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Author Topic: Application Settings Backup and Restore tools?  (Read 2842 times)

msj

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Application Settings Backup and Restore tools?
« on: July 08, 2009, 03:11:04 PM »
It took me years to find and locate a reliable drive imaging tool that could create editable read/writable) full and incremental disk images that could not only be mounted from ISO based bootable media like a USB drive and provide hardware independent restore capabilities but also use the backup images with virtual machine software like VMware Workstation if I needed to. For those who need something like this that tool is ShadowProtect Desktop from StorageCraft.com. During this quest I managed to also locate a separate but exceptional data recovery tool with an environment that not only has data recovery tools but one that can also be used as a temporary network connected working environment. That tool is Active@ Boot Disk on livecd.com or Lsoft.net. Both of these tools are not very well known but easy to use and work very well. I've tried most commercial applications and both these applications have capabilities that provide functionality that I needed and basically put their more well publicized competition to shame.

Today the issue I have is, finding a tool that can backup and/or restore a variety of common or not so common third party application settings within Windows. For the average user finding the location of where the settings are stored is a monumental challenge for the most part. I am familiar with BackRex Expert Backup from Backsettings.com and Office 2007 Settings Backup Wizard Professional from Settingsbackup.com and a number of well known backup applications with application specific plug-in extensions such as Backup4all. I need to be able to backup and restore as many portable OS, Microsoft and other common application specific settings as possible to a newly installed OS image with newly installed applications.

Like ScreenshotCaptor, I am convinced that the excellent programmers here at DonationCoder are capable of producing something simpler and more effective than what is currently available in the market place that actually works! Your thoughts? Is there anything out there that you have seen that can do this in a comprehensive way?

MilesAhead

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Re: Application Settings Backup and Restore tools?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 05:15:47 PM »
Other than just saving the registry with ERUNT I don't know what you could do 'cept maybe slipstream an install disc with program install scripts.  One of those specialized WinPE based thingies.

Steven Avery

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Re: Application Settings Backup and Restore tools?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 11:27:13 PM »
Hi Folks,

The great amount of work in those programs is not so much the backup up and restore, but puzzling out what to save from where. And don't ferget that the program can have one profile, or various profiles for other users, hard to get at when not signed in. And the actual config could be in the registry, an .ini file or various data files, or some combination of all. And the user may have defined the location differently than the default.  And you might have file lock situations to puzzle out, on backup or restore.  And things can change from one release to another.  And what is a configuration ? Does it include addresses and filters, how about saved searches and such ?

So there is no such thing as a generic "backup the configs".  The backup programs for Eudora or Outlook or Firefox can be pretty sophisticated, and difficult, in their own right.

Shalom,
Steven

justice

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Re: Application Settings Backup and Restore tools?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2009, 05:35:37 AM »
There is an app for this and it only supports the programs that the users write configuration files for, but it worked well for a variety of programs. You could get a free licence if you submitted 3 program definitions. The only issue is that I cannot remember the name. hmm google search doesn't help :( i think it was maybe russian.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 05:42:40 AM by justice »

4wd

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Re: Application Settings Backup and Restore tools?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 06:08:30 AM »
There is an app for this and it only supports the programs that the users write configuration files for, but it worked well for a variety of programs. You could get a free licence if you submitted 3 program definitions. The only issue is that I cannot remember the name. hmm google search doesn't help :( i think it was maybe russian.

NikSaver - It was offered on GAOTD back around the 31-1-2008.  It was also portable so you could keep it on a flash drive and have your program settings saved to it.

I played with it for a while but it was rather 'inconsistent' about the directory structure it would save it in - it worked though and you could specify your own parameters for programs as well as the ones that were included.

The full list of default supported programs is here.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 06:11:27 AM by 4wd »

justice

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Re: Application Settings Backup and Restore tools?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 06:26:51 AM »
Ah that's the one! I never continued to use it either but I cannot remember why - it's worth a look, although I'm not sure how it functions under Vista and newer.

4wd

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Re: Application Settings Backup and Restore tools?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 06:33:59 AM »
When you think about it, this is probably something that could be knocked up in AutoIt, reading a simple ini file that contains reg values and dirs/files to backup under a section for each program.

There speaks the voice of naivety :P

justice

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Re: Application Settings Backup and Restore tools?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 07:15:18 AM »
The problem is supporting all the programs via a plugin system thats so easy and rewarding that everyone can use it, contibutions are automatically distributed to all users, people will be happy to spend time to test it to avoid data loss, etc. Then when a new operating system comes a long these applications might cause incompatibilities or new problems because the application data thinks its still using the old one.

Interesting ideas and problem to try and work out (perhaps for a team of 3 people) - however I've just given up on trying to find a solution and reinstall from scratch. :P

justice

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Re: Application Settings Backup and Restore tools?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2009, 07:17:38 AM »
Perhaps a program that is free with a subscription update service to send out the definitions - then again I don't think people will pay for it unless its a module as part of a bigger backup program - so theres no market for it. Ah unless software authors sponsor it so that they can include official definitions - anyway thats offtopic :P
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 07:20:19 AM by justice »