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Windows 7: is simply having a copy of every file in drive C a suitable back up?

07 Mar 2016   #1
tekset5

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
is simply having a copy of every file in drive C a suitable back up?

The reason I ask the above is because I am encrypting my ENTIRE drive with Veracrypt. So when you turn the computer first a Veracrypt bootloader comes up, THEN comes Windows 7.

But backing up using Acronis True Image when the drive is encrypted is a bit problematic. Well I havnt tested it yet but I assume there will be some potential issues.

To avoid all issues im thinking of just doing a back up of EVERY file on drive C. So that includes the windows folder etc etc. Now im thinking to do a restore in the future all id have to do is this:

1. Install Windows 7 from DVD (the exact same one) onto a new drive.
2. Afterwards, delete all files in the drive C, and move all files from the back up of previous drive C, into the new drive C.

Actually step 2 is pretty stupid. I am sure theres a more efficient way. The drive is MBR btw, not GPT.

Any advice would be helpful.


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08 Mar 2016   #2
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
The only good image or backup is on a separate hdd and disconnected from the system and it helps if it's not encrypted
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08 Mar 2016   #3
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Yep the only good backup is an image, and of course keep your data on another drive if you have them or at least another partition. Hard drives are cheap and of course you don`t want to loose your data
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08 Mar 2016   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

There is no reason an image should not work. Use this: Imaging with free Macrium
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08 Mar 2016   #5
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tekset5 View Post
...Now im thinking to do a restore in the future all id have to do is this:

1. Install Windows 7 from DVD (the exact same one) onto a new drive.
2. Afterwards, delete all files in the drive C, and move all files from the back up of previous drive C, into the new drive C.
This is a bad idea because even assuming it would work (and btw at what point do you apply VeraCrypt to the new drive?) it would take a horrifically long time to do.

A quick search yielded this "official" position from Acronis:

https://kb.acronis.com/content/1649

As I read it, making your backups from within Windows could be problematic, but to do your backups by rebooting to the Bootable Rescue Media and then making a sector-by-sector image should work. S by S means that Acronis doesn't know or care anything about the data on the disc, it just makes a perfect copy. The recovering by the same method gets you immediately to where you were when you made the backup.

I make all my Acronis backups using the Rescue Media (not from within Windows) so approve of this method though I am not using VeraCrypt. The only problem I can think of with it is if your PC and the Rescue Media don't get along, though that hopefully you have already tested!

Oh, and the kb article says you'd not be able to resize when recovering i.e. if your disk dies, and you buy a bigger hard disk to replace it, when you recover your VeraCrypted image using ATI it needs to be made to the same size partition as originally. Usually ATI would give you the option to automagically expand the recovered partition to take advantage of the available space. But it seems to me that if you did this, you could later decrypt, expand, reencrypt. But I have used True/Vera-crypt only on files, not entire Windows partitions, so am not clear myself on how this might work. Some testing is in order.

Here's someone who's fiddled with it. It's not clear to me why he doesn't mention trying the simple sector-by-sector-using-Rescue-Media approach to make his backups:

Mixing TrueCrypt whole disk encryption with Acronis True Image Home backups | Roman's Projects
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 is simply having a copy of every file in drive C a suitable back up?




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