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Windows 7: What is Ghost Imaging Backup, in details


12 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 starter
 
 
What is Ghost Imaging Backup, in details

Hello peeps!

I'm a newbie here. Sorry if the title is so lame, but I do have to do some research

Ghost Imaging Backup --> I'm confused with this.
What is the detail meaning of Ghost Imaging Backup? What I understand is the purpose is to do backup, but then, is it used to backup system image, or backup files/data, or both?

I did few research from the net, videos from youtube, and I found so many different method, and I'm not sure what is the most efficient way to do backup.

So here's my questions:

1. Does system image is only to backup OS?
2. If so, do I have to backup data & OS separately?

P/s: I'm using windows 7 starter, which has the backup & restore function, so I guess I don't need to install any ghost software.

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Imaging captures an exact copy of a partition (if you choose) or an entire disk drive of your system. Therefore, it captures everything that is installed or sitting on the drive when the image is taken. Thus, it contains the OS, Programs and Data (as long as all of that stuff is on the partition or the drive being imaged.

Ghost is an imaging type program. It captures the entire partition or drive.

Take my computer for example. I have an 80GB SSD for my OS and that is my C drive. I install the OS and the apps on this drive. I then have a D drive...which is all of my data, internet downloads, music, audio/video files. I regularly take images of my C drive...so in the event of a disaster, I can restore my C drive and be right back to where I was when the image was taken (my OS and my programs will have reverted back). However, because I keep data on D and choose to NOT image that drive....that drive will stay intact. So, any new data will be on that drive.

For me, I take regular USB backups of my actual data from D to another location on a regular basis...so that I don't lose this data in the event of a disaster. And less frequently I take a new image of C (once a month, before some big updates or before I update drivers). Used in combination, this backup routine works great for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 starter
 
 

Thanks pparks1 for the speedy reply!

Well I understand your explanation but still puzzling a bit.

When you say "Therefore, it captures everything that is installed or sitting on the drive when the image is taken. Thus, it contains the OS, Programs and Data (as long as all of that stuff is on the partition or the drive being imaged.", so I guess I have to locate all the files in one partition, am I correct?

Another question, if i just wanna backup the data & files, will the backup set in an image, or maintain as what they are, i.e folder 1, folder 2 etc?

Can u suggest me the perfect way to backup files? I mean in terms of schedule, location or any other terms related. Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

You can put everything on one partition, or you can put everything on 1 physical hard drive and image the entire drive. So, if you have a 200GB hard drive, and it's an 80GB C drive and a 120GB D drive and you image the entire hard drive, when you lay the image back down you can pick the entire drive, or select which partition you want to restore. The choice is up to you.

Ghost isn't used to backup just files and folders. Ghost really is just an "imaging" style app. Other backup software, like Windows backup, or Acronis, or EaseUsToDo Backup can backup just files and folders. Many of these other applications can also create an image if that is what you want.

I cannot suggest the "best" way to backup files. Everybody has different needs. You will really have to find what works best for you.

I backup all of my data, using robocopy at the command line. I backup regularly to 2 different external USB hard drives that I keep offsite. This way if my house burns to the ground or I am robbed, I don't lose my data. I take images about once a month, so in the event my OS crashes, I can get back to where I was at most about 1 month ago.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ladyss View Post
I guess I have to locate all the files in one partition, am I correct?

Another question, if i just wanna backup the data & files, will the backup set in an image, or maintain as what they are, i.e folder 1, folder 2 etc?

Can u suggest me the perfect way to backup files? I mean in terms of schedule, location or any other terms related. Thanks
You can have as many partitions as you like. Fewer partitions generally simplifies things and makes backing up less complicated.

Your C drive (the "system") is normally backed up with an image of that partition. You could include other partitions in the same image, but I'd recommend you make separate images of each partition if you have more than one partition--if you decide to make an image of anything other than C.

If your data is on C, it would be included in any image of C.

I'd recommend you put your data on a separate partition, let's call it D.

Then back up C with an image and backup D (your data) with a file-by-file program, without using an image. Some people do back up their data with an image, but that makes me nervous because images don't always restore successfully.

Normally, you would place your backups on an external drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 starter
 
 

Thanks pparks1.

I'll try my best!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 starter
 
 

Thanks a lot ignatzatsonic!

Your explanations are exactly like what I thought. Now I feel more confident. Thank you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 starter
 
 

Anybody ever used Easeus Todo Backup before?

It seems easy to use, but I'm not sure the restore process will be easy too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I have made images with both EaseUS Todo and Macruim. Both are about as easy as possible--just a few mouse clicks.

However, as you suspect, the restore process is more involved. You have to make a "recovery disk" and boot from it to restore the image file. The recovery disk is Linux-based and may not boot, so you have to test it to make sure it is bootable and will show all of your partitions and the necessary image files you have previously saved. Make the recovery disk and boot from it and go several steps into the recovery process to confirm to your own satisfaction what you will need to do in a real-life recovery.

Then hope it works as expected when the time comes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Even with the free Macrium you can make a PE recovery disk but it involves a download of the WAIK (1.7GB). If you have the bandwidth to do that download it is worth it as the PE disk is more reliable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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