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

21 Sep 2015   #41
MarkusGE

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

So Macrium Free can restore individual files and folders (I just seem to have found, Paragon can do this as well) - That changes a whole lot (it might remove the need for the Hardlink Backup step).

Why I want to image the whole drive: As has been said, both OSīs documents folders (and other as well) have been moved to the data partition, and are shared between the OSes (Win7īs Documents is in D:\UserFolders\Markus as is Win8īs Documents). This is done via Windows built-in controls, and has been said to make D a system partition as well. Thatīs why I want it included in the image, just to be sure (if thatīs overkill, please tell me )

As for how often or how "firmly" compressed backups will be done, thatīs not yet decided. Iīm still trying to settle on a general concept before thinking about things that depend on the capabilities of the program used in the end.

Cheers, Markus


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Sep 2015   #42
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hmm, perhaps it is a good idea to image D as well, because you will have unknown SIDs for the other OS in NTFS permissions as well. How much used space will all 3 partitions will be (not the disk capacity)? Multiply that by how many copies you want to keep after adjusting for future growth.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2015   #43
MarkusGE

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

The attachment shows my partition layout with some info.

Basically, all partitions will go into the backup, except for the 81 GB of unallocated space at the right in the pic.

Three partitions combined are smaller than 1 GB (doesnīreally matter how much is used there). The OS partitions (both 50 GB capacity) are all filled to around 75%. The big Data partition one currently has about 335 GB in use. Altogether that amounts to roughly 410 GB used, without any growth calculated into it.

The Data partitionīs amount of stored data will constantly rise, due to my growing collection of content for a game (up to 5 GB per week at times) and other factors.

Also, the space for differential backups has not been factored in there yet. With that all in mind, Iīd say 800 GB of backups for this new PC alone should keep me on the safe side for years to come. And if less space is needed, I can always shrink he backup partition using MiniTool PartitionWizard 9 (installed or bootable).


The old PC has a 500 GB HDD, of which I assume 200 will be used (he PC is in dire need of a complete system restore, and doing so, a completely new disk layout similar o the one on the new PC will be applied - data on a separate partition from the OS). Since backups will be necessary less often, I assume 300 GB should be enough for this computerīs backups.


Altogether, that makes 1100 GB necessary for image backups only. Add another 350 GB for stuff only located on my existing external drive, that will also be backed up on the second drive (Hardlink Backup will be used), and there we are at 1500 GB (including some spare space for the 350 GB mentioned).


Now, some more questions:

  • Since Macrium can restore individual files, I assume a separate file-level backup (created with Hardlink Backup) will be an unnecessary effort - right?
    (except for stuff not included in the image backups)
  • Macrium can do differential backups in the free version - that means, Iīll always have the original backup, plus some newer sets. Thus, it might be unnecessary to do a separate image of the original PC setup (note 1), right?
  • Will it be reasonably safe to keep the image backups on one (brand-new) drive only, that is usually disconnected from the PC or should I keep a copy of the most recent backup on another drive as well (older drive (3 yrs), usually connected to PC)?


Cheers, Markus


Note 1: Original = fully set up as dual boot with everything installed, settings tweaked and all data on the HDD, but not used much - the current state, which I might want to go back to later, for whatever reason.


Attached Thumbnails
Multi Boot computer - how to keep data and programs in sync-partitionlayout.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Sep 2015   #44
MarkusGE

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

Follow up: According to this page (Macrium Reflect Free), Macrium free does not support item level recovery (see also attached image).

Comments?

Cheers, Markus


Attached Images
Multi Boot computer - how to keep data and programs in sync-macriumreflect-fileleelrestore.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2015   #45
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You will need a couple of copies of Full Backups. Differential backups require their base full backup to function. And if your backup gets corrupted somehow everything will be useless. So say 3-4 full backups (worth of 3-4 weeks, say, 1st is the original, and then others are latest 2-3 weeks) and differentials (or incremental if your app support it) in between will determine the space requirement.

Keep backups on 2 drives, even new drives can die.

Maybe you can't use the image file to restore to their original places? What I wanted to say is when you explore the image you can copy/paste any folder/file as you wish. Try it yourself to see if it is good enough for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2015   #46
MarkusGE

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

My plan is to have differential backups done weekly, and full backups monthly. So there will always be three differential backups for a full one. How many will be kept I will see when trying out constraints (will be three full backups for sure - once of the state as the PC is as of today, that will always be kept, plus the most recent 2 weeks, maybe more). If backups are needed more often, they can still be done on demand.

Alright, so the image backups will be created on one and then copied to the other external drive.

Currently installing Macrium, will be trying out with a test partition soon. Will report back.

Cheers, Markus
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2015   #47
MarkusGE

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

Installed Macrium, can mount image and get individual files from it.

Still downloading to create the WinPE bootable recovery CD, will take a look at that as well, but it Iīm almost sure Iīll go with Macrium for imaging.

Cheers, Markus
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2015   #48
MarkusGE

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

Have installed Macrium, made an image of an especially created test partition, retrieved files from it by mounting the image as a drive as well by restoring through Macrium while on one of the two OSes on this PC. I also created a Macrium WinPE Recovery CD and restored the partition using that method.

No matter what, everything went well. Thus, I will be using Macrium for my backups, because itīs easier and more straightforward to use than any alternative Iīve had so far, plus itīs free and can fulfill both demands (full drive image backup as well as single file retrieval) in one.

Now, on to making a backup plan

Cheers, Markus
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2015   #49
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 


Keep us updated!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2015   #50
MarkusGE

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

Will Do.

Thereīll be a small delay, though, because I jut noticed I made a nasty (but not fatal, thank goodness) error when copying over data from the old PC: I did not copy with a method tat reproduces inner links from the source in the target. Has to be corrected now, partially...

Cheers, Markus
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Multi Boot computer - how to keep data and programs in sync




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