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Windows 7: Macrium Reflect - three questions re imaging only the C (OS) drive

16 Aug 2018   #1
teckneeculler

Win7Ultimate
 
 
Macrium Reflect - three questions re imaging only the C (OS) drive

Just started getting acquainted with this app.

1) Something that I would have thought important, but seems to be rarely documented online is the need (or not) to image the system drive in DOS. Yes? Or no?

2) Which brings me to boot discs. Do I need to create two discs, i.e., a WinPE and a Recovery? Or does one disc do both jobs?

3) Finally, Differential or Incremental backup for my OS drive? (It's a 240GB Apacer SSD)
There shouldn't be a great deal of change to the contents of my C drive, as I don't store docs there, and rarely install apps on it.

I got into this habit two years ago when I installed the SSD (my first) and read that it's best not to exceed a certain percentage of usage with SSDs. So I try to keep its usage to about 65%.

So, Differential or Incremental backup image for my OS drive?

3a) It's just occurred to me that if it IS best to image the system hdd in DOS, then shouldn't the Differential or Incremental changes also be done that way?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Aug 2018   #2
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

I always image my system from within Windows using Macrium Reflect, to an external USB 3 hard drive & I don't use DOS for back ups.

I use a USB thumb drive with Windows PE loaded for doing the system boot in the event of a system failure or the need to reinstall & then locate the required image from my external hard drive.

The problem with using your main back up drive for installing the Windows PE necessary for booting, is where will it be put on the back up drive. If it's not at the very beginning of the drive booting will probably not occur, so having a separate USB or CD for booting is best.

I don't do incremental back ups, just a weekly full OS image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2018   #3
teckneeculler

Win7Ultimate
 
 

Ranger4, thanks for your response.

You said 'I always image my system from within Windows using Macrium Reflect, to an external USB 3 hard drive & I don't use DOS for back ups.'

So it would seem that Reflect uses the Shadow Copy facility for system imaging?

The main reason I asked was I recently cloned my system drive, within Windows, to a USB3 HDD in a dock, using AOMEI Backupper 4.1 (latest version).

I was surprised to find, when later comparing the contents of the source and target drives with the app 'Beyond Compare', that the drives differed markedly in size and contents.

Which led me to believe that cloning, or imaging, in DOS, would be the most accurate way to go.

Have you ever tried restoring a system image?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Aug 2018   #4
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Yes, I have restored a system image on many occasions, which has usually been caused by me trying to alter some settings & mucking it up & the only cure has been to reinstall a backed up image.

My OS & data are all on the one drive & a reinstall of a 40 gb image takes about 15 to 20 minutes. All data & files are reinstalled in exactly the same order they were in originally & I have never had any problems with any missing data.

I am not familiar with AOMEI Backupper, but if you compare the the main system hard drive size with a Macrium image the back up image will be a lot smaller as compression is used. Certain files don't get backed up, such as the Pagefile or any files that Windows only uses on a temporary basis, so these would cause a variation of size when comparing the 2.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2018   #5
teckneeculler

Win7Ultimate
 
 

Thanks for the clarification. I've done so many disk clones over the years that it's taking a bit of mental readjustment to get used to the idea that a bootable copy of Windows doesn't need to be a byte-for-byte copy of the original.

So I'll go ahead with the in-Windows method.

Cheers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2018   #6
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Using the Windows method definitely works, but you must have a tested boot CD or USB drive for it to work. If you can't boot the computer to find your backed up image, you are dead in the water.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2018   #7
teckneeculler

Win7Ultimate
 
 

Cheers for that. Just finished doing both my wife's and my own C:\drive backups (with Reflect 7.1 full version) and have built the WinPE Rescue discs.

Guess I should now try a Recovery...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2018   #8
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

When I test the boot media I only take it to the stage it sees my recovery image on the external hard drive. I do not actually install the image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2018   #9
teckneeculler

Win7Ultimate
 
 

I reckon computer backups have a lot in common with buying Lotto tickets. I mean, there's a considerable element of HOPE involved in both processes.

With computer backups, the immediate thought on completion is, 'Whew, that's done. I'm safe.'

With Lotto, it's, 'Wow, I just know I've bought the winning ticket this time!'

Of course, the best way to avoid disappointment in either case is to NOT check the results

That way you can smugly consider what you'll do with all that dosh. Or imagine how rapidly and easily you'll be able to get your computer running again.

Personally, I only check my Lotto results when my wife insists on knowing what happened.

Similarly, I'm reluctant to test my latest computer backup, be it Macrium Reflect, Acronis True Image, or any other process.

I'd rather 'hope' it'll turn out OK
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2018   #10
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Quote:
Similarly, I'm reluctant to test my latest computer backup, be it Macrium Reflect, Acronis True Image, or any other process.

I'd rather 'hope' it'll turn out OK
If it doesn't turn OK you are dead in the water. Surely testing it when you can remedy the problem is the only sane approach.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Macrium Reflect - three questions re imaging only the C (OS) drive




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