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Thread: Backup or image

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    Bronze Lounger
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    For all the hoopla over backups versus images, I have a computer boot drive (XP, NTFS) on which there are bad sectors and on which I know there are bad sectors. CHKDSK is not being helpful and I am stuck with what I have, which at present boots and appears to work perfectly well.

    I want to back it up, preferably so I can restore it to a freshly formatted drive, and my impression is that I want all files and folders backed up as files and folders, and not as an image. Does this make sense? I already have both, to be on the safe side, but I want to raise the question because this is not a drill, as they say in the movies.

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    Uranium Lounger
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    [quote name='peterg' post='778308' date='03-Jun-2009 23:05']I want to back it up, preferably so I can restore it to a freshly formatted drive, and my impression is that I want all files and folders backed up as files and folders, and not as an image.[/quote]

    Is your concern that the image backup will transfer the bad sectors when restored to a new drive ??

    An image backup is just that, an exact duplicate of your HD that when mounted or restored look exactly like your current system. All files and folders in place and intact. Unless you want to reinstall all your programs and then restore each individual program's data to assure yourself of a pristine registry, I don't see the point of doing any other form of backup.
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    [quote name='peterg' post='778308' date='03-Jun-2009 23:05']For all the hoopla over backups versus images, I have a computer boot drive (XP, NTFS) on which there are bad sectors and on which I know there are bad sectors. CHKDSK is not being helpful and I am stuck with what I have, which at present boots and appears to work perfectly well.

    I want to back it up, preferably so I can restore it to a freshly formatted drive, and my impression is that I want all files and folders backed up as files and folders, and not as an image. Does this make sense? I already have both, to be on the safe side, but I want to raise the question because this is not a drill, as they say in the movies.[/quote]
    Hi Peter,
    1) If I am reading you correctly, you currently have a disk with bad sectors which CHKDSK has NOT been able to repair. If this is the case, then an image of the drive (made with Acronis, Ghost, ShadowProtect, etc.) will also contain these bad sectors. Restoring this image to a new drive will then restore these same bad sectors (not what you want). I don't know about the others, but ShadowProtect does allow you to mount an image as a writeable volume and run a CHKDSK on that mounted volume. IF CHKDSK is able to repair the errors, then you can unmount the volume and save the changes as an incremental. Then, it's a matter of restoring the incremental (which will include the previous full backup image). This then will allow you to image a "damaged" disk, repair the corrupt sectors on the image (or at least mark those sectors as bad), and then restore a "good" image. If CHKDSK cannot however repair the damaged sectors on the image, then this won't help.

    2) If CHKDSK HAS been able to repair (or mark as damaged) the bad sectors on the original disk, then restoring an image (made AFTER the CHKDSK repair) will simply restore that image and the sectors that are marked as damaged will also be marked as damaged on the new disk. You'll lose the capacity to store anything on these "marked as damaged" sectors.

    3) If successful, either of the above will restore your complete system to a new disk.

    4) If you simply want to backup your data folders and files and then restore them to a newly formated disk, then it's a simple matter of copying these folders to some external media (external USB drive, CD, flash drive) and then copying them back once you have installed an operating system and all of your applications, updates, etc. on the new disk. You can't "backup" program files and folders and then simply copy them to a new disk. ALL of your applications must be re-installed if you go this route.

    Hope this helps a bit.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

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