Will File History restore on a W11 machine what was backed up on a W10 machine?

Haydon

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I am not an Insider or a Dev, so I am asking the question to the intrepid pioneers on this forum.

Here is the scenario. I have a W10 machine and back up the files and folders in Documents, Music, Pictures, etc with File History on an external drive. I will buy a W11 machine when it becomes available, plug in the external drive, and intend to restore the files and folders in Documents, Music, Pictures, etc at the push of the green button (at the bottom center of the screen)

Does that seem possible, from the (same) way File History work on W10 and W11?
If so, is there an independent way to verify that ALL files and folders have been transferred from the W10 machine to the W11 machine?

If that works, I could populate the W11 machine very quickly. Of course, programs need to be installed and configured too, but all of that would take only 1 day or 2 at the most.
 

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geoffL

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I would also like to know the answer to this question.
 

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BunnyJ

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FWIW.. I would use a tool like AOMEI backup and back up the folders to your external drive. Then when you get your 11 rig install AOMEI onto it and restore the folders from the external drive. I suspect that's a fool proof way of getting the job done.

Here's a link

HTH
 

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Haydon

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Yeah, the first question is whether a built-in tool like File History would do what 3rd party back up tools would do. I would think so. (FWIW, I don't like installing 3rd party programs if not absolutely necessary)

The second question is independent verification that ALL files and folders have been transferred. May be comparing file counts and file sizes? Then trying out if the files open correctly on the W11 computer? I would certainly keep the W10 computer for another year or two.
 

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BunnyJ

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Yeah, the first question is whether a built-in tool like File History would do what 3rd party back up tools would do. I would think so. (FWIW, I don't like installing 3rd party programs if not absolutely necessary)

The second question is independent verification that ALL files and folders have been transferred. May be comparing file counts and file sizes? Then trying out if the files open correctly on the W11 computer? I would certainly keep the W10 computer for another year or two.
Honestly do you do that when you copy/paste files now?
 

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Haydon

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Honestly do you do that when you copy/paste files now?
You mean verifying individual files? No, I don't do that, because there is a good chance that I notice right away when something goes wrong. It is a different thing if I transfer 100K files, though.
 

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BunnyJ

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You mean verifying individual files? No, I don't do that, because there is a good chance that I notice right away that something is wrong. It is a different thing if I transfer 100K files, though.
There's a 99% chance that all of the files will be transferred just fine with a copy/paste or a folder restoration via AOMEI. AOMEI restores OS"s and files just fine and with no issues.

Jeff
 

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Haydon

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There's a 99% chance that all of the files will be transferred just fine with a copy/paste or a folder restoration via AOMEI. AOMEI restores OS"s and files just fine and with no issues.

Jeff
Well, 99% of 100K means 1,000 errors. I am sure that the error rate is much smaller, but 0 errors is better :)
 

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Haydon

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Maybe ... anyone tried it out? My understanding is that any copy & paste operation also include error-reducing steps, such as a read step to make sure that what is pasted is identical to what is copied. That's the state of the art. And yet, the error rate is never zero. And hence, people are trying error-correcting methods, not sure how widely implemented that is.
 

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Maybe ... anyone tried it out? My understanding is that any copy & paste operation also include error-reducing steps, such as a read step to make sure that what is pasted is identical to what is copied. That's the state of the art. And yet, the error rate is never zero. And hence, people are trying error-correcting methods, not sure how widely implemented that is.
I got an idea.. write some code to compare the folders/files from the external source to the destination.. the new PC. I know you can do something like that in Python with the filecmp module. It's available in Python 3.x

I don't have any code for that but I'm sure a Google search will help out.
Jeff
 

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cereberus

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I am not an Insider or a Dev, so I am asking the question to the intrepid pioneers on this forum.

Here is the scenario. I have a W10 machine and back up the files and folders in Documents, Music, Pictures, etc with File History on an external drive. I will buy a W11 machine when it becomes available, plug in the external drive, and intend to restore the files and folders in Documents, Music, Pictures, etc at the push of the green button (at the bottom center of the screen)

Does that seem possible, from the (same) way File History work on W10 and W11?
If so, is there an independent way to verify that ALL files and folders have been transferred from the W10 machine to the W11 machine?

If that works, I could populate the W11 machine very quickly. Of course, programs need to be installed and configured too, but all of that would take only 1 day or 2 at the most.
The best way to answer this is to try it

What I would do is create a dual boot vhd with Win11, boot to it and try and restore the W10 backup. I would be very surprised if it did not work.
 

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Haydon

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I am also confident that the file transfer itself will work, what I am not so confident about is low enough error rate so that it will cause only a couple of file corruptions of the 100K files. It won't be zero file corruptions with that many files, that happens even in backups on the same machine (hence the advice of having 2 or more independent backups, and hence the self-healing OSs when OS files became that numerous)

I think the simplest way is to keep the retired old machine for a couple of years before discarding it and keep a couple of the old backups indefinitely.
 

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barman58

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Microsoft have always stated that File history is not a replacement for a proper backup system, but should be more accurately be considered as a file versioning system, use to recover an occasionally, accidentally deleted or modified file.

There are ways to move the files in the main user files folders, Documents, Images, downloads etc without use of third party software. this should meet your needs as described above

If you check the properties of any of the special folders you will see a tab "Location" this can be used to move the folder to any location of a suitable size that is visible within the file system. I use it myself to move all the subfolders of my folder under "Users" folder to my data drive which is a separate drive on my systems and access the same data from a desktop and a laptop .

If I wanted to, I could use the same system to move the contents of my personal folders onto an organised folder tree on my NAS system or an external drive, (i could even share the drive across the network and access the shared drive from other systems if that worked better for me)

This data is of course independently fully backed up to an external drive using Aomei Backupper Pro, using partition imaging. This can also perform a two-way sync operation between my Work laptop and Desktop everytime the two devices see each over over the network (or a 10 gigabit USB-C connection)
 

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Haydon

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I do both File History and Backup and Restore (Windows 7) on my Windows 10 machine. I have never used the Restore functionality of the latter. When a couple of years ago, I felt that the machine should be performing better, I took the time to rebuild the machine from scratch, there can be no cleaner "Restore". I still continue to use the latter for peace of mind, though (I also prepared all the computer maintenance tools that Windows provides, boot disk, repair disk, etc. that I never ever needed to use, I forgot what the exact names are, LOL)

With Windows 11 coming up on the cleanest possible machine (new) the cleanest file transfer is by using only the former, hence the thread.

FWIW, I install third programs only if I absolutely must. For example, if a printer does not perform well, I replace it with a new printer that does, I don't install non-MS printer drivers. Well, that's me :eek:
 

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barman58

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There are issues with some Microsoft utilities, In my experience, [ and that of may other Pro users], the Microsoft Backup and restore systems have always been a major weakness with their OS. it seems to backup successfully but then fails the bare metal recovery.
I also come from a business/engineering IT background where many gigabytes of data is backed up with every kB representing monetary value.

Because of this I have used 3rd party options and my preferred solution for a while now is the Aomei offering, which gives better choices and best result if you choose the Pro option. This type of system should offer 100% reliability, and perform redundant checks to ensure this though it does not hurt to run a system of multiple backups to ensure safety.

Macrium Reflect is another reliable and the pro version has good extras

With regard to Drivers, Microsoft does not write any drivers except for the small range of microsoft hardware the drivers you get from Microsoft or Microsoft updates are basic drivers supplied to them by the hardware manufacturers, these rarely if ever provide the full range of options designed into third party hardware, and often are quite generic, a single MS driver offering support for more than one range of hardware, obviously this results in less reliability in addition to reduced usability
 

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Haydon

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Well, I have to weigh MS vs third party software again.

As to 'Backup and Restore (Windows 7)' it is disconcerting to hear that it can fail restore to bare metal. FWIW, I maintain 2 independent backups, and no, I am not going to maintain another one. As I said, I have never ever used the Restore functionality in any of the present or previous Windows versions. I rebuilt the machines from scratch the few times I did it, especially since it is so simple to do (although time-consuming) since Windows 8.1. I don't need any features beyond the very basic functionality, but yes, I value utmost reliability.

As to 'File History', I am careful to test the Restore functionality after every test 'run'. I delete a test file and make sure that it can restore at the original location, it never failed, cross your fingers, but I gained confidence over the years. However, and as I said earlier, I don't know how well it will perform with many GBs worth of files, and across different machines with different OSs on top of that. It bugs me that MS apparently have not said anything reassuring about reliability in this regard, functionality without reliability is worth very little in my book. On the other hand, any piece of software, MS or third party, can be used as an attack vector, another aspect to consider in the pros vs cons.

I realize that MS does not write its own printer drivers (I should have said it better in my previous post) but MS must have vetted it when it wrote the corresponding little control panel (perhaps vetted it in the same way as the non-MS software offered in the Microsoft store) With printers, I have nearly always been able to live with the basic MS-vetted functionality, even if it is inconvenient sometimes (and replacing the very few printers when I found it too inconvenient)

Edit: I seem to recall an MS article 'How to make a new computer like an old one' or something like that. I can't find it.

Second Edit: Come to think of it, Brink could write a tutorial 'How to make your new Windows 11 computer like your old Windows 10 computer' :)
 
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Grab a couple of ext usb HDDs, MR or Aomei or EaseUS or whatever, make full images of your OS and data partitions before troubles strike. For most if not all of us, it is simply a matter of when, not if.
 

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johnlgalt

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And reading this thread if you haven't already can help.

You don't have to pay to get good quality backups from 3rd party software.

 

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    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
    Sound Card
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520 + RealTek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell laptop display 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 * 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 128GB M.2 22300 drive
    INTEL Cherryvill 520 Series SSDSC2CW180A 180 GB SATA III SSD
    PSU
    Dell
    Case
    Dell
    Cooling
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master (shared) | Dell TouchPad
    Keyboard
    Dell
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex
    Browser
    Edge Chromium | Chrome | Firefox Nightly | Brave
    Antivirus
    Defender + MB4
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