Windows Backup vs Acronis

First a question about Windows 7 Backup. It says it will backup "data files saved in libraries, on the desktop, and in default Windows folders. Windows will also create a system image, which can be used to restore your computer if it stops working. So isn't that redundant? It will back up files AND make a system image. Won't those backed up files also be on the system image?

I was told Windows Backup could do a restore to dissimilar hardware. Is that true? Will it ask you for drivers when you do a system restore?

Acronis has some problem but it looks like it has a lot of advantages over Windows Backup too. 1) It isn't redundant 2) Can do a bare metal restore to dissimilar hardware 3) Can email results of backups and 4) can do incremental/differential. Am I wrong? I don't really want to push Acronis because of their horrid support but they do have major advantages don't they?
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TRSTeamConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I've used Acronis with the universal restore -worked well over different platforms.
You can do GFS backups, incremental, diff, daily and etc. The support wasn't so bad, just make sure to register your keys on their website, support will need that.
VB ITSConnect With a Mentor Specialist ConsultantCommented:
If you've had bad experiences with Acronis you could look at something like ShadowProtect instead, as it also has all the advantages you have listed for Acronis.
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
I am really trying to find out what Windows Backup is/isn't capable of and no one has responded yet to the questions about Windows Backup. I know what Acronis can do.
noxchoConnect With a Mentor Global Support CoordinatorCommented:
Windows Backup has one advantage - it is free. The second advantage is hardly an advantage - you do not need to install it like Acronis. At this moment the advantages end. Windows Backup needs a dedicated drive to store backups where Acronis allows storing backups on every drive and does not format it for storage.
Compressing the image is not the best side of Windows Backup because it stores backups in vhd format. Thus Windows Backup uses more storage room than Acronis. With Windows Backup you cannot have separate backups which you could easily copy to different drive like with .tib images.
Windows Backup can restore to dissimilar hardware but if the difference is not so huge. If it comes moving from amd to intel then most possibly it will fail, same with RAID controller. Acronis has Universal Restore which resolves this problem.
Should be enough, or?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
After several bad experiences with Acronis after Version 8, I no longer recommend Acronis for any purpose.  The free version of Macrium Reflect is very good and the paid version offers most of the Acronis features without the bugs.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Why is everyone suggesting some other backup tools here? The question was about the difference between Acronis and Windows Backup&Recovery tool. Under Acronis one can understand here any third party backup tools which the asker would like to replace with Windows native backup tool.
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
I am really more interested in the capabilities (or lack of) in Windows Backup. So it really wont do a bare metal restore to drastically dissimilar hardware, won't do differential or incremental, won't notify you if it worked or not (you have to open it up and look). Any other short comings?

   I have used Acronis for 10 years and that is all I have to compare it to. Acronis support is horrible and they totally screw up new releases but when it works it works great. I am really looking for ammo to tell people why NOT to use Windows Backup.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
As mentioned above - the compression, the encryption. It does incremental but always in the same chain. Not flexible as third party backup tool.
If Acronis fails to provide a decent support, simply switch to one of their competitors.
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