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Windows 7: Use windows back-up feature or Macrium, create partitions first?


24 Apr 2014   #1

Widows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
Use windows back-up feature or Macrium, create partitions first?

I like to create a system image on my external 1 TB HDD.
I am confused with all the information in the tutorials.
Should I first partition my HDD as not to fill up my external HDD and equally should I partition the external HDD to leave the extra space for other storage.
My local HDD is 918 GB, OS is 101 GB, recovery disc is 12.7 GB and the external HDD is 931 GB.
Or can I proceed with the system image with either the windows back up or the recommended Macrium program.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Apr 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Are you going to store the image files on the external hard drive? If so, you do not need to make a separate partition on the external. The image file is just like any other file. You could make a folder called "images" and store your images in it.

Are your personal files (pictures, video, mp3s, Word documents, etc) in your C partition, along with Windows?

If possible, post a screen shot of Windows Disk Management.

If you have a "system reserved" partition, you will have to make an image file of it.

The more occupied space on C, the larger your image file will be. So it may be advantageous to you to try to reduce the occupied space on C, if you have space problems on the external drive. Some people prefer to store personal files on a separate partition because that reduces the size of C.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2014   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Definitely Macrium because Windows imaging is a 'challenge', to word it mildly.

There is no need to make partitions on the disk to where you backup - just make a folder where you store the images. The size of the image will be appr. 65% of the size of tha data you image. The size of the partition from where you image is irrelevant - only the data counts. Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Apr 2014   #4

Widows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

I had just help with fixing a IE problem and was advised to make a system image, it was for that reason I bought the external HDD. I have very little knowledge of PC stuff. As far I know, I have all my personal stuff in the C partition.


Attached Thumbnails
Use windows back-up feature or Macrium, create partitions first?-disk-management.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2014   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Looks like you are in good shape.

I'd recommend Macrium Reflect Free Edition as WHS suggested.

You MUST make an image of the small "System" partition as well as C. You can include both in a single image file or make an image file for each. You have to restore the System partition or C will not boot by itself.

If you ever would want to restore that HP recovery partition, you could image it also, but most here would probably tell you to forget about it unless you actually think you might some day want to restore your PC to the state it was in when originally purchased.

Your C partition uses about 100 GB; in my experience with default settings, the Macrium image file will be around 40 to 45 GB in size. You might make a new image file weekly or monthly or quarterly, depending on how often and to what degree your system changes (new programs installed, etc).

I'd recommend a separate program for backing up your personal data if you don't already do that.

You'll need to make a "recovery disc" in Macrium to boot your PC from to restore the image file, should you ever need to. You can choose between a Linux-based disc or a WinPE-based disc. The latter is much preferred. You make them in Macrium right after you install the program.

Test the recovery disk to confirm that it will actually boot your PC. If it won't boot, you can't restore.

It should take you about 8 or 10 mouse clicks and a few minutes to make an image. Perhaps 30 minutes to an hour if you have a slow processor. I'm not sure how fast that AMD processor is. It takes me 6 minutes for a 32 GB partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2014   #6

Widows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Definitely Macrium because Windows imaging is a 'challenge', to word it mildly.

There is no need to make partitions on the disk to where you backup - just make a folder where you store the images. The size of the image will be appr. 65% of the size of tha data you image. The size of the partition from where you image is irrelevant - only the data counts. Imaging with free Macrium
Thank you, I have downloaded the Macrium program and made the rescue disk (I hope I did that right). I was just concerned whether the image file would be made from the complete local HDD and fill up all the space of the external HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2014   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You have to image the C partition and the 100MB system partition (that contains the bootmgr). The total image size will be appr. 65GBs. For that you have ample room on your external disk.

Whilst Macrium writes the image, you can hide the Macrium program (see the 'Hide' button) and continue to work on the PC. Macrium freezes the image at the very beginning so there is no harm done working on the system.

Make full images weekly and keep at least 3 old ones (for safety).

Which rescue disc did you make, The WinPE version or the Linux version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2014   #8

Widows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Test the recovery disk to confirm that it will actually boot your PC. If it won't boot, you can't restore.

.
To do this, just shut down the PC and insert that disk?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2014   #9

Widows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
You have to image the C partition and the 100MB system partition (that contains the bootmgr). The total image size will be appr. 65GBs. For that you have ample room on your external disk.

Whilst Macrium writes the image, you can hide the Macrium program (see the 'Hide' button) and continue to work on the PC. Macrium freezes the image at the very beginning so there is no harm done working on the system.

Make full images weekly and keep at least 3 old ones (for safety).

Which rescue disc did you make, The WinPE version or the Linux version.
The one that was somewhere in the tutorial.


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2014   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

That WinPE ISO should be the right one.

To test it, put it in the DVD drive and reboot from DVD drive. You'll need to bring up a boot menu and choose the DVD drive as a boot source. That's done with a particular key that varies depending on your PC brand. Maybe F2, F8, F12, etc. You push the key repeatedly during a normal boot process to bring up the menu.

If you boot from the disk, you should arrive at a Macrium screen. If you instead arrive at your regular desktop, you aren't booting from the disc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Use windows back-up feature or Macrium, create partitions first?




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