HP Recovery Utility backup1.exe won't run.

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A Review of HP Recovery Utility and Paragon Rescue Kit 9

I recently was given an HP Compaq laptop to fix. The laptop had Vista installed. The laptop would start and tell you that it was installing Update 1 of 3….0%. To cut a long story short and get to the main subject of the post, when I did a restore and got the laptop up and running I noticed that the anti-virus, Task manager, Regedit, and Administrator user had all been disabled. When I tried to enter safe-mode, Vista crashed. There was nothing to do except a full reinstall.

When I began the "Restore to factory settings" the HP laptop ran a program called "HP recovery Utility" which claimed to do backup of all your picture, document and email files.

Clicking Next brought me to the backing up window where it stated "0% complete. There was a status field showing which file it was reading. It seemed to be reading every single file on the disk. After an hour it was still reading 0%! It hadn't crashed though. You could still see it reading through the files. I waited another hour and to my utter delight saw the scale move up to 1%! Great! At this rate, by my calculations it was going to take another 200 hours (that’s 8.333333 days) to complete the backups of a 160Gb disk. I could have done a complete image snapshot of the disk in 20 minutes! I let it run and it did speed up. It took around 6 hours to complete.

Then I started the Windows Vista installation. That took only around 10 minutes. Amazing I thought! Windows came up looking sparkling and new! This is just to lead you into a force sense of security though. The first thing it did was to inform you that it had to download Windows updates and restart after installation. These updates took around 4 hours eventually reaching Vista Service Pack 2. Why all the little updates Microsoft? Where are your cumulative updates? Why couldn't I just have had to install SP2 and that would have been that? Four hours plus on updates is totally ridiculous!

I had the pleasure of seeing these Windows around 20 times spread over many hours. It seemed unending!

After installing an anti-virus and Office and having to suffer through yet more Windows Updates it finally let me try and restore the backed up files.

I went to the backup folder where there was a single massive .fbw file and an application file called Backup1.exe. I ran the application and clicked Next and it began. "Restoring files, 0% complete…". I simply had no time for this so I cancelled the restore and shut the laptop down.

Problem: Backup1.exe won't run

The next day I tried to run the restore again. I double clicked on backup1.exe and up popped the Vista "confirm" window and then nothing happens. I tried again but nothing! There was no error message at all. I looked in the Task manager but there was no entry for the application. I tried running it with Administrator privilege but still nothing. I tried in Safe Mode but it refused to run. I tried switching off User Control Security but that didn't seem to be the problem either.


I did a Google and found loads of people complaining that Backup1.exe would not run but no one had an answer! Eventually, after googling the problem for 20 mins someone mentioned in one of the forums that if you had run the application and cancelled, it leaves log files in a folder called "System Recovery Files" on drive C.

If the tool sees this folder then it won't run! Simply deleting or renaming the folder brings the Backup1.exe back to life! Frustrating is not the word! The programmer of this nightmare tool ought to be tortured to death for wasting so many people's time! Not only will it not run if there are old log files there but when you come to do a restore it gives you no option to change the destination folder of the restored files. Recovery to "C:\System recovery Files" folder had simply been hard coded in. This would mean that had you partitioned drive C to a minimum and created a drive D to hold your data then there would not be enough space on drive C to restore the files and there would be no way of retrieving them. Great coding!

The next time I need to do a full Windows reinstall but need to backup personal files I'm not going to bother with HP Recovery Utility. There is a much easier and far quicker tool available and it's free!

Introducing Paragon Rescue Kit 9 !

This utility creates a CD image file which you burn onto a disk and use to boot a damaged machine with. It will boot up even if Windows is completely corrupted and gives you access to all the files on the disk. You can back the files up on another partition on the same hard disk or you can connect a USB hard drive to the computer and use that. Backups are done by using a standard Windows Explorer Style interface to decide which files and folders to copy to the destination drive. It's that simple.
After you have finished copying all the files you think you need, you can access these folders and files by plugging the USB hard drive into another computer, just to check that you have all the files you need. (They are not compressed or encrypted in any way). After that you can wipe out drive C and begin a fresh Windows installation safe in the knowledge that you have all personal files backed up. Amazing utility!

Up until now I have played it really safe and installed a new hard drive into the desktop and then installed a fresh copy of Windows on that. Afterwards I simply copy the old files fromteh old disk onto the new disk. This method may cost NIS 200 for a new drive but it guarantees 100% file recovery unless the old disk itself is damaged beyond repair. Obviously you can't use this "Sledge Hammer" approach with a laptop as it only allows installation of one hard disk at a time.

Using Paragon rescue Kit you can use this on a desktop machine or laptop and once saved check the files before doing a Windows reinstall. There are plenty of similar tools out there costing between $30 and $300. This thing does it better and for free.

In a future post I'll tell you (beli neder) how to convert a USB disk-on-key device to use as a CD/DVD boot disk.


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