I've just built a new PC with Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit installed on a 1TB "OS/Programs" hard drive (or "c" drive). All my data is on two other drives, though I do use the "c" drive desktop as temp work space and downloads as well.
Unfortunately, I've had OS problems in the past for a variety of reasons (software conflicts, virus, etc) w/ my old XP based PC (maybe 6 clean installs in 3+ years), and have already installed Win 7 a few times on my new PC as well (long story - it's been the build from hell :<).
My goal is to back up my entire "c" drive via the the most reliable (and ideally simple
) way possible. I think that the best way to do that would be to periodically clone the "c" drive (1-2 times per month). That way, if something goes wrong - just clone everything back. My understanding is that in theory, you could clone back & forth any number of times and the end result works just like the original since it is exactly the same. If I'm wrong about any of this this, please let me know!
FYI - I don't know if this matters, but I quick format the back up drive and then remove all partitions (via Partition Wizard) each time prior to cloning. I beleive that's the correct procedure to get an accurate clone. If not please let me know the proper to do it.
After reading a bunch of threads about the 100MB partition, I now wonder if it could cause problems with cloning, or even down the road as I've seen posts on how it can get filled up. Giving up bit locker, and (I think) boot/repair files on a separate partition is a small price to pay if I can be certain that when I clone back, everything will work. Acronis True Image WD Edition does clone the partition along with everything else, and most of the time, the process worked fine. I could boot off of either drive with both installed by selecting the boot HDD in the bios...but
there's been a couple of times when things did not get fully restored to 100% working condition when I cloned back.
good with software at all and could really use some guidance on the following:
(1) Per above - would NOT having the 100MB partition decrease the chance of something going wrong either when cloning or cloning back. It's worth it to give up Bit Locker or have the Windows repair/boot files separate from the OS, or even spending extra time cloning manually (i.e. no auto schedule). I have maybe 60 additional programs so a clean install takes forever. Any increase in accuraccy/reliabily is worth the extra hassle.
(2) If yes to the above (i.e. better off without
the 100MB partition), can I format & partition my "c" drive prior to the clean install? I can do this because as mentioned above, I just boot off of the cloned drive. If not I guess I can try shift+F10 and run the diskpart steps listed elsewhere in the forums).
(3) I'm using the WD version of Acronis, but after reading up on it, I wonder if it's really excessive for what I want to do. I'm not going to use scheduling or any of the repair/back up functions. All I need is a good/reliable cloning program. I'm thinking of switching to Macrium or even MiniTool Disk Copy instead. Plus Acronis overwrote the naitve Win 7 back up links which is not something I wanted. So is switching software a good idea (and if so any rrecommendations b/t the two), or stick Acronis since it's worked fairly well so far?
Thanks for the help.