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Windows 7: How to backup (clone) a complex partition HD ?

20 Sep 2012   #1

win 7
 
 
How to backup (clone) a complex partition HD ?

My general question is how to backup rather complex looking partition structure. Specifically, my question is what software to select and whether any "not-too-expensive" software will do the job (plus the restore).

The computer is a new ACER aspire one (D257) with Windows 7 Starter that offers Android at bootup.

The harddisk shows the following map:

PQSERVICE Partition(01) 13312MB Windows RE
MBR 1 Partition(02) 4199MB FAT-32
System Reserved Partition (03) 100MB HPFS/NTFS
MBR 3 Partition (04) 287630MB Extended
Acer Volume (047f) 287630MB HPFS/NTFS

Can you see anything special that would make backing up use anything but a conventional cloning procedure? I'm worried about the boot to Android, since I don't know where that is coming from (MBR or somewhere else?).

Thanks for any tips or tutorial refs.

Carls2

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

20 Sep 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Better idea would be for you to post a screen shot of Windows Disk Management. If not, too much guesswork is involved.

You would need to image the System Reserved for sure.

And C, whichever partition that is.

Acer does some silly things with partitions, so it's hard to tell without a picture.

PQService is probably either a recovery or tools partition.

Macrium Free Edition can usually do the job.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2012   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would image the System partition (that should be the 'active' partition) and C. I prefer Macrium for the task, but any other good imaging program (except Windows 7 imaging) will do.

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


21 Sep 2012   #4

win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Better idea would be for you to post a screen shot of Windows Disk Management. If not, too much guesswork is involved....
Here's the screenshot. (Reduced the size - did I destroy readability?). Thanks for you comments and for taking a look.
Carls2


Attached Thumbnails
How to backup (clone) a complex partition HD ?-acer1hd.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Reading from left to right in the bottom portion of that pic:

The 13 GB partition is for recovery to factory specs and is not needed for Windows. It's put there by Acer. You should make a set of recovery DVDs that have the same purpose, in case this 13 GB partition gets damaged or deleted.

The 4.10 GB FAT 32 has an unknown purpose. It may be tools of some type, but it not a Windows partition.

You could back up the above 2 partitions with an image file if you wanted, but most people would not.

The next one, System Reserved, contains your boot files and is needed for Windows to start. It should be backed up via an image.

The last one is the rest of Windows and needs to be imaged.

Most would tell you to image System Reserved and C separately. Macrium Reflect Free Edition is a good choice.

Save the image files to an external drive.

I have no idea about Android, but would assume it exists on C somewhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2012   #6

win 7
 
 

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

You could back up the above 2 partitions with an image file if you wanted, but most people would not.

The next one, System Reserved, contains your boot files and is needed for Windows to start. It should be backed up via an image.

The last one is the rest of Windows and needs to be imaged.

...
Thanks very much for your helpful comments. Looks like a long weekend coming up...

When it comes to the restore, if I restore just the essential two partitions for Windows 7, can I at a later time restore the other ACER partitions? That is, can the partitions other than System Reserved and the "C" partitions be restored later and as needed?

If I can restore what I want when I want it (great) - does that mean I will need to create partitions and space for restoring the ACER partitions at a later date? In other words, does the restore step automatically push other partitions to the side to make room for restoring the missing partitions - or do you have to repartition before the restore to make place for them?

As you can see, I'm new to the backup and restore business. Thanks for all the tips and help here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Yes, you could restore any partition when you want as needed.

You would need to have enough "unallocated space" on the destination drive to accommodate the partition to be restored. No, the restore is not going to "push other partitions to the side". You have to have the unallocated space, which may require you to shrink existing partitions to generate unallocated space. Partition Wizard bootable disk is the best tool to do that.

As far as I know, you don't create new partitions and then restore to those partitions. You create "unallocated space". The restoration process creates the necessary partitions, assuming there is enough "unallocated space".

It shouldn't be a long weekend for you. I can make a partition of my C drive in literally 6 minutes, using Macrium, with about 5 or 6 mouse clicks. That's for a C with 30 GB occupied. System Reserved is so small as to take a few seconds.

Get Macrium here:

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

Get Partition Wizard bootable disk here; the link at the bottom of the page. Burn it to a disk and make sure it boots your PC. You wouldn't need it to make the image files, but you probably would need it to shrink or otherwise manipulate partitions prior to restoring.

http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html

When manipulating partitions, DO NOT accept any choice that mentions "dynamic disks".

If you use Macrium to make the images, you would use Macrium to restore them. You MUST also make a "recovery disk" from within Macrium. The recovery disk is used to boot your PC to do a restore. If you do not have a recovery disk or if it does not boot your PC, you cannot restore and Macrium is useless.

So you need to test your recovery disk to make sure it boots the PC. You need to be able to boot from it and use the provided interface to locate your image file as well as the prospective destination to which you intend to restore.

You can make 2 types of recovery disks: Linux-based or WinPE-based. The latter is less likely to have problems and is the preferred choice.

You will note that your C drive is now marked "logical". That's fine for situations where you have at least 4 partitions, as you now do. But if you were to later change hard drives and want no more than 3 partitions, it would be fine to have a C partition that was marked "primary" rather than "logical". Logical partitions are a way to avoid the dreaded "dynamic" partitions when you want 4 or more partitions total.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1 x64
 
 

[QUOTE=carls2;2106199]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
...
When it comes to the restore, if I restore just the essential two partitions for Windows 7, can I at a later time restore the other ACER partitions? That is, can the partitions other than System Reserved and the "C" partitions be restored later and as needed?
Yes and NO.
You need to create an image of them BEFORE they get lost or damaged.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to backup (clone) a complex partition HD ?




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