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Windows 7: Options for Full External Backup of 3 installed Hard Drives


15 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
Options for Full External Backup of 3 installed Hard Drives

I have the following Hard Drives:
Internal Main SATA Drive C: 2TB with Windows 7 Professional 64 bit (70 GB used)
Internal SATA slave drive G: 150GB (data) (35 GB used)
Internal SATA slave drive H: 185GB (music) (65 GB used)
External USB back-up drive I: 2TB WD My Book 1130 (120 GB used - old historical data)

What I think I want to do is put all my backups on the external USB drive.

I am leaning towards a full system image backup of the C Drive, and data file backups of the G and H drives, that I would like to be accessible as data files.

Q1: Is this a reasonable objective for backups?

Q2: Can I do this within the Windows 7 Backup utility, or should I consider another program?

Q3: Do in need to partition the I drive to reflect these three backup drives, thus limiting the potential of backups competing for space?

Q4: I was thinking of C system image backups weekly, and the G & H backups done incrementally after an initial full backup. What do you think/suggest?

Vic

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jul 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Hi VJBenz and welcome to Seven Forums. That is a reasonable strategy but would be difficult but not impossible with Windows Backup. I would suggest using Macrium Reflect free edition for the imaging and FreeFileSync for the data backups. The link to both is in my signature. This is a tutorial of backing up with Macrium. Imaging with free Macrium and this with FreeFileSync. Backup With FreeFileSync - YouTube
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2012   #3

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

I would use Win 7 Backup and Restore. With Task Scheduler you can schedule any task to run at your desired times.

WIN + F1 | type Backup and Recovery Strategies for IT Pros | click on Wbadmin command and Task Scheduler
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


15 Jul 2012   #4
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

If it was me I'd backup the data and music using something like FreeFileSync like Kado suggests. Why: I imagine this is fairly static information and I don't think imaging is a good approach. Incremental imaging is an option with a paid product but I think you increase your risks of problems recovering.

I'd certainly image the OS partition. Try both Windows inbuilt and free Macrium Reflect. I use both. If you haven't already, I would partition your 2TB main drive so that your OS and installed programs live on ~ 200GB partition. It's good to keep your images to ~50GB otherwise they take too long and you will tend to not make them as often as you should.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2012   #5

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

The creating of smaller partitions on your 2 TB, as recommended by mjf, is definitely a wise idea.

I always move the documents, music, pictures, and downloads folders off of my main partition.

PartitionWizard is an excellent tool for repartitioning your hard drive.
Free download Magic Partition Manager Software, partition magic alternative, free partition magic, partition magic Windows 7 and server partition software - Partition Wizard Online
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
Next Steps

OK, So my plan seems to be OK, but there are a few suggestions. I presume the recommendation to partition the 2TB drive refers to my Main Drive C as shown in the attachment. I know it is a large drive, and I am not sure what I will eventually do with it, but partitioning for the OS and programs seems reasonable.

With respect to the attachment, I noticed one other thing. The USB external drive that I plan to use for the backups (Backup I), uses a file system of exFAT while all the others are NTFS. Is that a problem?

Vic


Attached Thumbnails
Options for Full External Backup of 3 installed Hard Drives-20120715-drives.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2012   #7

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Yes. You will need to reformat the external as NTFS.

You will also want to keep you os and also your programs on the C:
My c: is 60 gb with more than 20 gb free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

OK... a couple of questions.

Q1: Do I have to reformat my I drive to NTFS or can I "convert" to NTFS from exFAT without formatting, and therefore losing the stuff I have on the I Drive?


Q2: Can I add partitions to my C Drive without reformatting it? What are the steps?

Vic
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2012   #9

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

vj,
see post #7.

You will be able to add partitions to C without reformatting C.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2012   #10
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by VJBenz View Post
OK... a couple of questions.

Q1: Do I have to reformat my I drive to NTFS or can I "convert" to NTFS from exFAT without formatting, and therefore losing the stuff I have on the I Drive?


Q2: Can I add partitions to my C Drive without reformatting it? What are the steps?

Vic
Q2:
It's good to have the installed Partition Wizard Mini Tool AND the CD/DVD ISO. You make a bootable CD/DVD from the ISO using for example
The Official ImgBurn Website
Another good program to have.

For partition operations like yours I would recommend using the Boot CD.
To do the job you
1)highlight the partition (C)
2)drag the right handle to the left so that the OS occupies ~ 200GB
This will a large chunk of unallocated on C to the right
3) Select Apply
4) Select the unallocated
5) Use the obvious tools to format it NTFS, Primary - Apply the operations
6) Assign a letter - Apply

Q1:
Copy your data to your newly created partition and do an NTFS format (Primary) of your I drive. You can use Partition Wizard again if you want. I'd do a quick format as a full format will take a long time.
Copy your stuff back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Options for Full External Backup of 3 installed Hard Drives




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