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Taking Backups/Images and Restoring Advice

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#1 John-W-2013


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Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:36 AM

Operating System: Windows 7 64 Bit , Drives: SSD C: and 2x 1 tb internal drives labelled as D: and E:, and a 4 TB NAS Drive

I am looking to wipe my SSD hard drive with my programmes on and have a load of questions regarding backups and restoring and creating images etc.

1. If I install a piece of software to take an image of my C: won't that software also take an image of itself?
2. What piece of software (ideally open source- but this is not overly important - is best to take a full image of my hard drive)
3. Once I have taken an image what is the best way to properly clean and wipe my hard drive as I have been having errors etc.
4. If I do a fresh Windows 7 install (I have the discs) what is the best way to take a snapshot of the fresh install before I connect to the internet etc. Is there a portable piece of software I can run from a USB stick?
5. In the future if I want to go back to this place in time i.e. the fresh Windows install image but if the best way to restore it and ensure my hard drive it formatted properly.
6. For day to day use what is the best way to fully backup a C: so if a disaster happens I can restore the latest operating system etc.
7. How can I view an old backup without doing a image restore - i.e. take an image of a drive and view in on a NAS drive so I can access one or two files I might have forgotten about.

Sorry if these are dumb questions but I am trying to understand processes for full disaster management solutions.

Hope someone can help guide me.


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#2 Paraclitus


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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:50 AM

I sure hope you get an answer on this one. I'm looking into very similar questions. I've got a new Windows 7 computer as well as an older XP computer. Currently all of my data files are backed up using a cloud-based backup. This is fine, but I'm looking for quicker recovery of the whole system, not just my docs, pictures, mp3s, etc. I have a 2 TB external portable USB 3.0 drive as well as an older 1.5 TB external USB 2.0 drive. I'm looking for one program that will work with both. I've got a few ideas on some of your questions.

1. Yes, it will.
2. I've been looking at the following, but haven't decided yet:
  • Acronis Backup and Recovery 11.5
  • LapLink Disk Image
  • Macrium Reflect Standard
  • ShadowProtect Desktop 5
  • TeraByte Image for Windows
4. Do you really need to do the backup before connecting to the internet? If you really want to do it before connecting you could download whatever backup/image software and put it on a thumb drive before your fresh install. You don't really have to run it from the thumb drive, you could install it and then create the backup. But, do you really want to do it that way? Wouldn't you want to run Windows Update before making the backup? I mean, why make a backup where as soon as you restore from it you have to do a massive Windows Update just to get rid of a bunch of vulnerabilities?
7. Some of the above programs indicate you can pick individual files off of the backup as well as restore the entire thing.

Hope there is some more feedback on this thread, I want to get a good backup system setup myself soon.

Here's a thread on the Windows Secrets lounge where a number of backup/imaging products were suggested:

Time to replace my data drive; what software to move files around?

Good luck.

#3 hamluis



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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:29 PM

Rather than pose questions about a given software program and how it works...many of us just download and install such...read the Help files...and see if that program fits us.


My suggestion would be to download the free version of Macrium Reflect and try it.



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