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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Testing back-up images

    For only the second time in 40+ years I had to resort to restoring an image. Over the years I've used many programs for imaging, this one was made with Easeus Backup. When I ran the Restore all seemed to go well, never a good sign, then stopped. "Restore failed," and this was using an image made two days earlier, on the same machine, to the same drive, with only one partition which had not changed. A few weeks ago I read Fred's article about testing back-ups. He said:

    "The gold standard of backup testing is, of course, a full, live, for-real restore...

    "The idea is simple: You create a new, empty, VPC whose virtualized hardware roughly mimics the real, physical PC that produced the backup you wish to test...

    "Obviously, the VPC's hard drive must be at least as large as the total space used by the original files. But you'll also need a skosh more room for hidden and system files."

    Now here's the problem. I'm using a laptop, there is only one drive, SSD 240GB, 45% free I have never delved into the arcane world of VPCs, but simple maths shows that 55% is used, and 55 into 45 won't go.

    Is there another Gold Standard? Could I restore to an external USB drive for instance?

    David

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    I've restored to different external & internal drives [partitions] before, it can be done. I've used Acronis True Image for such. Help me out, what is VPC?
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  3. #3
    jwoods
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    Virtual PC (or Virtual Machine).

    Tutorial on how to set it up for Windows 7...

    http://www.howtogeek.com/56158/begin...ng-virtual-pc/
    Last edited by jwoods; 2015-05-19 at 15:14.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your replies. Could you just clear up one thing? I have a spare 300GB drive so could I just restore the image on it without setting up a VPC? Something tells me that that is just too simple.

    David

  5. #5
    jwoods
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    Correct.

    It would be the same concept as installing a new hard drive on your system, and then restoring your most recent disk image to that new drive.

    The virtual machine would allow you to run the programs that were restored.

    As Fred mentioned in his article, you could spot check several files in the scenario you're describing.

    Make sure that you are validating the backup at the end when it runs. I mentioned in another post that the backup software I use has a "validate byte-for-byte" setting that I have enabled.
    Last edited by jwoods; 2015-05-19 at 19:01.

  6. #6
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    Thanks again. Just been looking at Easeus Backup (paid). Can't see any way of restoring the image except to the C: drive. In my experience Easeus has been a total waste of time and money. I have downloaded a copy of O&O DiskImage. Will try making an image of C and restoring to a different drive tomorrow.

    David

  7. #7
    jwoods
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhinoceros View Post
    Thanks again. Just been looking at Easeus Backup (paid). Can't see any way of restoring the image except to the C: drive. In my experience Easeus has been a total waste of time and money. I have downloaded a copy of O&O DiskImage. Will try making an image of C and restoring to a different drive tomorrow.

    David
    See if it will recognize a "target" drive other than C: by using the vendor boot disk.

    You may need to add it as a "virtual drive" in the restore steps.

    First, you'll need to create the virtual drive (VHD)...

    1. Open Disk Management (click Start, type diskmgmt.msc in the Search box, and then press ENTER).

    2. Highlight the drive you will be using for the target.

    3. Select Create VHD from the Action menu.

    4. Click OK to create the VHD.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    FWIW, I test drive images from time to time by doing an actual restore to the machine from which I made the image. For me, that's the only process that truly tests the image.

    So far, I haven't been disappointed, which also gives me a very high confidence level in my drive images.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  9. #9
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    Did you check the image?
    http://www.todo-backup.com/products/...image-file.htm

    Why don't you create a VM with a 100GB disk and attempt a restore? You may find you can leave the data off the restore.

    cheers, Paul

  10. #10
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    A really good Backup Program should have a "Check" procedure built into the program.
    I use Ghost 11.5, run from a DOS boot disk. After I've created a Backup Image of C:, I first run the Check function and then the Restore function.

    That not only is the acid test of the backup image, but restoring the image file back to C: rewrites the partition eliminating any spaces between files and any fragmentation. Works for me.

    Never just make a backup without checking it.
    Oh yes, your backup/restore program must not be on your windows partition. If that drive crashes, all is lost!

    Good Luck,
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  11. #11
    jwoods
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    The OP is currently evaluating disk imaging software, so having a "safety net" of either a VPC or a VHD to test with is prudent.

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