Something I’ve said for a long time is that your approach to change – particularly change that’s out of your control – is one of the biggest factors that will determine just how successful you are at using technology. The better you can handle change, the happier you’ll be. I’m absolutely convinced of it.
Note that I’m not saying you need to like all change. Not all change is good.
I’m currently working on my next book, Saved! Backing Up with Windows 8 Backup, and I’m running into some changes that are so incomprehensible it’s making me think “WTH Microsoft?!”
Let me explain how I avoid ulcers in this ever-changing world of technology.
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Windows 8 Backup
Apparently there is no user interface to schedule automatic image backups in Windows 8.1.
You could in Windows 7, and I believe in Windows 8, but not Windows 8.1.
You can make image backups manually.
You can restore image backups, of course.
But if you want to schedule your image backups to happen automatically using Windows’ own backup utilities, it appears that you’ll need to deal with command-line tools.
That was my WTH1?! moment. It makes absolutely no sense to me.
I get to choose my response
I could get frustrated and angry.
Okay, I did, for a bit.
But I chose not to hold on to that.
Instead, I sighed, shook my head, and then spent a few minutes thinking about the options I had in front of me.
- Avoid Windows 8 backup entirely. This might well be my recommendation for most users, but it’s not an option for me. I have a book to write specifically for those who choose not to take that recommendation, or simply can’t.
- Avoid the feature, and focus on the (fairly nifty) things that Windows 8’s backup system does do. This isn’t really an option for users, in my opinion. The nifty things that it does (File History, to be specific) don’t overcome the limitation. System images are simply too important to ignore, in my opinion.
- Use an alternative to the feature. A viable approach that I may well end up covering in the book.
- Figure out how to do it “the hard way”, and try to make it easier. This is what I hope to cover in the book. It’s not that system image backups can’t be scheduled – they can. It’s just not pretty. People that need to do this (which is everyone who relies on Windows 8 backup, in my opinion) are going to need some guidance on how to set this up.
As I said, it ain’t pretty. But there’s a clear path.
One thing I cannot change
No amount of my complaining or being frustrated will change the way Windows 8.1 works, or the inexplicable decisions made by Microsoft.
It is what it is.
So what’s the point in complaining and being frustrated? It would only get in the way of implementing an appropriate solution, or writing about it.
It’s all very Zen and almost metaphysical, I suppose, but the bottom line is that the single most important point in a situation like this, at least for me, is understanding what is and is not in my power to control, and letting go of what isn’t.
But Leo, it’s not that easy!
I know. Seemingly random changes – particularly when they take away something important that was relatively easy to do – can be very frustrating. I’m certainly not saying there’s no cause for frustration.
I’m also not saying that it’s easy to let go of that frustration.
What I’m saying is that you’ll be happier if you can. Because, really, it’s the only thing you have control over.
Be upset for a bit, but then research and outline your options, make a decision, take action and move on.
By the way, it’s not all bad news
When it comes to backing up, while Windows 8.1 seems to have made image backups more cumbersome2, the File History seems like a big winner. That’s something I will be recommending people turn on, I think, no matter how they backup their machines otherwise.
It’s convenient, it’s handy, and it’s another way to help protect your files from things that can go wrong.
And it’s hard to have too much protection. :-)