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Windows 7: Image your system with free Macrium

07 Jan 2013   #741
PCG

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

This is my first post on SevenForums, and I want to start off by saying "Thank you" to everyone, especially to WHS for sharing all of his knowledge and expertise on this topic.


As the result of two recent hard drive crashes on two separate computers, I stumbled on to this site several days ago looking for information about error messages. Now I feel like I am becoming a system imaging and user data backup guru.


That might be pushing it, but, since stumbling upon this forum, I have come a long way, and in fact have successfully started my own imaging and user data backup routine, still very much in its infancy stage. I was very lucky that I was able to recover all data from both crashes using a hdd adapter and usb. These crashes along with the the enthusiasm on this forum have prompted me to act.


For my main home desktop computer, (one of the two that crashed), I went from a single 750GB HDD system to an enhanced system now in which I added a Samsung 840 Pro SSD and two back-up/storage drives (I re-purposed the OEM Seagate Baracuda 750GB that came with the computer, a Dell XPS 8100, and added a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Blue).


My very first SSD install and OS transfer occurred last night. I used Macrium according to your install tutorial WHS, and the system seems to be running very well. I first moved the boot mgr from the System Reserved partition using EasyBCD and eliminated that. I have a couple of questions that I'll present in a later post.


For now, though, I thought I would post a snip of my current set-up in hopes of obtaining any feedback that might make this better, or to point out any glaring errors that I may have made.


Any feedback is greatly appreciated.


Thank you



Attached Thumbnails
Image your system with free Macrium-compmgmt.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jan 2013   #742
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The layout looks fine. I assume you image the OS to both M and X (maybe alternatively?).

The part I do not quite understand is how you backup your data. I image my data partitions too (although sync would be faster). Reason is because I like to keep the father, grandfather, etc. copies for a while.

I image about 2 or 3 times per week.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #743

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
Just in case ...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
... I image my data partitions too (although sync would be faster). Reason is because I like to keep the father, grandfather, etc. copies for a while.

I image about 2 or 3 times per week.
It's good to keep multiple copies, just in case something corrupts one of them.

Also, you may decide to delete a file and then 6 months later discover that you shouldn't have deleted it.
It has happened to me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 Jan 2013   #744
PCG

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
The layout looks fine. I assume you image the OS to both M and X (maybe alternatively?).

The part I do not quite understand is how you backup your data. I image my data partitions too (although sync would be faster). Reason is because I like to keep the father, grandfather, etc. copies for a while.

I image about 2 or 3 times per week.

Yes, that's the plan: OS images to both M and X. I wasn't really thinking about the alternating approach, but it sounds good and I will try it. I plan to use N and Y in a similar fashion for user data backups.

The X and Y partitions (Disk #2 in the snip), are located on an external, enclosed drive. I'll keep that drive off-line except for when executing actual imaging and back-up operations.

Regarding how I'm backing up my user data, well so far in order to eliminate the major vunerability that I had, I've been using the Window's 7 Back-up & Restore utility and imaging data partitions with Macrium. I'll continue to use these until I figure out this part of my plan. I like Macrium a lot, and I'm considering an upgrade to their paid standard version to get access to their file and folder backup feature.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #745
PCG

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

[QUOTE=lehnerus2000;2244976]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
... It's good to keep multiple copies, just in case something corrupts one of them.

Also, you may decide to delete a file and then 6 months later discover that you shouldn't have deleted it.
It has happened to me.

This makes sense to me! I'll keep that in mind as I go forward.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #746
PCG

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

whs,

In my first post, I mentioned that I have a couple of questions; let me throw out the first one now (I'll direct this to you first, since I picked this up from your "SSD - Install" tutorial, (which was great, btw)):

In that tutorial, you stated:

"Note: Before you activate the SSD, it is recommended to set the BIOS to AHCI. Best time to do that is just before you change the boot sequence. Once Windows7 is running, you make the corresponding settings in the OS. Here is a tutorial on how to do that. Many people claim that there is a significant performance gain with AHCI. I, however, did not see that. But it may be different from system to system."

I believe I followed all intrtructions fairly close. Everything went flawless for me up until the point of rebooting and attempting to change the BIOS to AHCI. I had previously changed the registry to "0" as directed by B.F. Kid in his tutorial, but when I got in to the BIOS, there was not an option for AHCI, but instead "RAID" or "ATA."

I was stuck, but using a different computer I searched online and learned (that possibly), my Dell's RAID setting is equivalient to a combo RAID/AHCI setting all in one... I decide to go ahead and boot up and everything seemed (and still seems) fine. I re-checked the 'msahci' registry entry, and it somehow reverted back to "3."

Should I be concerned about this, or just leave it alone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #747
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
there was not an option for AHCI, but instead "RAID" or "ATA."
Raid is the right setting in your case. But AHCI or IDE, the performance difference in real life is very minor. It only shows up in some of those meaningless performance measurements which are for bragging purposes.

Leave it as is. No need for action or concern.

PS: I assume you know that you can run the imaging in the background (click the 'hide' button on the macrium screen) and do other things in the meantime. No need to be concerned about the time it takes to make an image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2013   #748

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
Backup Storage

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PCG View Post
This makes sense to me! I'll keep that in mind as I go forward.
The quote got mangled.

Obviously you'll need a fair amount of storage to keep multiple images.

I'm using ~2TB of external storage for backup images of my files (documents & pictures) going back to 2009.
I'm also using ~2TB of external storage for my video and music files (not imaged).

Those backups are spread over 5 external HDDs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2013   #749
PCG

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

Thank you whs; I will not change the RAID setting, nor will I go back in to the registry to change the 'msahci' start value to "0". I will leave it on its current setting of "3."

Now, on to my next question: This one relates to file locations and user folders. Prior to the SSD install, back when I was still using the HDD as the OS disk, I followed your Data Partition video dated 20 March 2010 on how to move the location of the user data folders and files off of the C: drive. I created a new partition, "I" drive I believe it was, and moved all data in to folders with the same names as those listed under my old Library. Prior to the install, this partition (I Drive), was imaged with Macrium, and that image was later used to re-establish my new G user data partition.

This seemed to work well prior to the SSD install and I was able to clear much space from the C: drive before shrinking it down in size.

In the snip below, you can see that I now have all Library contents residing on the G drive, which I believe is correct, but I'm not 100% sure. I did this by linking the data folders (on my newly imaged G drive) to the various Libraries. I'm not sure if this is a problem, but when I right click on the individual folders (not the library icons), I do not see the "Location" option in the Properties tab. You can see this in the snip as well.

Does this sound right? I searched for the location tab by right-clicking directly on the various Library folders and also down below in the actual G drive and still could not come up with the location options.

Also post-image transfer, I have noticed that my iPhone "Photo Stream," HP Officejet printer (which I use wirelessly), and one of my Adobe programs is not linking up properly with their data folders. I suspect this has something to do with the AppData folders and files, but this is just a guess.

Any advice you can share would be appreciated.


Attached Thumbnails
Image your system with free Macrium-properties.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2013   #750
PCG

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

Disregard the HP Officejet printer issue mentioned above; for some reason the wireless connection stopped working (I don't know if it had any thing to do with my SSD install or the image transfer). I reset the connection to my router and it's working fine now...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Image your system with free Macrium




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