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Windows 7: Dynamic Disk Back-up to 3Tb External?

05 Dec 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
Dynamic Disk Back-up to 3Tb External?

Not that technical TBH, but I (naively?) thought this would be simple.

I have 2 PC's:

Mediacenter (Main PC):
[a] 60 Gb SSD (OS & Programs)
[b] 1Tb HDD (TV & Movies)
[c] 250Gb HDD (Recovery partition/Music/Photos & Docs)

Kid's PC:
[d] 250 Gb HDD (OS, Programs & TV)
[e] 320 Gb External HDD (Movies)- Now dead

So I originally had a 250 Gb WD MyBook for Back-Up using W7 Backup, but only drives [a] & [c] above. Then [e] (WD My Passport) just stopped working (tried DIY recovery but it's trash now) losing 320Gb of Kid's Movies in the process. This prompted me to realise that losing c.1Tb of TV & Movies on [b] would be a real pain. So saw an Amazon deal & bought a Seagate Expansion 3Tb external drive, with a view to backing-up all of the above- simple? No...

So when I get my new 3Tb drive I try to Back-up using W7 Back-up, but I keep getting errors. So then I read (& please correct if I'm wrong) that W7 (32-bit) Backup cannot back-up to drives larger than 2.2Tb (4k drives?). So I download Seagate Discwizard, only to discover that drive [c] above is a Dynamic drive & that the free version of Discwizard cannot back it up (the one drive I absolutely HAVE to back-up). I really don't want to spend 30 to upgrade to Acronis.

So what to do? Am I missing something- can W7 Back-Up really not back-up to a 3Tb drive? Do I effectively have to delete all of [c] & convert it to a Basic disk, then restore from my original WD MyBook back-up (this would make me very nervous- all my photos!). Is the Back-Up not in Dynamic format (please excuse my ignorance). Or do I use some Free 3rd party software to convert [c] to a Basic disk without losing data?

If I do resolve the above- do I need to partition my new 3Tb drive in order to back-up both PC's? I really got lost with all the GPT v MBR stuff!

Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

A fine mess.

Are A, B, C, and D all internal and discrete drives as opposed to partitions?

You are not going to be able to see ALL of that 3 TB drive if that drive is MBR.

You've got a 32 bit OS. I'm reasonably sure you could use all of that 3 TB drive via GPT with a 32 bit Win 7.

Dynamic disks are to be avoided at almost any cost. There are supposedly ways to convert from dynamic to basic without losing data, but you'd be a fool to assume your data is not at risk. So, I'd at least back up whatever is on a dynamic disk to some other disk.

Can you simply drag a copy of whatever is on the dynamic disk to some other non-dynamic disk?

If you can do that, you should be able to convert the dynamic disk to basic.

Grand total, all drives except A above, how much data do you have to back up? If it's 2.2 GB or less, I'd first try to just drag copies of all data to that new 3 TB drive, formatted GPT if possible, MBR if not.

Regarding data backup: I simply would NOT use Windows Backup for data backup. It works within its limitations and built-in crankiness. For now, I'd use good old drag and drop if nothing else. After you get this dynamic disk issue sorted out, you could use another program for data backup, but that wouldn't be my top priority right now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dynamic Disk Back-up to 3Tb External?

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