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I'm re-installing a Windows 7 PC and want backup all the users generated data to latter decide what data can be useful. What directories I must backup?

With user generated data I'm talking about all data inside a Windows 7 PC except system and installed programs, cos system and installed programs can be large and are not important in the sense that one can install them again, but users generate data, inbox, programs settings, etc. is what I want save, but I don't know where find it and how save it using a Ubuntu CD because the syslink issues when trying to coy using Nautilus.

I have problems coping C:\Users\USER_NAME\AppData using a Ubuntu live CD (because I don't have access to the Windows 7 PC) due to AppData have a lot of syslink (Junction Points)! The problem is that the copy turn infinite, I mean, is like I'm copying more files that what my hard disk can stored, a kind of syslink loop I think.

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closed as off-topic by Wesley, Zoredache, Bryan, Stephane, Jenny D Jul 17 '13 at 15:05

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about hardware or software used in a home setting are off-topic because they require answers that may not be practical for the business and support professionals here. You should try asking on Super User instead." – Wesley, Zoredache, Bryan, Stephane, Jenny D
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I think that this question can be useful for any windows 7 sysadmin, so even is not related to a server, is related to desktop installation and backing up. – gsi-frank Nov 6 '12 at 0:07
Actually, most Windows 7 admins have things like folder redirection configured so that we can avoid precisely this. Users saving files to local hard drives is bad news – MDMarra Nov 6 '12 at 2:59
Agreed, still, I have a lot of users with laptops that have all theirs data in theirs laptop hard drives. In those cases, how can I save all users generated data? – gsi-frank Nov 8 '12 at 8:38
Folder redirection and offline files. – MDMarra Nov 8 '12 at 8:41
Is a fact that I don't have access to Windows 7 OS anymore, so "Folder redirection and offline files." aren't an option. – gsi-frank Jul 6 '13 at 18:55

If you want to be sure you should just back up the whole system. If you're getting all system, application, and user files, that's basically everything anyway. Just do a full backup and call it a day.

Using an Ubuntu livrCD, you can mount the NTFS drive with FUSE, use dd to make a disk image or just use rsync/cp to copy all of the directories to removable media.

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Thanks for the reply, but what about Junction Points like AppData dir? I try copy using Nautilus but seem that dirs like AppData with Junction Points fall in a loop. – gsi-frank Nov 5 '12 at 23:37
Then try just making an image with dd or skipping those directories. Do you really need anything in there? – MDMarra Nov 5 '12 at 23:40
AppData have the roaming profiles where I think that is stored important data like Thunderbird emails and others app data. What I really want is avoid figure out what data is important and just backup all the data, that is not program files, and system, cos I not have a big store to plug in into the Windows 7 PC. I have ssh access to the Ubuntu live, but I can't figure out how copy the entire disk without fall in a loop due to syslinks. – gsi-frank Nov 5 '12 at 23:44
See my previous comment. Make a disk image with dd – MDMarra Nov 5 '12 at 23:45
If you know what data you need to save, then save it. If you don't know what data you need to save, save all of it. Sorry, I can't really help you determine exactly what folders you do and don't need. If you read man dd you can see how dd works. It can save an entire volume as an iso, which can be mounted/extracted/whatever later. Seriously, you're basically saying "do my job for me." You either need to determine what needs to be saved and save it, or save everything. No one is a mind reader and knows what specific files you need. – MDMarra Nov 6 '12 at 0:20

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