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  • #4014817

    Backing up Windows

    by doniel ·

    Bob, you may recall that some time ago, I ran into trouble restoring a backup because some boot information (I don’t remember exactly what) hadn’t been saved together with the backup. You urged me to do disk images instead, which I’ve been doing ever since. It didn’t take an onerous amount of space because C: was less than 300GB (compressed to about 120GB) and D: was empty.
    However, now that I’ve switched from Win8.1 to Windows 11, the second partition is about 7TB.
    My question is as follows. If I still specify disk image, but only check off C: without including the second partition, will it still work and let me do a full C: restore if necessary, including all the necessary boot info?

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    • #4014819
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      Re: partition

      by kees_b ·

      In reply to Backing up Windows

      Can you explain what the first and the second partition are and contain? And 7 TB (7000 GB) seems a lot for a partition. In summary: please tell more about your disks (including the empty d: you backup to).

      What backup program do you use for the image?

      • #4014866

        My drives / partitions

        by doniel ·

        In reply to Re: partition

        D; is only relevant to Win8.1. The drive letters changed in Windows 11.
        In Win8.1, my boot drive was split into two partitions, C: and D:. At some point, I stopped using D: and emptied it. (I was NOT backing up to it.)
        Windows 11 was installed on a 10.4TB drive. Since I prefer to keep my boot partitions relatively small (500GB), I repartitioned what had been a one-partition drive to two partitions, one 500GB in size and the other, the remainder of the drive.
        I use various programs to back up. Active@, Ashampoo, EaseUS, Macrium Reflect, and Qiling Disk Master. I also used Aomei Backupper, but it doesn’t allow me to select just C:.

        • #4014889
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          Re: partitions

          by kees_b ·

          In reply to My drives / partitions

          Thanks for the explanation.

          500 GB seems fine for a boot partition. On my business laptop here it’s 250 GB, with 125 filled and 125 free.
          Is that 10.4 TB drive a HDD or an SSD? Not that it matters for backup, but it makes a lot of difference in speed.

          For all those backup programs you use, try to restore. Then you know. Although you only know if you restore to an empty disk. If you backup the c: without boot info, and you restore it without backup info to a disk that already has that boot info, it might still not work when needed.

          The recommended backup method, is to backup to a different disk, not a different partiton on the same disk. Even better, an external disk that’s usually offline. Then there is no chance that your backup is being destroyed by ransomware.
          Then when the disk with Windows fails, you can restore to a new empty disk. The way you do it now, if the disk fails, you can’t restore to anything, because you can’t access the backup on a failed disk.

        • #4014909

          You assumed something that isn’t

          by doniel ·

          In reply to Re: partitions

          First, to answer your question, it’s an HDD.
          I back up to a different physical drive.
          Regarding your suggestion to restore to see if that works, I’m concerned that if the backup did save the boot info, restoring that boot info to a different drive could conflict with the boot info on C:.
          I appreciate your taking the time to respond and suggest.

        • #4014994
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          Reply To: Backing up Windows

          by kees_b ·

          In reply to You assumed something that isn’t

          So your OS (Windows) is on an SSD with 2 partitions: 1 of 500 GB (that you use as c:-drive) and second one of untold size that you don’t use or only for data that isn’t backed up via the image backup of your c:-drive (hopefully you make a backup in some other way). That’s right?

          If you don’t dare to restore the backup to another drive (I mean another drive, not another partition on the SSD you mention) and see if you can boot from it, it might be a totally useless backup.
          And if you don’t dare to restore it to the c:-drive on the current SSD either (which if the easiest thing to do if that is corrupted in some way), you don’t know if it’s usable at all.

          Having a backup only is useful if you have a proven way of using it. That’s not a suggestion, that’s a necessity. If you only backup the c:-partition, it’s likely that you need more than that if you want to use it to run your Windows that’s on it on a new SSD. If you backup the full drive, it probably is all you need.
          It’s up to you to design a backup and restore strategy that works for your hardware in both scenarios (same used SSD or blank new SSD to restore to) and to prove that both work.

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Avatar photokees_b.
          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Avatar photokees_b.
        • #4015026

          Dyslexia? :-)

          by doniel ·

          In reply to Reply To: Backing up Windows

          I wrote HDD, not SSD.
          We agree on the problem if the backup isn’t checked to make sure it’s got what’s necessary. I just don’t have a way to do it that doesn’t pose its own risk. Maybe I should ask the companies that are behind the backup programs. (Actually, now that I think about it, that’s probably what I should have done to begin with.) I’ll post their answers here. May take a few days.

        • #4015113
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          RE: HDD, not SSD

          by kees_b ·

          In reply to Dyslexia? :-)

          I see. Sorry.

          But let me remark it’s highly recommended to install Windows 10 and 11 on a SSD. HDD’s are just too slow (when booting for example).

          The common setup, if you need TB’s of disk space for storage of your data and don’t want to use an external USB 3 disk for that is to have a smallish SSD for the OS and a large HDD (if an SSD is too expensive) for the data, Then you can make a disk image (which isn’t the same as a partition copy!) of the SSD onto the big hard disk. I do that once a week (scheduled, and I hardly notice it) on my home PC.

          You made other choices for your hardware, making it difficult or impossible for you.

        • #4024344

          Disk backup vs. partition backup

          by doniel ·

          In reply to RE: HDD, not SSD

          Two companies responded that when you do a system partition backup with their software, it automatically backs up all the boot info.
          Programs of two others display a message when doing a disk backup of the system partition that the boot info is also being saved.
          While that still leaves me in the dark regarding the other two programs, I pretty much have my answer.
          Case closed.
          Thank you again.

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