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Windows 7: What backup & relocation strategy for User profiles and Program Data


17 Nov 2013   #21
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
Thank you both again

So you don't burn DVDs for every OS image you make right?


If I store the image on an external hard disk, will Macrium FREE be able to restore it ?


And a third question: I don't seem to have a boot partition. Is that possible? I have :
- factory recovery 25GB
- C (os) 100 GB NTFS
- D (data) 500 GB NTFS
- unallocated space 73GB - in case i'd like to install another OS
1. The recovery DVD (actually a CD works too)is usually good for quite some time. If they update Macrium, they will alert you (in the release change log) if you need to burn a new recovery CD. But that is rare. The CD I am currentlly using is at least a year old.

2. You initiate the restore process with the recovery CD (WinPE version). That is fully self contained with it's own mini Windows 7.

3. Yes it is possible that you do not have the 100MB system partition. In that case your C partition is the active partition containing the bootmgr. You can check that in Disk Management.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

17 Nov 2013   #22

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
Hello,

In a configuration with a single HDD with 2 partitions (one for OS+Progs and one for data), how do we properly back up the OS and progs given the fact that the ProgramData and Users folders have been relocated to the Data partition ?
If you have used sysprep to relocate your system folders Users and ProgramData (as described in this tutorial), you need to include those in your image, too.

They are both system folders. If you leave them on C:, they would automatically be included in system image anyway. If they are relocated you need to be sure they are included.

I've used the sysprep method for years now on every Windows computer I have. As it is a one time procedure taking a minute to do and does not involve any manual folder location changes in folder properties or changes in library settings, one by one, but is instead done by changing the value of one Windows internal environment variable, it easily beats every other relocation method and makes changing settings manually obscure.

Both Windows' own Backup & Restore and third party tools like Macrium have no issues in creating images when these two system folders are moved from their original place.

Kari
Hi and thank you fo your reply,

I don't understand though, say I use the method in the tutorial and do relocate these two folders. Will the backup program create only one image? containing the whole OS partition + these two folders?

Second question: Given the fact that these two folders are on another partition, how will they be put to the right place again since that partition would have evolved over time? Will the present-time files in these two folders be overwitten? (that would be ok actually).
We are over thinking things here; it doesn't need to be this complicated. Just drag the data folders only from the C: partition to the data partition. Everything else stays on the C: partition and that is all that is needed for an image. Keep it simple.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #23

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
Thank you both again

So you don't burn DVDs for every OS image you make right?...
Ohmigosh no! That would take too long and too many disks!

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
...If I store the image on an external hard disk, will Macrium FREE be able to restore it ?...
Absolutely. I do it all the time. If you don't already have one, you will need a rescue CD or USB stick.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
...And a third question: I don't seem to have a boot partition. Is that possible? I have :
- factory recovery 25GB
- C (os) 100 GB NTFS
- D (data) 500 GB NTFS
- unallocated space 73GB - in case i'd like to install another OS
"Curiouser and curiouser," said Jeannie (apologies to Lewis Carroll). It's possible but a bit unusual with those figures. Where did you get those figures? My Computer or Disk Management? Can you show us a screen shot?
Attached is my Disk Management screenshot.
It says that the C partition is also boot.

Is or could that be an issue?


Attached Thumbnails
What backup & relocation strategy for User profiles and Program Data-diskm.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


17 Nov 2013   #24

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

[QUOTE=Lady Fitzgerald;2597976]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
All I did when I set up my computers was to drag the data folders to the new location on the other drive. Easy peasy and it works just fine for me.
You mean you dragged and dropped the CONTENT of the data folders? or the fodlers themselves?

For example,
did you dragged and dropped the whole My Music folder?
Or only its content to another folder (called Music-2 for example, as whs did) and kept the original My Music folder on the OS partition?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #25

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
Hi and thank you fo your reply,

I don't understand though, say I use the method in the tutorial and do relocate these two folders. Will the backup program create only one image? containing the whole OS partition + these two folders?

Second question: Given the fact that these two folders are on another partition, how will they be put to the right place again since that partition would have evolved over time? Will the present-time files in these two folders be overwitten? (that would be ok actually).
Using Windows Backup to create a system image, they are or rather the partition or drive where they are located is automatically included in your system image.

Using a third party imaging tool, you need to include the partition or drive manually:

What backup & relocation strategy for User profiles and Program Data-2013-11-18_000044.jpg

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
We are over thinking things here; it doesn't need to be this complicated. Just drag the data folders only from the C: partition to the data partition. Everything else stays on the C: partition and that is all that is needed for an image. Keep it simple.
The comment above just shows how little knowledge leads you easily to wrong conclusions. Obviously you do not know what sysprep does and how the relocation is done. Using the sysprep ONCE to change a value of an environment variable versus dragging and dropping several folders and changing library pointers, it's obvious which method I choose!

One more reason why I most definitely do not agree with Lady's comment: In todays SSD era, quite a many users have relatively small SSD as system / Windows installation drive. The AppData (a hidden subfolder of Users) and its subfolders can really fill the SSD too fast. Running a simple answer file with sysprep and the whole Users fiolder, with everything it has and will in the future have, is moved and will never be an issue again regarding space on C:.

Here, a fairly normal, quite new installation on my laptop. Not much installed but yet the AppData is almost 30 GB. At least for me it's a big deal to have this, and everything else on Users, relocated on in my case E:. Simply and fast, with one command:

Name:  2013-11-17_235448.jpg
Views: 12
Size:  38.2 KB

Lady, you cannot drag AppData to another drive. You need Sysprep.

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #26

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
Thank you both again

So you don't burn DVDs for every OS image you make right?...
Ohmigosh no! That would take too long and too many disks!



Absolutely. I do it all the time. If you don't already have one, you will need a rescue CD or USB stick.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
...And a third question: I don't seem to have a boot partition. Is that possible? I have :
- factory recovery 25GB
- C (os) 100 GB NTFS
- D (data) 500 GB NTFS
- unallocated space 73GB - in case i'd like to install another OS
"Curiouser and curiouser," said Jeannie (apologies to Lewis Carroll). It's possible but a bit unusual with those figures. Where did you get those figures? My Computer or Disk Management? Can you show us a screen shot?
Attached is my Disk Management screenshot.
It says that the C partition is also boot.

Is or could that be an issue?
No issues. My boot partition is called System Reserved and you don't have that anywhere so yours is apparently incorporated in the C: partition. All you need to image is just the C: partition to back up your OS and Programs. The D: partition would get its own image to backup your data.

I'm curious what that empty 25GB Primary partition is doing there. It's not hurting anything but you might want to look into getting rid of it and adding that space to your D: partition. That would be a topic for another thread after you are comfortable with getting your backups working. Or, you could keep it for a test partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #27

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
Hi and thank you fo your reply,

I don't understand though, say I use the method in the tutorial and do relocate these two folders. Will the backup program create only one image? containing the whole OS partition + these two folders?

Second question: Given the fact that these two folders are on another partition, how will they be put to the right place again since that partition would have evolved over time? Will the present-time files in these two folders be overwitten? (that would be ok actually).
Using Windows Backup to create a system image, they are or rather the partition or drive where they are located is automatically included in your system image.

Using a third party imaging tool, you need to include the partition or drive manually:

Attachment 294009

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
We are over thinking things here; it doesn't need to be this complicated. Just drag the data folders only from the C: partition to the data partition. Everything else stays on the C: partition and that is all that is needed for an image. Keep it simple.
The comment above just shows how little knowledge brings you easily to wrong conclusions. Using the sysprep ONCE to change a value of an environment variable versus dragging and dropping several folders and changing library pointers, it's obvious which method I choose!

One more reason why I most definitely do not agree with Lady's comment: In todays SSD era, quite a many users have relatively small SSD as system / Windows installation drive. The AppData (a hidden subfolder of Users) and its subfolders can really fill the SSD too fast. Running a simple answer file with sysprep and the whole Users fiolder, with everything it has and will in the future have is moved and will never be an issue again regarding space on C:.

Here, a fairly normal, quite new installation on my laptop. Not much installed but yet the AppData is almost 30 GB. At least for me it's a big deal to have this, and everything else on Users, relocated on in my case E:. Simply and fast, with one command:

Attachment 294008

Lady, you cannot drag AppData to another drive. You need Sysprep.

Kari
Kari, I see, it keeps the SSD not too full. BUT, as I wrote in my first post, I don't want to have to image my whole data partition just because the users folders are located there. If I properly understood your post, both Windows Backup and third party programs will have to image the whole data partition too ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #28

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

[QUOTE=Lady Fitzgerald;2597998]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
I'm curious what that empty 25GB Primary partition is doing there. It's not hurting anything but you might want to look into getting rid of it and adding that space to your D: partition. That would be a topic for another thread after you are comfortable with getting your backups working. Or, you could keep it for a test partition.
The 25GB is the ASUS factory restore partition. Somewhere I read that it's not being given a name so that it's "unusable". Meaning, accessible only for the recovery.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #29

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by adri123 View Post
Kari, I see, it keeps the SSD not too full. BUT, as I wrote in my first post, I don't want to have to image my whole data partition just because the users folders are located there. If I properly understood your post, both Windows Backup and third party programs will have to image the whole data partition too ?
Let's summarize:

Using Windows Backup & Restore to image your system, all partitions / drives including system folders are included. If Users and ProgramData are relocated to another drive, it will be included.

Third party tools let you deselect partitions, not include them even if they contain system elements. However, as Users and PrograData are system folders they should always be included in a system image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #30

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

[QUOTE=adri123;2597991]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
All I did when I set up my computers was to drag the data folders to the new location on the other drive. Easy peasy and it works just fine for me.
You mean you dragged and dropped the CONTENT of the data folders? or the fodlers themselves?

For example,
did you dragged and dropped the whole My Music folder?
Or only its content to another folder (called Music-2 for example, as whs did) and kept the original My Music folder on the OS partition?
I dragged and dropped the entire folder; more specifically, I dragged My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and Public Recorded TV from the C: drive to my E: drive. My Videos was dragged and dropped to my F: drive. Considering that you have a bit over 60GB on your C: partition, it would be interesting to know how large your AppData folder is unless you have data also stored in the data folders still on the partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 What backup & relocation strategy for User profiles and Program Data




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