How can I take reverse-incremental backups into backuppc of Windows XP machines? These need to include state information, open files, etc a la VSS (the disk access method, not Source Safe) / shadow copy. We need them to be restorable from backup and programmatically transformable into a bootable XenServer image. This is for continuity. The systems are running MS SQL Server, SQLLite databases, java apps, Access-database-using apps, etc, serving files over the network, leaving tons of files open at once, etc.

  • What is a reverse-incremental backup?
    – joeqwerty
    Dec 1, 2009 at 0:37
  • See Wikipedia under incremental backup. Basically, the most recent one is the full backup, and backups before that are incremental going back in time. ON UNIX, ie backuppc, backup is done even better. Everything is a full backup, but duplicates are removed via the filesystem. The backups are usually stored on disk using hard links so that the exponential backoffs (12h, 24h, 2d, 4d, 8d, 14d, 4w, 8w, 16w, 26w, 1y, 2y) are ALL there and appear complete.
    – A Student at a University
    Dec 1, 2009 at 0:49
  • Seriously, no answers?
    – A Student at a University
    Aug 23, 2010 at 10:17

2 Answers 2


As stated on the official BackupPC documentation, you can't have backup suitable for bare metal restores. This is for two reasons:

  1. BackupPC backups only files, no other disk information, like partition tables o mbr, so your disk layout is not saved.
  2. BackupPC does not backup Windows ACLs, so your NTFS file permissions are not saved

I'm looking for a similar solution, and the best options that I have found are:


Windows Bare Metal restore is possible with backuppc, but is not a direct option for it... it's just taking a full backup made with VSS and restore to a HD and recover that HD to boot.

I boot from a linux live CD, build the partitions and filesystem, restore all files, boot from a windows liveCD (like hiren's CD), restore the acls with SetACL (http://helgeklein.com/) and fix the MBR and fix the boot.ini. After this, you take a black chicken, offer it to the your god, dance around the room, pray and reboot. then start fixing if something fails :)

if you start from a already installed windows and replace the files, its usually easier

This is also another method, its the same restore, but using windows, instead of the linux. Check this site for more info:


Yep, windows is hard to restore, compared with linux :)

What i recommend is to use the drive snapshot (http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/) to build windows images (bare installs or up-to-date backups) and restore then with the static-restore-only snapshot for linux, using a live CD and then restore any changes file i need from backuppc

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