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Windows 7: Need a new Backup & Storage program

09 Jan 2015   #31
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
A long reply back to you

Hi Lady Fitzgerald (and anyone else who wishes to respond--equal opportunity posting here!)

You wrote so many different things about what I opened up for discussion here...

First question: (I tried to label each question with the word "question" to help you find them) Should I just copy my last post and this one and move it to a new thread so people can find questions about partitioning and those aspects of recovery if they do a search of Windows Seven Forum topics? Let me know.

Next, I'll copy and quote what you said and interrupt you along the way to send comments back... its the only way I'll not lose something important in what information you gave me here... Its all great! You have lots of brain cells working when you are tired... wonder how you are when you are awake???

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Whew! That is a lot to digest. Since it's late and I had only three hours sleep last night, my brain is in far worse shape than Jack's three brain cells so, for now, I'll address something of yours that jumped out at me before I pass away...er...pass out for the night.
No, you're functioning just fine... and tired you beat my brain cells in computer knowledge (all of you do) so my hat's off to you! (hope you don't pass away, at least for quite a while yet) ---I read with sadness your noting someone here dear to the Forum passed, I've not been here (it says) since January of 2014, so maybe I've missed out on remembering who Gary was when I was more active here, but my Condolences too to his family....

Quote:
I get the feeling you don't quite understand how imaging and folder/file syncing are used together so let me try telling you how I use them on my notebooks.
Definitely, as there is just not enough information out there about different set ups for using products made by different software companies---especially when I was combining together, Partition Commander, System Commander, Norton Ghost, plus a few otherws I forget from the company now called Avanquest (was VCOM). Again, these used to have phone support, but I think it ended or changed to Email or something else, so I ended using their products.....

Quote:
The notebook I'm using right now had one 500GB drive in it.
Great! Just like my relative's laptop one 500GB HDD

Quote:
It has four partitions:

1. System Reserve, 1.46GB (Yes, that is freaking enormous. It got enlarged somehow when I cloned the original HDD to the SSD I replaced it with and I've been too preoccupied to bother with fixing it yet).
Now that name has always confused me... I do not have it at all on my unpartitioned HDD, never had it on any other drive that I partitioned... but its something that Norton Ghost quietly creates (very small sliver in size on the pie diagram of the HDD---so I understand why your 1.46 GB is so large to you)----but I can not understand what it is for. If I assume from wikipedia etc it is to hold the system files... HDG Explains - What is the System Reserved Partition? saying its usually just 100MB in size. I think from XP world, is it the "MBR" sector of the HDD? Master Boot Record? or am I trying again to compare apples and eggs? (I know you used another item which I can't find right now while typing)...

Quote:
2. C:, 99.9GB (47.2GB in use) It has only my OS (Win 7 Home Premium) and programs on it.

3. E:, 348GB (245GB in use) This is my data partition.

4. Q:, 15.3 GB This is the factory recovery partition. (Many people would advise saving it to another drive to free up the space but I don't really need the space and it's more convenient to have it on the computer since it (a Lenovo B590) has a button for activating the restore partition (I've used it only once on another Lenovo notebook but it was handy at the time).
Again my brain is hurting as you're expanding its knowledge base quite a lot....

Question: Why the skipping in Drive letters to Q? Was that automatic? Is it a factory installed partition (WD has something like this with programs on it, I zip off the programs, and reformat the drive ASAP (on the first phone call to WD so I do it right), just so I get the full space and not take it up with WD features that I do not use as I have others which are better (incuding my paid Acronis vs their freebie version that comes with many of their HDD like the green/black, etc you list in your system stats below so I know you know what they are)

Question: Is it something that is only used on Lenovo? Or might I need it on my SONY? Or if so, is there a way to get it without owning a Lenovo (I know it was IBM---I stopped buying/recommending using those when IBM transferred ownship, throwing me to the other companies instead)

Quote:
I use Macrium Reflect to image the System Reserve and C: partitions in one image. If my OS and/or programs get scrambled up, I can use an image to restore the System Reserve and C: partitions to the state the computer was in when the image was made (I did just that this morning when the keyboard got messed up and wasn't recognizing character codes properly; it was easier to restore than try to track down the problem). Images are currently just 23.3GB in size, small enough that I can keep several of them without any problems.
????????????? (sorry I know the courtesy codes for this Forum say not to do that but here I go again: ????????????? This is my first and only (for the relative its their first computer!, for me my first Windows Laptop, everything else I've ever used is Desktop or larger, so this is like a toy).... with all new things that I don't know about.... How often does the keyboard get "messed up and wasn't recognizing character codes properly"?????? Now I use the existing keyboard on this laptop to type so does relative... owned it since 2010...was first out first install of Professional Windows for that particular computer store it was that new to them....(some have suggested it was done wrong, but you know what that means.... everything has to be emptied and all programs reinstalled paying for new product keys or finding the old ones and reinstalling and re setting all values so that the programs can read and use the saved items in the data! A huge job, I and no one else either, wants to do it.... so maybe that's the source of problems with this laptop....

Question: But getting back to my original question......... how often does the built in keyboard fail???? like this? I've never heard of it! I've seen keys fall off, but that is mechanical, not electronically erroneous not using character codes properly as you mentioned..... (I read that and quit last night----went away to research it, dead ends, and that is why I didn't respond until today, sorry, that sentence blew my mind about what I know about computers....

Thanks for sharing your images are only 23.3 GB in size....

Question: Is that only your HDD Partition E ??(245 GB in use? )

Question: Does it backup with smart backup i.e. saving only the data filled sectors, or is that 23.3 GB everything from the 500 GB HDD blank spaces and boot record/system reserved included on that small size?

Question: More importantly for the way I treat backups.... is it possible to view that 23.3 GB backup in any way to see if the content matches the original HDD?? (I might have asked these twice somewhere else but asking again here since you mentioned the size of the backed up file)..

Quote:
I save the images to a folder on the E: drive. Normally, it isn't a good idea to keep backups on the drive being backed up but I find it convenient when I need to restore my OS/programs because then I don't need to dig out the backup drive. I keep only the first image I made when I first set up the computer and the last two or three images since then. The images get properly backed up when I backup the E: drive. You can just as easily save the images directly to your backup drive (which is what most people do; I'm weird, so sue me).
NOT weird at all! But remember I was saving using RAID in addition to backup.... So I would save right away to the master drive a small sized saved file by Norton, by incrementals so nothing would be slowed down (Only used Raptors if that makes it clear) and the 17 HDD's daisy chained outward would be automatically striped and saved when a value i.e. 10% change was reached on the Master drive. That way I actually liked it having a double save on the master drive, and doubly saving that across a network to other drives. In case any one failed, all had MBR's so I just grab the drive off the daisy chain and slam it into the hot slot and keep on computing as if nothing at all happened.... Guess that made me lazy about watching what I do, as I always had a backup to stick in there and I could wipe the bad drive and stick it back on the daisy chain and the RAID would adapt it on the next save (someone set it all up for me... I'm not THAT smart... I'm just relating my experience as a user, and so not having RAID or even a current backup on this laptop is worrisome to me every day.....

Quote:
My backup drive is a 500GB 2.5" Western Digital Black in an Arctic USB 3.0 enclosure. I use FreeFileSync (FFS) in mirror mode to backup my E: partition to the backup drive. While my backup drive is bigger than the E: partition, it doesn't need to be; it could be the same size and still have enough room. What FFS does is compares the data on the E: partition with the data on the backup drive, then copies data from the E: drive to the backup drive and/or deletes data from the backup drive as necessary. The end result is the backup drive is essentially an exact copy of the E: partition with both having the same amount of space being used. Since only new, changed, and deleted files are being dealt with, backups are much faster than they would be if imaging was being used (of course, the first backup takes a while since all folders and files have to be copied over). FFS can also be used to transfer data back to the E: partition if its data should get FUBARed. Using a Folder/file syncing program is much more efficient than trying to use images.
Now I hear you and other person here who suggested this too FFS FreeFileSync does look good as well to use. It has lots of features I would like to use too, BUT again , without a clear help place I can see myself doing "too much" "too fast" with it with no clear path or help and getting those screens that don't match the instructions here or on their website... then I'm in trouble and potentially destroying one or more drives (original and backup!) So that is the problem about using sync programs... Did I mention the lap top is THE backup for a number of other portable devices i.e. Apple products? They don't like I'm using a PC, but it is what it is as my old mac is too old for sync programs to work on it....so its more than just one device that gets lost when the laptop gets in trouble....Of course Apple set all of the backup processes going, and if I now play with the files/folders/partitions, maybe I'll lose the links or paths that these devices use...

So again I thought for you, (and others who read this far--thanks!) maybe you see that backup is more complicated here if I start partitioning when a device is attached and blindly attempts to find its home base/sync/backup location on the "C" drive and I've now (if I did partition it) does not find it as I've moved it off to a D E F etc Drive. So, it will no longer be able to find it....to sync with it and do its automatic backup process.

Unfortunately, since the Apple items are all out of their 3 year warranty, who in the world is going to "re" pathway (I have no idea what the word for this is so someone help me) 're sync'? 'repair' ? the sync process so when I attach the devices that use this laptop as their "backup hard drive"... they connect to it.. Also I guess to mess things up worse it is all somewhere connected to the "cloud" by Apple, though I don't use any of the features I keep upgrading the updates for the iCloud iTunes etc etc...

Maybe now you see how easily a simple question I asked at the beginning (Does anyone know of a good backup program other than Norton Ghost or SSR?) has changed into something hugely monstrous!---given all of the Apple/Mac items floating around in here----not to mention my unusual name XP VM USER---because I have more than XP on VM, I have two Mac OS as well---(using Oracle VM VirtualBox) all on that one "C" drive pathway.... sigh...

Quote:
Another feature of FFS is its ability to send deleted files to a versioning folder. That way, if I accidentally delete a file and don't catch it right away, I can always recover it from the versioning folder. Since I have plenty of extra room on the backup drive, I have plenty of room for a versioning folder on it. This is a new computer so the folder hasn't much in it yet, but, eventually, I will have to clean out the older files.
That is GREAT! I like the idea.... but the 500 GB got full very fast with all the data from the various programs (now you know there are more than one OS on here, others in Virtual Machines....but each has their own separate storage area and each has their own problems---but again its for the relative who is more familiar with using Macs than PC's so they can feel comfortable if they need to use a program they are used to using under Mac and no idea how the PC version operates..... (and PC would be additional cost after buying the Mac version of course!)

Quote:
it may seem a bit complicated at first but, once you grasp the concept, it's actually quite simple.
Whew! I get it now.... Thanks for taking the time to explain it better to me and others....

I'll post this now unless I think of more stuff and need to edit (but I don't like doing it in case someone read all my stuff and wondered what I edited or fixed up)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
11 Jan 2015   #32
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
More thoughts before I do download/backup

Hi Everyone!

Trying to do the Macrium backup while waiting to see if anyone has advice about partitioning the one HDD in the Laptop, only AFTER several devices have been already been set up, configured, and used with pathways to "C" drive for their backup/storage.

I'm thinking that might be too complex for me to handle---too many other Forum sites (Mac/Apple for out of warranty devices) have to be asked to cure the problem, unless one of my older Partition Commanders can work on Windows 7 (Or maybe Avanquest has a new one? I have to look, been busy with following up on these backup solutions more than partitioning) to search (lazy too?)..

One problem at a time..

I'd like to make ONE backup with something, as it is, [so I'm protected from the latest accidental or purposeful loss of data threats] but I found out on my 500 GB HDD backup, I have:

254 GB used
211 Free
Main C: inside the laptop Drive is: 457 GB used, 128 GB Free.

So hopefully my plan so far is:

1. Find a NON VIRUS, Non Toolbar, Non malware site, and download Macrium Filebackup as almost everyone here recommended that one first most highly... [I check web pages and my Norton Internet Security to first, to confirm if the site has "unwanted extras" that download when I press the "FREE DOWNLOAD" button, as I've been fooled many times before.....]

2. Copy/backup/diskimage (whatever you prefer to call it) everything ONCE from Laptop's Drive C: to my remaining space on the external HDD.

3. Confirm (human visual checking) that it is all backed up, copied, ok, without restoring it back to the original HDD)

4. Then depending upon the size of the "one time" (a non incremental---I always do that first).. backup disk image or whatever I get from Macrium (I'm not used to it yet and its choices for my system when it gets installed).... I plan to copy back to the original HDD (I don't have spare empty Drives hanging around) that saved file (or I could save it again, back to itself, but years of Ghosting experience found it takes longer as less space to do the block movings, if you make a backup to the original HDD (this is also again my answer to something mentioned by Lady Fitzgerald how she does her, backups, showing I do it too sometimes for this very reason, as you can see)....

5. Once I have it safely set aside as my one and only backup to current date.....Then I would plan to totally format the older external HDD---- as without a working Windows 7 version of Norton Ghost, those backups won't work for me (but I kept them in the hope someone ---would have had kept a working copy if I needed to back up /restore before today but that would cost a lot and trying to do this on a budget here).

6. Then I can safely copy back to the blank HDD the original FULLY saved copy that Macrium created.... and erase it from the original HDD... Now I have my steady backup (which I do manually in Norton Ghost (which I DID manually by habit--correcting the grammar not the idea)... and now I can set hopefully!!! Macrium to do an incremental from now on in another section of the HDD under a different file heading.

7. Then every month or two, I go back, erase my "original" sized one time only backup, and replace it with a fully one time only Backup..

8. Now you see what I would do if I had several external HDD's set up for my relative's laptop, which I don't because they need to be in NTFS and most of mine are XP in Fat format still... sigh....(yes I do have NTFS with 2007 computer I learned lots of lessons---but they are plenty full of RAID or Ghosted backedups so I have nothing "free" that is available)

9. That's the plan. Anybody with comments questions????

Thank you everyone (and Lady Fitzgerald) for reading all of this!

P.S. I guess I'm going to answer one (just one) of my own questions...

About trying to fix some of the problems on the Laptop before doing a save..... I might make things worse.... This save is definitely full of mechanical or software glitches...that have developed over past year, not had time to research them all, so not perfect.. ...So after a year without a significant safe, backup, its time to get a full confident back up (maybe even download a second backup program mentioned here first as well and use it to make another copy on the External HDD), all before I write here to this Forum, asking to try to fix some of the "out of memory" problems I mentioned earlier... hope it does not interfere with my ability to use Macrium Program (as one site (link to the Macrium knowledge base from my earlier posting Out of Memory error during File and Folder backup) showed that it makes "out of memory" error messages for 32 bit windows, but I never got/found an answer as to if it effects today, my 64 bit Windows 7 Professional, with 8 GB memory on the SONY Laptop----

I have to assume that I'll find out long before I come to my planed "Step 5" where I erase any of the old Ghost versions of saved backups)...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2015   #33
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
A few questions for whs:

From your link you provided me: Imaging with free Macrium Its a HUGE amount of pages--121 so far.. sorry if I've not read everything.. [By the way-- I just found out your avatar is that iceberg---stunning photos!---Wondering why its just posted on that particular link and not somewhere more general for others to find on this site?---happy to know more no matter how I search to find out information]

Quote:
The production of the WinPE recovery CD (which is highly recommended) may take up to 3 hours because Macrium needs to download the 1.7GB WAIK (Windows Application Installation Kit).
Question: Is this still needed to do to use Macrium on Windows 7 Professional, with latest download version of Macrium? ( ask it as I see too many references to Windows PE, which is not installed on my relative's laptop).

Question: Do I then use your iso link to download it faster for my Macrium? whs' s link (not mine in case someone gets confused in future days) Here is the link to my Skydrive site.

and whs also has.....

Image your system with free Macrium

Just to be complete... this was another helpful series from whs.. its up to 178 pages ...
Question: Wondering if the bootable rescue CD mentioned on page 1 needs to be a DVD? I think my Ghost only saved its rescue CD very small, just enough to boot into the frozen, etc computer a few 100's of MB does it? I have both CD and DVD, unless there is something special or longer lasting about burning the rescue to a DVD.

By the way... was told by someone else to use thumb drive as its more sturdy than either of these mediums and so if your Macrium will do it, and if I keep it, I'll eventually have an extra rescue file there as well.... (Unless there is some computer trivia I'm unaware of, like does the laptop not load in USB abilities until later on, so forcing one to use the CD/DVD tray? Just thinking of everything possible to ask... (again, no phone so I write a lot to cover all the bases!)

Thanks for reading all of this!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

20 Jan 2015   #34
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Before I do something I can't undo

Hi Everybody!

Hate to bother you (especially Lady Fitzgerald and whs) who have been so nice and generous to read my long posts and comment on them....

Before I begin to do what I said I'd do in Post #32 (with some questions in #33 for whs)... my 9 steps,
I just wanted any feedback.... I know there was a holiday in between, so I just let everything sit around for a while...

Thanks for anyone who can help me get started doing the correct methodology and steps for backing up my relative's laptop to the small 500 GB Backup drive.

Have a good day!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #35
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Frankly, I'm out of this discussion. Your long posts were tedious to read and you have been told several times how to do things. Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #36
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Your immediate problem is this:

"on my 500 GB HDD backup, I have:

254 GB used
211 Free

Main C: inside the laptop Drive is: 457 GB used, 128 GB Free."

If I understand correctly, you intend to use Macrium to make an image file of a C partition that has 457 GB of occupied space. At the default medium compression level, that file may well be larger than the 211 GB free space you have on the backup drive. It may not even fit.

Your alternatives are to reduce the occupied space on C before you make the image, use high compression (which reportedly doesn't save much space), make more free space on your backup drive, or use some other imaging program that will make a smaller image file.

At most, you'd have room for just one image file of C. Most people would advise you to keep two or more. Maybe the most recent two if you make one every month.

You get to decide which of the above choices is more palatable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2015   #37
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Thank you for helping me Lady Fitzgerald

Thanks for replying to let me know where things stand.

I am appreciative of the time and effort you took to read my long posts and put up with my numerous questions.

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2015   #38
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
For ignatzatsonic

Thank you for your analysis of the problem.... you got it perfectly.

On the small backup HDD is several copies generated by the old Norton Ghost 15 before the program vanished off the computer/desktop/downloads....

Without the program to tell me about the contents on the drive, for me to delete things on the drive willy nilly to make more room for the new backup sounds like the perfect way to go....
but not knowing which version of Ghost I'm deleting (full or an incremental, or which date) as all that information appears on the Norton control panel which is gone now... I might just corrupt any one or all of the Norton Backups (I had a drive I transferred in my older XP system that had this problem so I know exactly that is what can happen....

Trying to contact Norton online support as phone is no longer allowed for Ghost (of course---not going to repeat all the phone pro con conversations I've had here again) and some problems with doing that process.... to see if they had any interim solutions or could read the titles of the programs listed on the HDD as to which is which to delete

I thank you for the ideas about double saving, I always did that... one full save of everything with no option for incrementals, plus another one for incremental's use in a separate folder. I erase and update the "master" file every so often--no real schedule, just after major changes are made in adding programs, after they are confirmed to work, without problems is when I do that, i.e. when I upgraded my IE to 11, then again downgraded back to 10 upon advice from Forums, etc... so I know there are several of those events on that HDD....its just determining which is which without the benefit of Norton Control panel to let me know and see my "notes" sections of the file that was saved there...

Best option? Get another HDD until I successfully save one master and one incremental set up and satisfied Macrium is working on Laptop...only spare drive that is not formatted is only 80 GB needs a outer case unless I disassemble the one the 500 GB is in.... so decisions decisions, but I appreciate your advice so I know not to bother, as 80 GB is way too small to hold a new backup from Macrium and far too small to transfer some of the saved files from the 500 HDD to make room for new savings....

I wrote back after 9 hrs to let you know I appreciate your advice and let you know where I am, even if I have not made that decision yet....

Will keep this Forum apprised and if one or more things work, will mark it as solved..... with a report...

(QUESTION: Do you have a higher compression backup program to recommend that I can still read in Windows Explorer to confirm that it is fully saved all parts of the disk image from the Laptop?)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2015   #39
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

No, I don't have a higher compression program to recommend. The most favored two programs on this forum are probably Macrium and Aomei, BUT repeat BUT I have NO reason at all to believe one compresses more or less than the other. I have recently heard that high compression results in only slightly smaller files. "Slightly" smaller files won't help you. You could experiment with Aomei and Macrium to see if they compress differently. My guess is that the differences would be minor and nowhere near large enough to be a consideration for you.

I'm not sure what you mean by "double saving" or use of incremental backups. The standard recommendation is to use full backups only and to simply make them on some sort of rough schedule. You might make a full every month. When you make the March image, maybe you delete the December or January image. Your 500 GB hard drive would hold a max of two such image files and quite possibly only one. 500 GB drives have about 460 usable and one image file of a partition occupying 457 GB of space will take at least 200 GB, possibly 250, in my experience. So--two files may not fit on your 500 GB drive even if it were completely empty.

The title of your thread is "Need a new backup and storage program". For that reason, I'm wondering why you are giving another thought to Norton as expressed in your second, third, and fourth paragraphs above. Maybe you want to keep Norton images for some reason?


What would I do?

Decide yes or no if the 457 GB occupied can be reduced significantly. If yes, do so---only because it would make your image files smaller. If you want at least two full image files to fit on a 500 GB drive, you better plan on beating that 457 down under 400, preferably farther--keeping nothing but two those images on your 500 GB drive.

If I couldn't or wouldn't reduce the 457, I'd plan on getting another larger backup drive as I wouldn't want to be in a position of having room for only one image file.

With a gun at my head, I'd rather have just one full image file than use incrementals.

I'd delete all Norton images and start over.

I have no idea what's contained in that 457 GB on C, but if any of it is personal data as opposed to Windows or applications, you could make C smaller by moving data to a D partition on the same drive and then making an image of C alone. My C partition occupies about 36 GB. My Macrium image files are about 16 GB, so I could easily put 20 of them on a 500 GB backup drive if I wanted. I have NO personal data at all on C.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2015   #40
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Apologies for a long detailed reply

Hi ignatzatsonic!

Thanks for replying!

I understand (I hope) much of what you said.... I have some comments or reactions or questions to the exact items you posted..

If you don't mind.... I'll quote what you said, in the order that you said it, so I don't repeat myself and answer any points you have raised, ok with you? (I know its a pre-typed post so answer I assume is yes)

Quote:
No, I don't have a higher compression program to recommend. The most favored two programs on this forum are probably Macrium and Aomei, BUT repeat BUT I have NO reason at all to believe one compresses more or less than the other. I have recently heard that high compression results in only slightly smaller files. "Slightly" smaller files won't help you. You could experiment with Aomei and Macrium to see if they compress differently. My guess is that the differences would be minor and nowhere near large enough to be a consideration for you.
Greatly appreciate the information!! As I've not tried out as many backup programs as you have, nor have I ever restored any by myself, so I appreciate the information! I'll concentrate my efforts on getting either Macrium or AOMEI (or both) (possibly with FFS (FreeFileSync) as Lady Fitzgerald mentioned as a second backup to it)....

Quote:
I'm not sure what you mean by "double saving" or use of incremental backups.
Sorry to confuse you!

Its a Norton Ghost thing I got from their phone/Forum help centers. You make one full initial/complete manually requested backup first (more about doing that below) and use the "incremental setting" to make a second backup which is updated on a regular automated schedule by Norton Ghost (i.e. a no-brainer, works behind the scenes with the attached backup drive). I usually keep my backup drive unattached, as I'm always afraid a virus gets in and finds it way to all the connected drives---(its happened to me so don't say it doesn't).... So the basic idea of doing that (if you were to want to do this for yourself or anyone else reading this) (since my RAID days too), the concept is that you always have a full backup that is not "touched" by the Norton Program at all and regularly erase and update that one. Meanwhile you have the more frequently used "incremental" version which is updated in the background... the only danger with incrementals is sometimes, during the process you can have corruption of a file, and it can corrupt the backup.... so when that happens... (if you did not do a complete save every few months separately) you would be left holding an empty backup drive and original in the computer being for several hours/days your ONLY version... too dangerous for my mind to rest at night..... (see below for a bit more before I leave the topic)

Quote:
The standard recommendation is to use full backups only and to simply make them on some sort of rough schedule. You might make a full every month. When you make the March image, maybe you delete the December or January image. Your 500 GB hard drive would hold a max of two such image files and quite possibly only one. 500 GB drives have about 460 usable and one image file of a partition occupying 457 GB of space will take at least 200 GB, possibly 250, in my experience. So--two files may not fit on your 500 GB drive even if it were completely empty.
Perfectly expresses my greatest fear!!! Lets say I can only reasonably hold one full backup (I know its all on C I'll get to that below be patient)---- so 500 GB saved once on 500 GB HD (even smart sectors so I don't save the blank ones) means I only have ONE backup....

I then remove the HDD and keep it safely away from computer... so lets say I'm upgrading hardware or software, so I make another SAVE just before that... in case the original is damaged by the new hardware/software. Then I only have that one backup to restore or else I've lost all my data! One whole drive to restore back to another one whole drive..... any errors in the process... any mistakes, and I could corrupt the backup HDD as well ... and I'm left with NOTHING except huge bills for data recovery from either drive to begin all over again.

I always (yes for 20 years plus using Ghost) make the original backup on a separate HDD, and use another one I connect and keep connected to make the second backup, which is set to incremental whenever 10% or something like that new information or new dates are added (i.e. it can do it on a schedule (liked Norton for that) automatically, in the background to do incrementals at weekly or monthly intervals (depended upon the computer system and its use what I had them set to)...

Sorry for long winded, writing.. but now you see how I could sleep at night, having a full safe backup separate from the computer that every so often, I manually created a new entire computer "clone" or disk image, and the incrementals on the connected drive were always up to date, either way, (depending upon the type of disaster encountered), data loss would be minimized...

Quote:
The title of your thread is "Need a new backup and storage program". For that reason, I'm wondering why you are giving another thought to Norton as expressed in your second, third, and fourth paragraphs above. Maybe you want to keep Norton images for some reason?
Sorry to confuse you!

Its that terrible 5 letter word "money".

I'm trying to keep as many of the old, created, Norton backups on the HDD as I can until I have successfully (yes 100% assurred) successfully copied off the current state and data from the original HDD to a modern, up to date, new copy using a new Backup and Storage program.... that is why I wanted to see if Norton Community had answer as to how to access it without using Norton----

Seems without Norton Ghost installed in the computer, (just tried looking at the HDD again today) all of the Norton Saved master program, and the incrementals are listed in ONE huge Folder called Norton Backup (inside are three items---one is 266 GB sized so you are correct! I can't fit 2x 266 saved programs on a 500 GB HDD (I know its never 500, somewhere like 460's GB as you correctly pointed out is available only), plus several smaller 11K, 1K etc system reserved or control programs for Ghost to access using its control panel).... that's all that is there!


Quote:
What would I do?
Yes thanks!

Quote:
Decide yes or no if the 457 GB occupied can be reduced significantly. If yes, do so---only because it would make your image files smaller. If you want at least two full image files to fit on a 500 GB drive, you better plan on beating that 457 down under 400, preferably farther--keeping nothing but two those images on your 500 GB drive.

If I couldn't or wouldn't reduce the 457, I'd plan on getting another larger backup drive as I wouldn't want to be in a position of having room for only one image file.
YES, that is what I now need to do... get a simple 1 TB HD and never worry again.... if it fits in the current housing ok, otherwise cheaper WD ones as solid build backup external HDD connected by USB will have plenty of room and allow me to make as many as two (or one major and one incremental if Macrium allows it, I think I saw it does) so I would do all of that while the older,

Norton Ghosted 500 GB HDD,

(I put that line separate so you see clearly its the OLDER HDD of 500 GB size) would remain safely on a shelf until all this is over.... when I complete the process, I can safely Format it and use the smaller drive just like I did before.... but just keep on it the ONE monthly/ or every 3 months FULL backup and put it back on the shelf in case something goes wrong with computer I really won't lose anything bad and can avoid the expense of a data recovery person!!!

Quote:
With a gun at my head, I'd rather have just one full image file than use incrementals.
Aha, this is why I wrote so much...

Now that you know more about where I come from in my backup ideas and history, I would really want to understand your reluctance to use incrementals...

Is there some computer code, programming problem, restoration problem with the incrementals that I have been unaware of all these years? Please let me know before I do one major save (on a new HDD) and one incremental (again on a new 1TB HDD where it all should fit nicely!

Quote:
I'd delete all Norton images and start over.
DEFINITELY GOOD / GREAT Advice! As soon as I have one or more full backups "somewhere else"....

Quote:
I have no idea what's contained in that 457 GB on C, but if any of it is personal data as opposed to Windows or applications, you could make C smaller by moving data to a D partition on the same drive and then making an image of C alone. My C partition occupies about 36 GB. My Macrium image files are about 16 GB, so I could easily put 20 of them on a 500 GB backup drive if I wanted. I have NO personal data at all on C.
I know the rules here, that my question should be of ONE topic.. not TWO..

If you read inside my long reply in Post #31 back to Lady Fitzgerald, you will see I replied to her suggesion of the same concept about 3/4 of the way through the post...... I should have convinced my relative to do several partitions (two minimum) when I set up the (then new) empty laptop, before installing programs) to keep data apart from the programs...

BUT they are worse at computers than me... I have to teach them, and they balk at most instructions.. with "why?" questions, not just follow the rules so you are forced to play it safe with the computer!

Anyway...... it comes down to money again... Remmeber this is the backup for several devices they own, that are "out of warranty" iPad1, Sony E-Reader, Sony Phones etc etc...

I do not have anyone to help me reset--- the automated pathways of THOSE data/sync backups, to keep them from the C Drive if I suddenly decide to partition the drive today into two.....

I'm stupid about this... How is the device supposed to find its saving place/its backup place that the SONY etc Apple company people set up for me? I have no idea how to re-point re target the pathway to the new Partition D....

Also, probably some of the programs (most of them) on the C Drive are out of warranty, not the latest (paid) versions (again money) so for instructions on how to get them to save correctly to Partition "D" rather than Partition"C" (from years of work on XP) I know just moving the save file, or resetting the "target" doesn't always work, if the program itself did not make the change, and without help, it can be dozens and dozens of programs that would be disrupted by making a Drive "D" for storage only....

Thanks!

Thanks again for reading all my words. As you see I write a lot! I have lots of information and MIS-information and too many items to sort it out...

(Please just tell me if I should take off the item about partitions to a new topic, I don't mind... I"ll copy and paste the pertinent parts of the conversations so we can discuss this separately if you have any further comments or suggestions on how that can be done that I'm just too old knoweldge about Windows 7 to do it myself without further guidance, so I can help others who would search and find a question on how to make one partition into two with so many external devices using it (oh and iCloud is in here too on the laptop), as backups!

Thank you ignatzatsonic!

P.S. too much?

Searching for a backup HDD, WD has several.... they mention things I'm not familiar enough with to know if they are better or not.....

I know rules from this? site and others, so I did not post where its sold or prices or anything other than specifications for comparison purposes.... (no reviews posted, but all have 4 stars out of 5 various numbers of reviewers).....

I. is:

Slim version (I get 2 TB!) on sale:

WD 2TB My Passport Slim Portable Hard Drive (Silver)
Model: WDBPDZ0020BAL

Choose scheduled backup to back up your files on the schedule that fits your needs

Choose automatic, continuous backup to make a second copy of your files as they are added or changed and saved

(So what is this? Some Acronis? or Free Backup software that comes with WD now? To a cloud? Second copy automatically made too??)

(Question: Do you know how this could or would compare with my using Macrium?

QuestionDo I use both?

[[[[More data I skipped to get to second HDD choice below---added in later---

PRODUCT DETAILS

Ultra-slim metal design with local and cloud backup.

My Passport Slim™ delivers USB 3.0 performance and high capacity in an ultra-slim metal design. It features WD SmartWare™ Pro automatic backup software for backup to the drive itself or to the cloud using Dropbox™. It also offers password protection with hardware encryption to help keep your data private and a to3-year limited warranty and soft pouch to protect the drive. It's the ideal companion for anyone who needs to take their digital content on the road.

Ultra-fast USB 3.0 interface

Choose scheduled backup to back up your files on the schedule that fits your needs

Choose automatic, continuous backup to make a second copy of your files as they are added or changed and saved

Use your Dropbox™ account to back up your files to the cloud

Formatted NTFS for Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista®, Windows XP: Requires reformatting for Mac® OS X

3 Year Warranty]]]]]]]]

-------------------
II. is:

Another series of WD is fatter/thicker 2TB ones:

WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable Hard Drive (Blue)

Model: WDBMWV0020BBL

PRODUCT DETAILS

WD My Passport Ultra Portable Hard Drives are ultra-compact with auto and cloud backup.

WD My Passport Ultra portable hard drive in blue color has 2TB capacity with USB 3.0/2.0 interface and delivers fast transfer rates. Driver has soft pouch that helps to prevents from scratches and protect your files from unauthorized use/access.

Interface: USB 3.0 and USB 2.0

Formatted NTFS for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating systems

Requires reformatting for Mac OS X

Safeguard your memories with WD SmartWare Pro automatic backup software. Back up directly to this drive or to the cloud using Dropbox

Use WD Security to set password protection and hardware encryption and protect your files from unauthorized use or access

Ultra-fast transfer rates

Register your drive, set drive timer, run diagnostics and more using WD Drive Utilities

Powered directly from the USB port on your PC. No separate power supply is needed

Convenient Portability
This WD My Passport Ultra hard drive is small enough to fit into a pocket or bag, so it's easy to transport when you need to move data between systems. The device is powered through the same USB cable that exchanges data between the drive and your computer, so you don't need to find an electrical outlet before you use it.

High-Speed Connectivity
Hook this WD My Passport Ultra hard drive to your computer via USB 3.0 and get ultra-fast data transfer rates. This drive is also compatible with USB 2.0.

Protective Security
You can secure the data on this drive with the enabled hardware encryption. You can also employ password protection that makes it difficult for unauthorized individuals to access your account.

QUESTION: other than thickness? Anything I should worry about smaller thinner HDD and protection against shock versus the thinner model? Or is something else wrong about the thinner version I should just stay away from it?

----------
III. is:

WD Passport Ultra - Metal Edition 2 TB (Silver)
Model: WDBEZW0020BSL

Question: Has a plastic bottom that heats up, otherwise similar to others, but thicker, maybe more secure with encryption or should I just avoid that idea altogether???

PRODUCT DETAILS

Beauty. Brains. It’s the total package.

Make a sophisticated statement with My Passport Ultra Metal Edition, premium storage with style. 2 TB of storage gives you plenty of space to save and back up your photos, videos, music and files everywhere life takes you. The included software makes it easy to automatically back up your files to the drive and the cloud. Password protection and 256-bit hardware encryption help keep your content secure.

*Dropbox account required for cloud backup.

Sleek, stylish aluminum design
Automatic, local and cloud backup
Password protection and 256-bit hardware encryption
Premium storage with 2 TB capacity
USB 3.0 connectivity
3-year limited warranty

I have more information (of course) I can add in if you need it! Just ask!

Thanks again everyone and ignatzatsonic!

(Great little Avatar of Ignatz mouse there from the Krazy Kat cartoons---yes I remember them!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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