Hi all, novice to imaging, familiar with basic (auto mode) cloning. This discussion began in this thread
. Quotes are brought over into this thread.
Quote: Originally Posted by mjf
Given you say you are new to imaging experimenting with it using your spare HDDs is absolutely the best way to build confidence that you are using imaging software with some confidence. Macrium Reflect (free or paid) gets the thumbs up from many forum users and you will find tutorials here on it.
You need to understand the the difference between
(1) file/folder backup and
(2) System imaging
(1) is just for backing up your personal documents or non system installed files. I believe this is the backup gregrocker is referring to.
(2) gives you a full snapshot of every aspect of your drive - all the OS including installed programs.
With Windows native imaging and Macrium you can copy individual files from your image without affecting the image. It is a good idea to keep the size of your OS partition with installed programs smallish, say on the order of 50GB or even less. This makes regular imaging more manageble.
Large data files like photos, videos and music are best stored on a separate partition using a different backup strategy since many of these files won't change. Some form of incremental backup may be best here. However, be warned Windows inbuilt file/folder backup is slow as a wet wick.
Thanks for the info. This is all new to me so I'll have to go slow with my digest speed
What I'm mainly interested in, with imaging, is to do a complete HDD image, with OS, MBR, all contents intact, for a plug-and-play ready HDD backup available when/if needed.
Since I already am running an overnight Acronis folder/file backup (only specific items at present), I'm wanting to learn the "full disc mode" imaging first, as an alternative to cloning.
Do I have this next part understood correctly?
- I can periodically perform a complete disc image, a bootable replacement image in the event my source HDD becomes corrupt or is affected by an unrecoverable intrusion (virus/malware, etc).
This is essentially a cloned image of my source HDD, with the exception that the image is compressed with a compression scheme that's tied to the imaging tool, ie, Acronis, Macrium, etc.
If or when I have need of the complete disc image, I will then boot from the imaging tool's media, cd, etc, and perform a "restore" action and in effect, create the equivalent of a cloned HDD.
If I understand one of the advantage of imaging vs cloning, is that I can create and store multiple full-disc images (bootable, OS, MBR, all items) on another HDD, thus having flexibility of choosing a specific time/date from which to restore my source HDD to that point in time.
The main advantage with this scheme is that I can have several images on another HDD.
Does the compression rate widely vary by imaging tool? In other words, would Macrium compress at a substantially larger or smaller rate than, say, Acronis imaging?
I'm guessing that this would determine the capacity of full-disc images that I could retain on my 500Gb HDD. My Source HDD is 1 Tb. I like that capability,
to be able to copy items from the stored image parent file.
This is one concern
Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker
Still OT but I should clarify:
The only backup image I ever use is the one created just after install and setup when it's running best. Later images can be subject to creeping corruption and not pristine installs.
For that reason after storing the "baseline image" I only concern myself with keeping the data backed up in real time. Since this is essentially sync'ing, and I have other PC's at different locations I want to have the same file set, the method I arrived at that works best doing all of these at once is Sync, Backup and Store your Files to the Cloud with Skydrive - Windows 7 Forums
that I have too, regarding cloning. Since I'm currently cloning every 6 weeks, I'm potentially cloning over undesirable issues.
I sort of have a failsafe HDD in that I have a 3rd 1-Tb HDD, a cloned copy that's several months old. That one stays in the shelf for emergency use.
Quote: Originally Posted by Wenda
Good point, Greg, you are correct.
I didn't mention in my earlier post, but I keep a 'pristine' image with the OS and drivers
/updates only, another with drivers and all programs installed but nothing else, and the third, 'working' image of my setup as it is currently with all games, VMs etc installed. None are, or will be, stored in the cloud.
The second image is the one that'll be updated to 8.1 should I decide to install the final release.
No data whatsoever is ever kept on the C: drive.
That way, my bum is covered no matter what the eventuality.
Thanks for this info. I estimate it'll take a year or longer before I could approach your knowledge with this backup scene.
Quote: Originally Posted by lehnerus2000
I use a similar system.
I create an initial backup OS image, "install + updates" with no programs.
I create another backup OS image, after I have installed my drivers and standard programs.
From then on, I create backup images pre-"Patch Tuesday".
More good info. You guys are providing great scenarios for backup's.
Just with my cloning routine
Quote: Originally Posted by mjf
Choose your own solution but more recent images have saved me much effort in the past.
I consider relying on a "pristine" image alone
illogical. I am speaking from experience.
Think it through and take the advice you consider sensible and best of luck.
, it's also saved me a couple of headaches during the past year. I was back up & running on my Desktop in minutes after I had been hit with a virus.
I think that's the main point from my perspective.
Quote: Originally Posted by Dallas 7
mjf it's not illogical at all, it's just a matter of priorities. Both ways have their good points. Not sure what you call "pristine", but if you read my post, my images include all my software, all drivers, and all the MS updates at that time. That doesn't leave too much to catch up on, and 3.0 flashdrives make short work of downloading data.
Granted, periodic imaging indeed will save you some time, and if time is of the essence I understand your reason for doing it that way.
In my case, saving a little time is not the driving factor, and I know my image has not been subjected to "creeping corruption" as greg put it.
It's just a matter of personal preference is all.
As a rookie on this forum, and a basic cloner, just that alone has paid off for me.
I'm a newbie and being surrounded by Windows guru's here
, one point we all agree on, is the golden rule of "backup your stuff". I admit to being surprised at the # of overall PC users that don't have a backup scheme in place and lose everything when they're hit with a malware or virus incident.
I've been backing up my "must-have" data for many years, going back to Win '98, but only recently have begun periodic cloning. For me, it's a payoff in "peace of mind" alone, knowing that I can just grab my cloned HDD and plug it into the tower (hot-swap Kingwin Racks instlalled), and I'm surfing away on a 'net wave
(emote for "Gregrocker"
and Y'all have a
- Jeff / Dallas TX