Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Central PA, USA
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Single pc win 7 backup/image strategy

    I have been looking to establish some sort of unified, semi automatic backup strategy for a single win 7 PC. I have partitioned my hard drive into to two parts. One is c: (My system drive) and one is D: (my data drive) The C: drive is relatively small (100GB) and contains all of the "programs" and the unmovable parts of the user directory. I moved all of the movable parts of the user directory to the D: drive by right-clicking on each directory in users and then looking to see if properties includes a location tab. If it did, I clicked that and changed the location form c:\users\... to d:\users\....

    That seemed to work reasonably well so far.

    Now I want to build a backup recovery strategy.

    First, I need a win 7 repair disk. To build that I went to control panel/system and security/backup and restore and selected create a repair disk. I did that... Have not tested it, but the process appeared to work ok.

    The next thing I tried was to back up my system disk (objective is to create a restorable system image that I can reload to reestablish windows with all of the basic programs I use and their fixes). To do this, I need a program that will take the entire c: drive and image it in compressed form, preferably to an archive medium like DVDs, For this I have no need to recover individual files. Preferably, the first DVD in the recovery set would self boot and then proceed to overwrite the c: partition without involving windows. I would use this to recover reasonably quickly in a "scorched earth" restore of the operating system in cases like virus attacks that prove resistant to other remedies.

    I have wasted waaay too many DVDs trying to do this with control panel/system and security/backup and restore (create system image). This program seems to be very fragile and usually has some problem before it can successfully complete creating the 10 or so DVDs that the process appears to need. At the very least, this program should have some sort of checkpoint/restart ability so that creation of a system image does not have to be restarted from the beginning, thus wasting several DVDs. It would also be useful if that program had some sort of strong compression capability. I am looking for suggestions as to what program to use to do this function. I really do not want to dedicate a rewritable drive to this task because, once this image is made, I would never want to change it.

    Once I have solved the c: drive imaging problem, I would like to back up my d: drive. This backup would occur periodically. I would like to keep several iterations. Ideally, these backups could be taken either for the entire drive (full backup), or for just those things that changed since the last backup (incremental backup). I might take full backups once a month and keep 6 months worth of them. Then I would take weekly (or even daily) incremental backups. Hopefully, from these backups, I could restore the whole drive or restore a single version of a single file.

    Has any one else out there successfully done this? Any recommendations about products to use? I have installed and played some with acrionis, but that had the effect of mucking up the windows create repair disk application. Now that I have created my system repair disk, I could try it again, since I should not need to create another repair disk...

    If his has been covered in previous threads/posts, I apologize. I did unsuccessfully look for threads similar to this.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    Putting images on DVD discs is too precocious and bound to errors on their creation, as you have found out already.
    It would be highly preferable if you had either an extra internal drive on an external drive to place images on, or both to store image based backups on.

    Macrium reflect
    will have compression, you will also need to create their boot disk.
    Acronis will also have compression as above.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    I have to concur with Clint. My scheme involves storing my Images to an Ext USB HD. I use Acronis for this chore. I do however recreate those Images when I have changes in the system. My Image file includes both my C Drive (Win 7 Ultimate) and my E Drive (Win 8 CP) for now. It will soon change to Win 8 RP. This way I can restore either Win 7 or Win 8 CP whichever I need to.

    Just last night I had to restore my Win 8 CP partition for some reason. Unfortunately my Image was just under one month old so I also had a few other updates and additions to do right afterward. If I had followed my own advice and created a new Image right after making the changes to my system, then the restoration would have taken less than 10 minutes rather than the half hour it took. Now extrapolate if my Image were, say, 6 months old. You get the drift here. The fresher the Image, the less time you spend restoring your Image.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Slough, Berkshire UK
    Posts
    924
    Thanks
    55
    Thanked 52 Times in 50 Posts
    My suggestion would be to use an external HDD as Clint and Ted suggested. Then you could reclaim your space on your boot drive 'C' and use the external drive for Data and image backups.
    The windows Image creation tool works fine on External HDD, does not have as many options as Macrium or Acronis but is free. (plus I find I do not need all the options found on the third party programs) I just want it to create a backup image with as few clicks as possible which windows does fine. I have had no failures using the windows built in image backup option. But this is my opinion using third party programs may be more to your taste.
    But just to re-iterate it is not a good idea to use the same physical drive as your OS drive for backups as if that drive fails for a mechanical fault you will also lose all your backups and be unable to restore to a new HDD. And CD/DVD are not very reliable for storing backups as disks can get scratched very easily.
    Last edited by curiousclive; 2012-05-02 at 05:56.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    S.F. Bay Area, California, USA
    Posts
    735
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked 80 Times in 78 Posts
    What Clive said.

    Zig

  6. #6
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Central PA, USA
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Thank you all for your suggestions. However, I am still not yet sold on using an external USB Harddrive for this purpose.

    First, they are expensive, Second, I want to save a copy of this offsite and one onsite, this makes it twice as expensive. Third, when my pc is "casters up" and not booting, I need to have a way to get system booted, a restore program loaded, and the the usb hard drive recognized. I am not sure how wone would do that.

    That is why I focused on a DVD based backup for this function. Is there no reliable way to backup a system image to DVD?

  7. #7
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    33
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by bedrock445 View Post
    That is why I focused on a DVD based backup for this function. Is there no reliable way to backup a system image to DVD?
    Make the image file, then boot back into Windows and burn it to DVD later. I use Symantec Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 for this purpose.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •