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  1. #16
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    I agree with everything Bob says with the exception of what will fit on a drive. You can actually get quite a few images on a drive assuming you don't have large volumes of Movies and/or music files.
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    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  2. #17
    Lounger JCitizen's Avatar
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    Cool I agree with Retired Geek..

    I use Macrium too, and in my case I use a plug in module drive and remove it right after backup. I don't like making incremental back up images, even though there is nothing wrong with that - I just don't like leaving my drive in the PC. So I use the regular Windows backup to back up files incrementally to the other drive already in my PC.

    Images are compressed in case that may not be understood by new users, so they don't really take up too much room. I've done full recovery this way, so I know it works well. To me having that pristine older image is more important than keeping a new incremental image handy. I've found with earlier versions of Windows - like Vista - that getting the Microsoft updates again actually fixes problems with dodgy past updates; as MS fudges the MSI and some of the hot fixes, and this eliminates that from the past. I found my computer ran better than before, by a long shot!! It also seems to fix some problems with applications - especially the security utilities. Go figure!

  3. #18
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Still, the OP wonders about the wisdom of mixing backup with non-backup content on a single external USB HDD. I personally would recomend against this.
    -- Bob Primak --

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  5. #19
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    I would recommend creating a separate dedicated partition on the external HDD (I call mine drive I: Image Bkup) which only contains backup images and is big enough to hold at least three of them, but not forgetting that the Macrium image will be compressed to some extent, and will not include the paging or hibernate files. For example, my drive C has 45GB in use, but the latest Macrium image of it is only 15 GB. I do weekly image backups (deleting the oldest one first) so if I have a need to restore then my restored drive will be only a week old at worst. Macrium free will ask you early in the piece if you want to create a recovery disk - do so, and then test that you can restart/recover your system from it. You can also mount an image backup to look like a disk drive in Windows Explorer, with its own drive letter, and then you can copy or recover individual files if you need to. For what it's worth, I have needed to restore from an image backup a few times, booting from the recovery disk, and it has always worked flawlessly.

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  7. #20
    Lounger JCitizen's Avatar
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    I suppose it depends..

    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Still, the OP wonders about the wisdom of mixing backup with non-backup content on a single external USB HDD. I personally would recommend against this.
    If your data is critical, then yes; maybe it is better if the write head only passes over one partition used for images only. That way if the external drive crashes, it is more likely to happen on the partition used more frequently for regular files; and of course it is always better if it is ONLY used for backups, in that scenario.

    In my case, I don't have any critical mission files, and I still have my dedicated 2nd internal drive for regular incremental backups. That is all I use the internal drive for. For those worried about Cryptolocker, this wouldn't be advisable either. The only other files I have on my external drive are export folders for my favorites from several browsers, so they are not written very often. Those are actually my only files that could be close to being called "critical", as I do a lot of research - so I have them backed up all over the place! I usually use three types of media for backups of anything I deem critical, and three locations and types of storage for each.
    Last edited by JCitizen; 2014-08-21 at 22:00. Reason: clarity

  8. #21
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    My preference is to use the Microsoft imaging software periodically so that I have a reasonably current image. It automatically goes in a folder called "windows system image", under which it creates a folder of the machine name to put the image. This means that you can have multiple pc images on the one backup drive and/or have other folders backed up separately. I recommend to friends that they keep a regular image as a recovery plan in case of drive failure or other calamity. Most people baulk at doing lengthy backups on a daily basis so I suggest an image every so often with a secondary quick backup method to sync libraries with something like SyncBack or Microsofts's SyncToy. getting people to keep their files in libraries is the difficult part as some like to have Desktop folders. Creating paired folders in SyncToy is easy and a number of Jobs can be setup to quickly sync a library that has been used that day prior to shutdown.
    I have had a couple if instances where Crypto Locker has appeared and a System Repair CD followed by an image restore has saved the day with SyncToy taking care of bringing
    the libraries up to date. With Outlook putting .pst files in the documents library, email is taken care of as well. I have had one case of the user leaving the backup drive in the PC and unfortunately for that user, Crypto Locker took care of the SyncToy backup AND the mapped server drives! The fall back was to the last image! The image was not to Crypto Locker's liking but no doubt it will come eventually. You cannot plan around laziness, but lessons can be a good teacher.

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  10. #22
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    You cannot plan around laziness, but lessons can be a good teacher. (Gannet)
    How very true!
    -- Bob Primak --

  11. #23
    Lounger JCitizen's Avatar
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    Oh! I'll admit, I'm lazy - thanks all for the posts. i'm surprised the Windows imaging backup worked so well! My version of Windows doesn't have it - but I do have the upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate, so I may be dropping Macrium for the new Windows backup!

  12. #24
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitizen View Post
    I may be dropping Macrium for the new Windows backup!
    JC,

    IMHO Not something I'd recommend.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  14. #25
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    IMHO Not something I'd recommend.
    Agreed.

    Zig

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  16. #26
    3 Star Lounger KritzX's Avatar
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    Thanks for all those ideas guys.

    @handcuff36: I'd have used TeamViewer, but my friend really isn't familiar with the program, so I ended up having to do it on the phone. Wasn't that much of a pain. Thanks for the suggestion, anyway.

    To the others: I noticed some of you experienced concerns about space on the HDD, but my idea was to just create a single Master image on the HDD, so that if the time ever comes to reinstall, she wouldn't have to set up her programs, download 100s of updates and so on. She'd just have a single image. So I really don't think a single image will eat up that much space. She doesn't have any movies on the HD and she uses DVDs for her music backups. Also, the HD is only used for monthly data backups.

    So, anyways, per your suggestions, I reformatted and reinstalled Windows on her PC and had her system set up the way she wanted. I had her install all pending updates and her preferred software. That took about a day. I then guided her over the phone on installing Macrium and making an image backup, and I have to say now, that ALL IS WELL! Everything went off with nary a hiccup, and her system's running better than ever. Thanks to all for your help! You guys are the best!
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  17. #27
    3 Star Lounger KritzX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitizen View Post
    I may be dropping Macrium for the new Windows backup!
    I really wouldn't do that. Use both together if you want, but don't depend entirely on Windows Backup.
    Fact of Life:

    “Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”
    Terry Pratchett

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    JCitizen (2014-08-24)

  19. #28
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    It's just that Windows Backup doesn't offer as many options as Macrium Reflect. Although he was writing about Acronis True Image, Fred Langa has not fully endorsed the built-in Windows Backup for System Backups. He isn't fully against the Windows tools, but he seems to favor third-party programs.
    -- Bob Primak --

  20. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Although he was writing about Acronis True Image, Fred Langa has not fully endorsed the built-in Windows Backup for System Backups. He isn't fully against the Windows tools, but he seems to favor third-party programs.
    Where/when?

    "There are many third-party backup tools available, but I recommend trying Windows’ built-in offerings first. After all, you’ve already paid for them!"
    By Fred Langa on January 16, 2014 in Top Story

    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2014-08-24 at 12:11.

  21. #30
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    Not only do the Windows Backup tools have fewer options than do the third-party programs, the rules for determining just what goes on "behind closed doors" are arcane and not fully divulged. For instance:

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/w...8-dd8f4be5849a

    For further discussion, see:
    http://www.sevenforums.com/backup-re...-solution.html

    Zig

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