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Windows 7: Imaging with free Macrium

23 Aug 2014   #1060
looked

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Think of images as a photo negative you use to later make a usable print. Unlike cloning, you can make images of individual partitions. Images are the best way to backup a drive or partition with an OS.

A clone is more like a Polaroid instant photo print. It's a duplicate of the source drive. One can only clone entire drives. Cloning is the fastest way to make a usable copy of a drive since it's one step and doesn't need a separate drive to store the image on.
Thanks very much, I'll choose imaging for sure since the hard disk is partitioned in 2 parts.


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23 Aug 2014   #1061
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by looked View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Think of images as a photo negative you use to later make a usable print. Unlike cloning, you can make images of individual partitions. Images are the best way to backup a drive or partition with an OS.

A clone is more like a Polaroid instant photo print. It's a duplicate of the source drive. One can only clone entire drives. Cloning is the fastest way to make a usable copy of a drive since it's one step and doesn't need a separate drive to store the image on.
Thanks very much, I'll choose imaging for sure since the hard disk is partitioned in 2 parts.
Just to clarify something I said, you can clone a drive that has more than one partition; you just have to clone the entire drive. My OS and programs are on a 128GB SSD and I use imaging to back up the entire drive; cloning would be too slow and clunky to use for that. Cloning is best used for making a duplicate drive, such as when changing out an old drive for a new one.

For backing up an OS partition, imaging is the most practical way to go. For backing up data, however, imaging and partitioning are inefficient, taking too long, takes up way too much drive space, and puts too much wear and tear on the drives. A folder/file syncing program is far more efficient. I use FreeFileSync to back up my data drives. The only things that gets written or deleted when I run FreeFileSync are the files and folders that have been added, changed, or deleted since the last backup was run. Cloning my main data drive would take as long as three hours every time whereas I can do a daily backup of the same drive in as little as one minute using FreeFileSync if little had changed since the previous backup (the most a daily backup has ever taken was about 20 minutes). Considering that I make two identical backups of my main data drive everyday, that makes a huge difference.
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23 Aug 2014   #1062
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

The other thing about imaging is that you can store more than one on the same target disk if it is large enough and organise them in folders because to Windows they are just files.

I also agree with Milady that something like FreeFileSync is better for data backup. In fact that is what I use myself. A daily backup in my case rarely takes more than a few minutes.
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23 Aug 2014   #1063
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
Is the image option a non bootable snapshot that needs WinPE to be restored?
Yes
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23 Aug 2014   #1064
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by looked View Post
Sorry I can't see the difference.
Both options create a snapshot in that right moment that I can use later.
Is the image option a non bootable snapshot that needs WinPE to be restored?
One creates a file that can be stored like any file. The other directly creates an immediately working replica on another drive.

Clones are most often used when moving a good working system to a larger hard drive, in one step, in real time. They are not a backup in the traditional sense. You'd use one when things are going well. They don't create a single file representing one or more partitions and don't need restoration. You could make one on August 1 and let it sit until the next Aug 1 in case your existing install went bad, but you'd tie up that drive for a year in the meantime and the replacement installation would be a year stale at that time.

Image files are most often used to recover from a bad situation. If things go well over months and years, you might never use the image--never have to restore. As they are just a file like any other, they can be stored in a (relatively) small space and can be replaced at will in maybe 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the occupied space of the imaged partition(s). So they needn't be stale by more than days or weeks. Individual files can be recovered from an unrestored image as needed.

If you are moving to a new drive and have a good working system, you could use either method to get the new drive up and running. Those who are already familiar with imaging are more apt to use imaging for that process. Cloning is certainly worth a try if moving to a new drive, but I'd definitely have an image as a fall back position. I'd guess cloning might be less reliable, but I don't have any stats to prove it.
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23 Aug 2014   #1065
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Cloning is just as reliable as imaging for copying a disk and is simpler since an intermediate disk isn't needed.
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23 Aug 2014   #1066
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by looked View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Clone - creates a bootable duplicate
Image - is a snapshot of the system at that time which can be restored

I recommend to work with images.
Sorry I can't see the difference.
Both options create a snapshot in that right moment that I can use later.
Is the image option a non bootable snapshot that needs WinPE to be restored?
I think that the tutorial is missing this information for noob people like me.
Think of a clone as a total bit copy. Almost always you'll clone to another ready to go drive. If this is all you want then I guess it's simple.

Imaging uses an intermediate file format to store ALL the relevant information for a fully functional system. It doesn't store unnecessary pagefile contents or blank space etc. Furthermore, because it uses an intermediate file format you can get decent compression using programs like Macrium Reflect. You shouldn't store lots of static data on your OS partition and you end up with images typically 20-30GB. So even on a small 500GB external it's easy to store 10+ images with plenty of room left over. These images can span a period of months so you should always be able to go back far enough to get yourself out of trouble. Some people keep an image after a clean install and all updates rather than start at the very beginning. Finally, every OS partition image can be restored to a new HDD to give a fully working system.
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23 Aug 2014   #1067
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Hum well I am leaning towards imaging these days because it takes so little time now and is not dependent on the size of the drives involved as it is in cloning.

Having said that tough I recently cloned my partners laptop machine by just dragging and dropping the partitions I needed to the recipient drive. (Usually one has to clone from small to large) But in this instance the recipient drive was larger than the donor.

I am shortly going to try again this method of drag / drop partitions in the "wrong" order to make sure cloning can be done from large to small on a laptop that I now have spare.

But for sheer "blandness" and not having to use much grey matter and ease the clone is the choice.
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26 Aug 2014   #1068
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Here is an option for those that do not understand this tutorial but have money to buy a book.

Saved! ? Backing Up with Macrium Reflect ? The Ask Leo! Store
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26 Aug 2014   #1069
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

You could have made some cash Wolfgang.
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 Imaging with free Macrium




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