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Windows 7: Backup HD close to capacity, What to do?

22 Mar 2015   #1
solarblast

home premium 64bit
 
 
Backup HD close to capacity, What to do?

I have a backup Seagate hard drive with a capacity of 931 GB for my backups. It is close to capacity. My space usage summary is:

Data file backup: 439GB
System image: 268GB
Other Files: 131GB
Free space: 93GB
Total size: 931GB

I have an unused WD TB hard drive. Is it possible to use the WD as a continuation of the Seagate?
Is there some way to backup the system image? I vaguely recall one is made on a CD/DVD disk when the PC is first setup.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Mar 2015   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by solarblast View Post
I have a backup Seagate hard drive with a capacity of 931 GB for my backups. It is close to capacity. My space usage summary is:

Data file backup: 439GB
System image: 268GB
Other Files: 131GB
Free space: 93GB
Total size: 931GB

I have an unused WD TB hard drive. Is it possible to use the WD as a continuation of the Seagate?
Is there some way to backup the system image? I vaguely recall one is made on a CD/DVD disk when the PC is first setup.
What do you mean by "continuation"? You could use both, but I wouldn't consider that to be a continuation. Each would have a separate drive letter. You could direct some of your backups to one and some to the other.

Are you using Windows Backup and Restore? Or (hopefully) another more flexible application?

If you are using Windows Backup and Restore, you may be locked into its fussiness which may balk at directing some backups to one drive and some to another. The fussiness is one of the reasons many folks use other apps that give you more control.

There are complicated ways to make 2 drives appear as a single drive, but I'd urge you to forget that idea.

If Windows Backup and Restore is standing in your way, I'd either buy a new larger single drive or use another app that gave me proper control over the destinations of the backups.

Windows Backup and Restore is cranky about where it wants to find the backups, so I don't know if you can copy them elsewhere and get away with it. Other apps don't have that problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2015   #3
solarblast

home premium 64bit
 
 

Serially rather than "continuation". OK, on not dividing the drives up.

Unfortunately, I'm using the Win B&R. So you are suggesting using another B&R? Any particular one?

How about just deleting the current backup files, and letting B&R doing its thing with my weekly schedule, 1:00 AM on Monday?

If I go to a bigger drive, how do I get the current backup to the new drive?


P.S. Is there some way to backup the system image? I vaguely recall one is made on a CD/DVD disk when the PC is first setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Mar 2015   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by solarblast View Post

Unfortunately, I'm using the Win B&R. So you are suggesting using another B&R? Any particular one?

The standard recommendations on this forum would be Macrium Reflect Free Edition or maybe Aomei Backupper. Both free.

You can make your life easier if you had Windows on one partition (C) and your data on another partition. I assume your Windows and data are all on C. Am I correct?

I'd rather you backed up your data (not Windows) in an ordinary manner, file by file, without using imaging at all. There's at least a half dozen free applications that can do that. Imaging is something of a complication and to that extent carries some risk of failure. Failure might be fine for Windows because you can always reinstall Windows. Not so fine for data because at least some of your data is likely irreplaceable. And who would want a surprise when a drive fails and you have to resort to your data backups---only to find that the backups can't be accessed for whatever reason?




How about just deleting the current backup files, and letting B&R doing its thing with my weekly schedule, 1:00 AM on Monday?

Not sure I'm following you. You could of course do that on any new larger external drive you bought.

If I go to a bigger drive, how do I get the current backup to the new drive?

I'm not sure how easy that is with Windows Backup and Restore.

If I bought a new backup drive, I'd probably just make a set of new backups directly from my originals, with whatever application I chose.



P.S. Is there some way to backup the system image? I vaguely recall one is made on a CD/DVD disk when the PC is first setup.

A Macrium image of a partition creates a single file with an mrimg extension. That single file can be copied anywhere it will fit, just like a random picture of your cat.

I have no idea how easy/difficult that would be with Windows Backup and Restore. Considering its known crankiness, I'd expect some issues.

One of the advantages of backing up data file by file, directly, is that the resulting backed up files are simply duplicates of the originals and can be copied, deleted, or moved at will, like any other file.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2015   #5
solarblast

home premium 64bit
 
 

"You can make your life easier if you had Windows on one partition (C) and your data on another partition. I assume your Windows and data are all on C. Am I correct??

Isn't Win 7 on a partition on my C-drive with my data, folders and files? How could it be otherwise? The system image is on C, right?


" I'd rather you backed up your data (not Windows) in an ordinary manner, file by file, without using imaging at all. "
Using imaging?? System imaging? What else could it be? Pictures? I'm missing something.


" Not sure I'm following you. You could of course do that on any new larger external drive you bought."
Hmm, I think what I meant is just delete all my backups per the DeleteBU attachment, then just collect whatever is discovered in my schedule. That is I discard the past backups.
Living dangerously?? I'm not sure I care.

"mrimg extension"

What is it? Something to do with MACRIM?


Attached Images
Backup HD close to capacity, What to do?-deletebu.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2015   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold


Isn't Win 7 on a partition on my C-drive with my data, folders and files? How could it be otherwise? The system image is on C, right?

What you call your "C-drive" is a partition. Your hard drive may now have more than 1 partition, with only C readily visible. You can make more partitions if you like. A common idea is to have 2 partitions on a single hard drive: C for Windows and D for data.

And then back them up separately. Back up C with imaging. Back up D without imaging (file by file, just duplicates of your data files)



" I'd rather you backed up your data (not Windows) in an ordinary manner, file by file, without using imaging at all. "
Using imaging?? System imaging? What else could it be? Pictures? I'm missing something.

No, not using imaging. Just another copy of the file. You've got a picture of your cat on this partition. That's "data". Well, if it's important to you, "back it up" by making a copy of it on some other partition, preferably on some other hard drive completely. As I said in my first post, there are a bunch of applications that can automate that process.

On the other hand, to back up "Windows" (as opposed to your data files), you must use imaging---whether Windows Backup and Restore or some other application, such as Macrium.




"mrimg extension"

What is it? Something to do with MACRIM?

See the picture below. See that file named "25361712275B65E6-00-00.mrimg"??? It's sitting in the "images" folder on my D partition.

That is a Macrium image file of my C partition that I made last week. See the property page next to it. It is large--over 17 GB, about half the size of the occupied space on the C partition. It is a representation of EVERYTHING on my C partition, which means just Windows in my case because my data is on another partition D. I do back up D, but not with Macrium.

I can copy that Macrium file anywhere. I could restore it anytime, using Macrium, at which point the partition to which I restored it would be a bootable Windows partition and I would be up and running again. The image file by itself, unrestored, isn't of much use--it has to be "restored".

[/QUOTE]


Attached Thumbnails
Backup HD close to capacity, What to do?-untitled-1.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2015   #7
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I would always recommend having backups:
- data (file/folder material), non installed programs
- system images
on at least 2 non operating system drives. External usb3 drives are generally convenient. My personal leaning now for a number of reasons is to use basic internal HDDs plugged into a usb3 docking station. I've found Thermaltake docking stations reasonably good but there are others.

For continuing your "backups" just start using a new drive but at some stage you need to consider deleting some old backups. Of course you don't want to delete a backup that contains some unique important data.

If you want to duplicate an existing backup drive that also includes system images then I think the Macrium Reflect cloning capability would be fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Backup HD close to capacity, What to do?




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