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Windows 7: Backing up my files?

26 May 2010   #11

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Thanks Monk for your extensive reply!!

There is one little bit of what you said that I have a query about though. In the first paragraph you say... 'The third partition you are going to use for storing image backups from HDD 1, but more on that later.' ... I thought I was going to store all images on HDD 1?? HDD 1 is going to be images of the OS and my files and stuff so why would I store an image of an image in the thrid partition on HDD 0? Did you type this by accident?

Or do you mean that the configuration would be like so:

HDD 0 = partition 1 - OS; partition 2 - files; partition 3 - image of games;

HDD 1 = partition 1 - image of OS; partition 2 - image of files; partition 3 - games;

what do you think of me creating more partitions for my different types of files? I don't really play games tbh, but I was thinking of creating a partition for OS, a partition for work files (photoshop & illustrator documents and RAW image files), partion for personal files (music, videos, personal photographs etc) and a final partition for files related to my computer (component manuals, software installation packages and drivers installation files that I keep a copy of) so 4 partitions in total. How does that sound?

Thanks a lot for your help, my solution is going to be better for it!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2010   #12
Phone Man

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit

Here is another useful tool for backing up files from one place to another. Works great for a working directory where files are being added or deleted on an ongoing basis.

Download details: SyncToy 2.1

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2010   #13

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64


Sorry if I was not clear.

HDD 0: partition 1: OS/what I call everyday apps; partition 2: sundry files; partition 3: any image backups from HDD 1.

HDD 1: partition 1: sundry files; partition 2: sundry files , e.g. games but any; partition 3: any image backups from HDD 0.

On either partition 3, I also put other stuff that does not require backups. In other words, partition 3 never needs to be backed up: that would be making copies of your copies and copies of stuff you do not need copies of for any reason. (For example, on my third partitions, I have a directories that I use to test software, directories where I place expanded ZIP files for installation. Copies of copies is what I called supercritical files that I put on flash drives.

In the end, you are backing up 4 partitions: OS and three files/games partitions. Again, if you wish to further divide your storage into smaller partitions (v. more directories on the primary partitions) then you have to create extended/logical partitions beyond three primary partitions).

You can apply any reasoning to your protocol to suit your needs/preferences. For example, I isolate and install games on a separate partition on my HDD 2. Why? They don't change except for saved-game files and patches. When I patch, I make a new image file; when I save a game, I place the saved-game files of all of my games in a "Saved Games" directory on HDD 1 in a partition that I regularly backup. But the 157GB of games that I presently have installed do not have to be backed up every week because they didn't change so one backup is enough.

Which reminds me, if you have an app that will not allow you to place data files in alternative locations, in order to restore all of your data, make copies of stuff you added since the previous backup, in addition to creating an image backup of that app's partition. Examples: I backed up my OS two days ago and today it's funky so I am going to restore my image backup. Before I do that, however, I remember that I placed some docs on the DT: I copy those docs to another HDD backup partition in a separate backup directory. Once the restore is finished, I go to the backup directory and retrieve my docs. I do the same for FF profile, IE favorites, Outlook *.pst file.

Finally, I do complete image backups every week on all my partitions (except, as I mentioned, the backup partitions). As such it is easier/quicker for me to back up four additional areas (DT, FF, IE, Outlook as above) rather than create incremental or differential backups between full backups. It is easier because I am only dealing with the addition of four small files; it is quicker because the copy operation is quicker than the backup; most importantly, it is much quicker because restore operations take a bit of time: to have to restore a full image files plus 1, 2, 3, or more incremental/differential files takes forever.

Let me also clarify my presumptive statement about the number/type of partitions on a HDD (I assume you will research the pros/cons/uses of primary, extended, and logical partitions as needed).

A HDD must have one primary (active) OS partition. After that it can have three more primary partitions. Now, if you want more than four partitions on a HDD, you have to create at least one extended partition (on which you place any number of logical partitions), i.e., three primary and one extended - or one primary, one extended, and multiple logicals (created on the extended). So, yes, your idea of creating more partitions (v. directories) is great. Again, read about the differences between primary, extended, and logical partitions if needed (what you can/cannot do with them) and the different opinions regarding the best use of each type.

One other thing, put your OS on one HDD and your page file on the other (on any partition since it does not have to be backed up - or at least I don't). Why? If the OS and page file are on the same HDD, you experience increased seek-times since one set of heads is doing all of the work. If on separate HDDs they respond independently of each other.

Please post back if I have further confused the issue.

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Backing up my files?

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