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Windows 7: Question on Windows 7 backup

29 Jul 2011   #1
DefenderX1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Question on Windows 7 backup

So after my last PC got fried by a power surge I've been backing up my HDD (lost a HDD from it) with just the default W7 utility. I have little personal experience with B&R in Windows so I set it to do an image and file backup & selected the file locations I wanted backed up.

After reading around here it seems I may be just reinventing the wheel by doing both image & file backups. If I do an image backup, a file backup would be totally unnecessary wouldn't it?

What're the pros & cons of image vs file? I liked the sound of an image backup as it makes it seems I don't have to reinstall Windows or my programs and their data from scratch (which is the biggest hassle for me, the files I care about are most are images and music which are backed up on several other devices as well).

Thanks!


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29 Jul 2011   #2
speedgamer01

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1
 
 

Image backup.
pros:
- The files are compressed depengin on the method you are working with, you can save space.
- You can backup any amount of data to DVDs using winrar, you can set the file size manually, later the 'parts' can be rejoined easily.
- If someone else looks at the backuped image, he/she can't find out what is in there, you can password protect rar files and make them read-only, so no one can delte them (HDDs)
cons:
- You need a software to access your data.
- Slower access due to the decompressing process (really depends on file type).
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29 Jul 2011   #3
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Yes and no. If you do the image and file backup at the same time the thing you gain is that it is easier to restore just the files. It is possible to extract just your files from an image but more difficult. See this tutorial System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management

A better solution is take the image out of the scheduled backup and do it more frequently so that your files are more current. You can then do separate image backups to match your needs. See this tutorial Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
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29 Jul 2011   #4
TheReaper

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hello & welcome to Seven Forums.

Sorry to hear about the misfortune with your previous PC.

If you made a complete system image back up, a file back up would be pointless IMO. Read this tutorial:
Backup complete computer: create an image backup.
The pros of a system image are obvious, as it is an exact clone of the partition containing the OS, so there's no hassle with clean install & updating.
You might want to take a look at this thread as well:
Imaging with free Macrium.
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29 Jul 2011   #5
DefenderX1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Speedgamer: Are you talking about image or file backups?

Kado: I might be missing something but it sounds like you're contradicting yourself. How do you take the image out of the scheduled backup, yet run it more frequently?

And FYI since I didn't mention it before, I run a weekly backup.

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2011   #6
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

In the change settings dialogue uncheck Include a system image.

Name:  Capture.JPG
Views: 6
Size:  53.9 KB

You can then create a system image manually when you need to because of Windows Updates or installed program changes.

-capture1.jpg


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29 Jul 2011   #7
speedgamer01

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1
 
 

Defender: I'm talking about image backup, but you can call it file backup as I meant .iso and .rar files written to a HD or DVD
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30 Jul 2011   #8
DefenderX1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by speedgamer01 View Post
Defender: I'm talking about image backup, but you can call it file backup as I meant .iso and .rar files written to a HD or DVD
The reason I ask is because typically "file backup" would just be the backup of individual files, where as an image would be just a full copy of the drive/partition itself.

I think I'll just periodically backup an image of the drive & that should suffice.

Thanks!
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30 Jul 2011   #9
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DefenderX1 View Post
The reason I ask is because typically "file backup" would just be the backup of individual files, where as an image would be just a full copy of the drive/partition itself.

I think I'll just periodically backup an image of the drive & that should suffice.

Thanks!
If time is not a problem, and if you don't need to use individual file backups on a regular basis, then a system image is probably the best way to go. Windows 7 imaging tool takes about 40 minutes to image 100GB for me. Macrium free and Paragon free take about 30 minutes, just for comparison purposes.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

Free Backup Software: Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition - Overview
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