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Windows 7: Whats your backup software & strategy?

View Poll Results: What is your backup software?
Windows System Image 1 6.67%
Macrium 9 60.00%
Clonzilla 0 0%
Other - specify 5 33.33%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

29 Apr 2017   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Whats your backup software & strategy?

I know Macrium is popular but noticed that the new version 7 is no longer free but now a 30 day trial. I very recently did a clean Windows install on my Asus laptop. After I installed the drivers and updates I did two backups - one with Windows System Image and one with Macrium 6.3
The Windows backup is about 13.2GB and the Macrium backup is 7.24GB. My original Asus restore partition was about 8GB and used two .swm files & imagex.exe. Back in the XP/2000 days I used an old version of Ghost and that worked quite well and fast. I've tried Clonzilla once but it was complicated.

I restored Windows System Image a couple of times and it work well but then had it fail once (something about unexpected error) and that left a bad taste in my mouth. I think I'm going to ditch my Windows backup and keep the Macrium 6.3 Free edition backup.

I'm just curious what is everyone's backup setup - software of choice?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2017   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


FWIW: I've used Macrium Free for many years and stored multiple images on an external drive. Macrium always worked whether making an image or restoring an image. Until one day the external drive failed. It was then I realized that relying on one external drive and one imaging software could still lead to catastrophic failure.

Since then I use two external drives and two imaging software for redundancy. I'm thinking that having two external drives fail at the same time, or having two different imaging software fail at the same time, is less likely. I still use Macrium Free but I also use AOMEI Free. I find it to be just as reliable and easy to use as Macrium.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2017   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1

I use Macrium Reflect v5, paid for version. I run a weekly full OS image back up every week & I keep the last 3 back ups on an external hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Apr 2017   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Each of my computers have two dedicated platter-driven, usb, 1TB, pancake-sized external hard-drives; Macrium Reflect 6 and Image for Windows rotation; average around 2-3 OS partitions and 1-2 Data partitions.
Ranger4, I note you indicated several saves on an external hard-drive -- please consider adding another external hard-drive. Awhile back, I had HD A for laptop A and HD B for laptop B -- until A got a "logical" failure, forcing a format. Ever since then, two HDs per computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2017   #5
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

I voted Other since I have a multi-pronged strategy for my desktop machine.

1. The paid version of Macrium Reflect Free for imaging my System files (OS and programs on my C: drive and System Reserved partition). The images get stored on one of my internal data drives for convenience but that drive gets backed up onto external drives.

2. FreeFileSync, a folder/file syncing program, for backing up my data on my data drives data drives. FreeFileSysnc essentially makes clones of my internal data drives but does so much faster than cloning since only new, changed, and deleted data gets added or removed from the backup drive.

3., a paid cloud backup service (more on that later).

I image my C: drive before updating programs or the OS and after running my anti-virus and anti-malware scans.

The data drives get backed up at least once a week or sooner if I add a lot of data, or critical data, to my internal data drives. I have a set of four external backup drives—actually, bare, internal type drives that get plugged into a hot swap bay in my computer when updating a backup—for each data drive in my computer: two of each set are kept onsite (a drawer in my house) and the other two of each set are kept offsite (my safe deposit box at my credit union). The onsite backup drives get swapped out with the offsite backup drives no less than once a month; more often if I have added or changed an unusual amount of critical data.

Since my offsite backup drives will not have any data added or changed after they have been placed in my safe deposit box, to avoid losing that added or changed data should my computer's data drive and the onsite backup drives get compromised, such as from fire, theft, meteor strike, etc., I have a basic account with, a secure, paid, cloud backup service. Should the worst happen, I can recover most of my data from the offsite backup drives, then download the remaining data from Carbonite. I exclude recorded TV programs and Macrium Reflect image files from being backed up on Carbonite because of their size would exceed my ISP's data cap and the amount of time it would take to upload and download them.

Carbonite is also useful when I'm on the road since I have a limited amount of space for data on my notebooks. Whenever needed, I can easily access the rest of my data from Carbonite from a secure internet connection.

My notebooks contain only data that exists on my desktop so the only backups I have for them is a set of two backup drives I carry with each notebook (one notebook is a spare should the other one die). One of the backup drives has images of the C: and System Reserved partitions of the drive in the notebook. The other backup is a clone of the notebook's drive and can be used to clone back to the drive in the notebook if the entire drive gets scrambled or I can pull the backup drive from its enclosure and replace the drive in the notebook with it. If I need any data that is not on the drive, I can access it from I also keep copies of the notebooks' images on my desktop computer.

Contrary to popular belief, I have only two backups of my kitchen sink, not three. One of them is a miniature kitchen sink I keep in my purse to show the jolly jokers who claim I have everything except the kitchen sink in my purse.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2017   #6

Win7 pro x64

Super simple here: house has two win7 systems with identical hardware, so each can be macrium cloned onto the other if a full system restore is needed, but mainly I just synchronize all data on both machines once a day using a batch file that invokes robocopy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2017   #7

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I used to use both (free) Macrium and Windows inbuilt system imaging (50:50) but have dropped using Windows inbuilt most of the time. I've carried out many images and restores using both without any significant problem. I now mainly just use Macrium since it is both reliable and significantly more capable than Windows inbuilt. I make the occasional Windows inbuilt image just in case.

Definitely do not rely on one backup drive. I tend to use 2TB HDDs in Docking stations (currently using WD Blues). I make images before any Windows updates or software installs then another after everything looks ok. Outside of this I make a couple of images on different drives ~ every 2 weeks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2017   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

I mainly use Aomei Backupper and Windows system image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2017   #9

Windows 7 Ult x64

I use Acronis True Image - Full backup sector-by-sector, while restoring perfectly the same as before.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2017   #10
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Macrium Reflect.
It works.
It is simple to use.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

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