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Windows 7: Imaging strategies


14 Oct 2012   #101

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

As you say. You can never have too many backups and Macrium does make it painless.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

14 Oct 2012   #102
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by clasof56 View Post
hey, nice article. with computers, nothing is written in stone and each of us has their own way of getting things done. but this article gives the basics of save, save, save which we all need to do. i have been using macrium free with a win pe rescue disc and they work great together. and i have almost exactly the set-up you portray. ssd main drive with two partitions, operating system and stuff. 2nd internal hdd, two partitions, operating system and stuff. and an external ter hdd set the same way. everything is simple and easy to image and restore. thanks again for the nice article.
You are welcome. As you say, this is one way of doing things - but there are many other valid approaches. The main thing is that one backs up at all. Unfortunately the majority of PC users do not do that. They operate a PC like a washing machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2012   #103

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

Quite true. They do so even after any number of lessons.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by clasof56 View Post
hey, nice article. with computers, nothing is written in stone and each of us has their own way of getting things done. but this article gives the basics of save, save, save which we all need to do. i have been using macrium free with a win pe rescue disc and they work great together. and i have almost exactly the set-up you portray. ssd main drive with two partitions, operating system and stuff. 2nd internal hdd, two partitions, operating system and stuff. and an external ter hdd set the same way. everything is simple and easy to image and restore. thanks again for the nice article.
You are welcome. As you say, this is one way of doing things - but there are many other valid approaches. The main thing is that one backs up at all. Unfortunately the majority of PC users do not do that. They operate a PC like a washing machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


17 Apr 2013   #104

Windows 7 Home Premiun 64bit
 
 

Is it possible to create an image from a laptop through a wireless router to a slave drive on a desktop?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2013   #105
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

If you can access that drive from the laptop, e.g. as a shared drive, it should be possible. But given the amount of data an image has, it might be very slow. You will, however, not be able to recover from that image. The WinPE recovery disc does not have that kind of facilities.

If that does not work, make an image to a folder in a seperate partition of the laptop and move that image to the outboard drive. But here again, for the recovery that drive must be physically attached to the laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #106

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wanchoo View Post
Quite true. They do so even after any number of lessons.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by clasof56 View Post
hey, nice article. with computers, nothing is written in stone and each of us has their own way of getting things done. but this article gives the basics of save, save, save which we all need to do. i have been using macrium free with a win pe rescue disc and they work great together. and i have almost exactly the set-up you portray. ssd main drive with two partitions, operating system and stuff. 2nd internal hdd, two partitions, operating system and stuff. and an external ter hdd set the same way. everything is simple and easy to image and restore. thanks again for the nice article.
You are welcome. As you say, this is one way of doing things - but there are many other valid approaches. The main thing is that one backs up at all. Unfortunately the majority of PC users do not do that. They operate a PC like a washing machine.
Thank you whs and wanchoo for the reminders. Many don't backup regularly until trouble strikes due to:
a.backing up costs $$$$$ as you need to buy CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, HDDs and other media.
b.time is needed as the info bloated when we saved all kinds of info and needed to delete or filter all those we deemed useless.

We fly the plane until it drops out of the sky. That's why!
Then we remember backup!backup!backup!backup!backup! as always appeared in PC magazines.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2013   #107

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Really good advice, thanks. I have a regime which incorporates some of the ideas you have put forward.

For a long time I've been making images to protect myself. I used to use Drive Image a long time ago, I learnt through experience how frustrating it could be when you have to re-install everything. Putting back the OS and configuring that is not too bad but the configuration, and installation of all the remaining software over and over again is a pain. Especially for me because I am really fussy! I do make life a little easier by saving the setting files for some of the programmes as I rarely, if ever change the settings once done.

In Vista I switched to Acronis TrueImage, it never let me down and although not as fast as Drive Image used to be it was still a lot faster and lighter than Norton Ghost. I turn off the Windows Restore as soon as it is installed and now since Windows 7 I have had to upgrade to the new version of Acronis as the old version did not support Windows 7. One thing though, on my PC now this new version makes and validates a backup of my SSD in around 2 minutes while a restore of the 100MB and MBR and OS take 3 to 4 minutes. I always include the 100MB partition in my images.

My partitions are created as follows: (initially saved to my secondary internal drive and then moved to externals)

First I make 3 'fall back' images and keep them on external drives only
1 - Installation of Windows with no alterations or configuration
2 - Then with the installation of the drivers for the hardware
3 - Then with all the settings and configurations done and all Internet, Email and VPN set up.

Now I make Three more images:

4 - All my software installed and I restore those to my preferred with my settings files (moved to external Drives only).
5 - Then with all the settings and configuration done for the remainder of software including firewall access. (moved to external Drives only).
6 - The same as above but cleaned and optimized with TuneUp Utilities. (saved to internal secondary HDD and copied to externals)

Really, it is only the last image I usually ever need to access and this one I update incrementally each month.
But I keep the others just in case I ever need to go back that far, and sometimes I have needed to.

Every Year in January I make a new 'full' image and do a monthly incremental update and then delete all the previous incrementals for the old year backup and I name the new image for the year, so for this year its "2013_full_b1_s1_v1".
After a few months of stability I will delete the old full backup from the previous year which this one replaces.

I store only the last full and its corresponding incremental images on my internal D: drive as it is the most likely image I will ever need to restore.

The previous 5 are saved on two external drives, one desktop 2TB drive and a portable USB 3 drive which is only ever used for this purpose and plugged in only when needed. So far I have never needed to access an image on this drive.

I know it seems a lot but really, after the initial 5 are made the rest is a simple once-a-month process. As far as I am concerned it is time well spent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2013   #108

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Hi Fejinwales glad we could be of help.

The only minor issue I would have is the 12 months incremental chain which can easily become broken. Far better to use differentials if possible or even, with the backup speeds you have, to do full images each month.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2013   #109

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

@Kado897. I never knew they could get broken but to be honest I have considered doing new full ones each month though never really decided to actually go ahead and do it. I am unsure about the differenced between differentials and incrementals which is why I just opted for one without consideration.

I agree completely, I have just made a new full image to see how long it took, just over 2 minutes including validation. Your suggestion is now my norm. Thanks.

I will now do a bit of a clean, make sure all updates are done and on October 1 will make a new backup and change my routine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2013   #110

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Differentials are identical to the first incremental. They only need the last differential and the base image to restore. Naturally this means that differentials get larger with time but because there are only ever two files involved they are more robust than incrementals.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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