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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Copy a Windows Backup Drive Image

    I want to move a drive image from one external drive to another to make room on the first drive for a new drive image.

    Copying the drive image folder happens so fast (virtually instantaneously) that I'm convinced it's not really copying the drive image.

    What's the secret to doing this?
    Bill Treloar
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  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    You need to find the files that contain the image backup. The backup should be about the same size as your current hard disk usage.
    Try Treesize free to show what directories contain large files.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks, Paul,

    I can find the folders alright ... there's a folder in the root called WindowsImageBackup. It contains a single folder with the name of my computer, and that folder contains three folders plus a MediaID file.

    Everything tells me that the WindowsImageBackup folder is only 16 bytes,. and I know it's lots (LOTS!) bigger than that.

    Yet when I try to copy that folder to another USB drive, it "copies" instantaneously. Clearly the actual drive image hasn't been copied. Windows is playing some tricks to keep people from messing up their drive image. When I look into those suibdirectories on the original drive, I see plenty of files, amounting to about 33 GB, but after copying, the target drive sub-folders don't contain those files.

    The question is how do I ACTUALLY COPY this stuff?
    Bill Treloar
    Rank Magic Blog

  4. #4
    Platinum Lounger
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    What are you using to perform the copy?
    Can you copy individual files?

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Ensure that Windows explorer is able to display hidden files and folders.

  6. #6
    mart44
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    From personal experience:

    The WindowsImageBackup will copy/move to another drive. As observed, the operation seems to happen too far quickly to have been a proper copy. The folder size given also is not as expected. This is because (I believe) only the structure or filenames within the folder have so far been copied to the other drive. Whatever the reason for the apparent fast finishing of the copy, there is certainly more data to go. Although the copy seems to be finished (nothing else happening), this dialogue box stays open (or it does for me):



    Don't close this box because while this box is open, copying is still taking place. It has only finished when the box closes on its own. Depending on the image size, this will be a good while. Copying a large disk image to a USB 2.0 external drive isn't going to be fast. The trouble is that you can't see the progress. It's a case of just waiting for the dialogue box to close, all the while thinking that nothing is happening (it is).

    An aspect of the WindowsImageBackup folder is that when you right-click on it to see its Properties, the folder size might be given a '0 bytes'. This is just what is reported in the 'copying' dialogue shown above. I think this would be why you don't get a proper progress bar.

    ---------------------------------

    It is possible to get Windows to show the true size of the WindowsImageBackup folder. When you try to open it past the first level in Windows Explorer, this message pops up:



    Click 'Continue' and keep going into the folder. Go into all of the sub-folders choosing to 'Continue' each time. When they have all been opened, come back out of the WindowsImageBackup folder. Now right-click on it. The size of the folder/data will now be visible in 'Properties'.

    If you were to now start copying the folder to another drive, there will be a proper progress bar as shown below:



    The advantage of this is that you can see the copying happening. However, it isn't really necessary to do this unless out of interest. The copying is still taking place whether the progress bar is being shown or not. Just wait for that first dialogue box to close down on its own.

  7. #7
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks, Clint., Yes, I always have Windows set that way.
    Bill Treloar
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  8. #8
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks, Paul. I found that when I copy a folder, only the folder copied, but not its contents. It seems I was able to open the folder and copy the individual files into the empty folder on the target drive. Took a bit of trial and error to get that working. I used Total Commander for this. (Tried in Windows Explorer too, and they seemed to work identically.)
    Bill Treloar
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  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks! I'll BET that's exactly what was happening. It looked like nothing was happening so I closed the dialog. It looked for all the world as though the process had hung.

    This is great to know ... thanks again!
    Bill
    Bill Treloar
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