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Backup & clones - which & when?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 peterlonz

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 08:58 PM

Once again I have a new system (new MB, CPU, 2TB HD & 750W PSU.
I only know that suddenly Win 10 refused to boot & my "Rescue Disk" failed utterly.
The repairer diagnose a 1TB HD failure (no warning), defective MB, & probably under-rated PSU.
 
I am heartily sick of discovering sudden failures to boot & then discovering that rescue disks & the original install disk can not effect repair.
I believe in my case a MBR problem caused the boot failure.
 
I am determined this time to create a workable repair option, to at least the OS.
What I can not properly grasp is the concept of creating a C drive clone &/or the possible alternative of an external backup to a NAS HD of suitable size.
 
EaseUS ToDo, a backup program is available today at about $15 which looks a sound proposition from a reputable company. I do have a large amount of data, some of which could be ditched but reviewing all would take forever.
 
What are my options bearing in mind I am a user on intermediate skill, IE neither novice or accomplished.
 
Thanks

Edit: Moved topic from Windows 10 to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

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#2 medab1

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:11 PM

I suggest--

 

https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree

 

Their forum--

 

http://forum.macrium.com/Default.aspx


Learn to take screenshots & add them to your posts. :thumbup2:

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/43088/how-to-capture-and-edit-a-screen-shot/#entry4532851

Learn to use Google Search.  :busy:

Make full system images to restore to if your computer goes bonkers.


#3 RolandJS

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:14 PM

Many cloning/backup/restore programs, Macrium Reflect, Image for Windows, EaseUS ToDo, AOMEI Backupper, to mention just a few names are at your beck and call for you to try, for you to check out their "look and feel", to check out operations and results.  If I understand correctly:

-- cloning a source HD onto a target HD means now you have two exact HDs, either one (but not both attached) can be the Active, Primary, System HD.

-- Imaging means: 1) Full images of the System Reserved partition (I'm a W7 person), the OS partition, the Data partition; or, full images of the entire HD -- with all images saved onto affordable and trusted external media

2) Differential and/or Incremental images saved onto affordable and trusted external media


Edited by RolandJS, 13 April 2017 - 11:26 AM.

"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)


#4 Kilroy

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 12:53 PM

A clone is a snapshot of your system at a particular time.  A clone of an image requires roughly about the same about of space as is used on the system being cloned.  Cloning is normally used by businesses who have standardized their equipment to allow them to make every machine identical, this decreases the effort required to support the machines.  If a cloned machine takes more than an hour to fix restoring the cloned image is a much quicker way to get the user back up and running.

 

A backup is normally just a copy of data.  A backup is a small portion of the used space on a drive.  With a backup you can have different versions of your data, a backup for every day of the week for example.  So, if you accidentally delete a file you can get the most recent copy of the file.

 

Unless you are frequently reloading your system a backup strategy is normally what I recommend.

 

A clone or a backup is worthless if not kept up to date.

 

Myself, I backup my important data using SyncBackFree to a Drobo 5N.  Additionally I use Carbonite for my off site backup.

 

How often you backup, is up to you.  I tell people that you want to backup your data any time losing everything since your last backup would be a tragic event.  That may mean once a month, once a week, or daily depending on how much new or changed data you create.



#5 peterlonz

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 11:29 PM

Many thanks to those persons generous enough to respond to my question.

I have not fully digested exactly the consequences of the different approaches possible, or the effort & time involved. 

Also:

"

A clone or a backup is worthless if not kept up to date"

This comment surely would not apply if a backup was done as recommended both at the same time & unlikely to be forgotten.

 

Then there is the issue of media; external devices I think implies HD's or USB flash drives?

And my concern about what to backup. If you have 3 or 4 TB of HD with typically 75% utilisation, what sections do you copy?

I have now added a NAS HD (2Tb) - is this likely to be more reliable in practice; I have read that all HD's are about the same in terms of life.

 

As may be plain I am still far from decided on how to go about this & the likely costs?

 

Again thanks to the willing helpers 

 

A clone or a backup is worthless if not kept up to date



#6 RolandJS

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 05:08 AM

"...A clone or a backup is worthless if not kept up to date..."

then, the answer is:  keep your clones or your backups up to date


"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 smax013

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:29 AM

A clone is a snapshot of your system at a particular time.  A clone of an image requires roughly about the same about of space as is used on the system being cloned.  Cloning is normally used by businesses who have standardized their equipment to allow them to make every machine identical, this decreases the effort required to support the machines.  If a cloned machine takes more than an hour to fix restoring the cloned image is a much quicker way to get the user back up and running.


To me, there is a difference between a clone and an image. As you noted, they are both essentially a snap shot of a your system/drive at a particular time. The difference is the a clone is a typically a EXACT, bit by bit copy of a drive to another drive while an image is basically an exact copy of a drive (or maybe entire system) to a FILE ON A DRIVE.

In a practical sense, this then means that if you say clone your boot drive to another drive of the same size, if that boot drive dies or the file system is hosed or the OS is corrupted, then you just take the boot drive out and put in the clone drive and have your computer up and running in only the amount of time it takes to physically swap the drives in the computer. With an image, you would have to install the new drive (assuming the old drive died), then boot the computer from a bootable optical disc containing the programs used to image the computer, and then restore the image file to the new drive (or old drive if it was just a messed up file system or corrupted OS). In theory, both would get the job done, but one would be way quicker (that would be the clone).

Of course, cloning is also used when want to move from a smaller drive to a larger drive (or vice versa, assuming the new smaller drive is still big enough to fit all the data on the larger older drive). This can be done by way of imaging as well, but it would require a third drive and multiple steps (i.e. image the old drive to the third drive, remove the old drive, install the new drive, restore the image from the third drive to the new drive). Cloning, OTOH, is a direct step process...just clone from the old drive to the new drive.

Personally, for my Windows machines (which these days are all built machines), I ALWAYS make a clone of the boot drive after I install Windows, the drivers, and my initial key programs that I am going to install right away...all before I use the computer or start putting data files on it. This allows me to easily "re-istall" Windows without having to actually go through the hassle of re-installing Windows and everything else when Windows accumulates "crud" and a re-install is the best option. This approach could be done as an image as well.

I also then tend to always having a "running" clone of my boot drive for both my Macs and Windows computers. This is a clone that is updated just prior to major changes to the system (i.e. OS updates, installing new programs, significant updates to programs, etc). This does two things for me...1) if there is a problem with an update or new program, I can revert to the way the system was before the update and 2) if the drive dies or is majorly hosed in some manner, I can just swap in the clone drive in a matter of minutes (the exception is my MacBook Pro...since Apple has gotten all "we don't want to you upgrade/replace drives", I have to live with just booting from the external drive) and be back up and running. Of course, since the clones are updated somewhat infrequently, I then have to using another method to backup the data files on a more regular basis.

#8 RolandJS

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:41 AM

"...an image is basically an exact copy of a drive (or maybe entire system) to a FILE ON A DRIVE..."  -- smax013

Some backup/restore programs do - as Macrium Reflect calls - an Intelligent Copy.  An Intelligent Copy, rather than copying sector-by-sector, only copies folders, files, leaving out any and all empty byte-spaces.  Of course, all those BRs can also do a sector-by-sector full image of any partition or of the whole hard-drive.


Edited by RolandJS, 18 April 2017 - 08:41 AM.

"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)


#9 smax013

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 07:32 AM

"...an image is basically an exact copy of a drive (or maybe entire system) to a FILE ON A DRIVE..."  -- smax013
Some backup/restore programs do - as Macrium Reflect calls - an Intelligent Copy.  An Intelligent Copy, rather than copying sector-by-sector, only copies folders, files, leaving out any and all empty byte-spaces.  Of course, all those BRs can also do a sector-by-sector full image of any partition or of the whole hard-drive.


You will notice I did not say "bit by bit" when referring to imaging, only cloning. That is because in my experience (and as you noted) imaging is not always bit by bit, while as cloning typically is.

#10 RolandJS

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:01 AM

smax, correct as rain; I was aiming at the particular audience who might be relatively new to backup/restore operations; us oldies already are aware of the fine points   :)


Edited by RolandJS, 19 April 2017 - 09:01 AM.

"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)





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