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Windows 7: clarification on backups, image, an incremental bkups

12 Mar 2010   #1
Pantz

Genuine windows 7X64
 
 
clarification on backups, image, an incremental bkups

hello everyone, i need a little more clarification on the Win 7 backup software, i just looked at my backup settings (see attatched file) and it says the last back up was 1/20/2010, i am currently running monthy backup using windows 7, and Acronis to do bi weekly backups. i would like to do incremental backup which i belive will take a shorter time, i would also like to make a system image after each montly backup, i hope i am making sense,
Thanks in advance.




Attached Images
clarification on backups, image, an incremental bkups-bkupcapture-2.jpg clarification on backups, image, an incremental bkups-bkupcapture.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Mar 2010   #2
Desslok

Windows 7
 
 

There are pros and cons to each. A full backup will backup all your files. This is good if you need to restore a file or some files. If you had corruption or another situation where you can't boot, you will need to reinstallt eh OS, then restore the files. An incremental backup does take less time, but in the event of a restore, may take longer. You may need to restore the full, and the incrementals to get back to known good.
An image is great for restoring from a catastrophe where you can't boot. If you have a good image on DVD and a "rescue" disk, you can possibly insert the disk, and restore your system to where it was. The problem with some images is you either can't restore a single file or it's not quite as easy. You may have some "image explorer tool required that may or may not be included in the software, or you may need to upgrade to the "pro" version to get.

TIP: I personally back up all of my important files(MP3s and pictures) that I can't replace to an external USB drive. When the backup finishes I unplug the USB drive from power and my PC. In case lightning strikes my house, or the power company has a surge/brown out which fries everything in my PC, then my files are still safe on their little aluminum island.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2010   #3
Pantz

Genuine windows 7X64
 
 

I already have all the stuff that i dont want to lose on an external drive, (MP3s and pictures and other important files,) including a full system Image 129Gigs. that image has now probbably grown. so if i was to restore from that image, i would probbably not have everything on it that i have now ?.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Mar 2010   #4
Desslok

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pantz View Post
I already have all the stuff that i dont want to lose on an external drive, (MP3s and pictures and other important files,) including a full system Image 129Gigs. that image has now probbably grown. so if i was to restore from that image, i would probbably not have everything on it that i have now ?.
Ok so say you took a Full image 1 month ago, and you buy 10 songs on Itunes each week, and upload 25 pictures per wek. Your system crashes, and you restore from the image from 1 month ago. You just lost 40 songs and 100 pictures.

If you did a weekly incremental, you could restore the full AND the 4 incrementals to get everything back. Restoring just the last incremental would only recover the 10 songs and 25 pictures from the past week(assuming hte backup was taken after they were all there. So the incrementals take less time to complete, but cause you more work to recover from.

If a full backup takes 6 hours you could take a full every night and just have a full to worry about, but it depends on how long the full takes, and how often you change/create files.

Does that make sense?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2010   #5
Pantz

Genuine windows 7X64
 
 

yes it makes sense, so i would have to create an " new Image" after each monthy "full Backup?" to be curent on my images?, and if so how would i set up window backup software to do that?. so could i use my other backup software to make bi-weekly incremantal backups? and just have the windows backup do the full backup with a new image?.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2010   #6
Desslok

Windows 7
 
 

Well the backup and the image are 2 totally seperate unrelated things. But it is up to you what you want to protect and how often. It depends on how often you change data and install programs. Are you a software developer that writes code very day? Are you a gamer that just plays the same game for 2 months before installing a new one? Are you a photographer that takes hundreds of pictures and edits them al the time? Also it depends on how often you install new applications. A file restore won't fix a broken/corrupt app, but an image will(should). Windows backup is pretty limited. But if you use a more robust solution you could do something like this, take weekly full backups, keeping 2 copies of fulls (asuming you have room, and make a monthly image level backup. What this does is let you recover from the last image, and if necessary go back 2 weeks to grab files that may have gotten corrupt a week and a half ago that led to the crash. Again, thats just an example.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2010   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Think of your image file primarily as a backup of your operating system (Windows), even though it also contains your personal files. You could do this with Windows built in application, or with applications like Acronis, Macrium Reflect, or Paragon. You would access your personal files within this image only as an absolute last resort.

Think of your other "backup" software as a backup of your personal files only, NOT your operating system. This is your primary backup of your personal files. Accessing these files does not rely on any imaging product.

With that in mind, I would make a new image ONLY every few months or perhaps just before I made a major change to my PC, such as changing hard drives. I would NOT rely on the image file to backup my personal data. Personal data files change daily, and it is too tedious and outright unnecessary to make daily images for most people unless they do not otherwise backup their personal files.

You can use System Restore instead of an image to recover from many adverse situations. I have used System Restore probably 50 times in the last 3 or 4 years and have never restored an image.

I'd back up my personal files much more frequently---probably daily, using a program such as Synchtoy, Karen's Replicator, Second Copy, or others. These applications don't make an image file. Instead they simply copy chosen folders and files to a second location. You can use Windows Explorer to access these files as easily as you can the original versions on the C drive.

I would not use incremental images at all. They add more complexity and confusion and aren't needed so long as you do full images periodically--when you need them.

Just my opinion and they way I have approached it for the last 15 years.
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 clarification on backups, image, an incremental bkups




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