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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Need advice on backing up new computer

    I recently bought a new HP ProBook. It has W7 Pro. I want to back it up so that I can recover in short order in case of a major issue. I'm not totally familiar with the terminology. I assume I would want to create an image? (I confuse the term "image" with "clone"). I would like to d/l a free s-ware package.
    I keep reading about Macrium Reflect and Ease US Too. Which would be easiest to use (I would back up to an ext. HD

    Mel

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Mel,
    An Image is a compressed file that allows you to boot into the Image app (by using a Boot disk built from the Imaging app) to restore your PC. The advantage, IMO, is that you can save as many of these Images as you wish. These files can be opened using the Imaging app to allow you to grab single files or data. These Image files are commonly stored on a removable Ext. HD, although they can also be stored on a separate partition or HD in the PC.

    A Clone uses the same Imaging apps, but makes a one to one copy of the original HD on a separate HD. This is commonly used when moving from one HD to a new HD. The advantage is that the new HD is bootable and can be swapped with the original HD. IMO the biggest disadvantage is that you can only have one clone stored on the new HD. It takes up as much space as the original HD. In order to grab files from the cloned HD both would have to be connected at the same time. I suppose if you used an Ext HD for this storage that would not be a problem, but in a laptop, where connecting more than one HD is difficult, that could be a problem.

    I use Acronis True Image 2013 for my Imaging needs. You can either use the app from within Windows or boot to the Bootable media you create to create your Images. These Image files can contain more than one partition. For example I have 2 separate partitions on my PCs, one for OS and apps and a second for the data. I can include either or both in an Image, and can restore one or both at any given time. Since data changes much more often than the OS, it should be backed up separately from your Image.

    I create a new Image at least once per month right after patch Tuesday so my Image is always very up to date. This allows the quickest restoration. In my case since I back my data separately using a different method, most of my Images include only the C Drive.
    Last edited by Medico; 2013-03-13 at 04:28.
    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

  3. #3
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    Check out Macrium Reflect, which has a free version, and is easy to use in my opinion.

    Ted,
    What different method do you use to back up your non-OS data?

    Dick

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    As you are probably aware I use Win 8. Win 8 has a new feature called File History which I run after I create my new Images. File history is designed to back up data, all data, both OS data and non-OS data. The first time it takes quite a while. Subsequent times it just updates files that have changed. It looks for all data on the PC whether in the C Drive or a separate partition such as I have.

    I also drag and drop all data between our 3 PCs. I figure there is very little chance all 3 will fail simultaneously unless of fire or natural disaster.

    As Dick mentions, there are many more than one app for this chore. Each operates differently as far as the mechanics of creating Images. I believe all these apps are capable of both Imaging and Cloning. I do not like or use the built in Windows Backup and Restore app. My limited use of it and many complaints about it have turned me to the 3rd party Imaging apps.
    Last edited by Medico; 2013-03-13 at 07:36.
    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

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  6. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    To make a complete backup of your windows 7 Probook;

    1.You will need an imaging application, either windows 7 backup and restore, or a 3rd party program.
    2.You will need a dedicated external hard drive. (preferably one used for only backup purposes)
    3.You will need to create a bootable recovery disk from your choice of imaging program, and you will need to test it.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
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  7. #6
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Since your computer is new, you can use the HP recovery disks to restore everything to "new" condition. But you'll need to generate these disks; they typically don't give them to you with the computer, but rather there is an icon in Windows which will allow you to make the disks.

    You probably know this, but the recovery disks will get you back to "new", off-the-shelf condition. Anything you have done on the computer since purchasing it will be lost if you use the recovery disks to rebuild the computer. Still, it's good to have them, just in case.

  8. #7
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    Mr. Jim:

    Actually, I do not have the recovery disks and the icon is no longer there. I said "new," but I bought it off someone from Craigslist who no longer had the recovery disks.
    Is there something I can do to recreate those disks?

    I am going to d/l Macrium Reflect. I assume that will allow me to make a bootable recovery disk and then I can do the image backup. I am new at this and hopefully it will be self-explanatory.

    Mel

  9. #8
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    If you can't locate the program on your computer which will allow you to make the disks, you could purchase them from HP. Last time I checked (a few years ago), they were charging around $25 for a set.

    My guess is that the icon is gone, but the program is somewhere on your hard drive.

    There may also be a recovery partition on your hard drive, which would allow you to rebuild the computer without the disks.

    However, if the computer is in good condition now, and you get a good image of it, you can restore from that if necessary.

    I'd make two images, just in case one goes bad somehow.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Macrium Reflect USB Rescue Options

    It should be straight forward enough.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  11. #10
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    ok, i still need some help here.

    First of all, I tried to make some system rescue disks. When I try to do this, it rejects the media, saying to "please use erasable or empty cd/dvd media." The media I have are SONY DVD-R. Is this the wrong type?

    Anyway, I then attempted to make an image on to my ext. HD. That seemed to work except:

    My C drive has about 42 gb of stuff written on it. When I look at the backup it has 4 files totalling about 14.5 gb. Shouldn't it be 42 gb, or is it all compressed.

    Mel

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    The image files use some degree of compression, yes. That's a very high compression rate there, though .

  13. #12
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    So what now

    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    The image files use some degree of compression, yes. That's a very high compression rate there, though .
    Is there some way to test or validate that I did in fact create an image of my "C" drive? That was about a 66% compression

    Also, what is the problem with my media. I was able to make a system repair disk using the Windows backup utility. I can go buy other disks if that is the problem.

    Mel

  14. #13
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    I wouldn't advise a restore. I think you can mount the image resulting from a Windows backup, but to be honest, I never used it. If you want to mount the vhd file he is how you can do it: http://4sysops.com/archives/mount-vh...s-7-and-vista/.

    About the media, were you able to use those DVDs without issues, before?

  15. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Get that rescue disk made. A USB thumb drive will do fine and is actually preferable to CD/DVD imo.

    Your degree of compression will depend upon the TYPE of data you have to compress.
    Office files and such compress really well.
    JPEG photos and AVI videos do not compress well. [because they are already compressed]

    Try to have data stored on another partition or drive that is independent from the operating system if possible.

    Have Macrium verify the image upon creation, and then once you are done creating the image, restore the image you have just made from the bootable USB stick.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  16. #15
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    Rurib:

    Yes, the media I have is fine. As I said, I just now made a system repair disk via Windows Backup. So, I am not sure what that problem is. I think I figured out the other problem.

    When I did the image, I specified the second choice (create an image of the partition needed to backup and restore windows).
    I did it again and specified the first choice (image all local drives on the computer). So now there are about 7-8 files summing up to about 28.8 gigs. That seems to be a better compression factor. Am I correct that this backup INCLUDES the files necessary to restore windows and in case of a disaster I could restore my entire computer to its current state?

    Mel

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