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Windows 7: windows system image backup query

02 May 2012   #1
rao

windows 7 64 home
 
 
windows system image backup query

I have my system on drive "c" which is a 125gb ssd.
I have partitioned a second internal drive.
I have put programmes in one partition called "f".
I have put all my data in a partition labelled "m".
I have a third partition labelled "z" to take the system image backup.
When I made a system image backup, the programme included drive "c" and the programme drive "f", together with a drive called system reserve which I have no idea where it is located.
I imagined that I could simply make a system image of drive "c", which didn't include programmes.
Obviously this is not the case.
The whole idea was to be able to do a clean up-to-date system restore in drive "c".
Isn't restoring to two different drives a bit messy?
I read all the time that people install a clean system on a regular basis.
Is it normal practice to include programmes as well?
If I put all my programmes back onto the ssd then I'm sure I will run out of space very quickly. For example codemasters F1 is over 10GB.
Any comments please.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I'm going to say this. Putting the backup in a partition on the 'data disk' is a bad idea.
As if the disk fails, so does the backup. Making it pretty much useless.
Everything else you are doing makes sense, but if you want a reliable backup you'll need a separate media device or hdd to put it on. Otherwise the backup is pretty much redundant.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2012   #3
rao

windows 7 64 home
 
 

I did not realise that the system image backup would insist on including all my programmes. I assumed that it would be only the stuff on drive "c".
Of course it is not sensible to have backup files on the same drive and I backup my data on an external drive. I erroneously assumed I would also backup my programme drive on the external drive.
Having a system image (drive "c" ) on different internal drive seems to me to be acceptable but not in this case it seems.
As I have a number of large games to install I really cannot believe that putting them on drive "c" is the way to go.
From a practical point of view, exactly how would an image restore recovery work if say my ssd failed and I had to fit a replacement drive. Would the recovery restore all the files to the new drive"c" and also overwrite the programme files on the other drive in one operation or would I have to identify which folders to restore?
In other words, does an image restore automatically restore to more than one drive as per the original setup?
Also, will the backup software always treat any programme as part of the system irrespective of where they are located?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 May 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Well something like that could work out, I would suggest using something like the acronis disk suite to do it though, not the built in backup feature.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2012   #5
rao

windows 7 64 home
 
 

I am having great difficulty understanding how a system image restore will actually work.
As I asked previously, does the restore process restore the files in all the drives that it used to produce the image in the first place and does this happen automatically?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rao View Post
I am having great difficulty understanding how a system image restore will actually work.
As I asked previously, does the restore process restore the files in all the drives that it used to produce the image in the first place and does this happen automatically?
Sorry, don't know the answer to "restore the files in all the drives.."
Interesting question.
I'll guess you mean selecting system image and then additional files from another drive, for example D:\Games.
Then your image would contain both the system C: and D:\Games, and upon restore the games would be in synch with the registry.
Never tried that, but - again guessing - I don't see why it wouldn't work as expected, that the restore would restore the system to the C: and the D:\Games to the D: drive.
I would test it to find out, taking the usual precautions to protect your data.
Normally I only image the system with the applications I use installed there, and
treat games seperately. Since games can take a tremendous amount of space and time to image I don't bother imaging them.
Besides, I consider them "temporary apps." If there's any issue with a restore overlaying games, I put the savegame files in a place where they won't get overlaid, reinstall the game after the image restore, then move the savegames back. Ready to play where I left off.
What you seem to want to do is reasonable if it works for you.
Maybe somebody here has done it. Otherwise, you can test it yourself.
If you're doing imaging it's good to get familar with the restore side to make sure
you don't gey surprised.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rao View Post
As I asked previously, does the restore process restore the files in all the drives that it used to produce the image in the first place and does this happen automatically?
I'm not sure I understand the question, but....

An image restoration restores all the files contained in the partition or partitions that were included in the image file.

Automatically??

Well, "automatically", if you restore the image--which requires a manual command to do so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2012   #8
rao

windows 7 64 home
 
 

The reason I posed the question was that I had installed my system on a small ssd and my programs, including games, on a partition of a much larger hdd. when I came to do an system image backup, the software backed up the ssd drive and the partition on the hdd.
If for example, the ssd failed and I replaced it, then would a system restore only restore to an identical configuration.
Again, if I replaced the ssd and the hdd with a single hdd, then would an image restore make new partitions and install the system and programs on different partitions?
Anyway, thanks again for the help and suggestions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

"When you restore your computer from a system image, it's a complete restoration—you can't choose individual items to restore, and all of your current programs, system settings, and files are replaced with the contents of the system image."

What is a system image?

Although a complete system image includes any personal files on the drive, it's always best to create a separate backup for them in case something goes wrong with the full system image restore.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...-up-your-files

If your computer contains more than one partition or drive, you can create a system image of one, some, or all of the drives.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...ings-and-files
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2012   #10

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1, Win 7 Ult x86 SP1
 
 

I use Acronis TI (paid) and can select any combination of partition(s) I want when creating a backup image.
I tried the Windows Image backup a long time ago and it selected all "system" partitions, so I could not create an image for a single partition of my choosing.
I don't know if it's possible to restore a single partition from a multi partition Win BU image - i never tried restoring.
I saw the image file size, and went right back to Acronis.
My PC's are multi-boot, so Windows BU didn't work the way I wanted...

If you have a WD or Seagate HD you can get a free version of Acronis.
Macrium (free) can also backup the partition(s) you choose.
There are other free backup programs that you might look into.
Someone else may post back with recommendations for other programs.

I keep my OS and all programs on my "C:" drive, so they are always backed-up/restored together.
If you have the OS and programs on different partitions i think you could run into issues if you don't keep backup and restore synced for these partitions...
Even with programs on a different partition than the OS, the registry (including program settings) is in the OS partition...

To me programs such as Macrium, Acronis, ... offer a lot more flexibility than Windows Backup imaging...

If you ever do have to restore a SSD immage and a HD image to a new HD, i think you have a much better chance of success with Macrium, Acronis, ...
I'm not sure a Windows BU image could do that...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 windows system image backup query





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