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Windows 7: backup space

16 May 2012   #1

XP windows Professional
backup space

if i backup my OS (C:drive)which is approx. 120GB. does that mean each time that i backup my OS it will take up another 120GB, and keep on eating all my HD space when i backup , help thank you

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2012   #2
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

If you are going to be using the backup feature in 7 to create a full system image backup to be stored on another drive each new backup will automatically overwrite to replace the previous. That's how that works.

Now for keeping more then one image a simple change in the folder name of the first by adding the date like 5-15 into the General tab on the properties screen will prevent the first from being overwritten by the 2nd! Doing the same for the second image backup generally prevents the 3rd and likewise any other backup from replacing a previous one.

Then you would be in need of a large capacity drive to maintain multiple image backups and a lot depends on how large each one is as well. As a rule however each image will see a degree of compression into the archive for seeing less on drive space used. Even with a 120 near full you may see about 85-90gb in size for the image itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2012   #3

XP windows Professional

i was going to get 2 500GB drives, one for games, pictures , music, and then one for documents and backups. but now i'm not sure, can u recommed i get bigger drives like 2 one TB drives just to be on the safe side, space wise (not including the OS c:drive SSD 120GB)? thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 May 2012   #4
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Caoacity wise not including other files you also decide to store on an extra drive a 1tb drive will handle a bit more as far as having more then one image backup stored from a 120gb main drive since the image couldn't grow any larger then 120gb to start with. You could have 3 or 4 images stored and still have room for other files and folders.

Here the last image came in at 497gb where I was able to reduce the last down to 415gb plus one 6gb VM I will keep on a 1tb backup drive. I am waiting to decided on going with another 2tb, 2.5tb, or 3tb drive for backing the first storage drive along with a few images due to them being from a 1tb host drive.

A pair of 500gb images, backing up another 1tb drive, and still about 900gb leftover would work here. Since any backup or full image isn't stored locally on the main host/OS drive you wouldn't have to worry about drive space there being used up while your secondary one or more drives would be where the planning would be to allow room as well as the quality of the new drive as well.

Rather then turning the second OS drive here around to use as an additional backup drive I reserved that for testing as well as having an extra OS drive onhand in case the main fails when going to plan out this build. But that was also an extra expense. There you have to go by your own needs when planning things out.

Another thing to look at is whether you are planning to install a new internally or use it in an external enclosure. Access times are generally a little slower by usb and any scheduled or non scheduled backup or creation of full system image backups will tend to take far longer!

Try just over 3hrs. when going to create a full image from a laptop's 120gb HD to store on a drive in a usb enclosure! When created and storing a full image of the host drive a 1tb with an image size of 500gb it only took 35min.! to see that on one of the internal drives used for backup.You would likely see about 20min. from the 120gb you have there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #5
Victor S

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by soulfood View Post
i was going to get 2 500GB drives, one for games, pictures , music, and then one for documents and backups. but now i'm not sure, can u recommed i get bigger drives like 2 one TB drives just to be on the safe side, space wise (not including the OS c:drive SSD 120GB)? thanks
3 drives is good. If you can get 1TB for a bit more cost than 500GB, go for the bigger capacity. Figure GB per dollar, then decide. Capacity is good.
If you keep just the OS and common apps on your SSD, your system images might
only be 20GB or so. If you keep games there, it will be much larger.
The size of the images you store will depend on what you want.
I'll tell you how I would go, and what I do, with a 3 drive setup.
You can reject it or tweak it to your needs.
I suggest you stay away from Windows 7 backup, which does incremental backups,
and is really more complicated to fit most needs than other image software.
I use Ghost 15, but many here are very happy with free Macreum.
There are Macreum tutorials on this site.
First off, you want redundancy - that means the same data on 2 or more drives.
This is the core of my backup strategy. I also do occasional copies of everything
to an external drive.

Drive 1 - system and apps.
I image this to drive 2, and drive 3. The images are stand-alone files, with the date of the image as part of the file name. As time goes by, I delete older images, and usually have only 3 or 4 taking up space.
I only image after restoring an image. Because I know the image I restored is a good system. I do updates of the restored image, make any changes I want to my core apps, then make a dated image.
An 20GB image takes 5-10 minutes to image or restore.
So since I *always* restore an image before taking an image, it's about 10-20 minutes of image/restore, and the in-between time of preparing the new image with updates. It's the only time I really make sure I'm thinking straight about what I'm doing.

Drive 2 - Everything else, in folders with names that work for me.
This includes documents, photos, etc. And a folder of Drive 1 images.
Let's call this the "working document drive."
I organize all my non-system stuff here.
Everything I don't want to lose goes into a high-level folder called Drive 2 Backups.

Drive 3 - Has a folder called Drive 3 Backups, which is a copy of Drive 2 Backups. And a folder of Drive 1 images.
I use a file synchronizer to keep the Drive 2 and Drive 3 backup folders the same.
MS SyncToy works well for that, and is free.
After doing some changes to Drive 2, or adding things I know I'll keep, I synch the Backup folders. Using the high level folder names "Backups" and putting what you want to keep in the folder makes that real easy.
I've never used any data on Drive 3, but it's there if I need it.

That's one way to do it, and works for me. You'll have to adjust to your needs,
but it's a starting point.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #6
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

With four internal drives here 2 for OS purposes and a pair of others for a main storage drive and another for keeping full images on as well as backing up VMs at times I added on a 5th drive in a fan cooled usb enclosure to back up things from both the 7 host and main storage drives in case one lets go for some reason or other like the less likely virus infection worries which would be rare here.

In your situation since you are planning to increase capacity going for one larger drive now and later considering adding in a second of the same to back up the back up drive would prevent a major loss if any drive should fail on you. You have to go by your budget of course while considering what will be the better choice.

Between full system images and other things you back up a 500gb drive on any machine will tend to fill fast when you have a lot to back up. Having two larger then 500gb drives would allow you to backup the backup drive to some extent in case any drive should fail at some time.

Some things here are not only saved to the primary storage drive but also to another 1tb drive in an external usb enclosure The second internal storage drive will hold a full image, backs up VMs, and also backs up things not found on the host but only on the first storage drive but not on the external HD.

That's just to give you a rough idea of backing larger volumes of files you probably won't be seeing now but could some time later.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 backup space

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