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Windows 7: Macrium - Do I need a new Rescue Disc each time?


08 May 2010   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Macrium - Do I need a new Rescue Disc each time?

Hello,

Following the awesome comments of members of this forum, I am using Macrium to backup my system/data partition. It works wonderfully, as I have had to restore once.

My question is: Do I need to create a new "Rescue Disc" with Macrium each time I create a new backup image or is one Rescue Disc good for a certain period?

Also, the reason I want to create an image now is that I want to change my partition sizes. (I have a little unallocated space at the "beginning" of my HD that was left over from the Vista Toshiba system recovery and is now empty, which I want to combine with my C: drive, which is in the "middle", then shorten the C: partition, and enlarge my D: partition, which is on the "end", which is the partition I use for for Macrium backup images when I am in between backing up to DVD.

Will I be able to restore the partition image, even if the partition size has changed?

Thanks for your help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 May 2010   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. The recovery disk is good as long as you stay with the same release of Macrium. Once I installed a new release and was asked to make a new recovery disk. But that should be a very exceptional case.
2. If the partition size changes, there should be no problem when it gets bigger. A smaller target partition, however, will not work (as far as I know). As you can see from the feature comparison at the end of this page, Disk Space Management is only a function in the Pro version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2010   #3

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Thanks whs, I tried to give you rep, but it would not let me... Nevertheless, I do really appreciate your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 May 2010   #4

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by juanantoniod View Post
Thanks whs, I tried to give you rep, but it would not let me... Nevertheless, I do really appreciate your help!
If you change the partition layout I would make a note of what images were made before. If you restore with an image made before the change, I believe it will have the effect of undoing the change. iow, you make C: bigger, then restore from an image made before that, then C: is right back to the old smaller size. Eventually you want to get rid of the old images once you are sure you have enough recent images to be safe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2010   #5

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
I am so confused...

I thought that making my "Recovery" partition larger was a good idea. Then, I read about people who keep data and system on separate partitions. But I do not understand this, because both must be backed up regularly, why not just do both in one system image onto a separate partition, and periodically, onto DVD? My system configuration/settings changes almost as much as my data. I am trying to keep a system + data partition of 55GB (currently I am using 25GB for system+data), and a separate "recovery" partition of 55GB (currently I have a 30GB recovery partition, but it is almost full), with images of the original stable install, the current stable install, and the previous stable install. Is this not wise? I appreciate any input.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2010   #6

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

If you rely on recovery that's on the same HD as the OS, then it's just as vulnerable to the malware as the OS is. I used to rely on Restore Points and just backing up a few important data files. What got me into disk imaging was a hit from a malware that deleted my C: partition. When you get hit bad you can't rely on anything that's on that HD.

I use USB docking stations with internal Sata drives. I do a few backups to them, then pull the Sata drive out of the docking station and put another in. That way I always have some backups that aren't on the network when the hit happens. Usually you won't get hit as badly as I did. I use a kvma switch and just got a new PC. The old PC was getting hit with the virus. It killed Explorer and would not shut down. But I didn't want to risk powering down the new PC "dirty" by hitting the UPS switch.. so I let it kill the old PC. I was going to put another OS on anyway... but still I would have preferred controlling the timing.

Besides, if you invest in a few external drives, or docking stations with Sata drives, you find use for them other than backup. I just put in a USB 3.0 card and bought a couple of USB 3.0 docking stations. The Sata drives in the docks read and write as fast or faster than my internal system HD. If you can afford to invest a bit it's worth it. You read data off one dock and write to the other. Everything is faster and you're not beating up your system HD anymore. The machine will run a lot smoother if you do a lot of disk intensive stuff.

As to backup on DVD that's probably the worst option and least reliable. It's ok that you have a boot CD or boot DVD. It's one disc and you can burn a couple of copies to guard against a defect.. but if you rely on a series of DVD, one scratch on one disc and you're in tough shape. Better to use some kind of HD... either Sata in a dock, or you should be able to find USB 2.0 externals on sale. They should be dumping them now that USB 3.0 is available.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2010   #7

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Thanks >> MilesAhead

MilesAhead,

Thank you very, very much. You made some great points, and all were very helpful! I guess my technosavvy was not quite up to the times. In my mind, I kept referring back to the days when you had multiple (A-B-C) backups on tape or floppy. Things have changed since then, so your advice is very relevant.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2010   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The elaborate setup that Miles Ahead has described is driven by similar simple principles that I like to follow. Those are:
1. seperate the data from the operating system. I always keep my data in a seperate partition. That way it does not get dragged down when the OS goes on the blink and it also allows me to seperate the OS backup from the data backup since that may be required at different intervals.
2. Always keep one set of images off-line. That way even the most sophisticated malware cannot get at it ans I am always sure to have one valid set of images.
For the implementation of those principles I use one internal and 2 external disks and the details are as follows:
I make a daily image of my system and data partitions at boot-up. I have set Macrium to do that automatically. It takes only 9 minutes from my SSD to the internal HDD. Every Sunday, I copy the Sunday image to an on-line external disk into a "weekly folder". Every first of the month I also copy the last image to an external disk "monthly folder" that usually stays off-line. That way I have a whole history all the way back to the initial installation.
In addition I have two 16GB sticks to which I copy my data every 3 months and put it into my bank safe. 3 months later I retrieve the first stick and deposit the latest data copy on the second stick, and so on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2010   #9

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by juanantoniod View Post
MilesAhead,

Thank you very, very much. You made some great points, and all were very helpful! I guess my technosavvy was not quite up to the times. In my mind, I kept referring back to the days when you had multiple (A-B-C) backups on tape or floppy. Things have changed since then, so your advice is very relevant.
You're welcome. I remember when I got a 486. I paid someone to build it and got one of those tape drives for backup. I started doing backups then I read the docs for the restore program. They contained the phrase "you will probably never need to run this restore but.." Man! I should have saved my money!! That tape never did me squat except make noiise whirring and rewinding!! Of course mini-computers with real tape drives is another story. But for PC these USB drives really work. Restore is relatively easy. You can try out a beta OS knowing that you can lay the image back on to get back to the pre-installed OS etc.. It's worth doing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2010   #10

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Thanks to both of you!

Thanks, MilesAhead and whs,

I understand much better now that there are many different strategies for backing up, and at this time, there are many different options for supporting those strategies, and I must develop a strategy that works for me, and that I can afford.

One question I have is: Windows creates several "Libraries" / folders / subdirectories for data storage, and usually defaults to those when opening or saving files. Is there a way to set the Windows OS to redirect so that these can be moved to a separate partition?

I am very grateful for your advice!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Macrium - Do I need a new Rescue Disc each time?




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