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Windows 7: Which backup & restore to use

16 Jul 2014   #1
bbrose2

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
Which backup & restore to use

New system using W7 Pro & IE11 with 1TB SATA hard drive (c drive) & an external drive (e) 250 GB Seagate One Touch Mini 4. Need help in deciding which backup & restore to use, Windows 7 Backup & Restore or Seagate 2 step programs or any suggestions. Want to be able to create whole system image & also backup of all users data files & programs. A couple of questions are: do I have to completely wipe my external drive clean before starting any new backup procedure, can I store both system image & data files on the external drive without creating paritions, is my external drive big enough to hold everything (I currently have space (approx 50 GB left on external drive when using XP). Thank you for any help you can provide.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jul 2014   #2
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Quote:
do I have to completely wipe my external drive clean before starting any new backup procedure
No, backup image is stored as a file.

Quote:
can I store both system image & data files on the external drive without creating paritions
I think you mean extra partitions - you must already have at least one.

Yes, just store it like any other file.

Quote:
is my external drive big enough to hold everything
Depends how much used space you have on the source partition. Also depends on what type of files you have on the used space, some will compress a lot, some file types compress very little.

Images will typically be 50-60% of the size of the original used space.




Aomei ( owmay ) Backupper is the best free imaging program, Standard version is free:

Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 Free Backup and Restore Software
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #3
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Many people here prefer Macrium Reflect Free (here is a good tutorial on how to use Macrium Reflect). I use a paid version of Macrium Reflect to back up my C: drive (or partition, depending on the machine) but the free version will meet most peoples needs. I also use FreeFileSync to back up my data drives (or partition, depending on the machine). A folder/file syncing program, such as FreeFileSync is much faster for backing up data than imaging. The OS and programs, however, have to be backed up by imaging or cloning, imaging generally being the most practical.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jul 2014   #4
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

For some redundancy, I use 2 system imaging programs; Windows inbuilt and (free) Macrium Reflect. Neither has let me down so far but Macrium has the edge. Macrium is more flexible and does provide compression of your image files. For hardware redundancy I keep current images on 2 separate external HDDs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #5
bbrose2

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

SIW2,

Would it benefit me more to start with a clean disc rather than all of the old stuff that I probably can not access anyway?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #6
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Which disk do you mean - the one you intend to store your images on?

Up to you. If what you have on there is not accessible or not wanted, then you can do a quick format if you like. Or you could just delete anything you are certain you don't want. 50gb isn't a lot of space, so if you can clear some more, it is a good idea.

If you want to do regular file backups as well as an image, then aomei does that also. Schedule it if you like.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #7
bbrose2

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

SIW2,

Yes, I am speaking of the drive I want to use as my external backup. I figured it would be best to start with a full 250GB rather than what is left on that drive from previous backups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #8
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Yes. good idea. Quick format will be fine to clear that if you don't need/want anything currently on there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2014   #9
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Macrium and Windows built in imaging.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2014   #10
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Even though I haven't used it myself (I found it too confusing when I first tried to) after seeing all the posts from people having problems with Windows Imaging, there is no way I would ever recommend it, especially since Macrium Reflect is so easy to use and is so reliable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Which backup & restore to use




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