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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
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    System Image How Often

    Running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. Using windows I have created a System Repair Disc & have saved a complete system image to my external Seagate Free agent drive. I have just recently downloaded Free version of Macrium Reflect and have created a Rescue CD but have not ran the disk image yet.

    I do daily manual backup of all my files and folders to my Seagate drive so am wondering how often is it really necessary to run a complete system image or disk image.

    If your system is operating correctly at the time you make a system or disk image and you keep your files and folders backed up then why continue to make more system or disk images???

    Thanks in advance for any help in clearing this up for me.


  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    I recreate Images when ever I make a change to my system, i.e. add an app, uninstall an app, acquire an update to an app, etc. I also try to remember to recreate an Image at least once per month in case I have not done so with changes. I have found that when I need to restore, the quickest route is with an up to date app. I also keep several different Images. If after I make a change a strange problem starts, I might want to go back to an Image before the change that prompted the problem.

    You would be surprised by how many changes take place on the various apps in a month or two or three. When you have to restore, all the changes made since your last Image will have to be redone. This can be time consuming. With an up to date Image it takes less than 10 minutes to accomplish this restoration.
    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
    4 Star Lounger
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    Dec 2009
    Fishkill, New York, USA
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    Thumbs up Backup Images

    As always, tedshemyers is on the mark. My wife is bowling secretary for seven leagues and she cannot afford to lose any data. So I use a combination of two programs (Acronis True Image Home 2011 and Karen's Replicator). I also like the free program, Macrium Reflect but Acronis has a "Nonstop Backup" feature which is worth examining.
    Imaging has saved my bacon many times over the years!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    North Carolina, USA
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    Hi AuAghunter,

    I moved your thread to this forum as it is a better fit. You might want to enable Private Messaging as a convenient way to receive messages of this nature.

    In regards to maintaining an up to date system image, it is time consuming, but a well worthwhile investment of time, to create a new image after every major change. Those who created a new system image just before installing SP 1 to Windows 7 had a way to restore their system if the update went badly. And if things went well, good imaging practice would call for the creation of a new image after the installation of SP 1.
    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-04-11 at 07:55. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Thanked 1,200 Times in 1,045 Posts
    It is very easy to lose track of how many changes you've made to your system. A regular backup schedule allows you to minimize the amount of work needed to recover from a disaster such as a catastrophic disk failure or a brain freeze. Only you can determine what the optimum schedule is for you.

    I would combine the recommendationsfrom Ted & Deadeye81, backup before & after significant updates.


  6. #6
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    I think all these are very valid opinions but, as Joe wrote, only you can determine the optimum schedule.

    I do image before significant changes, such as SP1. Other than that I backup every week, using two different external disks, alternating the weekly backup disk with every backup.
    For changes that may occur between my weekly imaging sessions, I use Windows Live Mesh to copy my working documents between my desktop and laptop. This means that my documents are backed up pretty much immediately, between my computers.

    With the rate of change of my systems not being too big, this works well for me.

  7. #7
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Ensay, Victoria, Aust
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    I backed up with True Image Home 2009 for quite a while, recently purchased True Image Home 2011. One Image being saved every Sunny Sunday morning makes a series (chain like) set of back up's, after few months its dropping one off the end, there help information follows:
    "Incremental" - These are most useful when you need frequent backups and the ability to roll back to a specific point in time. Having created a full backup once, if you then create an incremental backup each day of a month, you will get the same result as if you created full backups every day. Incremental images are considerably smaller than full or differential images.
    Such a backup scenario may consist of a weekly full system backup with intermediate, daily backups that cover data that was changed since the LAST backup.
    This scenario, while requiring less storage space and time for the daily backups, will require more work on your part to provide recovery after a system crash. In the event of a Thursday crash, you would have to recover the last FULL backup followed by the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday incremental backups.
    "Differential" – is an intermediate between the first two approaches. It is also good when the conditions are intermediate. Each differential backup includes all the files changed since the last full backup. It takes less time and space than "Full", but more than "Incremental". The good thing is that recovering is simpler than for (2) - you'll have to recover the last full backup and the last differential backup.

    And have just purchased an additional USB drive to configure a Laplink DiskImage backup to.

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger
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    Dec 2009
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    FWIW, I use the paid version of Macrium (after many, many problems trying to get paid versions of Acronis TI10 and TI11 to work.)
    I have my data on a separate partition from my system partition.
    It takes me 4 minutes to backup and validate my data images; and 8 minutes to do the same for my W7 system.
    I do these daily, because I can do 1 at b'fast and 1 at supper.
    It's well worth the time to me, compared to having to start from scratch, after blowing up my system as I "play" and try things.

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