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Windows 7: strategy to maintain Macrium Reflect File/Folder Backup access


04 Jun 2013   #1

vista home premium x32
 
 
strategy to maintain Macrium Reflect File/Folder Backup access

Greetings.

My laptop is currently running Vista Home Premium (x32) and I'm using Macrium Reflect Free for full backups to an external HD. This is my sole computer. I am trying to get my "ducks in a row" before making the leap to installing both a new HD (ssd) and a new OS, Windows 7 Prof. (x64). Yeah, finally!

My biggest concern is in potentially losing access to my full disk images on the the external HD especially with the new OS being 64bit cpu architecture. Perhaps this is a non issue? I've read everything I can find (including Macrium's forum, where MR Free users can't post). I have almost 450GB of data I'll want to maintain access to and of course the SSD is a fraction of that size.

Any suggestions for alternate strategies, as in using a file/folder backup (synching?) program would be welcome. The least I need to know is that I'll have accessible data, even if not the most elegant solution.

Thanks,
Karen

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

05 Jun 2013   #2

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1, Win 7 Ult x86 SP1
 
 

Hello agile1,
Here are a couple of tutorials that may help you.
Imaging with free Macrium
MACRIUM REFLECT - Create Bootable Rescue USB Drive

Do you have your data in the same partition (C) as the Vista OS ?
When you do install Win 7 on the new SSD make sure you disconnect all other HD's before installing.
After Win 7 is installed you can reconnect the HD's and access your data...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2013   #3

vista home premium x32
 
 

Thanks for responding DavidW7ncus. I've always maintained a separate data partition. Unfortunately this past year, due to severe space limitations, I started a "data dance" between C: and D:. I've gotten confused at times, am all for simplicity, and have vowed to never do this to myself again. I hear you on having all other HD's unattached when installing Windows 7 on the SSD. Also, I've read all the Macrium Reflect tutorials I could find on this Forum and have been using a Bootable WinPE Rescue USB (x32) Macrium Reflect made with Microsoft's WAIK. Is your take home message that using a new (x64) WinPE Rescue USB will NOT cause any compatibility issues in accessing my past Backup Images made under Vista (x32)? Or to ask this in a different way, could I have downloaded whs's Pre-Built WinPE ISO (which I thought I'd read somewhere is x64) and used it on my Vista x32 system? Is x64 backwards compatible? Anyone who can further clarify x32, x64 OS's/MR usage issues is welcome to chime in. Karen
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 Jun 2013   #4

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1, Win 7 Ult x86 SP1
 
 

Hi Karen,
I think the latest Macrium Rescue bootable should work with your Vista backup images, but I can't guarantee that.
Personally I always create a bootable recovery disc for each version of an Imaging program that I use.
I would rather have the bootable disc and never need it, than one day find out I don't have it and do need it.

If you haven't seen it there is a sticky thread by whs in the SF Backup and Restore forum.
Image your system with free Macrium

You could post a question in the tutorial or the sticky thread and may get an answer from someone who has tested this.

hth,
David
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2013   #5

vista home premium x32
 
 

Posted as you suggested and kado897 responded that the format of Macrium Reflect's backups is independent of the system's architecture. So I anticipate no problems. Should issues arise, I'll report back. Karen
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2013   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Getting back to your original problem, I am not certain whether you will have the best strategy for your user data being buried in Macrium images.

You can certainly access that data in the Vista images from a Windows 7 system. Just double click on the image file and you can mount the image (Macrium must be installed in Windows 7).

However, I would do that differently. Given that you will use Windows 7 on a laptop with a SSD, you do not have enough space on the SSD to accomodate your user files (if I read your numbers right). What I would do is to create a data partition on the external drive and define the user data folders (Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music) in that partition. Then I would move or copy all relevant data to those folders.

Once you are in Windows 7, you right click on each of those folders that you created and INCLUDE the folder into the appropriate library. Then they will always be accessible as if they were in the data partition of the internal disk or on C. You can then deal with them for updates/deletions/additions/etc. as if they were the folders that came with C.

Windows7 will still have folders for Documents, Pictures, etc. on the C partition. Those you should keep because certain programs sometimes use those as a repository for their reference files. But that does not amount to a lot of data and will not really make a dent into the SSD.

Your own data will be in the data partition and that this data partition is on an external drive is relatively irrelevant for Windows 7 (as long as the external drive is attached).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2013   #7

vista home premium x32
 
 

whs,

I appreciate you addressing the larger issue. Clearly, keeping user data in MR backups isn't the way to go, nor was it my intention, though I hadn't settled on a system yet. I am a strong believer in your adage of keeping things simple! To that end perhaps I should have instead purchased a larger, faster internal HD. Frankly I'd never considered the scenario you've outlined. Given where I am now, I've printed your post and will use it as my template when I install the new SSD and Windows 7.

I read that a lot of newer laptops come with 2 HD bays; this system may be the next best thing. I'm touched by the time you took in responding to my overall concern.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Karen
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2013   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Hi Karen,

You are very welcome. There is really no need to look for a bigger SSD. I have SSDs on all my systems including on my 4 laptops that all have only 1 disk bay. I am using the method I described and it works well.

The little inconvenience is that you have to have the external disk attached. But that is still a more mobile solution than going for a 17" laptop that may have 2 bays. Those models are big and bulky.

The picture shows how it will present itself in Libraries. The WHS Documents or WHS Music are the folders on the external disk.

And if you wonder what ATemp is - that is a library I created myself. It contains a very convenient folder for temporary storage e.g. via SendTo. But that is another story.


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jun 2013   #9

vista home premium x32
 
 

whs,

I've heard of "Libraries" but I'm not familiar with nor knowingly use them in XP or Vista. I do plan on installing the new SSD/Windows 7 in the next week or so and I guess Libraries is one of the features I'll come to appreciate. Especially if their use makes possible or simplifies using your system. Also I've reconciled to believing carrying a portable HD around isn't such a high price to pay after all.

Is your "ATemp Library" and using "SendTo" your solution to when your ext. HD is NOT attached? (I don't have usb3 and have read the cautions) Even with all this moving user data around, I'm assuming Windows 7's able to keep track of where everything is located. Are you able to decide if and when to move data once you are reattached?

And for backing up, MR probably treats one's external Data Partition just like any other partition. I know it'll only be in the DOING that I'll get comfortable and I expect to be able to fill in the inevitable gaps but if there's more to your system, a heads-up would be much appreciated.

Karen
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jun 2013   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
Is your "ATemp Library" and using "SendTo" your solution to when your ext. HD is NOT attached?
No, that is just another folder for which I created a seperate library. And I included that folder into the 'SendTo' right click context menu. It is more for convenience when I want to quickly send a file to a place where I can easily find it - e.g. a picture from my extensive picture library. If the HD is not attached, it will not help.

Quote:
I don't have usb3 and have read the cautions
There is no need for USB3, but it works well. USB2 is OK.

Quote:
Even with all this moving user data around, I'm assuming Windows 7's able to keep track of where everything is located. Are you able to decide if and when to move data once you are reattached?
Yes on both points.

Quote:
And for backing up, MR probably treats one's external Data Partition just like any other partition
That is correct. For data backup I suggest to use the simplest method possible and that is probably copy/paste. Then at least you know what you have done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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