Solved Way to get a file from a backup of my PC?

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Pyro

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Jan 12, 2019
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I backed up my PC before I reinstalled windows, it deleted all my files (I had roughly a terabyte of space used and it condensed down to a 8gb backup, not sure if it got everything). There was a file I forget to copy to a USB stick, is there anyway I can get it back?

EDIT:
I found it! Looking through the backup files I found that it saved all the files.
 
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Bruce

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Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
glad you got it sorted - but I'd be double checking your backup regime.
this time you may have just gotten lucky and the file in question was included in the backup.

it shouldn't be possible to compress more than 1TB of data into 8GB, no matter what sort of compression was in play.
that sort of difference is more like a 'what folders were missed?' problem.

with personal backups you can exclude things like Program Files and Windows folders. just get your emails, docs, pics, music, bookmarks etc.
also consider doing system image backups where a snapshot of the whole drive is taken, a good program is Macrium Reflect Free edition.
for example, my C:\ drive uses 40GB for all my software, Windows and personal data.
Macriums images it in 6 minutes to an internal D:\ drive.
 

Pyro

PCHF Member
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Jan 12, 2019
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glad you got it sorted - but I'd be double checking your backup regime.
this time you may have just gotten lucky and the file in question was included in the backup.

it shouldn't be possible to compress more than 1TB of data into 8GB, no matter what sort of compression was in play.
that sort of difference is more like a 'what folders were missed?' problem.

with personal backups you can exclude things like Program Files and Windows folders. just get your emails, docs, pics, music, bookmarks etc.
also consider doing system image backups where a snapshot of the whole drive is taken, a good program is Macrium Reflect Free edition.
for example, my C:\ drive uses 40GB for all my software, Windows and personal data.
Macriums images it in 6 minutes to an internal D:\ drive.
It was only half a terabyte, but I thought it was suspicious myself. I used the standard backup feature in the windows settings but I had to Reset the PC immediately for other reasons. Any ideas why it would only save some?
 

Bruce

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Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
what is your Windows version?

but you will need to go into Control Panel and either check out File History or Backup and Restore (depending on what you used) and check the settings.
make sure all your personal folder are ticked to be included.
and if you like, check the box to take a system image as well.

personally, although completely adequate, I don't used the MS inbuilt backup simply because checking the way it stores things is not straight forward as I would like. my traits I want in a backup program is;
  • ability to store with no compression
  • store it without changing the files/folders at all
  • the software that created the backup is not needed to restore the backup
  • can detect changed files and only backup those
  • shows a list of what will happen so I can give it a once-over
so for my personal files, I use ViceVersa (a paid-for software) which I've used for about 15 years now.
my system images are done via Macrium.
normally you only need to recover files from your personal backup sets when files go missing or to use the backups as a versioning control method to go back 'in time'.
the system images come into their own when MS goes tits-up. very useful although I've only need them maybe 3 times ever, but they have saved my bacon and get the system back up within 1 hour.

sorry to prattle on, but backups are sort of my OCD thing.

I'm still very suspicious you got 500GB crammed into 8GB.

I'll let others chime in with their backup software choices.
I've dabbled trying to find a free replacement for ViceVersa but never found one that ticks all my boxes.
When my current version stops working on Win10 I'll move completely over to Macrium. (they wanted a re-subscription when going from version 2.0 to 2.5 which I did but now want another payment if you want v3.0, so their business model is minor versions are free but major you pay for - not for me)
 

Bruce

Forum Regular
Support Team
PCHF Member
Oct 8, 2017
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Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
the ongoing concern that your backup regime may need investigating... :)

if your happy with what you are doing, just say so and this thread can be closed.
 

Pyro

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Jan 12, 2019
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the ongoing concern that your backup regime may need investigating... :)

if your happy with what you are doing, just say so and this thread can be closed.
I found what I needed, I'll probably check other programs out for backing up next time. But yeah, I'm good. Thanks for the help!
 
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