Backups - MS Backup & Restore

posted Feb 20, 2010, 2:51 PM by r0m30 1   [ updated Feb 21, 2010, 11:50 AM ]
First, on a positive note, the inclusion of a backup with bare metal restore capability is huge.  One attaboy for Microsoft on this one.

The issue I have with Microsoft Backup and Restore is that the backups are not encrypted.  If you have your financial records on your computer you should be using encryption.  I readily admit that most home users do not use encryption so not having the backup encrypted isn't increasing their exposure by much, if their computer is stolen the thief doesn't have to go to the unencrypted backup copy to get their financial data it's right there on the primary drive. 

So what do you do?  First I tried to schedule a backup to a TrueCrypt container on my external USB drive, nope not gonna happen.  The wizard will not present the mounted container as an option.  So a little web surfing and I find the command line program to run the backup (WbAdmin), again it won't play.  I get a message that says my backup destination isn't a supported backup target.  The folks in Redmond seem to have gotten a severe case of Apple-itis ,  they know what's good for me and I'll like it. 

So how do I securely backup using the included Microsoft tool?  Apparently you don't....

As a workaround I'm using Disk2vhd from sysinternals.com to create a VHD of my system drive to a TrueCrypt container.  Disk2vhd allows you to create a .vhd from a running system using the volume shadow copy feature.  If I ever have to use this to restore it's going to be painful.  I'll have to copy the .vhd onto an unencrypted disk, mount the vhd, use imagex to capture a .win, apply the .win to my system drive, and then scrub the unencrypted disk.  There will probably be some disk repair steps in there too.  I haven't tested this so it may not even work.

Thankfully this is going to be my backup of last resort.  I have Retrospect and it encrypts it's backup sets.
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