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Windows 7: Can I back up system images (Macrium) of win 7 + 8.1 on external HD?

04 Sep 2017   #1
xlcgroup

Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit, SP1
 
 
Can I back up system images (Macrium) of win 7 + 8.1 on external HD?

Hey guys, I just paid for Macrium Reflect and bought an HDD enclosure to use with a 1 TB HDD (formatted) from a busted laptop just for backups. I am positive that both C and D drives on both systems are well below 500 GB so I know the 1TB has ample space. However, after cloning my laptop, the 1 TB now shows 668 GB in an "allocated space". Not sure how that happened after my only attempt at cloning.

First, is it possible to back up or clone both my laptop 7 home pro and desktop 8.1 on the same drive?

Second, if so, is it better to just clone both C drives with the D drive on both systems? My laptop has one HDD and the desktop has two. I'm assuming the pro for using this method is that it will be a complete one-stop restore, in one location, to their current states but the cons are that if the 1 TB goes down, I lose both backups, it will take more time to clone both systems and this method will take up more drive space on the 1TB by choosing to clone both systems. Oh and the fact that that cloning will not require me to use a Macrium recovery disc to restore is also a plus.

Am I missing any other pros and cons to this method? I just want to be able to fully restore both systems to it's current state with all it's current software loaded up should something go wrong. I think I have everything I need to safeguard both systems now (unless I need a second 1TB HDD to back up the other OS) and I'm not sure if partitioning this drive is necessary in the event that what I want to do isn't even possible. Also, I have never partitioned a drive before and I don't have much experience with Macrium so any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!




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Can I back up system images (Macrium) of win 7 + 8.1 on external HD?-2017-09-04-21-40-45.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Sep 2017   #2
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

It would be better to use Images rather that Clones. Images generally have less problems when you need them for restore.

It would be best to have 2 separate back up hard drives, one for each computer. It would also be much easier to keep track of the back ups if each computer had it's own back up drive. Also there is much less chance of running out of space & you will still have one working back up drive should one fail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2017   #3
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

One cannot clone two hard-drives onto any one external hard-drive.
I recommend, if both of the external hard-drive's byte-space permits, having at least one C partition and one D partition from each computer onto each of those external hard-drives. Awhile back, I also had computer 1 on ext HD 1 and computer 2 on ext HD 2 -- well one of the two developed a "logical error", forcing a format and a loss of said images;
so afterwards:
-- i had each computer's C & D partitions on both usb ext 1TB HDs
later, I changed up somewhat:
-- I now have two dedicated usb ext 1TB HDs for each computer, and both "dedicateds" contain C & D partition images.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Sep 2017   #4
xlcgroup

Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit, SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
One cannot clone two hard-drives onto any one external hard-drive.
I recommend, if both of the external hard-drive's byte-space permits, having at least one C partition and one D partition from each computer onto each of those external hard-drives. Awhile back, I also had computer 1 on ext HD 1 and computer 2 on ext HD 2 -- well one of the two developed a "logical error", forcing a format and a loss of said images;
so afterwards:
-- i had each computer's C & D partitions on both usb ext 1TB HDs
later, I changed up somewhat:
-- I now have two dedicated usb ext 1TB HDs for each computer, and both "dedicateds" contain C & D partition images.
Thanks for your input. So images accomplish the same exact tasks as clones but require a recovery disk, have the ability to store multiple images on a HDD, complete faster backups and take up less space? I have one external 1 TB drive and five 16 GB USB sticks. Those would be more than enough to store said images in my situation, correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2017   #5
xlcgroup

Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit, SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
One cannot clone two hard-drives onto any one external hard-drive.
I recommend, if both of the external hard-drive's byte-space permits, having at least one C partition and one D partition from each computer onto each of those external hard-drives. Awhile back, I also had computer 1 on ext HD 1 and computer 2 on ext HD 2 -- well one of the two developed a "logical error", forcing a format and a loss of said images;
so afterwards:
-- i had each computer's C & D partitions on both usb ext 1TB HDs
later, I changed up somewhat:
-- I now have two dedicated usb ext 1TB HDs for each computer, and both "dedicateds" contain C & D partition images.
I appreciate it, sorry for the confusion... I only have one external 1 TB HDD but I do have five 16 GB USB sticks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2017   #6
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Using multiple USB sticks for cloning will result in disaster. You will need an extra external hard drive.

You mentioned that you need a booting disc for imaging & that's the reason you wish to use cloning. If as an example your OS hard drive fails completely & you cannot boot the computer, how are you going get the external clone onto the new hard drive. You will still need a boot disc.

Macrium has a built in facility for making a boot disc & you should definitely make one & then definitely test it to be sure it works. Not only is having a back up essential these days, it's also essential that you able to use it to get the computer up & running again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2017   #7
xlcgroup

Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit, SP1
 
 

Thanks for the response. I was referring to the USB sticks for just an image and not clones, if it were to accomplish the same things besides the differences mentioned above. I have boot discs for both systems in place, just wanted to see the other pros and cons of the other alternative in comparison.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2017   #8
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Using multiple USB sticks means there has to be an interruption to the transfer of files etc. & this interruption will very likely cause corruption.

You could use a single very large capacity USB stick so this interruption does not occur, but the downside of this is that USB are not very reliable & failures are far more common than on external hard drives. Also you need to back up at least 3 images before you start deleting the older ones, so if the latest back up fails you can still use an earlier one. That's why using a 1tb or larger hard drive is a good way to go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2017   #9
xlcgroup

Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit, SP1
 
 

Ok, thanks a lot. Could I just make images of both C and D drives (not clones) and store them all on 1 HDD if 2 are W7 and 2 are W8.1? I read something like the drive that has the images to copy having to be smaller than the target drive that needs restoring?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2017   #10
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

"...Could I just make images of both C and D drives (not clones) and store them all on 1 HDD if 2 are W7 and 2 are W8.1?..." Yes you can; you planned your work well, now, it's time to work your good plan :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can I back up system images (Macrium) of win 7 + 8.1 on external HD?




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