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Windows 7: Choosing between a file backup and a image backup...


21 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Choosing between a file backup and a image backup...

I've recently upgraded to a 1.5TB external hard drive for video production work, which has left me with a 500GB drive which is no longer needed.

I'm thinking of using it as a backup. Is Windows backup sufficient? Or should I be looking at specialist software?

Also, I'm probably just going to back up files; is there any reason for me to do an image backup of Windows, or would that just take up extra space? I understand that I would have to reinstall Windows should anything go wrong with my system then, but I do have recovery software pre-installed by the manufacturer. Is this sufficient?

Thanks.


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21 Jun 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MultiCat View Post

I'm thinking of using it as a backup. Is Windows backup sufficient? Or should I be looking at specialist software?

Also, I'm probably just going to back up files; is there any reason for me to do an image backup of Windows, or would that just take up extra space? I understand that I would have to reinstall Windows should anything go wrong with my system then, but I do have recovery software pre-installed by the manufacturer. Is this sufficient?
Windows backup is sufficent, but not necessary. There are simpler alternatives.

No reason to make an image if you are willing to reinstall Windows manually whenever you might have to. An image of Windows would take up about half of the occupied space on C.

You should make recovery disks with the recovery software regardless of any decision on imaging.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MultiCat View Post

I'm thinking of using it as a backup. Is Windows backup sufficient? Or should I be looking at specialist software?

Also, I'm probably just going to back up files; is there any reason for me to do an image backup of Windows, or would that just take up extra space? I understand that I would have to reinstall Windows should anything go wrong with my system then, but I do have recovery software pre-installed by the manufacturer. Is this sufficient?
Windows backup is sufficent, but not necessary. There are simpler alternatives.

No reason to make an image if you are willing to reinstall Windows manually whenever you might have to. An image of Windows would take up about half of the occupied space on C.

You should make recovery disks with the recovery software regardless of any decision on imaging.
I have recovery disks too.

What are the simpler alternatives? Drag and drop? How can I get that done automatically on all my files each day?
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21 Jun 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Simpler alternatives:

Imaging: Acronis and Macrium

Personal file backup: Second Copy, Karen's Replicator, Synctoy, and more. These are one-trick ponies that do what they do very well after considerable development. Windows backup is more of a one-size-fits-all app that isn't particularly easy to use or flexible. It works, but....................
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Simpler alternatives:

Imaging: Acronis and Macrium

Personal file backup: Second Copy, Karen's Replicator, Synctoy, and more. These are one-trick ponies that do what they do very well after considerable development. Windows backup is more of a one-size-fits-all app that isn't particularly easy to use or flexible. It works, but....................
Thanks. I'll have a look into those.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Please remember that if you don't do an image backup you will not only have to re-install Windows and all its updates but also every other program you have installed now and you will also lose most of the setup and configuration you have done within Windows and any other installed programs.

I would recommend that you do take at least one image after you have everything set up the way you want it and update that image when you have major updates to the system.. if your data and System are reasonably separated on different volumes this will not be particularly large.

My own set up with most of my data on other drives and just a small amount on the c: drive gives an image size of around 32MB using Macrium. I also back up my data files separately using differing cycles depending on how frequently it changes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
Please remember that if you don't do an image backup you will not only have to re-install Windows and all its updates but also every other program you have installed now and you will also lose most of the setup and configuration you have done within Windows and any other installed programs.

I would recommend that you do take at least one image after you have everything set up the way you want it and update that image when you have major updates to the system.. if your data and System are reasonably separated on different volumes this will not be particularly large.

My own set up with most of my data on other drives and just a small amount on the c: drive gives an image size of around 32MB using Macrium. I also back up my data files separately using differing cycles depending on how frequently it changes.
Ah, ok. I never even thought about my system settings and such. I'm having trouble with Realtek HD Audio Manager at the minute, so once I've fixed that I'll definitely do an image backup.

I'll check out Macrium too. Thank you.
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21 Jun 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

You are welcome Multicat. Please let us know how it goes.
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21 Jun 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
You are welcome Multicat. Please let us know how it goes.
Just looked at Macrium and it's a trial system for 30 days. Is there something similar that's free?
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21 Jun 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

There is a free edition of Macrium which only does image backups. You can get it here. Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
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