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Windows 7: Multi Boot computer - how to keep data and programs in sync

23 Jun 2015   #31
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Move them to a 3rd NTFS data partition and create a junction in both OSs. Also add everyone full control explicitly. See if this will help?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Jun 2015   #32
MarkusGE

Win7-64 Home Premium single boot / Win7-64 Professional & Win8.1-64 dual boot
 
 

Move what to a third partition? AppData?

Cheers, Markus
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2015   #33
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Yes the appdata (at least the ones you are trying, no need to move everything right now) , sorry I wasn't very descriptive.

- Move PaleMoon appdata to a data partition
- give everyone - full control for appdata folder in properties - security
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Jun 2015   #34
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
Profiles.ini

All you have to do with Firefox/Pale Moon is:
  • Copy your FF/PM profile to a shared drive
  • Edit the "profiles.ini" file to show the correct path
  • Repeat for your other OS
In W7 you can find the Pale Moon "profiles.ini" file here:
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Moonchild Productions\Pale Moon\profiles.ini
If everything works correctly you can delete the original profiles (if you want).

Remember that backing up your OS partition will no longer backup your FF/PM profile though
(depending on how you perform backups and your system setup).
I have my profiles on my Documents partition, so they get backed up when I back up that partition.

Note:

There may be issues if you try to do this with Windows and a Linux Distro as some FF/PM add-ons don't seem to be available for both operating systems.
Last time I tried this was a few years ago, so it might not be an issue now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2015   #35
MarkusGE

Win7-64 Home Premium single boot / Win7-64 Professional & Win8.1-64 dual boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GokAy View Post
Yes the appdata (at least the ones you are trying, no need to move everything right now) , sorry I wasn't very descriptive.

- Move PaleMoon appdata to a data partition
- give everyone - full control for appdata folder in properties - security
AFAIK, that does not work without moving the whole user profile folder, which is not recommended at all...



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
All you have to do with Firefox/Pale Moon is:
  • Copy your FF/PM profile to a shared drive
  • Edit the "profiles.ini" file to show the correct path
  • Repeat for your other OS
In W7 you can find the Pale Moon "profiles.ini" file here:
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Moonchild Productions\Pale Moon\profiles.ini
If everything works correctly you can delete the original profiles (if you want).

Remember that backing up your OS partition will no longer backup your FF/PM profile though
(depending on how you perform backups and your system setup).
I have my profiles on my Documents partition, so they get backed up when I back up that partition.

Note:

There may be issues if you try to do this with Windows and a Linux Distro as some FF/PM add-ons don't seem to be available for both operating systems.
Last time I tried this was a few years ago, so it might not be an issue now.

I´ll have a look at it. Thanks for bringing this up

Linux doesn´t matter to me in this case, because this computer is Win7+Win8 dual-booted only

Cheers, Markus
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2015   #36
MarkusGE

Win7-64 Home Premium single boot / Win7-64 Professional & Win8.1-64 dual boot
 
 

I did the Palemoon profile thing a little more sophisticated


Let me explain my reasoning first: I use Palemoon´s dedicated profile backup tool to create backups archives (in archive form, they cannot be edited so easily as if simply doing a copy). This tool, however, will only work on the standard profile location, which I tried to keep, thus.

This was achieved by creating a subfolder "Profiles" in the Palemoon installation directory, and copying "C:\users\Markus\AppData\Moonchild Productions\Pale Moon" there. I then deleted the folder in the original location, and replaces it with a directory junction that links to "<PaleMoonInstallationDirectory>\Profiles\Pale Moon", which should no also trick the profile backup program.


In conclusion, placing a junction to a programs AppData folder on the data partition while in Win7, and expecting that junction to work when in Win8, if Win7´s home partition is hidden to Win8, will not work. Moving the program´s AppData folder to the data drive, placing junction from that new location to the one it should usually reside in (AppData), then booting into the other OS, deleting the copy of the program´s AppData folder there and replacing it with a junction to the copy on the data partition, will give the desired results


Cheers, Markus
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2015   #37
MarkusGE

Win7-64 Home Premium single boot / Win7-64 Professional & Win8.1-64 dual boot
 
 

Hi All,

it has been some time since I last posted here, and much has happened in this time. In fact, this post was typed on the new PC already.

also, in the meantime all programs I need have been installed and properly customized (settings etc) and all Data has been copied over and re-organized from the old PC The old PC has been relegated to secondary service, so to speak, being used only when away from home or when the new PC is busy doing e.g. virus scans.

So far, everything works fine. Most data and programs reside on the Data partition, all progs are usable on both OSes (except for cases that are incompatible with one OS). All data is shared between OSes, including program data saved in C:\Users\<username>\AppData.

This was done by moving the AppData folders to a subfolder in the programs actual installation location on the Data partition, and making this moved folder available again in AppData by putting a junction there.


Also, the Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos folders (and a few more) of both OSes have been moved to the Data partition, and reside in one place for both OSes (IE, they are merged). No problems there whatsoever as well


That all said, after a lot of a hassle, this has really turned out great. THANK YOU ALL here who helped me with their thoughts, experience, and knowledge, to achieve something that has been said had not been tried this way yet! Yes, it works!



Of course, no solution that does not bring along another problem - how to backup this machine PC?

I have thought about many variants ranging from relying on a full drive image (small in size if compressed, easy to reinstate, but individual files cannot be retrieved) to relying on simple copy backups (not taking care of link structures, cannot be used to restore the system), and everything in between. Thinking through all that, I´ve come to realize just how hard it is to find a backup strategy that meets the demands of requiring a practical amount of space, providing the ability to restore the complete system as well as retrieving individual files, being easy to create, possibly by a free program, and - of course - being easy to re-instate should the complete internal harddrive of the computer fail. A lot of demands, I know.

The attachment shows what the partition layout on the PC looks like.

All partitions except for the "System Reserved" one are "interconnected" by some sort of links, mostly junctions. This structure shall be preserved in the backup, of course (which prevents me from using a simple copy´n´paste backup, among other concerns).

What would you recommend to do about this?

Cheers, Markus


Attached Thumbnails
Multi Boot computer - how to keep data and programs in sync-partitionlayout.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2015   #38
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hey, great to hear it worked

I use Acronis to image Win7 and Win10 partitions. And it works alright. Macrium can do this as well and both can mount their image files to extract individual folders/files if need be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2015   #39
MarkusGE

Win7-64 Home Premium single boot / Win7-64 Professional & Win8.1-64 dual boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GokAy View Post
Hey, great to hear it worked

I use Acronis to image Win7 and Win10 partitions. And it works alright. Macrium can do this as well and both can mount their image files to extract individual folders/files if need be.
Can those programs image a whole disk (no only partitions)? With Paragon Backup and Recovery 2014 Free, I can select a complete (physical) disk and all the partitions defined on it to be packed into a VHD file.

Also, with Macrium, do you refer to Macrium Reflect Free, or a payware version?



In the meantime, I have thought a bit about what my backups should be able to do, and how his could be achieved.

I currently have one 2 TB external HDD, of which roughly 500 GB are used to store data stored nowhere else (mostly old, archived pictures, some movies, and rarely used content for games I once played - nothing I access often). In order to back up both my new PC (the dual-booted one - ~930 GB actual disk size) and my old PC (~460 GB actual disk size), I will need another external HDD, for sure. I will get that one tomorrow.

Another 2 TB HDD, will enable me to backup both PCs with complete HDD images created by Paragon Backup and Recovery (the images would amount to a bit less than 1400 GB). Also I could backup the content from the existing 2 TB HDD that is not saved anywhere else (simple copy-n-paste operation - about 500 GB). And, there would still be space for a file level backup of the new PC done with Hardlink Backup (another 900 GB max, probably - that backup will vary in size).


This strategy caters to all demands - But will I be safe his way?


Cheers, Markus
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2015   #40
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Is yours a business PC? Macrium should be free for personal/home users only, Paragon may be so too. But I am referring to free version.

Macrium lists the partitions and you can image the whole disk or individual partitions to a single file.

Imaging is costly due to space requirements, instead only image the System Reserved , EFI (if there are) and the OS-partitions. Rest can be managed by a file/folder sync program (I prefer FreeFileSync). And you should calculate the used space instead of disk sizes. Let me give you an example (how I do it):

C (System-Windows 7): 63/100GB
D (Games): 1.7TB/1.8TB - Steam Library and Virtual Machines
E (Games): 1.1TB/1.2TB - Steam Library and User Files
G (Backup):x/600GB
H (Games-SSD): 110GB/200GB - Few Games
Un-lettered (Windows 10): 30GB/100GB

I use Acronis (Macrium is the same) to image: C and Windows 10 only:
-- Full backup once a week: 93GB - compressed to 50GB
-- Daily differential: depends on how much has changed: up to 7-20GB weekly
-- So total OS backups: 57-70GB max
-- These are saved internally to G (Backup) drive, I can keep 8-9 generations (weeks) of backups
-- Also copy them to a 1TB external for redundancy

D - E - H: All files are synced to a 3TB E-SATA drive (personal files and mp3 excluded), so, pretty much only Games and Virtual Machines
User Files and MP3 are synced to other smaller drives (160-250GB ones)

I hope you get the idea. And compare to what you have in mind.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Multi Boot computer - how to keep data and programs in sync




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