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Are DVDs still ok to backup entire operating system?


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#1 Toshiba2015

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 04:03 PM

I just got me a new laptop.  Of course, the first things I intend to do when I turn it on the first time is uninstall as much bloatware as seems safe, and then backup the entire computer in case of a future crash.  I did the same thing with my previous laptop which I bought 5.5 years ago and is now dead.  I had to use the backup once for that one.

 

Now the question:  Is it enough to save the disk image to DVDs?  People have told me different things.  They say it would take about 12 disks to do that.  But when I backed up my first laptop that had Win7 on it (and all bloatware too, since I was afraid at the time to delete anything before doing the backup), it only took 4 DVD disks.  Why would it be 12 now that it's Win10?  I have plenty of DVDs, so I'd like to make use of them rather than spend $50 on an external drive, and maybe even a power supply for it.

 

I'd like to also point out that before my previous laptop died, I upgraded to Win10 and also downloaded and saved the ISO file for Win10 on the hard drive and then burned it to a DVD.  The file size for Win10 was less than 4GB and fit on a single DVD.



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#2 OldPhil

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 04:22 PM

Go to our download section and get a copy of Decrappifier, it will do the clean up job for you, you will need a larger capacity drive for your back ups.  Drives are quite cheap these days and are a good investment for what you wish to do, IMO you should invest in an enclosure or one of the travel drives makes life very simple.

 

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#3 Toshiba2015

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 04:33 PM

Go to our download section and get a copy of Decrappifier, it will do the clean up job for you, you will need a larger capacity drive for your back ups.  Drives are quite cheap these days and are a good investment for what you wish to do, IMO you should invest in an enclosure or one of the travel drives makes life very simple.

 

Phil

I'll check out Decrappifier.  I hope it knows exactly what to delete and doesn't delete too much.

 

As for the backups, I was able to use only 4 DVDs when I backed up my Win7 computer in the past.  Would that work today?  I'd get an external drive, but the cheapest I've seen is $50 for one on sale, and another $30 for an enclosure.

 

But what I'd really like to know is why I was able to backup my entire new computer to just 4 DVDs in the past, but now I need a hard drive and to put out another $80.  How much space is actually needed?  4 DVDs can easily hold 18GB.  It worked before.  Wouldn't it still work the same way?



#4 RolandJS

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 04:43 PM

DVDs should be fine, as long as the backup procedure runs 100% aok.  I've backed up my Windows 3.1 - WFW 3.11 OS partition, with DVDs, and the restores worked ok.  Even my data partition DVDs were ok.  In fact, I even used DVD RWs!  And, such were ok, backup-wise and restore-wise.

I have moved from DVDs to platter-driven external hard-drives ever since Windows 95, 98, 98SE, and now with Windows 7 as a personal choice and for a few geekie reasons.

Truthfully, I have no idea how many DVDs it would take for the average Windows 8, 8.1 or 10.  If you're going to go the DVD route, please make sure you run a Verify on the DVDs at the conclusion of any backup routine.


Edited by RolandJS, 17 June 2016 - 04:44 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#5 Toshiba2015

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 04:48 PM

DVDs should be fine, as long as the backup procedure runs 100% aok.  I've backed up my Windows 3.1 - WFW 3.11 OS partition, with DVDs, and the restores worked ok.  Even my data partition DVDs were ok.  In fact, I even used DVD RWs!  And, such were ok, backup-wise and restore-wise.

I have moved from DVDs to platter-driven external hard-drives ever since Windows 95, 98, 98SE, and now with Windows 7 as a personal choice and for a few geekie reasons.

Truthfully, I have no idea how many DVDs it would take for the average Windows 8, 8.1 or 10.  If you're going to go the DVD route, please make sure you run a Verify on the DVDs at the conclusion of any backup routine.

Will do.

Also, a flash drive is so much cheaper than a hard drive.  I could get a 16GB one for less than $10 now.  Since that's roughly the size of the 4 DVDs I used when I backed up my previous laptop, I was thinking of using one as an option.  Maybe a 32GB if I wanted to backup more than just the OS and basic programs.  Would that be ok too?  It would be just a one-time backup at the beginning of this computer's life.

 

ALSO, could I use a cloud service like Google Drive to back up my OS?  It can hold up to 15GB.


Edited by Toshiba2015, 17 June 2016 - 04:49 PM.


#6 RolandJS

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 04:52 PM

I recommend you do both:  DVDs with Verify, and, 32-64GB flash drive [those that do not contain encryption facilities].  Cloud?  Many many companies and individuals do both in-house NAS cloud and/or external Cloud.  Just be aware of what is backed up and what is not backed up -- get specifics in an email from any external Cloud service.


Edited by RolandJS, 17 June 2016 - 05:20 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 08:21 PM

I tend to avoid DVDs because if one was written bad then the whole set is bad. 16GB is not enough for a complete disk image of Windows 7 plus you will not be able to put multiple images on the drive. Hard drives are also much faster, especially USB 3.0. 

 

$10 gets you 16GB but $60 dollars will get you 1TB (1000GB). I tend to prefer purchasing a bare drive with an enclosure but you can get portable drives fairly cheap on sale.

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/wd-my-passport-ultra-1tb-external-usb-3-0-2-0-portable-hard-drive-classic-black/7869174.p?id=1219685573384&skuId=7869174



#8 Queen-Evie

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 09:42 AM

There is a difference between an external hard drive and an enclosure.

External hard drive is a self-contained unit-a case with the hard drive inside.

An enclosure is for an existing hard drive, such as the one in your computer. The enclosure allows you to put the computer hard drive into it so you can use it for an external drive.

Examples: 1) I had an HP laptop. It died due to reasons NOT related to the hard drive or motherboard. Since the drive was still good, I purchased an enclosure, took the drive out of the HP, put it in the enclosure and now use it for back-up purposes.

Several years ago, I bought an external hard drive. As (bad) luck would have it, at about the same time the HP laptop died, so did the external hard drive. Good luck that the drive in the now-defunct external hard drive also fit in the enclosure I bought for the HP drive. So now I have 2 drives I can still use in the enclosure.

Bottom line, if you purchase an external hard drive you will NOT need to also buy an enclosure.

Which also means that if the drive from your previous laptop is still good, you can use it in an enclosure without having to buy an external drive. Of course this will only work if you know for a fact the drive is good.

The only thing to be aware of with an enclosure is making sure the drive will fit into it. Older, bigger hard drives will need one compatible with the size of the drive. And smaller, newer drives will need an enclosure they fit into.

I still have the older bigger hard drive from my first custom built Win XP desktop which I put into an enclosure. One day I will pull it out to see if it still works.

Putting the drive into the enclosure is an easy process. If I can do it, anyone can.

edit to add: if you purchase a bare bones replacement drive and an enclosure for it, the cost for both would likely be more than a self-contained hard drive.

Enclosures for an existing hard drive can be cheaper than an external hard drive unit.

And my opinion on backups: always back up to at least 2 external sources.
Suppose you use DVDs and have to use them in the future. You get through a few of them, get to the next one and the disk is so scratched it can't be used. You get stopped in your tracks and cannot complete the process.

Or if using an external drive backup, you discover that drive has died or for some reason the external drive mechanics has failed. (the hard drive may still be good) If you want to use your backup, you won't be able to unless you have another source.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 18 June 2016 - 10:30 AM.


#9 Toshiba2015

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 11:35 AM

I tend to avoid DVDs because if one was written bad then the whole set is bad. 16GB is not enough for a complete disk image of Windows 7 plus you will not be able to put multiple images on the drive. Hard drives are also much faster, especially USB 3.0. 

 

$10 gets you 16GB but $60 dollars will get you 1TB (1000GB). I tend to prefer purchasing a bare drive with an enclosure but you can get portable drives fairly cheap on sale.

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/wd-my-passport-ultra-1tb-external-usb-3-0-2-0-portable-hard-drive-classic-black/7869174.p?id=1219685573384&skuId=7869174

16GB was enough when I did it before.  It fit all of Win7 along with the bloatware that was on the computer when I first bought it.  I'm just trying to find out why it all fit on those 4 disks and now everyone tells me it wouldn't fit--and whether the situation would be any different if I did it with my new computer with Win10.


Edited by Toshiba2015, 18 June 2016 - 11:37 AM.


#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 02:10 PM

For a clean install with a bare minimum of programs then 16GB would suffice. On a new computer with a lot of OEM bloatware 16GB may not be enough. Check your used space first. 



#11 66Batmobile

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 09:43 PM

Hopeully nobody minds me stepping out of the Linux section/this topic caught my interest... :)

 

@Toshiba2015

 

Just to clarify, are you trying to make a set of Factory Recovery disks, i.e. to restore your machine to "out of the box" status if needed, or are you talking about a backup for after you've added a bunch of files and programs?  If it's factory recovery, 12 disks seems like a lot, even including drivers.


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#12 Toshiba2015

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 02:17 PM

For a clean install with a bare minimum of programs then 16GB would suffice. On a new computer with a lot of OEM bloatware 16GB may not be enough. Check your used space first. 

I got my new laptop!  It's a Dell and the storage space used in it from the beginning is 39GB.  I plan to get a 64GB flashdrive and back the computer up to it and then put the flash drive away in case of emergency (hard drive failure).  I won't be doing additional saves to it.  Would this be ok?



#13 RolandJS

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 05:47 PM

yes, buy two flash drives, make a backup on each one, put both away

[one of two cats was across keyboard as i type this]


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#14 MDD1963

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 05:49 PM

Many new computers actually come with recovery partitions preinstalled, although, this would not protect you from an actual hard drive failure, of course.

 

A few good free cloning applications: Macrium Reflect, AOMEI Backupper, EaseUS TODO Backup, Clonezilla


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#15 neuronic

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 10:43 PM

I just got me a new laptop.  Of course, the first things I intend to do when I turn it on the first time is uninstall as much bloatware as seems safe, and then backup the entire computer in case of a future crash.  I did the same thing with my previous laptop which I bought 5.5 years ago and is now dead.  I had to use the backup once for that one.

 

Now the question:  Is it enough to save the disk image to DVDs?  People have told me different things.  They say it would take about 12 disks to do that.  But when I backed up my first laptop that had Win7 on it (and all bloatware too, since I was afraid at the time to delete anything before doing the backup), it only took 4 DVD disks.  Why would it be 12 now that it's Win10?  I have plenty of DVDs, so I'd like to make use of them rather than spend $50 on an external drive, and maybe even a power supply for it.

 

I'd like to also point out that before my previous laptop died, I upgraded to Win10 and also downloaded and saved the ISO file for Win10 on the hard drive and then burned it to a DVD.  The file size for Win10 was less than 4GB and fit on a single DVD.

 

I don't use DVD's anymore personally. 

 

I backup all of my systems to the cloud. If I loose a system I just boot it up with bare metal recovery and download my old system onto new hardware. This was very handy when I had a house fire and I needed all of my documents replaced.  






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