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Windows 7: should I disconnect from web while restoring from a system image ?

19 Jul 2017   #11
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

"...I do not recommend using imaging for backing up data..."
LadyF, I must mildly disagree with you about not making full images of data partitions. My one data partition, commonly called "d drive" by many others, has 282GB of text files, documents, emails, pictures, videos, install ZIPs and EXEs (the largest part of D). I simply make a full image of D right after making a full image of C onto both of the computer's dedicated external 1TB HDs.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jul 2017   #12
boblite

Windows 7 Pro 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Why are you using four partitions for your data on one drive?
Historical separation of data from different computers. But have to agree, would make sense to consolidate on a single drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2017   #13
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
"...I do not recommend using imaging for backing up data..."
LadyF, I must mildly disagree with you about not making full images of data partitions. My one data partition, commonly called "d drive" by many others, has 282GB of text files, documents, emails, pictures, videos, install ZIPs and EXEs (the largest part of D). I simply make a full image of D right after making a full image of C onto both of the computer's dedicated external 1TB HDs.
While one can use full imaging for backing up data, it not the most efficient method of backing up data since one is backing up the same data over and over. Every time you image that 282GB, you have to write the entire volume into the image (even if the image is compressed), even if only a small percentage of that volume has changed, even if the change amounts to as little as 1MB or less. To achieve versioning, it would be necessary to keep multiple images, which are probably 112GB or larger each.

When using a folder/file syncing program, only the files and folders that have changed are involved. If only 1MB has changed, that is all that will be written and or deleted, which will be much faster than 282GB. Versioning doesn't take any more time or space than the files being versioning.

The result is a backup drive that is essentially a clone of the original drive that can be used as is whereas an image would need to be restored to a disk or mounted with the program that created the image to retrieve just one data file.

If the EXE files you referred to are actually installed working programs, they should be on the C: drive or, if the C: drive doesn't have enough room for all your programs, they should be installed on a separate drive or on a separate partition on your D: drive so they can be imaged (programs are System files and cannot be backed up by folder/file syncing) and the data can be more efficiently backed up with folder/file syncing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jul 2017   #14
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post

When using a folder/file syncing program, only the files and folders that have changed are involved. If only 1MB has changed, that is all that will be written and or deleted, which will be much faster than 282GB. Versioning doesn't take any more time or space than the files being versioning.
....
The logic's clear but I assume the synced backup drive is always connected? If so then you are more exposed to malware including ransomware infections in the backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2017   #15
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
The logic's clear but I assume the synced backup drive is always connected? If so then you are more exposed to malware including ransomware infections in the backup.
Bad assumption. The backup drive is connected only when updating it.
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19 Jul 2017   #16
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Bad assumption. The backup drive is connected only when updating it.
So during that unconnected stage you obviously don't have backups (eg of some document you were currently working on). In that case differential imaging would be a good contender.

Incremental imaging is also an option but higher risk if one stage fails.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2017   #17
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
So during that unconnected stage you obviously don't have backups (eg of some document you were currently working on)...
Seriously? And how would that be different from imaging when you have time between making images? You would still have to run the imaging program to get an image and the time between runs would be also "unprotected". If you are that worried about losing a document while working on it, you should be saving it frequently (preferably as new files so the earlier versions stay intact) and/or running some kind of a mirror in addition to having external backups.

Backup drives should never be connected to a computer except while updating a backup. Otherwise, they are susceptible to being infected if a virus or other malware gets in while a backup drive is connected to the computer (running anti-malware scans before running a backup greatly reduces that danger). It's also essential to have more than one backup drive kept onsite and offsite since even backup drives can fail, be corrupted, get infected, or be lost due to theft, natural disasters, and unnatural disasters.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
...In that case differential imaging would be a good contender.

Incremental imaging is also an option but higher risk if one stage fails.
Even with differential image backups, you still have to run the imaging program to update the backup. Differentials have the same risks as incrementals, just not as great, and, with each differential image made, keep getting larger, requiring more space to store and taking longer to make. You would still need to either do a full restoration to recover a single lost file or mount the image using the same software that made the image.

With a folder/file syncing, updating a backup takes far less time and space than imaging, making it far more practical to do more frequent backups. With folder/file syncing, I can quickly retrieve a single file. Unlike with images, I can even do so from a different computer that doesn't have the same backup software. Updating a backup with folder/file syncing can take only a few minutes whereas updating with imaging can take hours.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2017   #18
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Seriously? And how would that be different from imaging when you have time between making images?
It wouldn't.

Any backup is better than none. What you choose depends on what you are backing up. For large amounts of fairly static data imaging is an option. For smaller more dynamic data (eg. documents) I've never had a problem with Windows inbuilt file/folder backup. For imaging I rely almost exclusively on Macrium.
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20 Jul 2017   #19
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

LadyF, my install ZIPs and EXEs are just the downloaded ZIPs and EXEs from all over The 'Net. Since I average only two Ds per computer per month -- the changes between those backups are enough to spur me to make said backups
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 should I disconnect from web while restoring from a system image ?




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