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Windows 7: Backup Software choice?

11 Jul 2010   #11
eldinv

DOS^
 
 

i still would use Macrium


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jul 2010   #12
glennc

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Thank you richc46,
That until I become conversant with the backup scheme, is great information for me.
I may do that tomorrow because my first format after finding out I had somehow made the formatted drive compressed and the messed up the compression, took about an hour and 15 minutes. When it was done I rebooted and clicked on the drive and it said it needed to be formatted!!! Well I let it format again and this time it took about 2 and a half hours. It worked this time. I have been transferring the backups back to the backup drive. Still at it and haven't had time to install that software. May get to it tonight.
Thanks again for all your help and insight.
glennc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2010   #13
glennc

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Hello ignatzatsonic,
Thanks for taking the time to share your system. I have to do some reading because until this computer, I have maybe 3 backup DVD's. Now I'll need 10 and I haven't even begun. So that is why I am looking for suggestions about software. I want something that is known to be reliable and I will use it, the OS System Image and Backup all together. I'm a bit obsessive about my old photos and stuff.

Hey eldinv,
Thank you also for sharing your take on it. May I ask your reasons for liking Macrium over the software mentioned here? I would be interested in all sides of the story.
Take care
glennc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jul 2010   #14
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Some people are using Windows 7 built in imaging successfully. Others have said that it can be cranky. I think there have been problems if an image is renamed or moved from its original location.

I personally use Macrium Reflect Free Edition without any problems. You have to make a Linux rescue disc to restore an image with Macrium, but that takes only a few minutes.

There are a lot of automated programs that can be used to back up your personal files (photos, etc) WITHOUT using an image. Cobian, Second Copy, Karen's, Synctoy, etc. They all work in much the same way. Some are free and some have a modest price. You can also use these programs to back up your email and bookmarks. I use Second Copy.

Regarding imaging--I'd advise you to avoid incremental images if at all possible. Incrementals add another layer of complexity and possible confusion or error. Just make a full image from time to time.

Back up your personal data in more than 1 way. At least one of the ways should be to some external device--that might be a USB drive, another hard drive, or even a web site (which typically charge a few bucks a month).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2010   #15
glennc

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Thanks for replying ignatzatsonic,
Since the difference between a backup and a system image is still vague to me, I'll take your word for know. I like Macrium, but a friend said use the better integrated OS Software. I tried Paragon and it should have a warning IMHO, that it plans on shrinking you hardrive into an invisible partition and to have everything check out AV, Malware and such before you install, as the installation to me into an immediate backup, That I couldn't stop, had to wait for it to finish. It was late, I was tired so it's possible I missed the warnings. Thanks again for you view and help.
glennc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2010   #16
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I have done all my imaging with free Macrium and on about 3 dozen recoveries (for real or for test and demo) it has never failed. In earlier days I also used Norton Ghost14 and Paragon and found those to be more complex and bulky - but they did work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2010   #17
glennc

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Hello whs,
Thank you for relying to the thread and my peace of mind. I also found Macrium Free pretty easy to use. Just one thought is storing your data compressed. Much of my stuff is already compressed .jpg files and .iso. I am concerned about the integrity of compressing already compressed files. I recall decades ago I was warned not to Winzip a compressed file as it might, just might cause corruption. Appreciate your time.
glennc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2010   #18
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Not sure, but I think all imaging products compress to some degree, so if you are highly concerned about data loss due to compression you may have to consider something other than imaging. Having said that, I can't recall hearing about any issues of imaging already compressed files.

People typically use imaging as a way to quickly reinstall an operating system in the case of a hard drive failure--it saves you the trouble of having to reinstall all your applications. That is its best use in my opinion.

Backing up personal data files with an image is a side benefit. If you keep all your data on the same partition as your operating system (C partition), then any image of the C partition will necessarily contain your data files in addition to the operating system files. But since imaging isn't foolproof, I think you ought to backup personal files in some other way as well.

Many people keep data files on an entirely different partition--maybe on D. If that is the case, then you can certainly make an image of C alone. Or of D alone. Or of C and D combined, for that matter. It's a matter of choice.

Putting your data files on a separate partition may appeal to your sense of organization. You might have a small C of maybe 50 gigs and a large D of maybe 600 gigs and could image them separately. The C image could be done quickly--less than a half hour. If you did a single image of C and D combined, that might take considerably longer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2010   #19
glennc

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Howdy ignatzatsonic,
Good information about the backup scheme and the reasons why. I'm starting to get a bit of a handle on the concept through you and the other member who have input into this thread. Well I doing final paranoid checks and then the backup. If IIRC Windows Backup also includes a system image. So I believe I will use that. The Repair disk interacts with the system image correct? Then I'll do a system image and then one of either Paragon or Macrium. As a neophyte, Paragon is a little intrusive, without IMHO adequate warning. It sure looks like if I get the hang of it, that it when setup correctly will do everything almost invisibly, which is kinda cool.
Again much thanks for the learning experience. I got a ways to go yet, though.
glennc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2010   #20
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by glennc View Post
If IIRC Windows Backup also includes a system image. So I believe I will use that. The Repair disk interacts with the system image correct?
I assume that if you use Windows Backup you may or may not have to use the rescue disk, just like with other imaging applications. If you can't get to Windows, you would have to use a repair or rescue disk of some kind, but I am not clear on Windows Backup details.

I think Windows Backup does NOT necessarily include a system image--I think it is an option within the backup procedure. You can exclude the system image if you want to.

You will get an education (possibly unwanted and possibly painful) by trying these programs out. Some have a bunch of choices, some don't; some are intuitive, some aren't etc.

Most of all---after you have made an image file and it is sitting there on a hard drive, so what?

Is the restoration process as convoluted as making the image? An operating system image file is useless if it won't restore properly.

How much confidence should you place in the whole process? The Internet is riddled with people who had a false sense of confidence.

You can normally drill into images to retrieve personal files---just like you can drill into Windows Explorer and find a favorite photo. That can be useful for getting back a photo you accidentally deleted, for instance.

But restoring an image of an operating system is an entirely different procedure. It's whole hog or none--it works or it fails and if it fails, you are dead meat and will likely have to reinstall Windows from scratch.
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