The majority of us computer users just want to back up EVERYTHING we have on our Documents folder. And Vista’s built in utility cannot do this for us.
The first backup choice it gives you is whether you want to back up some files or make a copy of your entire hard drive.
If you want to back up your documents folder, you would think that “Back up files” would do the trick. And it almost does, but it has a terrible gotcha: It does not back up EVERY single file on the folder you specify. It only backs up the following:
This does not include *.exe , *.msi , *.bat and others. I’m a software developer so I have weird exe’s and msi’s that were hard to find and a lot of .bat files that I hand wrote.
So this leaves this utility be absolutely useless for me and for many, many people. I guess it’s better than nothing but you will lose information if a catastrophe hits you.
Another thing I did not like is that each time you created a new backup, you were really just throwing all of your files in a “bucket”. If a file with the same name and location already existed in the bucket, it would get overwritten. But files were never taken out of the bucket. So when you did a restore, your restored files would include files you had deleted from your computer but were kept in the backup bucket.
In short, it is a piece of junk. I only wasted my time figuring out how it works. I’m going back to the way I did backups before: Using a backup utility that came with my HP external hard drive.
UPDATE: I ended up cooking up my own solution using the robocopy command.