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Windows 7: Help with Partitioning My Hard Drive

17 Jun 2011   #11
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

As I said before. Windows imaging requires the system partition to be backed up. This probably means your recovery partition which is relatively large.
I use Windows imaging primarily along with Macrium. You may be best with Macrium.

If you want to make a 4th partition (D: ) then Windows Disk Management will require that this be an extended/logical partition. There is nothing wrong with this but if you want a primary partition you will need to use a third party tool like Partition Wizard.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jun 2011   #12
jetablack4

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

I am sorry, but I am not fully grasping the difference between the OS (C), the recovery partition and the tools partition, so bare with me.

What I want to figure out is if my computer crashes and I want to restore to an earlier point in time or have to use my rescue CD and restore to a earlier point in time how do I go about restoring? I understand that I can image all 3 current partitions separately, together or in different combinations - however, which method will allow me to get my computer back to the way it was before the crash?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
As I said before. Windows imaging requires the system partition to be backed up. This probably means your recovery partition which is relatively large.
I use Windows imaging primarily along with Macrium. You may be best with Macrium.
I am getting confused between what is considered my "system" - is it the (C) partition or is it the "recovery" partition?

Which one of these contains the "bootsector, bootmgr and a Boot folder containing the BCD"?

whs and others think it is the recovery partition contains the boot manager and that I should change my (C) to active.

All of this info together, as you can imagine is confusing to me



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
If you want to make a 4th partition (D: ) then Windows Disk Management will require that this be an extended/logical partition. There is nothing wrong with this but if you want a primary partition you will need to use a third party tool like Partition Wizard.
What is the difference between extended/logical partition and a primary partition?


From all the information that I have read, my understand thus far is that I should create an image of the tools and recovery partition together (one time only) and then create images of the (C) and (D) -once I create it - and keep making either full, incremental or diff images of the C and D drives as I wish.

If that part is correct that what would be the proper way to restore these images?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #13
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jetablack4 View Post
Second Copy simply copies files to another destination and they are not in a container file like the backups that windows, acronis or macrium offer correct?
That is correct. They are not in a container of any kind. It's just as if you manually copied them to another location with a mouse.

The advantage of Second Copy is that all of your choices are made with a series of check boxes and you don't have to deal with a command line. Just choose what files to back up, to where, and how often. One file or a million. Only Word files. Only Word files within the XYZ folder. ALL files except Word files in the XYZ folder. All files every Wednesday. Only Excel files every 8 hours. Etcetera. You have total control, but don't use a command line.

You would probably find Macrium to be more intuitive than the Windows imaging program.

An extended partition is a convenience to allow you to have more than 4 partitions on a drive. Most people don't use an extended partition because they don't need that many partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jun 2011   #14
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Your System partition is the recovery partition. It contains the boot critical files.

If you use Windows Imaging app. - it will image the recovery partition as well as your Windows partition.

One of the problems with Windows imaging is that if you restore using the GUI - then it will put your partition structure back to what it was at the time you made the image.

A touch inconvenient if you have repartitioned since..

A third party imaging app. will be more flexible - there are some great free ones.

If you have an issue with the boot critical files - they can be easily fixed by startup repair on the win 7 repair cd /install dvd.

If you have a major problem with your windows partition - then you would restore an image to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #15
jetablack4

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jetablack4 View Post
Second Copy simply copies files to another destination and they are not in a container file like the backups that windows, acronis or macrium offer correct?
That is correct. They are not in a container of any kind. It's just as if you manually copied them to another location with a mouse.

The advantage of Second Copy is that all of your choices are made with a series of check boxes and you don't have to deal with a command line. Just choose what files to back up, to where, and how often. One file or a million. Only Word files. Only Word files within the XYZ folder. ALL files except Word files in the XYZ folder. All files every Wednesday. Only Excel files every 8 hours. Etcetera. You have total control, but don't use a command line.

You would probably find Macrium to be more intuitive than the Windows imaging program.

An extended partition is a convenience to allow you to have more than 4 partitions on a drive. Most people don't use an extended partition because they don't need that many partitions.
Thanks ignatzatsonic, for $30 I would rather have the convenience of a program do all the work for me, rather then spending time trouble shooting what I am doing wrong with Robocopy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #16
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

If you just want something to automate backing up your files - you can't do better than Karen's Replicator

It is unbelievably easy to use - it's also free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #17
gazz9496

 
 

Quote:
I am sorry, but I am not fully grasping the difference between the OS (C), the recovery partition and the tools partition, so bare with me.

What I want to figure out is if my computer crashes and I want to restore to an earlier point in time or have to use my rescue CD and restore to a earlier point in time how do I go about restoring? I understand that I can image all 3 current partitions separately, together or in different combinations - however, which method will allow me to get my computer back to the way it was before the crash?
you can use the windows recovery manager to do restore to an earlier point in time.
here is a link to the tutorial, This tutorial shows both methods.
System Restore

Quote:
I am getting confused between what is considered my "system" - is it the (C) partition or is it the "recovery" partition?

Which one of these contains the "bootsector, bootmgr and a Boot folder containing the BCD"?

whs and others think it is the recovery partition contains the boot manager and that I should change my (C) to active.

All of this info together, as you can imagine is confusing to me
ok now your reading to much into this, as no boot partition is visable on your disk managment page it would be safe to assume the master boot record is located in the recovery partition. To that end do not under any circumstances disable that partition. The option should not be there for you to do it anyway.

that being said the boot sector isn't visible in my disk managment either which is a home build so i wouldn't worry about it not being there or at least not visible to you.


Quote:
What is the difference between extended/logical partition and a primary partition?


From all the information that I have read, my understand thus far is that I should create an image of the tools and recovery partition together (one time only) and then create images of the (C) and (D) -once I create it - and keep making either full, incremental or diff images of the C and D drives as I wish.

If that part is correct that what would be the proper way to restore these images?
you can't make incrimental images an image is exactly what it sounds like a picture of the drive, nor can you pick and choose which files to include.

using the backup and restore function within windows 7 will let you pick and choose but the image creator won't.

it is also not reccomended to image to the same drive and in most occasions won't let you without several warnings.

most of your partitions will be primary i've certainly never seen a need to use logical or extended for them and haven't(knock on wood) had any issues with my drives for several years.

here is a link to a tutorial by Brink regarding system image recovery
System Image Recovery

there are some very good points to remember from that tutorial and it should answer alot of your questions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #18
jetablack4

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
If you just want something to automate backing up your files - you can't do better than Karen's Replicator

It is unbelievably easy to use - it's also free.
Thanks SIW2 - I will look into this as well. In addition to file backups, I also want to create images of my hard drive. I just want to fully understand how it works before doing so.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Your System partition is the recovery partition. It contains the boot critical files.

If you use Windows Imaging app. - it will image the recovery partition as well as your Windows partition.

One of the problems with Windows imaging is that if you restore using the GUI - then it will put your partition structure back to what it was at the time you made the image.

A touch inconvenient if you have repartitioned since..

A third party imaging app. will be more flexible - there are some great free ones.

If you have an issue with the boot critical files - they can be easily fixed by startup repair on the win 7 repair cd /install dvd.

If you have a major problem with your windows partition - then you would restore an image to it.
As I mentioned, I have been using the Windows 7 imaging tool and I no longer care to use it as it is very inflexible and I have no idea on what it is actually imaging.

After doing lots of research I have chosen to use Macrium for images, now I am just trying to learn how to properly make an image and properly restore if necessary.

If I understand what you are saying - the Recovery partition is actually the system (which contains the boot files) and the OS (C) contains windows and my program files (and my data files, which I want to create a D drive for) - is this correct?

In the event that I needed to do a restore, and I imagine there can be many reasons (I will list a few scenarios), I am interested in knowing what to restore and how.

Example 1 - my whole computer crashes.

Do I reboot from my recovery CD (if necessary) and then restore the recovery partition and then the C partition and then D partition?

or

Do i restore with an image that contains the C drive, recovery and tools together and then restore the D drive?

Example 2 - operating system is acting up or I have some corrupt data

If the OS is corrupt do I just restore the OS image (not including the recovery or tools partition) over the corrupt one. Same for the D drive?


I am sorry if it seems like I am asking the same questions over and over, I just don't feel like I am getting direct answers for what I am asking. Everyone is being very helpful and I am asking a lot of questions and I don't know if I am phrasing my questions correctly. But thanks everyone for the patients and help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #19
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jetablack4 View Post

If I understand what you are saying - the Recovery partition is actually the system (which contains the boot files) and the OS (C) contains windows and my program files (and my data files, which I want to create a D drive for) - is this correct?
I don't use recovery or tools partitions, so I can't answer your question re whether they specifically need to be restored.

However, you are correct about the system partition.

In my case, with no recovery partition, my C drive is both the system AND the OS partition. In your case, the recovery partition is your system partition and C is your OS.

My guess is that you would not typically have to restore the recovery partition unless that partition specifically was corrupted in some way.

Karen's replicator generally has a good rep--I'm just not sure if it is still under development. It may work well on Windows 7?

If you backup your D partition (personal data) with a NON-imaging program such as Karen's or Second Copy, there wouldn't be a major reason to image D. I don't image my data.

Instead I do the Second Copy thing and I also periodically (every 2 or 3 months) do a simple drag and drop copy of my most critical data to a USB thumb drive which I keep in a safe location away from my PC. No container involved in this backup either.

And I periodically backup data only to a spare hard drive which I put in a drive dock. It works like a huge USB thumb drive----like an external drive without the enclosure. No container involved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #20
essenbe

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider
 
 

I have been keeping up with this thread but have not participated much because there has been a lot of good info passed out here. I am situated and back up much like ignatzatsonic. I do pretty much the same but just use some different programs. I wan't to add one suggestion. You have said that you have decided on Macrium for images. I think that is a good choice and use it myself. But, no matter how good an imaging program is, sometimes they don't work. I would suggest you use Macrium and another imaging program, just to be sure. Seagate and Western Digital both have cut down versions of Acronis that are free if you have one of their drives. Paragon has a good free program. Just find 2 that you feel confident in and use them both, just for insurance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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