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Windows 7: Help with Partitioning My Hard Drive

16 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Help with Partitioning My Hard Drive

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote:
The question I have is once I am ready to image my hard drive (C drive and D drive) do I also make images of "RECOVERY" and "39 MB Healthy (OEM Partition)"? If so do I include the C drive, "RECOVERY" and "39 MB Healthy (OEM Partition)" in one image (if thats even possible) or separate?
1. The 39MB partition I would not image on a regular basis - maybe once just to have it. That is most likely the tools partition for the BIOS tools.

2. In your case, the recovery partition is iffy because it contains the bootmgr. That I would also image once. Make sure you do not declare the C partition as active when you restore the image of C. Also do not replace the MBR.

Maybe at one point in time you want to fix the C partition so that it is active and deactivate the recovery partition. For guidance I suggest you start a different thread.

3. You can image several partitions in one shot. That does not mean that you have to restore them all together. In your case though, I would suggest that you create one definition where you image the 39MB partition and the recovery partition together - and stick those into a seperate folder.
Then make another definition (which creates an XML file) for the C partition and stick those images into another folder. If you want to schedule the imaging of the C partition, right click on that XML file (in the Macrium control window) and go to "Schedule".
If you ever want to delete the definitions, do not do it in the Macrium control window but in Documents > Reflect. That is a better way.

I am starting a new thread as I was getting off topic in my other thread. I want to image my hard drive and I want to go about doing it the right way. I noticed that my current drive is broken up into 3 partitions (the computer came this way) and I am curious as to which parts I should image and if I should image them separately or together.

Member whs stated that I should make my OS (C) drive active and deactivate my recovery drive. I need helping on doing this, and some advice on properly imaging my drive. Please see attachment below

Thanks

Help with Partitioning My Hard Drive-capture.jpg



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jun 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

Many here may disagree, but I Imaged my Dell which is set up like yours. I imaged each partition seperately and then imaged the entire drive. That way I have it any way I need it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You can make a partition active in disk management by right clicking the partition and choosing "mark partition as active".

I looked through your other long thread and agree that data should be backed up without imaging. Imaging is not foolproof and you don't want a non-foolproof method for something as critical as data. This forum has a lot of posts from people who simply were unable to restore an image---for whatever reason and regardless of application. Any backup method can fail, but it's a good idea to tilt the odds in your favor whenever possible.


I use Second Copy. It is $30, with a free 30 day trial. You can think of it as robocopy with a graphical interface. You just make a "profile" for each backup task, which can be as simple as backing up one file or as detailed as backing up all files. You can pick and choose which folders and files to include or exclude. You can include or exclude by file extension. It has been in development for over 10 years and has never caused me a problem--I've used it for over 10 years.

I use 5 profiles:

data and text files
mp3
pictures and video
email
bookmarks

I run these profiles manually, but they can be scheduled as well.

Regarding imaging:

I use Macrium Reflect Free Edition and Acronis, alternating, about every month or two. I image only my C partition. I built my own PC so I don't have a tools or recovery partition and don't need them. I keep the 2 most recent images and have never had to do a restore. I hope they work when needed, but don't count on it. My worst case scenario is that I have to reinstall Windows manually.
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16 Jun 2011   #4
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I haven't read the previous thread.
However, as it stands I would leave your Dell system as it is and image each partition with Macrium.

As you recognise Dell appear to use the recovery partition for both recovery and the "system reserved" function. So inside there I would expect to see a bootsector, bootmgr and a Boot folder containing the BCD. Most of the time you would only need to image and reimage your OS partition. Macrium keeps a copy of the MBR with each image.

I don't know to what extent Dell factory recovery relies on the recovery partition being active.

{As an aside I would expect Windows imaging to require you include the system/recovery partition - does it?}
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #5

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

jetablack,

What is the size of the drive to which you will be backing up?

If you ask 5 people how to backup and how to partition, you will get 7 answers.


Here's what I do.

One I have a partition for my operating system.
Two I have a partition for date.
Three I use Win 7 Backup and Restore to make an image backup of the partitions.

Incidentally, my os partition is 50 GB with nearly 30 GB free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Having a separate partition for you personal data makes sense, because your personal files are at less risk if your operating system goes walkabout.

I've created a system image for my operating system and applications, and then use Robocopy to back up my personal data, music and digital photos, which are all on a separate partition to Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #7

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Thanks all for the responses.

I do plan on creating another partition for my data and labeling it my D drive. Creating a new a partition seems straight forward enough and I don't see that being a problem, however, I am very new to imaging and have only created images through Windows 7 backup. Since at this point I only have 1 Hard drive along with the tools and recovery partition I am assuming that Windows 7 backed up all 3 partitions but I have no idea.

Thats what i find so confusing, I don't which parts I should back up (I will back them all up just in case) but then I would not know how to go about properly restoring them. The c drive first or the tools and recovery?? And then whs in the other thread was telling me to make my c drive active - this all gets very confusing. But at least I am learning a lot and once I get this straightened out I am sure I will be very grateful if my system ever crashes.

As ignatzatsonic and pparks1 (from the other thread) have stated about creating backups of these files separate from and image, I total agree with. I am currently working with Robocopy and trying to get it to fully work, although, I am running into some errors with some files and folders - so I am may look into that program you have mentioned. Second Copy simply copies files to another destination and they are not in a container file like the backups that windows, acronis or macrium offer correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Have you made your Dell Recovery disks?
How to use Dell Recovery, & Backup
Dell - Support




System Image Recovery
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
Restore Backup User and System Files
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #9

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
I have the dell discs that my computer came with - but I do not plan on using dell's backup and recovery, so I do not think making a dell recovery disc would be of use to me. Instead I will be using Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jetablack4 View Post
Thanks all for the responses.

I do plan on creating another partition for my data and labeling it my D drive. Creating a new a partition seems straight forward enough and I don't see that being a problem, however, I am very new to imaging and have only created images through Windows 7 backup. Since at this point I only have 1 Hard drive along with the tools and recovery partition I am assuming that Windows 7 backed up all 3 partitions but I have no idea.

Thats what i find so confusing, I don't which parts I should back up (I will back them all up just in case) but then I would not know how to go about properly restoring them. The c drive first or the tools and recovery?? And then whs in the other thread was telling me to make my c drive active - this all gets very confusing. But at least I am learning a lot and once I get this straightened out I am sure I will be very grateful if my system ever crashes.

As ignatzatsonic and pparks1 (from the other thread) have stated about creating backups of these files separate from and image, I total agree with. I am currently working with Robocopy and trying to get it to fully work, although, I am running into some errors with some files and folders - so I am may look into that program you have mentioned. Second Copy simply copies files to another destination and they are not in a container file like the backups that windows, acronis or macrium offer correct?
I kept this information from my Vista days and hope it helps you get to grips with Robocopy:


Windows Robocopy File Backup

Use Robocopy, which is built into Vista.

Go to command prompt and type robocopy /?
This will show you the settings.

I use two main switches: /mir and /e

/MIR mirrors the destination to be the same as the source. So in your source location, if you move, delete, add anything, the destination will be mirrored. If you delete something in the source, it gets deleted in the destination. If you move a file from one folder to another in the source, it also gets moved in the destination. If you update a file and it is newer then the destination file will be overwritten with the newer one.

/E will copy any file that is newer or doesn't exist but doesn't remove files that have been moved or deleted in the source. So if you delete a file from the source, it will remain in the destination. If you move a file from one folder to another in the source, then the destination will contain two copies of the file, one in the old location and one in the new.

The /E switch is pretty much the same an incremental backup. Depending on what you are doing you might want to use the /MIR option. On my machine, I use /E for documents and pictures in case I accidentally delete something, since documents and pictures can be important. However, for my music directory, since WMP11 is constantly moving and renaming files as I organize my music, I don't want a bunch of extra files everywhere, so I use the /MIR switch just to mirror the backup to the source.

In my case, I have a batch file that runs every night and it looks like this:

robocopy "e:\Documents" "f:\Backup\Documents" /e
robocopy "e:\Pictures" "f:\Backup\Pictures" /e
robocopy "e:\Contacts" "f:\Backup\Contacts" /e

robocopy "e:\Favorites" "f:\Backup\Favorites" /mir
robocopy "e:\Mail" "f:\Backup\Mail" /mir
robocopy "e:\Music" "f:\Backup\Music" /mir
robocopy "e:\Videos" "d:\Backup\Videos" /mir
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 Help with Partitioning My Hard Drive




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