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Windows 7: Backing/Restoring Windows 7 Operating System! - SSD to SSD

26 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
Backing/Restoring Windows 7 Operating System! - SSD to SSD


Currently, I have Acronis TIH 2011, Update 3, Build 6942, and I have ordered a new PC, with Windows 7(64 bit), two Solid State Drives (SSD's - both 120 GB Corsair Force 3) and a 1TB conventional hard drive!

The first SSD will be dedicated to my Operating System (OS), and I plan to use the second SSD, primarily, for backing up my operating system, using Acronis TIH! The conventional hard drive will be used for my personal data!

I am experienced at using Acronis TIH, with conventional hard drives, but have no idea regarding any special requirements for backing up, or restoring from one SSD, to another SSD.

I am aware that Partition, Sector & Cluster alignment is an important issue, but I have no idea how to verify, and if necessary, how to correct alignment! This gives rise to a number of questions; such as:

(1) Are there any reliable software packages, which will check and correct Partition, Sector, Cluster alignment? (Preferably Idiot Proof)

(2) Are there any pre-requirements for backing up an OS, from the Boot SSD to the Backup SSD?

(3) Are there any additional risks of using the Normal "Compression" in software, such as Acronis, or Paragon, when backing up an image of the operating system? (Compression is preferred, as this would allow several backups, on the limited available space on the back up drive)!

(4) Are there any pre-requirements for before restoring the OS from the back-up SSD to the Boot SSD? (Such as secure erase)

(5) is it best to back up using the recovery cd, rather than live, within Windows!

I would be greatful for any advice, regarding these issues!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

The OS should be properly aligned by default, but you can check it in Diskpart.

I don't think there are any special requirements for backup just because you are using an SSD, but I don't use Acronis.

You say you are using the second SSD for backup. I take that to mean that you will be using it as a location to store images of C (from the first SSD) that you make with Acronis?

That seems like a waste of the SSD's speed. You should only occasionally be using the backup SSD in that scenario--when you write an image to it or when you restore an image from it. I'd think that may as well be left to a spinning drive.

If I had a second SSD, I would try to figure some way to get it involved in the action constantly, rather than occasionally. Most likely, that would be as a primary data drive of some type---for data that is constantly being accessed and modified.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 64 bit

Thank you for your response, ignatzatsonic!

Yes, my plan is to use the second SSD to back up images of my Operating System (OS); possibly, 3 or more.

The first, with the original OS, as installed by the manufactures, with no changes!

Then, subsequent, back-up images of the OS, as I progressively install and prove my personal software and drivers!

The reason, for backing up my OS to a second SSD, rather than to a HDD, is that I have read so many disaster reports of alignment problems, when restoring from HHD to SSD!

My initial plan, was for a relatively small, second SSD, which I planned to use for "Personal Store Folders" for programs, such as Windows Live Mail, Microsoft Money, etc!

Additionally, I would use this second SSD for Photoshop (Scratch file), and possibly for the Windows Indexing folder,

The supplier's of new PC advised that the 120 GB SSD was a stock item, and that I would only save a small amount specifying a non stock item!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Dec 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I just use the Full Disc Image for the OS SSD and never had a alignment issue when restoring.
Although, you can just image the C partition and it works just as well.
Either way you prefer to do, I have never had a issue with my SSD alignment after a restore using Acronis and I have done it both ways.

The issue with alignments getting messed up is usually when Imaging a HD and restoring to a SSD. Sometimes it can cause alignment issues. But not from restoring a image of a SSD back to the SSD.

Also, you'd be better off IMO to just keep the System Images on a Mecahnical HD.
Either make a partition on the one you have for Acronis, or external HD.

The second SSD may be of better use for something else such as games.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 64 bit


Thanks for your message!

Your comments increase my confidence in the process! It is just a case that I have come across so many disaster stories, about restoration of the operating system, using Acronis TIH, specifically, when recovering to a ssd from a hdd!

Understand your comment about using a mechanical hard drive, and I shall probably try this after I am confident about recovery from ssd!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2011   #6

Windows 7 64 bit

Error Entry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2011   #7

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
taking an image of an SSD to an HDD is fine as it's a DATA image and not a sector by sector one.

Restoring to SSD from an SSD image saved on an HDD is just fine -- SSD is ALREADY aligned.

It *sometimes* can be a problem backing up an HDD image then restoring this to SSD but for W7 systems the alignment is usually fine.

XP systems have alignment all wrong so don't do this.

Avoid sector by sector or "byte type" copies / restores when using SSD's.

"Data Mode" is always better in these instances.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 10 Pro x64

I use Acronis TI 2011 and have never had an issue (including alignment) restoring from an image stored on a standard hard drive.
The image really doesn't know where it is.
I have also created an image of an Windows 7 operating system that was running on a standard hard drive and restored it it a SDD with no issues. When Windows 7 ran and recognized that it is on an SSD, it configured itself accordingly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2011   #9

Windows 7 64 bit

pbcopter & jimbo45

Most grateful for your comments - I'm gaining confidence! My worry is that if I back up, and then restore, I might corrupt my boot drive!

I would be interested to know whether you back-up/restore using the recovery cd, or you initiate within Windows!

Thanks again

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit

Generally, backing up an existing (and aligned) partition on an SSD and later restoring it back to the same place will preserve your alignment without any problem. Don't worry there.

Also, it's more common to create a live backup from within the running Windows system, which is also perfectly safe unless there are very unusual circumstances. Again, no need to worry.

You may use the backup software's built-in verification function to make sure the created image is OK, or perform a test restore to a separate, empty partition. At the very least, make sure that you have a working restore disc and are able to boot from it and access all the harddrives in your system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Backing/Restoring Windows 7 Operating System! - SSD to SSD

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