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Windows 7: Image and Backup or just Image

02 Aug 2016   #1
copiman

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Image and Backup or just Image

I am now in the process of ensuring I am covered should my PCs crash. I will be using a NAS (WD Cloud Mirror) on my network. I must say after reading up on this I am a little overwhelmed not to mention somewhat inexperienced in this area. My goal is to schedule images and backups or maybe that's too much. So I came here to get some more experienced advice.

First of all, please correct me if I am out in left field on this. My thoughts were to use Macrium Reflect to create scheduled Images and Backups. I have created Images before with Macrium manually prior to replacing a hard drive. I was thinking of creating Images once a month with maintaining 2 images total at all times. In addition to the Images, I was going to create back ups of data, say weekly in order to not lose any docs, pics, music, videos (really I just have pics and docs).

When I did an Image I would create a partition just for the one image Image. I would assume if I wanted to keep 2 Images I could put them on the same partition (of course the partition would be larger)?

I assume that backups would be on a separate partition as well? Not sure how to calculate what size of partition needed for this?

As I continue on this project I know I will have more questions but I think it best to take it in steps in order to ensure I do this thing right. I have been reading the User Guide from Macrium but again I feel a little overwhelmed . By the way, I am using the FREE version.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Then I could strut my stuff to my instructor at the Technical College.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Aug 2016   #2
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

If you create images and compress them they take up a lot less space. For data unless you have a lot store it on Google drive or MS one drive so you know there safe and you can get them back anywhere in the world and its automatic. Once a month is good enough unless there is major updates to the system. The best is if you do a clean install is to keep an image of a clean install so you can role back to a fast clean state
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2016   #3
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

@ copiman. Ideally a full system image should be on a completely separate hard disc, that is only connected to the computer when actually making the image. The reason for having it disconnected & separate, is to prevent virus infections, that can occur if they are connected full time. In fact, if you data is absolutely essential, you should have at least 3 separate copies on different removable hard drives, with one or 2 of them stored off the premises in case of fire or theft.

I use Macrium for images & I make one each week. I use a USB 3.0 connection to an Hitachi Touro 1.0tb portable hard dive. I always have 3 images on that drive, being the latest 3 that have been done. I don't need more back ups with my present arrangement. At worst & I am only one week out of date & I can cope with that quite easily.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Aug 2016   #4
copiman

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thanks for the guidance. This is what I think, not what I know. I was thinking of using Macrium for backups and Images. Have them scheduled to activate on each PC separately (PC1 on Monday, PC2 on Tuesday, etc..). Start with an Image (I think Macrium calls this a FULL) and then do either Incremental or Differential back up each day (not sure which is best). I think if I do this, worst case would be I would only lose a day if hard drive crashes.

I would be using a Network Attached Storage device (WD MY CLOUD MIRROR). This way if the NAS has a hard drive crash, I would simply replaced the drive and it will mirror the other.

I would like this to be automatic versus manually doing it. Having said that, I would assume the PC would need to be on (not shutdown at the end of the day) if I schedule the PC or PCs to perform the Image or Backup in the evening or is there a way that Macrium will wake the PC?

Since I do not know how long an Image or Backup would take, would it be wise to perform these when the PCs are not being used or when they are in use? In one of my classes we discussed backups/Images being performed in an Enterprise environment (no detail) which makes me think it does not matter but I am not sure.

Lastly, I believe Macrium has a retention selection. My thoughts was to set it to where it maintained 2 Images and I am not sure what to do on the backups. I think once I have an Image I would only need backups retained until the next Image is performed? Or would it just be best to do only Images daily?

My purpose for using a NAS is that it could happen automatically (behind the scene if you will). No need to carry external to all PCs. I hope all this makes since, for I can get a little scatter brained when I step into uncharted areas.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2016   #5
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

I actually split my system and data

I perform an image backup of my system partitions (on SSD) each week to an external removable drive.

I also do a separate file backup of my data, (spread around multiple partitions on multiple disks (conventional spinners)) again to an external drive, weekly ( next day)

I keep them separate as it allows me quicker access when I need it to an individual files than an image would as this is several tera-bytes of information
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2016   #6
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

BTW an incremental is an image that just images any new items from the Full and a differential is an image that saves the changes from the previous full image. This saves time but complicates restores as the full and all subsequent (Incremental or Differential), images.

It's normal in large organisations to do a full backup weekly and Incremental or differential daily with each full resetting the others This allows the full backup to be performed on the normally longer weekly down time (weekend) and the intermediates in the shorted over night period. I have been involved in secure organisations where backups are done daily with differential Hourly, (all of these systems also employed redundant disk arrays to protect against hardware failure)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2016   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by copiman View Post
I was thinking of creating Images once a month with maintaining 2 images total at all times. In addition to the Images, I was going to create back ups of data, say weekly in order to not lose any docs, pics, music, videos (really I just have pics and docs).

That sounds reasonable for images, assuming you aren't altering your Windows installation at a high rate. Most users don't.

Personally, I back up data at least once a day--usually more often than that. It's a matter of how often your data changes. If you develop important new or modified files daily, then weekly backups might not be enough---files created might not be backed up for 5 or 6 days.


When I did an Image I would create a partition just for the one image Image. I would assume if I wanted to keep 2 Images I could put them on the same partition (of course the partition would be larger)?

I assume that backups would be on a separate partition as well? Not sure how to calculate what size of partition needed for this?

I don't see any reason to create partitions purely to store images or backups. Images can't be stored on the imaged partition(s) regardless. Data backups are best placed on an entirely different drive, not another partition on the same drive. Otherwise, if a drive fails, you lose both the originals and the backups.


As I continue on this project I know I will have more questions but I think it best to take it in steps in order to ensure I do this thing right. I have been reading the User Guide from Macrium but again I feel a little overwhelmed . By the way, I am using the FREE version.

The Free Edition should be fine. I'm not sure if it allows scheduling. I don't like to rely on automated scheduling regardless--it can lead to complacency. I do strictly manual backups and imaging---it keeps my head in the game knowing the process is not automated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2016   #8
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by copiman View Post
Thanks for the guidance. This is what I think, not what I know. I was thinking of using Macrium for backups and Images. Have them scheduled to activate on each PC separately (PC1 on Monday, PC2 on Tuesday, etc..). Start with an Image (I think Macrium calls this a FULL) and then do either Incremental or Differential back up each day (not sure which is best). I think if I do this, worst case would be I would only lose a day if hard drive crashes.

If you insist--but I don't see any reason to introduce the complication of differentials or incrementals.

On a typical moderately powerful PC, a full image might take 15 or 20 minutes per 100 GB occupied if done locally.




I would like this to be automatic versus manually doing it. Having said that, I would assume the PC would need to be on (not shutdown at the end of the day) if I schedule the PC or PCs to perform the Image or Backup in the evening or is there a way that Macrium will wake the PC?

I have no idea if Macrium will "wake the PC". I don't rely on scheduling or automation.

Since I do not know how long an Image or Backup would take, would it be wise to perform these when the PCs are not being used or when they are in use? In one of my classes we discussed backups/Images being performed in an Enterprise environment (no detail) which makes me think it does not matter but I am not sure.

You'll have to experiment to see how long imaging takes in your situation. The process takes a snapshot as of a certain millisecond in time and you supposedly can continue to do other things without affecting the image. Having said that, I tend to do little if anything else during the 4 or 5 minutes it takes me to make an image.


Lastly, I believe Macrium has a retention selection. My thoughts was to set it to where it maintained 2 Images and I am not sure what to do on the backups. I think once I have an Image I would only need backups retained until the next Image is performed? Or would it just be best to do only Images daily?

I think it does have a retention mechanism, but I'm not sure how well it works. I just manually delete the images I no longer want to keep.

As for file backups, there's no reason you can't use something other than Macrium for that purpose.

I think certain versions of Macrium may have a file-by-file backup capability in addition to its imaging capability? I don't know as I don't use Macrium for file backup. I use Macrium purely for C partition imaging (Windows installation "backup") and deliberately avoid imaging for file backup as I don't want to insert the complication of imaging into my file backup strategy. My file backups are infinitely more valuable to me than my Windows installation--so if Macrium fails utterly, all I've lost is the time to clean install and reconfigure. My file backups would remain intact.



My purpose for using a NAS is that it could happen automatically (behind the scene if you will). No need to carry external to all PCs. I hope all this makes since, for I can get a little scatter brained when I step into uncharted areas.

I don't know how any of that would work out in reality. For backup purposes, I don't use NAS or anything even vaguely related to the dreaded "cloud". I backup data both to internal drives and to an external via a dock and occasionally to a USB stick.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2016   #9
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

I use a different application and have an option which allows automatic start when the system is left running and will shut down/hibernate/sleep the system when complete - I find this useful as my data backup can take around 7 Hours - to be fair I have it set to auto-start but often just set it running manually when I go to bed and know if my system is running when I wake up so is the backup and I act accordingly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2016   #10
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Nigel

What application do you use?
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