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OneCare should come with warning that Backup is NOT SUITABLE FOR DISASTER RECOVERY!!!! RRS feed

  • General discussion

  •  

    I recently installed OneCare and set it up to backup all file types assuming that it would then do a FULL backup of my system.  After running OneCare for about two months, it froze in the middle of tune-up, and pretty much trashed my hard drive.  Being in a hurry  in the middle of a project, I just popped another drive in and did a full restore to the drive.  Well, OneCare apparently does not do a FULL backup.  It just zips common files but does not restore user settings or installed programs.  As a result, I now have to re-install all of my applications (BTW, it does not even restore license info for MS programs, so they think they are being installed to a different machine).  This is not a backup - it is a FILE ARCHIVE.  Backups are for disaster recovery, this software is not.
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 6:36 PM

All replies

  • I'm sorry that you misunderstood what Onecare backup does and also that you encountered a problem during Tune-up, though I can't say I believe OneCare "trashed" the drive, though whatever you needed to do to recover from a freeze, may have trashed it, so it may have been responsible.

    What you desire is an Image Backup. OneCare does not advertise Full PC or Image backup. It backs up files by type. You can review what is being backed up (and should) when you configure backup.

    The theory of OneCare backup for the typical user is that OneCare backs up data. A problem occurs that requires a drive replacement or the repair of the PC by working with the OEM, who will typically direct the user to perform a recovery back to factory condition. Once the PC is running again, OneCare is reinstalled and the restore performed. Any programs installed after the PC was purchased would also need to be reinstalled and reconfigured.

    -steve

    Monday, February 11, 2008 2:25 AM
    Moderator
  • While OneCare is not advertised to be a data recovery system, I would just like it to do what it is advertised to do: restore data files including my documents, email, and contacts. During my most recent attempt to undo the calamity caused by downloading a Microsoft security update that rendered my IIS test server totally useless, my system crashed while I was performing one of the Microsoft bulletin correction processes. I lost absolutely everything on my PC. As I re-installed XP Pro, I had to use another PC to go to the Dell website to get all of the drivers for my machine since the Microsoft Reinstall disk failed to generate uncorrupted driver files. Once I re-installed OneCare and thought that I would at least get back my data, OneCare found its back-ups on my USB 2.0 hard drive and promptly failed, generating an error message for me to contact support.  All I can say for Bill Gates right now is "Let's find a rope and a tree!"

    najrellim
    Sunday, February 17, 2008 4:25 PM
  • Sorry to read of the problems you've encountered. Try this:

    Configure backup on the recovered PC now that you have installed OneCare. For file types to backup, select one that will not backup too many files. For location, select your external drive.

    Perform a backup from OneCare.

    Now, perform a custom restore - from another PC - and navigate to and select the backup you made before the crash and reinstall.

    -steve

    Sunday, February 17, 2008 7:41 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    Well, I ended up reloading everything on my laptop, then went in a chose a custom restore and chose to restore all files from the last backup (even though it thought it was from a different PC).  Unfortunately, it will not allow me to restore my email files.  I tried two different ways.  First, I tried to restore everything, then reloaded office 07 ultimate, and checked to see if my email settings, folders, calendar, contacts were there - nothing.  So I deleted the profile and all of the associated files, recreated it, reloaded 07 ultimate, and tried to restore again.  This time, it told me that the files already existed and would only give me a choice to restore the email files to another profile (One Care created).  It would not give me the option to overwrite what was there.  In addition to this, one care apparently does not backup .exe or .zip files.  I had a directory of over 2Gb of downloaded software exectuables that I use to install legal applications.  The "full backup" only backed up and restored the pdf and .txt files and the folder structure - but none of the executables (which were installation programs) were restored.  This software sucks.  You would think the Microsoft One Care backup would at least be able to backup and easily restore items from Microsoft's Office 07 software.
    Monday, February 18, 2008 1:33 AM
  • Email files are typically restored to an alternate location (not a profile, but a folder) and you need to import them into your email program. If a file is found on the drive where the restored file is intended to go that matches the name of the fle being restored, it will never overwrite. OneCare can indeed restore Office data files - including Outlook data.

     

    From Help:

    Import restored e-mail

    After you use Windows Live OneCare to restore e-mail files from a backup, you must import the restored files into your e-mail program before you can access them. E-mail programs usually store your e-mail messages in special files that can be used only by the program that created them

    Import restored e-mail in Microsoft Office Outlook

    1. Start Outlook.
    2. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
    3. Click Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
    4. Under Select file type to import from, click Personal folder file (.pst), and then click Next.
    5. Click Browse, and then select the folder where you restored your files.
    6. Under Options, click Do not import duplicates, and then click Next.
    7. Under Select the folder to import from, make sure that the top-level folder of the mail that you're importing is selected and that the Include subfolders check box is selected.
    8. Select the folder where you want to put the imported files, and then click Finish.

    Yes, exe and zip files are not backed up. They are on the list of excluded file types. From Help:

     

    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

    -steve
    Monday, February 18, 2008 2:36 AM
    Moderator
  • I found it straight forward to import restored files into Outlook and Outlook Express, but not into Windows Live Mail.  After a crash and an OEM assisted system restor to factory condition, my One Care back up restored my email files in three folders: Other Email Files, Outlook Email, and Outlook Express Email. The Other Email File folder holds my Windows Live Mail message files. I can open them one at a time by clicking on them (Windows Live Mail opens them by default) but cannot import the directory into Windows Live Mail.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008 5:32 AM
  •  Zero One wrote:

    I found it straight forward to import restored files into Outlook and Outlook Express, but not into Windows Live Mail.  After a crash and an OEM assisted system restor to factory condition, my One Care back up restored my email files in three folders: Other Email Files, Outlook Email, and Outlook Express Email. The Other Email File folder holds my Windows Live Mail message files. I can open them one at a time by clicking on them (Windows Live Mail opens them by default) but cannot import the directory into Windows Live Mail.

    I haven't actually done this, but I just checked and in Windows Live Mail, there is an option - File/Import and a selection of email clients, including Windows Live Mail. You can then browse to the location of the mail store for WLMail.

    Thanks for pointing out that this information is not documented in Help. I'll pass this on.

    -steve

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008 1:37 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the tip. But I've already been there.  IT DOESN'T WORK!

    Thursday, February 21, 2008 6:00 AM
  • I also find OneCare frustrating as a backup tool.

     

    It's odd that when creating a backup plan, whilst there are options for exluding files and folders from backup, there seem to be none for specifically including those not already added to the backup plan by the software itself.

     

    And what is the reasoning behind excluding certain filetypes from backup? It seems particularly perverse to exclude BAK, for example, when many people will use it specifically for making copies of files for backup. Also, it appears that any icons that I create for my Visual Studio projects - with a filetype of ICO - wont be backed up. Why?

     

    Focusing on filetypes does not always seem to give me what I want. If I have a Visual Studio Project, I'd like to backup the whole folder and not worry about the innumerable file-types included within it.

     

    And again, I am not permitted to backup anything from my Program Files directory, according to the online help. So, if I unwittingly have allowed SQL Server database files to reside in their default MSSQL\DATA location under Program Files, presumably its tough - they wont get backed up.

     

    Could it be that fears about liability for 'copies' of commercial software made via backup have influenced the design to the detriment of users? What other reason can there be for these restrictions?

     

    In my opinion a good backup tool should be comprehensively configurable by knowledgable users as well as providing sensible and reassuring defaults for less knowledgable ones. Surely what customers want is an insurance policy that they can rely upon in a range of situations, whether it be to restore individual files and folders, or a complete system. Why cant we have both in the same package?

    Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:43 AM
  • I am sorry to hear of your troubles. In fairness, One Care backup is not designed for the purpose you mention nor does it ever claim to be. The documentation for it makes clear what it does and I think that makes clear its intended purpose, which is to backup user data not applications or system files.

     

    Personally, I favor this approach as a home user while understanding some users may wish for a complete system restore utility. The reason I favor this is that on most systems it is generally better after disaster to begin anew by reinstalling a clean operating system and currently used applications, then restoring one's data. Yes, this is less convenient than say, a Norton Ghost recovery or using a RAID setup but for the typical home user I would argue backup as implemented in One Care makes more sense for the greatest number of users.

     

    Another issue is storage space and for many home users adequate space to store the entire discs of multiple home PCs is probably an expensive issue that the majority would not want to deal with to protect against a problem they are not likely to see often. In contrast, my own system for example takes just 41 gigs to backup every important difficult to replace data file on it. If this disc dies this afternoon, it will be a hassle yes, but i will not lose anything of value. That is what this is for and it does provide it for me.

     

    The other consideration in fairness is this: one cannot expect a full featured stand-alone backup system in a 3 user license security suite retailing for fifty dollars. As it is, One Care is an outstanding value but it isn't fair to expect data center software in a consumer retail product. There are lots of design and functionality tradeoffs that have to be taken into account here. I think they hit a very good balance personally.

     

    That said, I'd recommend looking into Norton Ghost and shut off One Care backup. But I would still argue for the rest of the security functionality, One Care is an excellent value even when you desire a more comprehensive backup module.

     

    I don't work for Microsoft nor have any affiliation with Microsoft by the way, other than being a generally satisfied customer for nearly two decades now I think it is.

     

    Thursday, February 21, 2008 10:46 PM
  • I am sorry, but you should not have to dig through the help file to find out what a backup system does NOT backup.  I did what most people would do, and looked through the PRINTED documentation that came with the product.  Here is what the printed documentation says:

     

    "Data Backup and Restore:

    • Makes it easy to back up your files to a CD, DVD, external hard drive, network share, or most USB-connected storage devices.
    • Allows you to choose what you want to back up from easy to understand catagories (for example, music, photos, and financial files), helping to ensure that your most important files are included.
    • Restore specific files or all files backed up from your computer in the even of data loss.

    OneCare backs up your files for you automatically according to a schedule you can set. If you are backing up to a CD or DVD, OneCare checks whether your've backed up your importnatn files and prompts you to run a backup shortly after each tune-up.  If your PC doesn't have a supported storage device for creating backup disks, you can turn off backups by clicking Change OneCare settings, then clicking Backup tab."

     

    It does not state ANYWHERE to reference the help file to see what files are excluded nor does it say that when you choose ALL FILES, it really only means ALL FILES THAT SOME PROGRAMMER THOUGHT IMPORTANT - NOT ALL FILES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU.  I think it is absolutely ludicrous that it does not backup .exe files.  I lost several presentations that had been saved as self executing files as well as self executing ZIP files.  There also was NO WARNING when it did its update that it would not longer backup file types it backed up before.  I want to know who is in charge of this product and how to contact that individual.  I have lost countless hours of work because of the hidden ommissions of this program! 

     

    In addition to the lost executable files (which also included thousands of dollars worth of software downloads and license keys - some of the things you really need upon a hard drive failure), I still have not been able to retrieve my lost contacts or calendar items from Outlook '07.  This is insance considering that one of the things it states is going to be backed up are your email and user files.  I kept my daily time in my outlook calendar - which I can not get to - and was trusting this POS software to backup and restore.

     

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 7:29 PM
  •  

    I think suite vendors including Microsoft probably need to do a better job right within the interface of the program to alert people that this is not a full system backup. I think a message window ought to come up every time you configure it to remind you of this in no uncertain terms so it is crystal clear right up front with a link to exactly what is excluded with an explanation as to why that design choice was made in this particular product. Communication is the key and there is a failure here to reach consumers with information they absolutely need to know and need to have unavoidably put before them before proceeding. The standard "don't show me this anymore" checkbox would be good so once a user has gotten the message and understands they arent bothered with the pop up any further.

     

    These simplified and incomplete backup programs are a good thing, not a bad thing within the context of whom they are designed for: home PC users who are better served by a simple program that makes protecting precious user created data like photos, homework for school, word documents, email, etc. simple, painless and automatic. I think the thinking behind the design choices here is that in the rare event of disaster, a user can reinstall windows or do a full system restore with vendor supplied discs, then reinstall their programs, then use One Care to get their own created data back. That may sound like a poor backup but it isn't really for this crowd. It's very good in my opinion because they are not likely to ever need to do this often, they can easily get an accidentally deleted file back with One Care (I tested this), it does backup user made data outside of My Documents such as Windows Live Mail and IE Bookmarks (I tested this) and outside of system files and programs it will grab most files other than a short list of files one would not need in the recovery scenario I mentioned above.

     

    I think they make this tradeoff vs the sort of complete historical backup operation we've come to expect any backup should provide with some home user issues in mind. Namely, storage space for the backups and the time it takes to run a full backup. By doing it as designed here it takes far less storage space which would tend to be at a premium and costly for home users and it does it much faster tying up the machine for less time which is good where many may not wish to leave PCs running 24/7 such that this can be scheduled during the middle of the night. By making it fast and taking less space home users benefit. I think that is why home oriented security suites like Norton 360 and McAfee are also doing the same thing with their backup modules which in my testing were substantially inferior to One Care's backup module if you can imagine that. I won't get into that here but they were terrible even for home users in my tests of them.

     

    I say all that just to try and make a case for why this software being different does not necessarily mean that it is inferior or inadequate or bad. It isn't. It works as intended and does a good job of it for the most part too. It needs some more features for managing old backups, etc. and it sorely needs a pop up making clear it DOES NOT backup the whole system and perhaps lists right there what it doesn't backup and why but otherwise, it's good and it works as designed.

     

    I hope you got this far without wanting to kill me, etc. because I have a very good solution for you to consider which is reliable, from Microsoft also and entirely free. I have been using it for about 2 years and love it. Do an Internet search for SyncToy and see if that is enough. Get it from the Microsoft downloads site. The current version as of this writing is 1.4 but there is a 2.0 beta. I would stick to the release version for you. You can use this to sync the contents of My Documents with another location on your PC (2nd hard disc is what I use) or another drive on your network. If you set it to echo the contents of My Documents and if you religiously store all data you care about there, including exe files, or any files at all (it does not exclude anything unless you tell it to) it will do just that. It will when run do a fast compare and copy any new files to the backup folder you made wherever it is. If you have deleted any files it will delete them out of the destination folder. If you change any files it will put the new ones in the destination folder. If you add or download anything it will copy it over. Basically, it maintains a mirror image of whatever folder or folders you tell it to at the destination folder(s) and after the initial copy is very fast.

     

    I have never attempted to automate this utility but you could look into scheduling it using windows features to do so. Perhaps that is doable. I just run it periodically whenever it comes to mind or if I have just saved something important to ensure it was backed up.

     

    SyncToy again is NOT a full system backup but it will do a FULL data backup no matter what those files are including exe, zip or whatever. It excludes NOTHING. So if that fits the bill, you may well like it and the price sure is right. It does not compress files or alter them in any way. It just does a copy so if you need a file back, you can just go copy it back from where it was backed up to or all of the files you backed up for that matter. None are ever hidden, compressed or changed in any way.

     

    I still have Office 2003 and there is a download on Microsoft.com that allows one to backup the PST folder as desired. It is an add-on to office and when installed becomes a menu item in Outlook's file menu. I have used this for ages now to backup my PST file to My Documents which ensured my mail would get backed up when I ran synctoy without me having to echo also the folder where that file lives although certainly you could do that too. I don't know if Outlook 2007 has that add-on also or if that is now built in or not but you might want to look into that. To save IE bookmarks in similar fashion I have periodically done an export of them to My Documents so they'd get picked up there. These steps are less than ideal of course but its just a home PC and the world won't stop turning if I forget to do that often enough and my hard disc dies so that worked fine for me. I don't need to bother with those steps now as I have moved to Windows Live Mail and One Care backs that up along with IE favorites automatically. It also gets all data from My Documents so for home user me, it is great. I can reinstall the os and apps if disaster ever strikes. The tradeoff for me works just fine but then I fit the target market I'd say is why.

     

    If a program like SyncToy does not cut it and you want complete system backup of everything from the OS to programs to data meaning every single thing on the drive in one operation then no suite is enough for you. You need something like Norton Ghost to mirror image a drive or a traditional stand alone full backup program.

     

    My guess is One Care and other suites are unlikely to include full system backups. I think they are going to continue to focus purely on data and may well continue to exclude any/all executable system files to make backups much smaller and storage requirements more reasonable for the home users they are intended for.

     

    There is a simple workaround to the issue of saving file types One Care excludes if you make things like self executing presentations, want to backup game demo downloads that are exe files or whatever. Just use the Windows included compression functionality and zip the files or even folders containing such files prior to backup or perhaps when done working on them, downloading them or whatever. This is as easy as right clicking a file or folder and choosing the "Send to" item in the menu. Just choose "Send to... Compressed (zipped) folder and that will get backed up.

     

    I hope this info is helpful and wish you the best in getting back to where you left off as soon as possible with a better working backup solution for your specific needs in place.

     

    Monday, February 25, 2008 1:31 AM
  •  Mack Daddy 1 wrote:

    I am sorry, but you should not have to dig through the help file to find out what a backup system does NOT backup.  I did what most people would do, and looked through the PRINTED documentation that came with the product.  Here is what the printed documentation says:

     

    It does not state ANYWHERE to reference the help file to see what files are excluded nor does it say that when you choose ALL FILES, it really only means ALL FILES THAT SOME PROGRAMMER THOUGHT IMPORTANT - NOT ALL FILES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU.  I think it is absolutely ludicrous that it does not backup .exe files.  I lost several presentations that had been saved as self executing files as well as self executing ZIP files.  There also was NO WARNING when it did its update that it would not longer backup file types it backed up before.  I want to know who is in charge of this product and how to contact that individual.  I have lost countless hours of work because of the hidden ommissions of this program! 

     

    In addition to the lost executable files (which also included thousands of dollars worth of software downloads and license keys - some of the things you really need upon a hard drive failure), I still have not been able to retrieve my lost contacts or calendar items from Outlook '07.  This is insance considering that one of the things it states is going to be backed up are your email and user files.  I kept my daily time in my outlook calendar - which I can not get to - and was trusting this POS software to backup and restore.

     

    No need to apologize and thanks for explaining how you were affected by the limitations of OneCare backup. I agree that this information needs to be identified more clearly.

    As for the Outlook data, if your .pst file was backed up, all of it can be restored as Outlook stores all of its data in a single .pst file which is backed up by OneCare.

    -steve

    Monday, February 25, 2008 2:17 AM
    Moderator
  • You are good Stephen. I need to learn to be more succinct. I do hope my suggestions for alternatives are a help going forward though. I think you are right too, simply improving communication to the user within the product will help a lot and I hope to see that in a future release. I remain very pleased with One Care for my home user needs and have decided already that I will subscribe when the trial period expires. I am very, very pleased with how well One Care does it all for me here at home given my needs as a home user.

    Monday, February 25, 2008 2:23 AM
  •  DirtyHarry50 wrote:

    You are good Stephen. I need to learn to be more succinct. I do hope my suggestions for alternatives are a help going forward though. I think you are right too, simply improving communication to the user within the product will help a lot and I hope to see that in a future release. I remain very pleased with One Care for my home user needs and have decided already that I will subscribe when the trial period expires. I am very, very pleased with how well One Care does it all for me here at home given my needs as a home user.

    Thanks. :-)

    I tend to be too wordy, as well, but after 17K + posts, I'm getting better, I hope.

    I do thank you for your suggestions, too.

    -steve

    Monday, February 25, 2008 2:06 PM
    Moderator
  • I just thought that I would add for anyone else who is having problems with oncare backup.  It is not for developers!  Dont expect it to back up all of your code as some file extensions you need to backup are now blocked.  You cant even specifically mark a folder for backup.  And who is going to review thousands of files to make sure that the automated backup got everything you needed.  You used to be able to say "backup everything in this folder" but you cant anymore with the new version!  ARGH!!!  Why take that away?  I dont understand!

     

    Saturday, March 8, 2008 4:28 AM
  •  TMIHCC wrote:
    I just thought that I would add for anyone else who is having problems with oncare backup.  It is not for developers!  Dont expect it to back up all of your code as some file extensions you need to backup are now blocked.  You cant even specifically mark a folder for backup.  And who is going to review thousands of files to make sure that the automated backup got everything you needed.  You used to be able to say "backup everything in this folder" but you cant anymore with the new version!  ARGH!!!  Why take that away?  I dont understand!

     

     

    If you reread this thread there is a post quoting the same list of extensions for files not backed up on the first page. This same list is available within the program help. There are about a dozen extensions of executable and system files it skips. There are no common source code extensions skipped, etc. What's more, the program will backup everything except those extensions by default if you keep your sources in your user folder somewhere in Vista or My Documents in XP.

     

    There is no need to go looking for what it includes. They tell you in the help system. It's simple really. It includes everything but those few file types by default in the places where you'd be storing data as well as places where applications store data such as email, settings, etc. For most uses at home its great for covering everything simply except the need to reinstall the operating system and your applications. Otherwise, it would if left at defaults have gotten all data in your user data folders, your email, your browser favorites, etc.

     

    I guess what I am trying to say is, you don't need to look at what it is including because you are right, that is a daunting task. You just need to know the short list of extensions it skips. I have carefully examined multiple backups and deliberately tested various file deletion, move and restore scenarios before coming to understand how it works and that I can trust it. I have worked professionally in software development as well and gave this a pretty thorough test and it passed.

     

    I will add one workaround I like to use. I do sometimes download various exe files, etc. as demo installers and such. Also I may download files of this sort I wish to keep. Perhaps you'd want to keep builds with exe's, etc. This is not hard to do. Just use Windows own zip compression by right clicking a folder of files that would be excluded and choose Send to Compressed File. You end up keeping what you had as is and gaining a zipped up file of it that WILL be backed up no problem. Yes, I know that's not ideal but  really, for a 50 dollar security suite that does this much this well and this simply, I'll take it.

     

    Like you I could easy configure something far more elaborate and expensive but who at home wants to waste the time and money? I know I don't. This works great for me. If you are building stuff with extensions that would be skipped just make a script to automatically zip up your work periodically or even automate it on a timer, etc. and it becomes pretty painless to get those files included.

     

    What One Care Backup really needs is improved online help documenting how to use it and addressing issues like these clearly. That one improvement would go a long way towards increasing customer satisfaction with this module of the product. I admittedly had to work too hard before I knew it well enough to know how to ensure all I wanted was included and that it can be trusted. Better online documentation would have saved me from some of that.

    Saturday, March 8, 2008 4:58 AM
  • Here's the list again btw:

     

    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

    Want those? ZIp em up and make sure they are in your user folder anywhere and they get backed up. Want to know valuable data is backed up? Make sure its in your user folder and it will be by default. All of it but those extensions and those also if you zip them up. That doesn't seem to hard to me personally. UNIX/Linux users have used Home directories like Vista finally has for years and backed them up as the single repository on purpose of all user generated data and settings. It works very well and is easy to recreate in XP in My Documents.

    Saturday, March 8, 2008 5:04 AM
  •  Disgruntled Old Man wrote:

    Want those? ZIp em up and make sure they are in your user folder anywhere and they get backed up. Want to know valuable data is backed up? Make sure its in your user folder and it will be by default. All of it but those extensions and those also if you zip them up. That doesn't seem to hard to me personally. UNIX/Linux users have used Home directories like Vista finally has for years and backed them up as the single repository on purpose of all user generated data and settings. It works very well and is easy to recreate in XP in My Documents.

    Thanks for your posts. :-) And, yes, the documentation for backup in particular really needs improving...

    -steve

    Monday, March 10, 2008 1:31 AM
    Moderator
  • I thought Live Careone was a disaster recovery solution. I have accumulated programs over the last 5 years and

    now must reinstall all of them. Also, I have serviced a number of home computers & had clients to install

    Live Careone. I had to contact all of them & advise that it is not a disaster revcovery solution. I AM SCREWED!!!

     

    Monday, April 28, 2008 3:59 AM
  • It depends on what your definition of Disaster Recovery is. For the average home user, backup is more than adequate to save important files on a regular backup schedule that can be recovered in the event of a hardware problem or problem requiring the restore of the factory image provided by the PC manufacturer or a Windows reinstall. Yes, you then need to reinstall programs, including OneCare, but all data can then be restored from within OneCare.

    If you want a full image backup solution, I would suggest looking at Acronis True Image for a disk imaging program or Windows Home Server for a really nice hardware/software backup solution that provides the ability to perform a bare metal restore from a nightly backup.

    -steve

     

    Monday, April 28, 2008 2:45 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    If you trusted 5 years of data to a program without reading its documentation and being fully satisfied that it does exactly what you need it to, I find it hard to feel sorry for you. While it could use improvement, the information is there that explains what this does and does NOT do. Obviously you did not pursue this learning experience prior to trusting a solution not designed to do what you imagined it should.

     

    Other people rely on you for advice? Do your homework and be thorough about it! Then you won't get caught with your pants down next time.

     

    Whining about your own failure does not help you. Taking personal responsibility and learning from experience does - bigtime. We all fail sometimes. I fail plenty. But I try to learn from these events and take that knowlege with me going forward as I find new mistakes to make. I hope you can yet learn something valuable from this experience.

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008 12:08 PM
  • Horse rubbish Mr. Disgruntled Old Man, if I might say... Most users will interpret BACKUP to mean DISASTER RECOVERY.  I have been in systems for 25 years and frankly am also now caught with my pants down as I also presumed this was realiable to perform a full system restore.  Nonetheless, the "backup" which is made available is vaporware as these capabilities don't require bloatware like OneCare.  Advice to the rest - write in the mainstream review sites your experiences to help keep newcommers informed of the pitfalls they could encounter with OneCare.

     

    The interesting experience I have here is that I had recommended OneCare to a relative a year back, not because I use it, but because it seems to be a fairly self contained, all inclusive, easy to use suite of system protection.  This user got their machine infected, as OneCare does not recognize the virus (even to this day).  As a result, the machine was trashed and the safety net they thought they had with backup is of limited value.  Wipe the machine.  Get a real anti-virus and seperate real backup (DR) app...

    Saturday, August 16, 2008 4:11 PM
  • Atreides Modi:

    Sorry to read of the problems you faced with backup, but if you configured backup you would see that it backs up data files only. In fact, there are many help topics on backup that explain this quite clearly. The marketing information about OneCare backup never mentions "system restore" or "complete backup" and often refers to "important files" throughout.

    OneCare backup is not my preferred solution, but it is certainly not vaporware. If you perform regular OneCare backups, your data files, based on the selections configured in the backup plan, are indeed backed up. Once you reinstall the operating system and programs, you can restore the data.

     

    As for your infection experience, you didn't state what the infection is or how it has been detected if not by OneCare.

    If you are using Windows Live OneCare and you have been infected, but OneCare did not detect or cannot remove the malware, please contact support to report this and for help with removal.

    How to reach support (FAQ) - http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2421771&SiteID=2

     

    If you are in North America, you can call 866-727-2338 for help with virus and spyware infections. See http://www.microsoft.com/protect/support/default.mspx  for details.  For international information, see your local subsidiary Support site.

     

    -steve

    Monday, August 18, 2008 3:08 PM
    Moderator