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  1. #1
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    Macrium question: full, incremental, or differential?

    I probably should have asked this question ages ago:

    For backing up a data partition with Macrium Reflect, what strategy do you follow; and, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?

    Thanks for your help,
    Dick

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I use differential because you only need two files for a restore - the base full backup and the differential file of your choice. With incremental, you need the base file and all the incremental files up to your restore point. With differential, I can delete early files as the backup disk fills. The disadvantage of differential is each file is larger than an incremental file and takes slightly longer to create. It's not a big deal which option you choose as long as it's done regularly.

    Jerry

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    Dick-Y (2014-03-12)

  4. #3
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    I agree with Jerry.

    Zig

  5. #4
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    Full followed by incremental until you run another full, etc.
    Faster, takes less space and you still have all the files in case you really need to restore - I've never had to do a full restore of my computer in over 20 years.

    cheers, Paul

    p.s. this is the standard in corporate networks because you don't have enough time or space for differential.

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    Dick-Y (2014-03-13)

  7. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick-Y View Post
    I probably should have asked this question ages ago:

    For backing up a data partition with Macrium Reflect, what strategy do you follow; and, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?

    Thanks for your help,
    Dick
    I don't typically backup a data partition via imaging, only the main OS drive gets an image.
    With imaging a data partition you are just adding another layer of complexity, even if you do incrementals.
    I can't think of any advantages for using "imaging" as a means to backup non bootable data.

    The straight-up copying of data with or without some sort of syncing program to another partition or drive is the way to go. imo
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  8. #6
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I backup my data drive via imaging as well as may system drive as I find it simpler than keeping track of which folders I want to backup or mess with two different Backup/restore methods. I make both images at the same time weekly since my data doesn't change all that much. I do my backups from within Windows while I continue to work so it really doesn't cost me any extra time. Obviously, if you have data you can't afford to lose during a weeks time like a business PC, data backups need to be more frequent.

    Again, the main thing is to do regular backups. The methodology is of secondary importance.

  9. #7
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Personally, I think the best method is the one that you do regularly! No method is of any use if you don't do it! I'm just sayin'... HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  10. #8
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    I agree with Clint. If you have a separate data partition, I would not recommend using imaging. Its the OS and software that need an image. It's all about restoring. If your system goes down and you need to get access to your files before it's restored, you don't want to have to go fishing in an image file that can only be opened by certain OS versions that are working. Straight file copy or Zip format (that can be opened even in DOS) is best.

    Decent data backup tools like the free Cobain can be set up to automatically do periodic full backups with regular incrementals. I use monthly and daily. It will also automatically clear your oldest backups if you like. An incremental is fast and always has the latest version.

    For really critical files, you might like FileHamster. Any files or folders you set in it will be automatically copied on each save. While not presented as free, it will revert to a free basic version after the trial period. It's saved my bacon twice.

  11. #9
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    Hey Clint,
    I find your comments to be very good and thoughtful pretty much all the time. So I'm sending you a personal thanks for your thoughts and knowledge you've given on the subject.
    72yo new member but working with computers for over 30years, electronics since before transisters.
    Thanks Mucho
    John

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