Quote: Originally Posted by huffman
NOTE it say it "will compress to a virtual FAT32 drive". I am not sure exactly what this means and what I would get if I had to restore it. I would appreciate it if someone can enlighten me on this.
this is for a file & folder backup, not an image. you can restore individual files or folders to their original locations en-mass, or you can mount the backup as if it were a real fat32 hard disk with it's own unique drive letter, and copy the files individually using the normal windows copy/move from there to wherever you wanted. this is most useful for your data and documents, program installers, images, music, videos etc that are not protected system files. it appears to be a fat32 disk, so does not retain the extended file & folder attributes of ntfs if the original backed up location was ntfs. using this is like copying files to a fat32 disk from an ntfs disk and later back again, with the same loss of security info. it is limited, but will be smaller than an entire image as you can set it to only back up the items you change regularly. attached below is my file and folder backup of my D: drive's backup folder, mounted as drive M:, along with it's 'drive' properties
the 'used' space corresponds to the backup file size, where the extra free space comes from i don't know...you can't copy TO it, it appears to be right protected.
the other option produces an image of the entire disk or partition that can be used to restore the entire disk in one shot, along with the system files, boot items, and security permissions that the file & folder backup cannot. it sets your system back to exactly like it was at the time of backup. it too can be mounted as if it were a hard disk and you can use the std. windows utilities to copy individual files in that mode it cannot restore locked system files. it will appear formatted as whatever format the original source disk was formatted in, ie. in my case, ntfs. & retain all the extended attributes and security of the original source.
the compression depends on what you are backing up, images of a 100gb disk with a lot of unused space will compress more than images with less unused space as macrium effectively does not back up the free space, page file, hyberfile; it just backs up the actually used bits. erased data in erased free sectors is not backed up or restored.
you can however set it to do a bit by bit backup which will backup the free space, hyberfile, pagefile, recycle bin, remnants of erased files and erased mft entries, etc. as well. this will result in a larger image with less apparent compression. it's like a forensic copy, you could use recovery tools to recover erased files & look at old un-overwritten data in erased disk sectors.