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Windows 7: Newbie with questions about Win7 backup

10 Sep 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit O.S.
 
 
Newbie with questions about Win7 backup

My home PC is used primarily for surfing and for keeping household/financial records. HD capacity is 928GB and I use approx 40GB for all my stuff.

Question: When I do a system backup, is my goal to copy the total 40GB or is it to primarily restore my system without including photos and/or misc programs such as MS Office? I ask this because the notes on the free Macrium indicate that "folders" are not part of the backup (if I understand that correctly). Would I need to buy the Macrium Standard in order to do the more complete backup?

Also, it is my understanding that keeping my system backed up on a flash drive may not be the best solution since a 'crashed' system may not recognize that flash drive while attempting to restore my system.

Also, it is my understanding that an external HD will do all I need it to do regarding a restore ... but is costlier than using Macrium or the Cloud.

Eager to get your feedback.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Sep 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It will make a complete image of all the used space (the entire 40gb ).

The paid versions can back up just selected folders instead of the whole thing.

A complete image is better anyhow, and it is pretty quick.

You will need to store the image file somewhere. OEM machines often come with an image on a different partition the same HD - that is just the original factory image - none of your stuff included. It can get some people out of trouble, but is useless if the HD itself dies.

For the same reason, it is safer to store your image files somewhere else. Most people buy a cheap external drive. Alternatively,if you have a desktop machine, you can store it on another internal drive, they are pretty cheap.

There are several imaging programs, Macrium is a free version , intended to tempt you to buy the fancier one. Aomei Backupper is completely free, there is no paid version , really excellent. Paragon do one also, and a few others.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2013   #3

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit O.S.
 
 

SIW2 - Thanks for your prompt reply. Thanks, also, for clearing so much up with your brief post.

I think the external HD makes a lot of sense in my case. An initial investment [for the device] and if my working PC system evaporates, all my previous data is waiting there to be restored.

I'm not certain how the other imaging products you mentioned actually work. Are they akin to an external HD that is kept online somewhere for me? For instance, if I download free Macrium and do my imaging accordingly with that program .... will it not be useless in the event my HD dies? Will it not be a victim along with the other data?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Sep 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Not sure what you asking.


1. Get and Install the imaging program

Macrium or Aomei work in a similar fashion. Normally you would install the program , then run off the bootable recovery media.

2. Run off recovery media

Often you can get Linux based bootable recovery media and/or the program will run off winpe based media ( Aomei does that without needing a giant download from MS ). Bootable recovery media can be on cd or usb stick, or even on another drive if you like. Most people use usb stick.

3. Create an image

You create the image either from within the program you have installed, or by booting the recovery media.

You tell it which partitions to make an image of. Then you tell it where to put the image file. That can be anywhere you can see - HD , internal/external/dvd/usb stick/ network drive, whatever you want.

They have very simple interfaces, a child can do it.

4. Restoring an image

The usual way to restore an image is to boot the recovery media, tell it where the image file is, then tell it where to restore the image to.That might be back to the original partition, a different HD or a different machine if you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Any kind of backup to the same physical drive isn't much of a backup. If the drive fails you loose everything and there is nothing software can do about that. OEMs do this but it is done to keep costs down. They do recommend that you create a restore disk for the eventuality the hard disk fails.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2013   #6

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit O.S.
 
 

SIW2 - Sorry for the confusion with my questions.

You wrote, "For the same reason, it is safer to store your image files somewhere else. Most people buy a cheap external drive. Alternatively,if you have a desktop machine, you can store it on another internal drive, they are pretty cheap"

In the event my HD dies, Macrium will also die ... correct? Therefore, an external HD might be an alternative to Macrium?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2013   #7

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit O.S.
 
 

LMILLER7 - That makes sense. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2013   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

The install of Macrium will die with the disk but the recovery DVD you make will not. You restore the image from the external HDD using the recovery DVD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2013   #9

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit O.S.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
The install of Macrium will die with the disk but the recovery DVD you make will not. You restore the image from the external HDD using the recovery DVD.
Great. Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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