. I want to backup the files and folders I specify. I'm not going further into trying to get ONE Care to back up properly if by definition it won't backup the folders I specify.


    In addition, I have hundreds of folders on my computer. I need to backup a dozen. Why should I have to "unclick" hundreds of folders to get the one's I want backed up? Why not offer both options?


    I do appreciate the time you're taking to respond.
    Chris
    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 1:38 AM
  • Scortch2 and Speedie98,

     

    First, let me thank you for taking the time to respond with your clear explanations of what you backup and why lack of folder inclusion makes that difficult to impossible. This is all I've ever requested and I'm glad to finally have some good examples, albeit a bit late for the WLOC 2.0 release. Either way, your examples are generally clear enough for others to be able to reference for 'me too' posts so we can learn what the numbers of affected people might be.

     

    Next, I want to appologize for what will be a limited response since I'm heading out of town in the morning and will have a 28.8kbps dial-up connection at best over the holiday weekend. I'm going to try to respond to all in this one message and will catch any added questions when I return.

     

    To answer a key question about the reason for the removal of the Folder Inclusion feature, it's actually quite simple. Significant numbers of users were using the folder backup as if it was an image backup or program backup (program files) capability. When their systems failed, they then learned that this wasn't true and often got quite mad (some even as much as Scortch2) that it didn't work as they expected. There may also be other reasons I'm not aware of, but this situation alone would have been enough to casue them to remove the Inclusion feature to remove the possibility of this confusion.

     

    Unfortunately, during the beta only a very few made any mention of this issue and most of those simply said 'put it back'. Without any real explanation of why or what precisely was missing, the WLOC Team had no valid argument indicating there was a need to fix anything. Since the Team obviously had their own reasons for doing this, a few people saying they wanted it back but giving no real reasons to back it up had no real impact. However, that's now all water over the bridge, so where do we go from here?

     

    For those needing to backup executables, there isn't a solution at present other than maybe to zip up everything and backup the zip, which is obviously not pretty or even workable in some cases. This is why I've wanted to hear specifically what executable files might need to be backed up, as that's really the most significant problem since almost everything else has a relatively simple workaround. You have given a couple good examples, but we can use more, especially from others to back you up.

     

    The other issue you've mentioned is how to backup only the folders you want without getting everything. Assuming the file types contained in these folders are anything other than executable file types, it's actually quite simple. Just leave all file types (especially the Other category) in backup checked unless you know you really don't want them, say video files for example. Then go into Exclusions and simply use it backwards, by first unchecking at the top level and then selecting only those folders in the hierarchy that you really want backed up. Since the 'Other' category should be every extension other than those listed in the standard file type groupings and of course executables, this should work.

     

    The point here is that other than executable files, there's nothing that I'm aware of that can't be backed up. That's why I've continually asked what executable files need to be preserved and why. So keep those reasons coming if you wish to see this changed. Remember that screaming and venting won't get it done, it will simply be ignored as it has been to this point. The Team needs good arguments and good examples to see a reason to resolve an issue that to them doesn't even exist at present. Your posts just above are a good start.

     

    Over the next few weeks we'll get a better idea how many are really affected and what the real issues are.

     

    OneCareBear

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 6:44 AM
    Moderator
  • Have a good holiday weekend OneCareBear and everyone else too.

     

    Yea, I just though we had covered all that before as to why.

     

    WoW uses

     

    .exe - for patch files

    .log, .dll, .html, .txt, .lua & .lua.bak, .xml, .pub, .tmp, .mpq, .wdb and so on.

     

    Maybe just have it so that it's a link to advanced backup features or something and better describe what will happen and explain that this is not an image backup program. In the advanced section, have a place to add files and folders to the Other category. A good explanation would go a long way to curing the problem and be able to leave a feature in that's needed.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 8:14 AM
  • I'll admit that I only browsed through this thread.  But here are some points that need to be considered....

    1.  The average user won't know the difference between their system files and 'data' files.  So, they'll assume that "All your important files" will include the system and program files (or at least some of the required ones like OneCare).  Don't believe me?  Let me ask you a question.  If you don't know the concepts, would you think that the files which make your computer start up are considered important?  I know I would.  And I'm willing to bet that tech support hears this on a fairly regular basis.

    2.  One of the reasons given in beta chats and other places for the change is that most of the file types that are excluded could potentially contain a virus or other harmful software.  Now, before you say "Well isn't that what the antivirus is supposed to take care of?" Yes, it is.  But, rather than having a situation where something that their antivirus misses reinfect a computer, they opted to not let you restore the file in the first place.  Do I agree with this?  Not necessarily. But, I'm a realist.  I realize that antivirus programs (NO MATTER WHO MAKES THEM) are not 100% effective.  And I realize that most virus-creators test their creations against the major antivirus programs BEFORE they release them.

    3.  When the average user gets into the "Configure Backup" and they see what file types are included, they'll most likely go with the defaults.  Unless they're somewhat technically inclined.  In which case, they'll either use the Advanced features, or they'll find a third party solution that does what they want (including the OS's built in backup, which is ALWAYS an option).

    4.  In all of the courses that I've taken concerning Computers, the 'accepted' definition of a "Full Backup" includes all files on the drive that is being backed up.  A "System State" backup is the system files and registry files only.  And a differential or an incremental backup is only the files that have changed (one is from the last full backup, and one is from the last incremental or differential backup).  Which is why if you use NTBackup or whatever the name is in XP/Vista, it creates Startup diskettes.  Because you're creating an entire backup of your drive.  OneCare does NOT do this, because it's not designed to be a full backup (only a full DATA backup).

    5.  For the technically inclined, if you don't want to download your exe and other files that One Care doesn't backup after reinstalling, then try this.  Rename them to either .exesafe (or whatever the filetype is with safe after it) or just .safe.  An example so you don't get confused would be like this.  SetupOneCare.exe would be renamed to either "SetupOneCare.exesafe" or "SetupOneCareexe.safe"  Either way, the file type has changed, and OneCare doing it's duty, will back the file up.  And when you need to run the file, you simply rename it back, run it, then rename it back to the safe ext so OneCare will back it up again.

    A simple * after the phrase "all of your important files" which leads to fine print that says "Does not include Operating System, or Program files" or "Please see this page for more information about what file types are not included" with a link to the page in the help site is all that really needs to be added.  On the box, it should lead to the fine print saying "Does not include the following file types: with a list".
    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 9:01 PM
  •  

    Patrick,

     

    Agree with most of what you say and it's interesting that you also mentioned NT Backup.

     

    I don't want to beat a dead horse (and OneCare Bear will want to flay me raw for saying it hehe) but part of my issue with this new way of doing things is that Vista lacks the full backup via NT Backup that XP has. Instead it has either the same type of partial backup that OneCare now offers, with the same lack of choice, or it has an image type backup that will only save to an internal hard drive. Neither is an acceptable choice for anyone wanting a complete/full backup that they can quickly restore an entire system drive from. Having the backup on a drive in the same PC as you're backing up is not good practice which OneCare itself acknowledges by prohibiting backups to an internal drive.

     

    NT Backup would back up the entire C: and then had a System State checkbox that would take care of the registry and so forth. I understand that many people didn't use it, but aside from the interface (which was kludgy at best) perhaps the reason for that is that it was hidden in Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup which is hardly intuitive. It was never integrated into a product like OneCare or even into the Security Center or Control Panel.

     

    So...would it be worth the OneCare team exploring a two option interface:

     

    1) The current backup that it offers with maybe a little more choice in file extensions and folders.

     

    2) A dumbed down version of the NT Backup full backup capability i.e. an entire drive or drives plus the system state files/settings with just a couple of checkboxes and a click.

     

    That way both kinds of user are covered with what is otherwise an excellent all-in-one product that would be well positioned to take chunks of market share from Norton and friends.

     

    As an aside, if the Vista Complete PC Backup could save to a network share, and offer incremental or differential images like Acronis True Image does, then for my part we wouldn't be having this conversation. The built-in tools just don't cut it though.

     

    Speedie

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 9:28 PM
  • See, that's the problem.

     

    1. Microsoft is the only company gimping the backup that comes with security software.

    2. They are actually providing a false sense of security for those people that DON'T know any better.

    3. They aren't providing people that do know better, with a program that works to do what they want.

    4. They are deciding what's important for the customer, instead of letting the customer decide what's important.

     

    Now, why in the world would I waste time sitting there renaming all those files I want to backup that WLOC doesn't, to some extension that WLOC will backup when I could just click, grab and drag and be done with it?

     

    I could just use a security package that allows me to choose what I want to backup, which I have now done. I'm sure more WLOC users will be doing the same thing now.

     

    The users that don't know any better are going to believe that WLOC's backup is going to protect their data but, when they end up having to restore everything and find out that WLOC didn't back up that data because the team decided that wasn't important, they are going to be pissed, and rightly so. To me, that's a disservice to the customers, for the sole purpose of trying to reduce confusion.

     

    You don't remove a feature that's absolutely needed because it creates confusion for a few people, you better explain to them what it does or does not do and get rid of the confusion.

     

    If someone can't read English and the signs on the road confuse them, do you remove the signs or do you explain what they mean? If someone is confused about features on a calculator, do you remove them because it confuses someone or, do you teach them how to use them? I could go on forever but, you get the point, I hope.

     

    As far as Vista's backup, again Microsoft needs to get a clue. Why bother building in a backup feature when it's gimped all to ***? Microsoft just has their heads up their butt is all. Just remove the code and tell people to buy a REAL backup program. That's what I tell em.

     

    If Microsoft is going to add features to an OS, they need to learn to do it right or don't bother doing it at all. Plain and simple.

     

    That's why I still use XP. Vista offers me nothing. Now when they went from Windows 98SE to XP, it was a totally different story. I was out there at the stores the day it released because I was in the beta and I loved it. 

     

    They have dumbed down WLOC so much that the advanced user can no longer get done what they need to do. They did the same thing in Vista, for the most part. I totally agree you need a mode that defaults to protecting the user from themselves but, you don't do it to the point that you take away the ability of the advanced user to get done what he needs to do. All you end up doing there is forcing the user to go somewhere else for their needs and cost them more headaches and money.

     

    Thursday, November 22, 2007 5:50 AM
  • Thanks for using backup. We wish to make our product simple and easy to use. As configuring the backup is complex with the include/exclude coupled with categories, we chose to drop the include feature. By default we include all the files except global excludes(like exe, com etc) and system/temp  folders and provided an option to exclude. To give more control to the advanced users, we added a new file category called “Other Files” to make sure that we cover all the unknown files, including those you create in future.  For more information please see the question 2 of our FAQ, (http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1924436&SiteID=2). In almost all the cases the system files(eg: exe, dll) can be either regenerated or downloaded or copy is available. Also, most of the time just restoring the system files is not sufficient and requires extra work to make them work.  

     

    Please note that this functionality was not changed from our Beta program. Having said that, we do like to hear any other reasons why the system files need to be backed up.”

    Thursday, November 22, 2007 2:02 PM
  • Sundar, thanks for the reply.

     

    Please refer to the 1st and 8th message above yours.

     

    First, I do want to thank you and the team for all the effort you all have put into this program. Unfortunately, the one key feature that is important to a lot of us that was removed, is a program killer for many of us. Out of all WLOC can do, that one feature was a major one.

     

    As stated by many of us, it's not so much system files that can be replaced by a reinstall of the OS and downloads of system file updates that are a problem. It's .exe files and other extensions you chose not to include that are used by many other programs out there, like online games and so on. It's files that are not included in the backups that we would like to have included and the only way to make sure important files we want backed up are, is to have an option in the "Other Files" category that will allow the user to "Add Files" and "Add Folders" like all the other programs out there do. That way, everything the user wants, that is important to them, whether it's an .exe file or not, will be backed up. I mentioned in the post above why. It's really a simple feature that makes sure the user gets done what he wants done.

     

    I'm sorry but there is nothing complex about allowing a person to select which files and/or folders to include in a backup. Maybe to you all from a programming point of view but, not to people that need that feature. Rule changes are just not going to cut it.

     

    As mentioned, online game companies use .exe for patches. They are downloaded and ran one at a time and if a game has been around for awhile, that can mean many files and if you are a dial up users, that can mean a LONG time you have to spend doing it. Backup programs are supposed to make things easier to recover from a failure, not harder.

     

    Just having the ability for the advanced user to backup what he wants, makes sense. It just doesn't make sense to limit the user to the point that it causes them to have to go somewhere else for their needs when something really simple can be added to allow it.

     

    If Symantec, McAfee, BitDefender and other security programs that have a backup feature allow for this, then why not Microsoft? It only makes sense from a user standpoint.

     

    We don't care about system folders. We only care about being able to choose what folders and files we want but, if a user wants to choose a system folder, don't you think it's his right to do so? It's his computer and his data.

     

    Maybe you should also look at how Norton 360 does their backups. I think it's a better way of storing them also. It's much easier and less confusing to the user. You don't have the complexity of one huge file.

     

    I honestly see no complexity to having a choice of what files a user wants the program to backup. It's their data, let them be the judge on what's important to them. You can have the defaults but, when it comes to the "other files" or "user selected files" category or whatever you want to call it, just allow the user to select the file and/or folder they want to backup and backup everything in that folder they choose regardless of it's extension. This provides simplicity for the illiterate and depth for the advanced user that needs it.

     

    Thursday, November 22, 2007 3:52 PM
  •  Sundar Aravamudhan wrote:

    Thanks for using backup. We wish to make our product simple and easy to use. As configuring the backup is complex with the include/exclude coupled with categories, we chose to drop the include feature. By default we include all the files except global excludes(like exe, com etc) and system/temp  folders and provided an option to exclude. To give more control to the advanced users, we added a new file category called “Other Files” to make sure that we cover all the unknown files, including those you create in future.  For more information please see the question 2 of our FAQ, (http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1924436&SiteID=2). In almost all the cases the system files(eg: exe, dll) can be either regenerated or downloaded or copy is available. Also, most of the time just restoring the system files is not sufficient and requires extra work to make them work.  

     

    Please note that this functionality was not changed from our Beta program. Having said that, we do like to hear any other reasons why the system files need to be backed up.”



    Sundar,
    Thanks for your note. The operative line in your note, however, is "almost always". I need the to know that every file in a folder I select is backed up. I have a folder "c:\netfiless" that contains 284 folders which contain even more folders that have every kind of extension imaginable! These are some of my most important files. They are a collection of many programs and files downloaded from the internet since early 2004. In the event that I need an older program to access something from that time period, I've got that old file AND the program that runs it! One Care Backup, by excluding certain file types, essentially destroys this system. It would be impossible to compare the file types in literally hundreds of folders to make sure One Care had backed up these important files. Therefore, Once again, I must KNOW that every file in the folders I select is backed up without fail!

    Chris
    Thursday, November 22, 2007 7:33 PM
  •  

    Thanks (Scorch2, Chris and others) for your feedback and your time. Currently you can select categories and exclude any files/folders. If we add includes as well, the selection can be in three orthogonal axes, category/include/ exclude. It becomes complex to understand and confusing. For eg: I select document files category and excluded a folder and then included its subfolder and it can go any length. That is the reason behind why we decided to part with include. Definitely, it is not complex from the programming perspective.

     

    I do noting your reasons for backing up system files.

     

    We value your feedback, suggestions and appreciate your continued support.

    Friday, November 23, 2007 11:41 AM
  • If having an include feature is confusing for someone, then they don't need to be using the program.

     

    It has nothing to do with system files.

     

    I can't believe I am reading this. You removed such a vital feature for so many people simply because it confused a few people? WoW

     

    Should they remove road signs because they confuse people? Should they remove the ability to program a VCR because it confuses people? Should they do away with cars because they confuse some people?

     

    You take away a person's ability to chose the data that's important to them to backup, simply because it confused a few people? I wish you all would realize how silly that is and how much it has ruined the backup portion of this program.

     

    You would rather push customers away to another company and program for their needs, than to confuse a few people?

     

    Like I said, that one feature being removed is a program killer for a lot of people. You might as well do away with the whole program because it confuses some people.

     

    WOW!!! Unbelievable.

     

    If someone is confused, you don't take away what confuses them, especially when it's a vital feature to so many. If I ran a business with this philosophy, it would go down in flames before it even got started good. I can't believe that is Microsoft's philosophy. Remove something if it confuses someone. What next, removing the ability to cut and paste files because it confuses someone?

     

    Maybe you should ask Bill Gates if removing vital features because it confuses someone, is a good idea. Well, maybe you shouldn't because he might would fire you.

     

    Removing the ability for a person to chose to backup what is important to them was wrong, plain and simple. There are just no two ways about it.

    Friday, November 23, 2007 8:36 PM
  •  Sundar Aravamudhan wrote:

     

    Thanks (Scorch2, Chris and others) for your feedback and your time. Currently you can select categories and exclude any files/folders. If we add includes as well, the selection can be in three orthogonal axes, category/include/ exclude. It becomes complex to understand and confusing. For eg: I select document files category and excluded a folder and then included its subfolder and it can go any length. That is the reason behind why we decided to part with include. Definitely, it is not complex from the programming perspective.

     

    I do noting your reasons for backing up system files.

     

    We value your feedback, suggestions and appreciate your continued support.

    Scortch2 and others,

     

    Please pay close attention to my request here. I'm completely behind you as far as the inability to backup what you require, however, I see the issue in an entirely different way. My response here is for Sundar, since I believe he's finally seeing the core issue too and I'd like to make sure we all do.

     

    Sundar,

     

    The focus on the issue of removing the Includes option is the entire reason for the confusion here. Though this is visually the apparent cause, the real problem is less apparent to those without a programming background or understanding of a rules based system.

     

    The primary inability to backup certain files is created entirely by the rule blocking 'System Files'. You noted this in your response, but didn't explain the reasoning. This is what I think really needs to be understood, since no matter what decision is made regarding an Inclusion or Exclusion based structure, the System Files exclusion would remove the ability to backup these particular files.

     

    No where have I seen this decision explained, though I've made my own guess. I'd really like to see this question discussed, since the answer to whether these files (executables and .BAK types, TMP files are more questionable) will ever be allowed is fundamental to whether those here will ever see a resolution.

     

    OneCareBear

    Friday, November 23, 2007 9:44 PM
    Moderator
  • OneCareBear,

      Thanks for recognizing that our needs here do matter and are important. I do understand the rules based system though. I spent 20 years programming so I understand a lot more than some may realize. It's because I do understand the system, that I am able to see the problems it causes. I see the problems this system brings into play and leaving out the ability to fill in the gap that this system leaves, just causes more problems. I do understand why, I just disagree in this particular case (and the case of Vista's backup program which leaves out the same key feature).

     

    The system itself is workable, as other programs are using it successfully but, Microsoft has chosen a rules based ONLY system and in this type of program, a rules only system that leaves out a key rule, is a mistake, in my opinion. The other programs out there realize this. The rules based system is fine for automating some aspects of the program to make it easier. The other programs out there use a mix of rules based and choice based. Giving users the choice, allows for something the program does not include, for whatever reason.

     

    I don't think any of us here care about files in the windows folder or other system level files. I can see why exe files as a general rule are left out and have no problems with that rule, as it cuts down on the amount of HD space required is reduced because those files, for the most part can be easily replaced.

     

    I hope the team will reassess their decision of making WLOC a rules ONLY system. It just doesn't allow exceptions to the rules, which is extremely important in a program of this nature.

     

    The perfect system for this type of program, is a mix of rules based and choice based. It puts the power back into the hands of the user to decide and it also adds the convenience of a rules based system to choose files that are important and files that are not important, in order to speed up the process, simplify the process and for efficiency. You need choice, along with speed, simplicity and efficiency.

     

    Vista's backup and restore is pretty much identical to WLOC 2.0 now and PC World and many others consider it a brain- dead application because user choice has been removed. It's even more hotly debated on the web than the debate here about WLOC 2.0's backup and restore.

     

    I do understand the desire to create something that the user can click on, the program makes all the selections it feels are important and the user just clicks on backup and walks away. The easier you make something, the chances are the common user will use it. That over simplicity though can also bite you and the user in the butt, if you don't allow for choice also.

     

    You say trust us, we know what data is important and that trust is broken because you failed to take something into account and a user looses data, then it hurts the user. You say trust us to have your best interest at heart but, don't allow for choice, it hurts the user.

    Friday, November 23, 2007 11:16 PM
  •  Sundar Aravamudhan wrote:

     

    Thanks (Scorch2, Chris and others) for your feedback and your time. Currently you can select categories and exclude any files/folders. If we add includes as well, the selection can be in three orthogonal axes, category/include/ exclude. It becomes complex to understand and confusing. For eg: I select document files category and excluded a folder and then included its subfolder and it can go any length. That is the reason behind why we decided to part with include. Definitely, it is not complex from the programming perspective.

     

    I do noting your reasons for backing up system files.

     

    We value your feedback, suggestions and appreciate your continued support.



    Thanks Sundar for your reply, however I'm going to confuse you more now.  You say that if you allowed "Includes" that you could get into a situation where a parent folder is excluded, but it's subfolder is included. I'm currently doing that with about half of the folders that you say are important.  For example, I have "Documents and Settings" partially excluded, because the only subfolder that I want is my current username.  In the main Documents and Settings folder, I've unchecked (which I take to mean Excluded) all of the items in the right-hand pane, and only left a check in my current username folder.  You may not define this as "Excluding a folder, but including it's subfolder", but I do. 

    I think we're asking that we be able to include the file types that you decided to exclude.  If you don't want us to be able to include the Program Files and Operating System files, that's fine.  Just take those folders out of the selection (which for the most part, you have).  Or better yet (and this will upset a few people, but it would be an effective solution), make it so that the file types are included in one folder (hard coded) say "Documents and Settings\username\Documents" and subfolders for example.  This would force people to use the "My Documents" folder, as it was intended to be used.  And, it would allow people to back up the setup programs that they may not be able to find otherwise (as Chris pointed out as an example).

    I have to agree with Chris on this also.  I've got programs that I downloaded well over 4 to 7 years ago.  Some of them are no longer available, and others have gone to ad-ware or other shareware types.  So, the older, malware free versions are important to me.  Or, I don't have a license (or didn't want to pay to upgrade to a newer version).  If I can't back them up using OneCare, then why do I have it back anything up?

    Have a nice weeekend and sorry for my rants on top of other rants.
    Patrick.

    Saturday, November 24, 2007 3:01 AM
  • Hi,

     

    I think that the whole issue is about lack of control. I'm having the feeling that I'm no longer in the driver's seat and as an IT Pro I don't like that!

     

    We must assume that you know what you're doing and that you do the "right thing". Now the problem is that your right thing is not necessarily mine

    For example I have our Public Downloads folder, filled with Purchased Software's, Patches, Upgrades, etc all coming in MSI, EXE or other formats and these are not included in the BU and I can't select that folder for BU, actually I can't select any folder.

     

    I do understand that you made a trade off between simpilicity and manageability and that for lots of customers the simple solution suits their needs, but it doesn't work for me.

    Isn't it possible to have an Advanced tab allowing the "nerds" amongst us to change settings, select & deselect options, etc? As far as I'm concerned that is an option I would also like to see on the Tune-Up, e.g. Disable Defrag since I have a Diskeeper 2008 Pro running ...

     

    Cheers,

    Serge

     

    Saturday, November 24, 2007 3:32 PM
  • Scortch2,

     

    I know you believe the problem is with choice, but the team has apparently decided to use a rules based design, which I personally agree is probably appropriate to the purpose. For that reason I'm not attempting to change this core decision, but rather to focus on the actual issue that all of you have, which is inability to backup specific files, regardless of the folder choices you can or cannot make.

     

    I don't disagree with your need to backup or recover any of the files you've specificed (though I think you might want to examine the '.TMP. file you listed), but I do disagree that Includes means 'choice' as you choose to put it. I simply think you don't recognize that the real issue is the broad definition of 'System Files' and the default action to block them.

     

    This is why we keep butting heads, since I doubt the rules based design will change and I'm trying to find a resolution that doesn't require it to, but will still allow you to perform the backup you really need. For that reason I don't wish to argue with you about this subject anymore since I don't believe we'll ever see the core issue the same way. I simply want to attempt to find a workable solution that won't require any more complxity of most users, but will provide you and others the ability you require. If you care to, please read on to fully understand how I see the issue.

     

    Patrick,

     

    I'm glad that you also seem to recognize that the blocked file types are the real issue. I think if you look closely at the 'Exclusions' folder hierarchy and stop to think for a moment, you'll realize that this can easily be though of as an 'Inclusions' structure instead. The reason is that since exclusions are simply the opposite of inclusions, so unchecking is simply the opposite of checking, exactly as you noted when describing your methodology.

     

    The key issue as you discussed is that the 'System Files' rule is overly broad. It encompasses not only true operating system files, but also the Program Files application folders and even executable files stored anywhere on the disk. As you pointed out, this leaves no workaround to allow for backup of these files, regardless of whether they are truly currently operating as executable applications or simply being stored for future use such as installation or patch files might.

     

    I do see an extended set of issues for those like Scortch2, who have such patch and installation files stored within the Program Files structure which is currently also blocked. I understand that this is why he sees the need to revert to a 'choice' based system as he calls it, but that simply opens a can of worms that the rules based system specifically attempted to close. However, if you look closely at the current system, there is a simple workaround available already that isn't always apparent on all systems. This is that any 'non-system' (unrecognized) folder at the root of the drive is also available in the 'Exclusions' structure, so by implication it is automatically included.

     

    So in reality, the only real problem is how to allow the inclusion of the 'System File' types we've already mentioned. If this were possible, only those files stored within the Program Files, Temp and Windows folder structures and possibly a few others would be blocked. Not as easy as an all inclusive 'Includes' I grant you, but workable none the less.

     

    So the only question would become how to enable the backup of these additional file types or in fact if they really need to be blocked at all within the folder hierarchy outside the 'System Folders' mentioned above. I'm not trying to define the entire answer here, just the requirements to allow one to exist. Sundar's post seemed to indicate he already recognized this need to some extent.

     

    OneCareBear

    Sunday, November 25, 2007 6:29 AM
    Moderator
  • OneCareBear,

        Yes I agree with you about the file types issue.  I also noticed that in the inetpub\wwwroot folder for example, only a picture was backed up, however everything else (html or otherwise) wasn't.  This too concerns me, since in this day and age, a lot of "Home users" are also running webservers on their computers.  Be them IIS-related (which isn't possible or at least easy in XP Home or Vista Home Basic) or Apache-related.  I can understand the desire not to back these files up in the Temporary Internet files folder (which goes to your System Files and Folders or the temporary files concern) but in other places?

        I can't understand why anyone would have their patches or setup files in the Program Files folder, although I'm sure that some applications require it.  I would ask though, why they couldn't either save or copy the file to another location as well (so that it will be backed up with OneCare, assuming that the file type issue gets resolved).  This is precisely why I suggested hard coding certain places where all files will be backed up (eg "My Documents" and subfolders or "Shared Documents" and subfolders), however I do understand from a security concept, that the idea of having all of your setup and other executable files in a subfolder of My Documents is a bad idea (viruses hard coded to create setup files there, since they know it will be backed up).

        Anyhow, I have my solution, which works fine for me.  Although it's troublesome, and if you have a lot of exe files or other files that you need to backup, it's probably not the most effective solution in the world.  I just rename the extension to .safe, so that 1) OneCare backs the files up without even questioning them and 2) Down the road somewhere, when I need the file (or if I need to send the file through Messenger or another program which blocks exe files), I know that most likely a virus hasn't infected it (since viruses don't tend to look for the .safe extension).

    Have a wonderful week everyone :-)
    Patrick.
    Sunday, November 25, 2007 7:48 AM
  • Edit: Wow, this turned out a lot longer than I wanted. I'm just glad we can finally sit down and discuss this without throwing the dishes Smile

     

    Yep and I think a rules only system for a backup program is a wrong decision, for the reason that's already been discussed. It removes the control the user has over the things that will go wrong. It removes that user's ability to control the situation for when the rules fail to deliver. That's what the other companies understand.

     

    The rules are good for setting up a minimum backup feature that's fast, simple and efficient that would backup say 95% (just using these figures to make a point) of the important data a normal user without pulling in a ton of stuff they don't need. It's the 5% that the program doesn't backup that people need to have backed up and there is no way to have WLOC BACKUP feature do it.

     

    That's where I believe we are butting heads. You feel that the rules only system will be enough to cover the normal user but, you don't feel like they should add the Include feature for the other 5% that's not covered and for the advanced users that need to select.

     

    I see it as removing control from the advanced users who need that control over what the program fails to include and I see it as removing a safety net. Oh, as far as .tmp file, I agree, I was just listing all the different extensions WoW used. 

     

    Why remove something that will provide extra safety and control for the users simply because it confused a few people. That's a HUGE HUGE feature to do that to for the sake of not confusing maybe 5 people.

     

    It brings the program down to only usable by a small base of the users. The rest that are any sort of user above the 'Turn it on and run a few programs" type person will end up having to go somewhere else for their needs, when they were hoping WLOC would continue to offer what they already needed but no longer do because maybe 5 people were confused.

     

    That's it in a nutshell. The way it is now.

     

    1. It removes any sort of control I have over the program to make it do what I need it to do when the basic automatic part doesn't do the job in it's entirety. It removes my ability to fill in the holes left by the automatic part.

    2. It lulls the user into a false sense of security.

    3. The rules alone are not enough to foresee every situation and does not allow for exceptions to the rules.

    4. The program and the team says Trust me to know more than you about what's important and trust us to back it up (when we all know that's not the case).

     

    1 & 3 are the ones that really bother me the most. Such majorly important issues were removed for the simple fact it confused a few people. It's going to hurt a LOT more people than it will attempt to help.

     

    It's like having a city bus that picks up passengers along it's route that only meet certain set criteria and the people that set that criteria forgot about certain people so, they are not allowed on and no one has the control to say allow this person and that person on. Now, add in a dispatcher that says OK, we have this person and that person and this person over here that are not normally allowed on but, I want you to pick them up from now on until told otherwise.

     

    In this case, Include means total choice. It would have to be in order to overcome the shortcomings of the rules only system that leaves out certain files, which for the most part need to be left out but, not always in certain situations. Include means I have the control to say do it anyway in this situation.

     

    I'm not saying revert back to a choice based system, I am saying have the two working together. The rules based system takes care of pretty much everything AND the choice part allows for the user to fill in the gaps left behind by the rules only.

     

    Example:

     

    Joe loads up the backup and restore part. He goes in to set up what he wants backed up. He goes through the list of default categories putting a check mark by what he wants and maybe browses through the exclude part and sees things he don't want. Now, he says wait a minute now, I know the rules system will not backup .exe files in these my documents folder and so on. He says OK, now wait, I have patch files and other files I know the system will not backup on drive E. So, now he selects the "Other Files" or "Advanced" (or whatever you want to call it) category (now I will be assuming it's working like I would like to see it). In the Other Files" category, he has a "Add Files" and "Add Folders" option. He can click on "Add Files: and go find the files he wants added to the backup list because the automated process wouldn't and it adds it to the files the program will automatically backup, regardless of extension. He then adds his game folder on drive E because he just wants to back it all up because it has the patches and UI addons and other files and it's just easier to grab the whole folder and be done with it (if he is short on space, he could select sub-folders instead or single files).

     

    Boom, he's used a mixed system (rules AND choice) to build the backup list that fits his needs, without having to do half of it manually or revert to yet another program.

     

    The main screen has all the stuff needed for the automated process using the rules system and you have a branch that can be chose for the people that need more that offers choice that does not interfere with the rules part.

     

    All those .exe files in the program files folder are still left out because it was set up by the rules system and that says hey, leave out .exe files. Then it moves onto the choice files and says OK, backup everything listed here regardless. Boom, both systems are working perfectly. They both can co-exist peacefully and everyone is happy.

     

    Oh, if the user excludes the program files folder and then includes it through "other files", then everything in there gets backup because the user made the choice to override the rules based selection.

     

    It would be simple to step through all the rules based selection and then drop down and run through all the choice based selections. All you would have to do is have 2 list that are run through the backup routines. It's a minor coding addition (actually it was already there in 1.6) that would make all the users happy. You can keep the rules system just like it is now with no problems at all.

     

    Sorry if it just sounds all too simple for me, because in my mind and background, it is and i just can't understand why something so simple is removed that hurts so many people just because a few were confused. I just believe in teaching in order to remove the confusion rather than removing in order to remove confusion. I just have a hard time putting in words what I need to say (one reason I have a bad habit of repeating myself).

     

    The way I would do it would be to just have a generic routine that processed the list of files to be backed up and have 2 list processing routines that would process the rules generated list first and then process the choice generated list next.

     

    I mean the program adds up all the choices that are made and tells you how much space will be required right?

     

    BTW OneCareBear, on a more personal note. I know I have been a little hardheaded and all and may have said some things that may have pushed the boundaries of rude or uncalled for. I do get frustrated when people just can't see things the way I do and it's mainly my fault. I know you had your reasons and I had mine. I do apologize if anything I said was out of line for something that should have been a sit down and talk discussion. I hope I was finally able to get you to see where I (and others) were coming from and why. I do understand where you and the team are coming from. In this case (and the case of Vista's backup and restore), it just went too much the other way and left out the control to be able to fill in the gaps when needed.

     

    I don't want files from the program files folder or windows folder or other system folders where the data is useless to me and a waste of space to backup and I trust the rules based selection to take care of that for me. I do however want to be able to override that for the exception that may and will occur. When it comes to my data that is extremely important to me, I want that control. Not having it bothers me (and many others) to the point that we will end up finding the program that allows for it. WLOC used to and it should continue to.

     

    To me, it would be like hiring a company that would take complete control over backing up my data based on a list that they generated. I would always wonder if they got that file or that file because they are in control and choosing what's important and I would not be able to add anything to that list. Then I find out thier generated list missed a lot of stuff and now part of my data is gone.

     

    Allowing the control of being able to fill in the missing gaps with the choice part, the rules part could be fine tuned to where it is very efficient and would not have to be overly broad but still work well enough to protect the average user that just checks off the categories and hit backup. All the while knowing that the user can add his choice also and if need be, override SOME of the choice made by the rules.

    Sunday, November 25, 2007 8:07 AM
  • Yea, I think the rules still need some tweaking. That's why I think the ADDITION of a choice system is needed even more right now. The rules system isn't perfect yet and that's all the more reason why having the ability to fill in those missing pieces is so important.

     

    I totally understand why people keep patches and setup files in the program files folder. It's because they either don't know enough to place them somewhere else or the program requires it. It's the people that don't know any better that the team wanted to do WLOC this way. They just didn't think about the exceptions.

     

    That's the thing PatrickDickey, you shouldn't have to resort to jumping through hoops to get your backup program to do what you need it to do. At least not when there are many other program out there that don't make you do it. I do understand though that a lot of people have already paid (or renewed) for this program and want it to do what they need it to do. That's why I keep trying to make them understand, for the sake of those people (some of which are customers of mine).

     

    Sunday, November 25, 2007 8:18 AM
  • Guys,

     

    I use ACT (contact management software) for my business. It's database file is the most important file for me to backup. This program will not allow me to do that. The DB is a ".pad" file that lives in the C:\program files\act\database folder. The point folks are making here that you seem to be missing is that it is incredibly frustrating to invest so much (time primarily) in product then find out that it won't do what you thought it was meant to do when you commited to it. MS HAS lost touch with the consumer (I own a bunch of the stock), and the Re question is appropriate. This product won't do the simple backup I need. My laptop is Vista Ultimate - incredibly an unsupported OS for this product. Live One care won't work at all on it.Time and money down the drain, because I have to go back to the store for backup softwar and virus protection my laptop any way. The competition has product that will do better at a competiitive price.

     

    dirtpusher   

    Monday, November 26, 2007 2:46 AM
  • Check out Norton 360 or BitDefender Total security. I downloaded a trial version of it to test out on a computer I was building for a friend and it's a really nice package. They have cheaper packages that don't include the backup part also. I think I will be switching to that when Norton 360's subscription runs out. That will be awhile though because I just got it not long ago due to WLOC 2.0 removing the include file feature. Right now Norton 360 works great. I can choose whatever I want and back it up to wherever I want, even an internal drive. I have just had to reinstall Norton once or twice due to issues but, what choice do I have if I want to backup the stuff I need backed up?

     

    I feel for all those other people out there that had recently updated their subscription and no longer have the ability to include files the automated system doesn't.

     

    Monday, November 26, 2007 5:28 AM
  • Sounds like a plan.  Apologies for belaboring the issue, but I am now switching both of my OneCare subscriptions to Norton 360 simply because I cannot backup exactly what I want from MY PC where I chose.

     

    Ciao,

    Dave

    Monday, November 26, 2007 9:29 AM
  • Good news, bad news...

     

    Good: I can halt the spread of One Care to my small business clients (those already on a trial basis and haven't paid can remove it)

     

    Bad: I have to switch everyone to another security package and backup package. Back to Norton and Norton, I guess. 

     

    I thought the previous release was great when we could add folders and files to the backup - wow!!; what a great feature. Now you claim it's a design flaw???? Duh??? What are you people thinking?

     

    I was really bragging up MS as having done One Care right - as an MS partner that felt good.

     

    Well for a few weeks the product had everyone beat in the market place. Making it non-configurable made it non-useable for my clients. Too bad.

     

    Geodino

     

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:25 AM
  • Before you move to Norton, check out BitDefender's Total Security too. It has a trial version that's time limited and it includes a backup.

     

    What I like about Norton 360 though is that the files are backed up 1:1, meaning they are not all crammed into one large (or many large) files. If d:\onlinegames\worldofwarcraft\patches\patchsoanso.exe is backed up, it will appear under a folder called <backup_drive>\<folder>\Drive D\onlinegames\worldofwarcraft\patches\patchsoandso.exe

     

    <backup_drive>\<folder> being the drive and folder you backed it all up to.

     

    I like that system a lot better since it's pretty much identical to the file structure people are familiar with and they can be accessed by any computer that has permission without having to have Norton 360 installed on that other machine.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 6:26 AM
  • Unfortunately, BitDefender's Total Security (per their data sheet) cannot backup to a network device. The same is true for Norton 360 (unless it's been recently improved or "upgraded" ). Being capable of backing up to a network device, like a raid 1 array on a peer-to-peer server in a small business, is (was) truly a valuable feature in WLOC. And, being able to select additional files and folders, no matter the flavor (extension) was a hugh asset. WLOC was an inclusive, elegant (read: simple) PC security utility.

     

    In fact, just last week, I was able to recover a client's laptop using the WLOC backup that was made the day proir to laptop's HD corruption. It was exciting and rewarding to me and my client to recover virtually everything. 

     

    Yesterday, I installed Norton Ghost on that laptop and will re-install Norton Internet Security or an equivalent product like some TrendMicro apps. (I deploy TM products on Small Business Server systems and some larger peer-to-peer setups).

     

    As you can tell, I don't have a  strong brand allegiance...just want products that work and do what the supplier/developer says they will do. It's called integrity...an old-fashioned personal behavior and business ideal. My allegiance is to my clients...they pay the way.

     

    Enough for now. I have to get busy uninstalling WLOC on many of my clients' PC's and some of mine. Have egg-on-my face for bragging up WLOC. Alas, woe is me.

     

    PS - arguing with MS reminds me of the 60's, when we used to argue with IBM. Uh? What happened to their monoply?

     

     

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 5:48 PM
  • That's not true.

     

    I back up to a NAS device all the time with Norton 360. I had also used a USB drive on my 350n router. It works fine. You have to use "Map network drive" and assign a drive letter but it works perfectly. I use a D-Link 323 (dual drive capable) with a raid 1 setup.

     

    I also tried out BitDefender Total Security just last week and it works the same way through map network drive.

     

    It's the same way I had to do with WLOC 2.0 also because it never worked right directly for me.

     

    Norton 360 uses a file/folder selection dialog box to add files and folders each time you want to add one and BitDefender uses a tree layout to select what you want to back up. BitDefender doesn't have pre-selected categories but Norton 360 does. Norton 360 helps the new users get going quickly but, they also allow for advanced users that need to fill in the gaps. They know how to do backup right.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 8:54 PM
  • I also am frustrated with the recent changes to the backup utility. I just want to pick a folder and back it up. It's that simple. I also have cetain application patches and websites that I need to have backed up and now I can't do that.

     

    Why not just make the exclude list configurable? Why hard-code the excluded file types? I would be perfectly happy if I could just configure the excluded file types myself rather than letting Microsoft guess at which ones I might not want to backup.

     

    Looks like it's time to start shopping for another security suite and backup utility.

    Thursday, December 6, 2007 4:57 AM
  • My machines haven't updated to 2.0 yet, but I can't express how disappointedI am in reading this thread.

    When I first purchased OneCare more than a year ago, I nearly got burned "trusting" Microsoft's implementation of file types.

    I'm a photographer, and when I asked OneCare to backup images, I had no idea (and never could have guessed) that quite a few professional image file extensions were not included - OneCare had no idea that my raw files were images!!

    I was stunned when I later discovered that Gigs of images were not being backed-up with "images."

    Digging further, I discovered that "music" did not include many of the iTunes support files (*.xml and *itl) necessary to restore an iTunes library without going through unecessary gyrations.

    From that day forward, I never backed-up by type again, and have only used directories. By placing my files in folders I know are being backed-up completely, I know that I'm safe, regardless of how incomplete or outdated Microsoft's list of file extensions is.

    In the year that I've been using OneCare, I've accumulated data files with several other new extensions, and I never have to worry about it because I place those files in folders I know are being backed-up.

    Granted, I'm sure the lists of extensions are more complete today than they were a year ago, but with new file extensions appearing on a regular basis (especially in digital media), I can't count on MS to stay on-top of those (many from their competitors).

    If the ability to backup by folder has been removed, OneCare backup has become a dangerous thing I cannot rely on -  I simply can't trust that the list of extensions belonging to any category is comprehensive & complete.
    Friday, December 7, 2007 5:43 AM
  •  Speedie98 wrote:

    I agree with Sven and I'm frustrated beyond words at what MS have done with this "upgraded" version. I literally just finished removing Norton Internet Security from 5 PCs in an office environment and replacing it with OneCare. The major attractions were a) better integration between components b) better licensing terms and c) a better backup system than Vista comes with (which is a farce in its own right). But hey, at least with OneCare I could add C:\ as a folder and get a full backup.

     

    So...we purchased a NAS to store the backups, I devised a time rotation which would result in backups for the PCs each day, and went ahead with the installation. Now, less than 24 hours later, I find that MS are pulling this stupid stunt with the backup functionality. This means that I now get to uninstall OneCare from the PCs and look for a solution that isn't going to screw me over by dictating what I can and cannot back up.

     

    MS: when people back up their PCs THEY EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO RESTORE THEM TO A WORKING STATE WITH THE BACKUPS THAT THEY CREATED. What the hell is so hard to comprehend about that concept? What business is it of yours whether or not I want to back up my executables? Or my Windows directory? Or frankly anything else on my hard drive that I damn well choose? What makes you think that forcing me to reinstall the OS, reinstall all my applications, and run a whole mess of updates BEFORE I can use the "backup" that I created with OneCare is a sensible way to configure your software?

     

    Enough.

     

    I'll be returning the software to the retailer in the morning as it is not fit for the purpose for which it was sold. If I get any grief, which I doubtless will, then I will charge it back with the credit card company and tell the store to take it up with MS. More to the point they can take it up with whichever of your "study groups" decided that this asinine way of doing things was even remotely acceptable.

     

    You had a great chance to grab a decent sized share of a lucrative market among home and small business users with OneCare. You just blew it big time.

     

    I exactly agree with this post.  All of the members of our at home business group attempted to standardize on our backup solution so that the few us who have even a modicum of computer literacy could assist the others.  We standardized on NAS's and One Care.  This MS 'upgrade' that we are compelled to accept completely invalidates that solution, and since we have vastly more invested amongst us in NAS, it's the One Care that will have to go.

     

    It is just another example of how MS blunders on without any reference to how people use their systems. 

     

    All of the other posts and answers by the original poster of this thread are also perfectly valid - we do have a right to assume that this is a complete backup solution because MS claims that it is!

     

    Why am I not given the choice to continue to use a system that I already fully understood and that worked for me?  I can't be given a fork in the software that permits me to continue to use a solution that was perfectly fine? 

     

    That being said, there is probably a solution to the NAS issue, which is to map to the drive, and then point to the mapped drive in the configuration.  That should overcome the problem of the drive being 'attached' or 'local'.  Still, why should we have to be solving problems created by Microsoft's inadequate consultation with its clients and customers?  If they TOLD me the consequences of this 'upgrade', and given me the option, I'd have refused it.

    Friday, December 7, 2007 8:39 PM
  • SunDiego,

     

    Well, you might as well look for something else because it's true.

     

    I really like Norton 360 and how they store the backups and all. They use predefined categories like OneCare but also allow you to choose other files and folders to backup. They also store the files just like they are on the original drive. They are not stored in one huge file so, it makes sharing them a LOT easier with other computers on the network. I backup to my NAS and it's nice being able to share with my other computers things like game patch files, downloaded files, music and so on.

     

    My biggest gripe has been the file type only system. 1) There are programs that use file types that are excluded and thus don't get backed up because I can't add them. 2) The team can never think of every file type in use and what's to come and thus it leaves people vulnerable when they think it's being backed up. They would have to keep track of every single program being created and every file type being used for data and patches and so on that's not on the list now and update OneCare almost daily.

     

    It just leaves the customers way to open to not having their data backed up and vulnerable. Not having the option to fill in the gaps left by the file type only system is what's wrong here.

     

    You do have other options though at least, Like Norton 360, BitDefender Total Security and Computer Associates security suites.

     

    The problem is though, so many people have renewed their subscriptions and now they have to go spend even more money to get back what they once had because Microsoft downgraded the backup program.

     

     

    Friday, December 7, 2007 10:08 PM
  • I was just upgreaded to 2.0, and here's how the new backup works (exactly as I feared)...

    To back-up all of my images, I need to check "Photos," and "Other Files," because someone at Microsoft didn't realize that TIF files are Photos, not "Other Files."

    Of course, that means I have to backup all of the other crud that comes with "Other Files," too.

    But, I guess I have to, anyway... Microsoft puts XMP files into "Other," too, and many of my "Photos" are useless without those (they're the Adobe metadata sidecar files).

    And speaking of Adobe, Photoshop (PS) files are no longer my "Photos" - They're Microsoft's "Other Files," too!

    Whoa be to the simple, trusting home user, who isn't going to do due dillignence, who is going to blindly trust Microsoft, and is going to be completely hosed when he needs to restore that backup some day.

    This will go down as one of the dumbest decisions ever made in Redmond.

    For me, it's off to find a third party backup app until OneCare backup is made useable again.



    Monday, December 10, 2007 7:46 AM
  • I just did my first OneCare backup with version 2.0 (which I had manually installed, since my version 1.6 installation was not updated, and still isn't on two other computers).  Six DVDs full -- 167,193 files, the report said.  Fortunately, I looked at the report of the files backed up.  Most of them were from two stock investment programs, TeleChart and OmniTrader, file with the extension .his.  I assume these are the then current stock statistics for these programs, which are updated daily if not more frequently, and which I have no need to back up.  Scanning through the report, I was alarmed to find no record of backing up my extensive email files (Outlook Express and Outlook) nor most of my documents nor most of my photos.  So, I decided to look further into OC Backup settings and discovered some surprising and alarming conditions!

     

    First is in the Live Help file linked to OC BackUp, that states:

    Backup file types

    The types of files that Windows Live OneCare version 2.0 can back up has changed since version 1.6. OneCare won't back up any files that are located in the Windows folder or the Program Files folder. In addition, version 2.0 can no longer back up the following file types:

    • BAK
    • COM
    • DB
    • DLL
    • DRV
    • EXE
    • ICO
    • LNK
    • OST
    • QQQ
    • SYS
    • TMP

    Since those stock data were several subfolders down in the Program Files folder, I wonder why they were backed up, given the statement above.  Anyway, I've now set those folders to be not backed in the Exclude option.  That should take care of those, I hope, in the future.

     

    But I still wonder where all my documents and photos are, and why they weren't backed up.  I believe this is the first time I've run One Care BackUp on this computer.

     

    I really had hoped that Version 2 might make enough improvements to make it worth while to continue to use it.  I'm so discouraged by the the limitations imposed and the uncertainty about what is backed up, that I think I'll give up, and give up trying to comment in this forum.  At least, in version 2, there is a option to exclude OC BackUp entirely, and I think that's what I will do, and look elsewhere for my backups.  Hopefully, OC won't keep nagging me, and turning the icon to yellow or red because I choose to do so.

     

    There's this ad on TV, that keeps repeating the slogan, "People are Smart."  It seems, particularly from reading OneCareBear's comments, that MS OC team thinks "People are Dumb!"

     

    Thanks to Steve for his always helpful and considerate responses.

    Monday, December 10, 2007 7:13 PM
  • I'm going to let this one sit for a bit as it's getting late and I won't get through too many posts before heading to bed. I think your documents and email were backed up if you selected those types in the filter.

    And I think you can exclude the folders containing the investment data.

    I also think that the Help Text may be incorrect. I believe that it was supposed to be fixed by release, but it may not have been...

    -steve

     

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 1:44 AM
    Moderator
  • Before this thread hits the happy trails I've got to say I agree with Scorch since my computer is filled with game data.  I use it to play Knights of the Old Republic I and II plus Halo I and II.  KOTOR stores all of their games saves, patches, updates etc. in folders under Program Files.  I just checked and just one game/folder has over 21,000 files totalling over 9 GB. And I've got 4 of these games over 2 HD and an external.

     

    My point is the user - Me - has to control the backup process more the OneCare allows.  Right now I can't even begin to backup because OneCare won't save the configuration because of "unknown" problems.  So, let me see if I have this correctly.  Despite the slippery verbiage, I cannot choose which folders to backup and... It doesn't make any difference because OC doesn't want to run backup anyway.  So, how should I proceed?  Norton Ghost?

     

    dpayer

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 3:42 PM
  • The unable to save configuration because of unknown problems after an upgrade to 2.0 is being investigated.

     

    Yes, you can include by selecting types of files to be backed up and you can exclude folders or drives for being looked at for the backup plan, but you cannot include files not in the type list. Including a folder is not needed as any valid types, based on the selection criteria in the first step, will already be included unless they are in \Program Files or \Windows.

    If your files types are not on the list to be backed up, ie they are excluded, they will not be backed up at all.

     

    My suggestion for your situation would be to manually copy the folders you wish to have a backup of to another location - be that another internal drive, an external drive or a network location. And that's assuming that you use OneCare to backup the other files. If you can't get or don't want to use OneCare backup and a manual copy process for your other files, then there are many good alternate solutions. Personally, I like Acronis True Image.

    -steve

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 6:24 PM
    Moderator
  • Acronis True Image is a great program. I use it for full system backups.

     

    dpayer, I think Norton 360 would suit your needs though.

     

    I mean what's the purpose of having a backup program and then have to manually copy folders/files over?

     

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 7:24 PM
  • I was referred to this older thread by your wonderful new forums software. Do let me know if it is available for license.  Other nice features to add would be the ones I saw on some New York Times (I think)  blogs, that allow the reader to filter or sort by "editor's recommendation" or by "number of  favorable votes" - both are very helpful when there are many pages of comments to wade through.


    There seem to have been some "cultural differences" among the the extremely diverse stakeholders in this situation:

    1. The developers may have had little experience with other backup products, so they did not foresee some user's expectations.
    2. Many users have had some exposure to mainframe or network backup products, so were assuming or hoping for similar features.
    3. Many other users have little IT knowledge, and need simple criteria for file selection.
    4. The original documentation was exceptionally brief and sketchy, on the assumption that young people would not read it but go right to trial and error. But some young people will read doc, and old guys always read the manual first.  If there are no instructions, people are forced to proceed with the hope that "standard" features are available.  And when people do encounter problems, and there are no step-by-step written procedures, they get angry and frustrated.
    5. Time for a word from our sponsor: when releasing a new product for a diverse set of customers, please hire a team of old experienced Systems Analysts like me to write installation and use procedures. Young developers just have not had enough experience training people face-to-face to grasp the user's point of view. And most developers get too close to the programs to realize the error message in the little blue window is not clear to people who cannot open up the code and read it.
     
    A common legal requirement today is permanent archiving of E-Mail.   I was hoping to do that myself, but when I set up the backups to CD, found that outlook files and hotmail files were excluded.  Many small businesses would like this feature - either as part of the incremental backup or as a separate feature.  I resorted to copy and paste as plain text into MS-Word .doc files, though the legal eagles tell me that does not quite satisfy evidenciary rules about timestamps.

    Everyone would agree that an easily accessible and user-friendly Microsoft Wizard to aid us in creating a system restore CD or DVD (for the operating system and all software program files ) would be a nice add-on to any operating system.  I am a little uncomfortable with purchasing a Third Party product for something as sensitive as an operating system.  The use of the word "all" in the limited doco for OneCare apparently led many to hope ...

    Eirík Þorvaldsson








    Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:12 PM
  • This sure is an old resurrected thread!

    I have to go with number 1, but that's my opinion. I suspect that the real answer is that the design was arrived at based on deciding on an "easy" backup solution that did not require knowledge of file extensions and types. It's a flawed design desicion, in my opinion, since that means that the program needs to be updated whenever a new file type appears that you didn't know about before.

    The default backup settings when setting up a plan are to include all file types, including mail, no matter the destination. I just configured it on this PC with CD/DVD as the destination and it wants to backup 3.2 gigs of Mail files from Outlook and Windows Live Mail.

    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare & Live Mesh Forum Moderator
    Thursday, March 12, 2009 5:51 PM
    Moderator
  • Eirik,

    Apparently Microsoft agrees with your assessment, since within Windows 7 they are planning to provide a basic backup which operates more similarly to the historical file/folder hierarchy, but also includes a Libraries organizational concept that encompasses the concept of types of files like photos, videos and music.  OneCare tried to take the step to file type groupings all at once, which of course confused those with a deeper understanding of the file and folder structure historical to Windows.

    Though this also lead to the issue Steve mentioned, it really wasn't that huge an issue since the actual number of file type extensions is finite and relatively small, especially as compared to such things as malware and the required signatures.  The more difficult issue was actually related to the inverse logic change to the backup process added during the WLOC 2.0 beta if I recall correctly.  As Steve mentioned this resulted in a very large all inclusive backup which then required the use of 'exclusion' logic to define the contents of a backup.  This was controversial from the start and though it could result in the desired effect of 'save it unless told not to', it really just added to the complexity and confusion in the long run.

    Most of the things you mentioned probably played a role, but the key issue was really one of change as usual.  Unless that change is clearly providing a better and simpler system it will simply decay into chaos as this one did.  I believe that this is just one of the many reasons for scrapping OneCare and placing the ability to backup back into the operating system where it really belongs as you also mentioned.  Leaving the backup utility on the installation CD with Windows XP and dropping it completely from the common home versions of Windows Vista was a foolish move, since not everyone can or even wants to transition to an online backup solution at this point.

    The key issue for OneCare was that by attempting to maintain an entire suite as a simple fool-proof application for security, it thus assumed the same level of user simplicity for all of its components, resulting in the conflict with more technical users observed here.  By replacing OneCare with a separate free application for the Anti-Malware component and performing many of the other automated and simplified tasks within the Windows 7 operating system itself, Microsoft leaves very little necessity for even their own third-party products to provide these functions.  Since Windows XP will truly end Mainstream Support with the release of Windows 7, the reasons for the migration to a new operating system will be more obvious and compelling than with they were with Vista.

    Windows 7: Windows Backup Overview

    How Libraries & HomeGroup Work Together in Windows 7

    OneCareBear
    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Thursday, March 12, 2009 7:39 PM
    Moderator
  • OMG, you are saying exactly what I was saying yesterday, Win 2008 backup is worse than ever.  Why on Earth would they remove the ability to backup to Tape, we have to think about BCP and remove the tapes from our main location.  Obviously someone was not thinking about real world needs.

    Can NTBackup be used in Win 2008?
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 2:00 PM
  • OMG, you are saying exactly what I was saying yesterday, Win 2008 backup is worse than ever.  Why on Earth would they remove the ability to backup to Tape, we have to think about BCP and remove the tapes from our main location.  Obviously someone was not thinking about real world needs.

    Can NTBackup be used in Win 2008?

    BVITS-Spryor,

    This discussion has nothing to do with Windows 2008, it only pertains to Windows live OneCare and Windows 7, which are consumer products.

    If tape destinations have been removed from the Windows 2008 backup, this doesn't surprise me, but it's a completely different issue, since that is a Server OS.  The fact that external disk and online options have become more common, coupled with the high cost of most current tape solutions has resulted in a reduction in the use and support of tape in all but enterprise backup solutions.  This means that driver support of tape systems for the oeprating system itself is much less likely, removing the ability for direct support with the oeprating system included backup utilities.

    Also, almost all of those organizations I've seen using tape as a medium also use a dedicated third-party backup application, which also provides their own tape drivers.  So I suspect that Microsoft has simply decided to hand off tape system support completely to the third-party backup applications and only provide support for directly mounted [NTFS?] storage devices as backup targets from the native OS backup application.

    Rob
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 3:41 PM
    Moderator