Here's my situation, I have Windows7 64-bit. When I installed it, it created 2 partitions. One of them is a 100mb partition that I believe contains boot information.
So when I backup my system I need a program that will back up all data on the hard drive, from both partitions.
I don't want to backup just windows settings and my documents, codecs and drivers, I want to be able to backup everything to a second drive. I want to be able to do these backups like once or twice a week (I only have about 200GB of data on my primary drive).
I also want to be able to do these backups, and restorations via a program on a DVD or Flash Drive.
I attempted to do a cloning of my primary drive. It worked perfectly, with one little problem, it set the newly cloned drive as the active partition, the active windows, and so every time I would turn on my computer it would boot from the slow mechanical backup drive, rather than my super fast SSD drive. My only remedy to this situation was to physically disconnect the backup drive, use the windows installation disk to repair my system so I could boot from my SSD again. Even disabling the backup drive from BIOS didn't correct this problem, it either continued to boot from the backup drive or just refuse to boot into anything.
So that was my first problem with cloning the drive “byte by byte, partition by partition.”
My second problem would be this scenario:
I am using a 256 (or 254) gig SSD with 2 necessary partitions. If I do a drive cloning, I will be erasing all data, and all partitions on my back up drive (a 2TB mechanical drive).
So, if I do clone the drive, and make sure that none of the cloned partitions get marked as active, I will be unable to make a 3rd or 4th primary partition on the backup drive, because every time I clone the primary, it will delete all partitions on the backup. Or at least that is what I suspect would happen. If so, that means I have a 2TB drive for backups, which will never hold more than 256GB, talk about a waste .
So again, I need something that can backup my system, a two partition system, without deleting additional partitions on the backup drive, and I need to be able to restore a backup from either a DVD or Flashdrive, in case I have to reformat the primary drive.
I know this all sounds like a mess, and it would be so much easier to backup my system if it only had one partition.
Does anyone have any suggestions?