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Can bvckup be used to synchronize boot partions of different Windows PCs?

TechnoMax7 :

Mar 10, 2020

I have two Windows machines, a main PC and a reserve machine. As they are quite similar in their hardware I can restore a backup from the main machine to the reserve machine and it is updated. But at the cost of 100 GB data transfer for each actualisation.
Can I use bvckup for this, w┬┤hen I boot the target PC not from its built in boot partition but from an external bootable copy on a USB-SSD (made by WinToUSB)? Then the normal boot partition of the reserve PC would be "cold" and could be overwritten and updated I assume?
Does this work over my local network?

Alex Pankratov :

Mar 11, 2020

This is not what a file backup would normally be used for, but if you don't need to restore boot sectors, mbr, etc. (any non-file elements) or to re-initialize volumes, then you should be able to use bvckup2 for mass-copying all files from one machine to another. I see no reason why this wouldn't work... but it's certainly won't hurt to do a test run.

Froggie :

Mar 11, 2020

Alex, what about metafiles?

Alex Pankratov :

Mar 11, 2020

What are you referring to exactly? NTFS journals, System Volume Information?

Froggie :

Mar 11, 2020

I guess I'm mainly referring to the $<...> files, the journals and FileSystem control elements.  Maybe that's all dealt with using VSS... just thinking out loud here.

TechnoMax7 :

Mar 12, 2020

My first attempt at synchronizing with the basic version failed: A lot of errors when running from the live windows partition to the cold one on the other PC. An attempt to heal the errors by running bvckup from the attached USB-SSD a second time produced errors too. And the target PC did not boot correctly and could not be repaired by Windows repair. The BCD is corrupt and bootrec /fixmbr had no access to the drive.
I ended in restoring the backup I had made beforehand.

Alex Pankratov :

Mar 12, 2020

1. Make sure to switch to the program to run with full Admin rights (it's in the Menu > Options > Preferences) and then set Shadow Copying to Require in backup settings. This should eliminate the errors.

2. Bvckup2 doesn't touch boot sector or mbr. It simply doesn't know how to do that, so if these got into a screwed-up state, it's due to external reasons.

But all in all, this _is_ an attempt to use file backup for system-level restore. Even if it works, it's a wrong tool for the job.

TechnoMax7 :

Mar 12, 2020

Indeed, I will not attempt this anew. Backup and restore does not take that much more time and the SSDs probably will survive that for a few years too.

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