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Windows 7: What To Backup As?

22 Jun 2015   #1
MarkP15

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
What To Backup As?

Hi,

I've just bought another Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDD as a backup for my original one which is a few years old, and I'm wondering what type of backup to do to it. I know there's a few different methods and systems I can use, but what is most effective and can do a full copy of my whole original HD?

Thanks,

Mark


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Jun 2015   #2
DennisCPA

Win 7 both 32 & 64
 
 

Mark,

Consider following this link Macrium Reflect Free

After many years of using Windows Backup & Restore, which works just fine, I read (this site) about Macrium Reflect Free and actually thought the phrase "where have you been all of my life."

It can Clone and/or Image.

Look on this site and/or YouTube for Macrium Reflect video tutorials to get an idea of how to use it.

Personally. I do a disk image because I can save that image on another HD for a later restore if ever needed. Macrium Reflect has a Verify option which I believe is absolutely necessary use it 100%. Else you may restore a corrupted HD with a corrupted image which is not beneficial.

HTH Dennis
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2015   #3
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

While imaging with Macrium Reflect Free (here is a good tutorial on how to use Macrium Reflect) is an excellent way to back up your System files (OS and programs), it is slow, cumbersome, and takes up too much room if also used to backup data.

The best approach is to have your System files in a separate drive or partition and your data on another drive or partition. I use both. My desktop machine has the OS and programs on a 128GB SSD and my data spread over three HDDs. My notebooks have only one drive each so I have my OS and programs on the C: partition and my data on other partitions.

The reason for separation of data from system file is so you can image just your system files. This reduces time for a backup and the amount of space needed to store multiple images. Imaging is so effective, I use it instead of System Restore.

While imaging is necessary for backing up and restoring System files, a folder/file syncing program is far more efficient and is much faster for backing up data. A folder/file syncing program (I prefer FreeFileSync; SyncToy is also popular) works by comparing your backup drive to the original drive to see what differences there are, then copying files from the original drive to the backup drive and/or deleting files as necessary on the backup drive to make the backup drive essentially an exact copy of the original drive which can be used as is if necessary. FreeFileSync also has a versioning feature that allows you to designate a folder or drive to send deleted files to. That protects you from accidental deletions and/or corrupted files.
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 What To Backup As?




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