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Macrium Reflect Free mishap, and questions


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#1 saluqi

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 08:40 PM

Dell XPS 8700, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit, 1 TB internal HDD, 2 TB WD MyBook external HDD normally connected to computer for additional storage.  Data backed up on a 2 TB WD Passport NOT connected except when backing up.  Finally got around to doing system image backup on 3 TB Seagate Backup Plus external HDD.  I elected not to install the Seagate software since I intended from the outset to use Macrium to manage my backups.  Downloaded and installed Macrium Free version 6.3.

 

Macrium showed 3 partitions on MBR Disk 1, as follows:

1. Dell Utility, 116 KB used of 39.2 MB

2. RECOVERY, 11.26 GB used of 24.22 GB

3. OS (C:), 306.55 GB used of 907.25 GB

It also showed the WD MyBook as MBR Disk 7

 

When I selected "Image the partitions necessary to restore Windows" (or words to that effect) it selected partitions 2 and 3 only, for a total of 317.81 GB to be imaged.  That is the exact total of actual data on those two partitions.  So I started the process, which looked like taking more than an hour.  About 2/3 of the way through, the backup process stopped with an error (write error?  I'm not sure).  The image file was not created.

 

So first question: what next?  Try again?  Is there some way of diagnosing the error?

 

Next question: the RECOVERY partition would be for Windows 7, which was the original OS on this machine.  so is it necessary or desirable to include that in the image?

 

Third question: the 306.55 GB of data in the C: partition include a lot of user data as well as the actual operating system.  I would rather have my user data separate from the OS.  So is there some relatively straightforward way of separating them?  Am I correct in understanding that the quite elaborate "data tree" of my user data are actually tucked into the C: partition, and is separating them as simple as moving those files and folders into another partition?

 

I recognize I am putting these questions in what may seem an excessively simple-minded way, and of course I do know or think I know some of the answers (especially to that last question).  If I move the files and folders to another partition or another disk, do their contents then disappear from C:\Users\xxxx\ ? (I am old enough, or old-fashioned enough, to be faintly bothered by virtualization, by "the same" things appearing in different places under slightly different labels).  But those questions do have practical consequences - they affect the size of things to be backed up.  So I would rather ask dumb questions than think I know more than I actually do.

 

Thanks for enlightenment!

 

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 09:10 PM

Firstly, If you have the 3.5 Seagate model ST3000DM001 I would be very careful with that drive. They had a very high failure rate and there is a class action suit on them.

 

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/222267-seagate-faces-lawsuit-over-3tb-hard-drive-failure-rates

 

Try again.

 

Regarding the rest of your questions, If you move data from one partition to another the data on the original partition is marked as deleted and therefore not available. 

 

If you do not plan on going back to Windows 7 then you do not need the Recovery Partition but it may be tied into the Dell Utility Partition 

 

You could reduce the size of the C: partition and then in the unallocated space create a separate data partition. You would need a third party partition manager such as Minitools Partition Wizard. Before doing this I would first create a complete disk image which would include the Dell, Restore, and OS partitions. Once the image is verified in Macrium then you can go ahead and do the partition movements which would include deleting the Recovery Partition.



#3 saluqi

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 10:36 PM

This Seagate drive is Model SRD00F2, purchased from COSTCO about one year ago. Part number 1KBAP2-500, serial number NA7D5WV5.  Made (or at least assembled) in Thailand.  In a tidy little desktop enclosure, shiny black, blue underneath, 5 x 7 x 1.5 inches high (lying flat on the desktop).  An indicator light, a place to plug the power adapter cord in, a place to plug a USB 3 connector, that's all.  Called "Backup Plus Desktop Drive".

 

The curious thing was that when I selected what's necessary to restore Windows, it didn't include the Dell Utilities partition at all (showed no contents there), only the RESTORE partition (and only the data actually on it) and the C: partition (again only the actual data).

 

So I'm trying again.  We shall see.

 

EDIT: This time it went twice as fast as before (as indicated by the Gb/sec numbers) and finished successfully in 34 minutes and change.  It completely ignored the Dell Utilities partition (which was nearly empty anyway) and used only the RESTORE and the C: partitions

 

This was "Back up the partition(s) needed to back up and restore Windows" but since all the user data on this machine (apart from external drives) are on the C: drive . ..

 

I think if I want to back up "selected files and folders" I probably have to spring for the "Home" edition?  Obviously this version can back up entire partitions and entire disks, but how about "selected files and folders"?

 

I have an enormous correspondence (some of it official, since I am a local government official and the "official" channels are, paradoxically, less reliable - and "paper trail" is a most important survival tool) and definitely want to have separate backups of that material.  I have long ago taken the precaution of moving my Outlook .pst file from its usual cryptic location to a more accessible place <G>.  In fact it has now migrated through three generations of computers, but that's another story <G>.

 

And yes, I do know the difference between Gb/sec and GB/sec <G>.


Edited by saluqi, 04 July 2017 - 11:35 PM.


#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 08:08 AM

When you do the select the option for what's necessary to restore Windows you will only get the MBR and OS partition.  There is also the option for disk image. Make sure all boxes are checked. 

 

Yes, if you want file/folder backup you need to upgrade.

 

Macrium, which you may already know, allows you to mount the image to a virtual disk so you can copy any file out of the image. For Macrium double click the image in explorer. After mounting to a drive and exploring it right click the drive letter and select unmount or detach image.

 

As you already know, mission critical data should have a backup offsite.



#5 RolandJS

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 06:14 AM

Concerning the attempt to create a separation between OS and data; while the question and answer can often take just one sentence apiece, the process of successfully doing so after a long time of having OS and data on one partition will not be just one sentence long.  Even though I have been using an OS partition and a Data partition for some time, I still have to educate any new program to write to D, I still have to often Save As to D, and so on.

For the purpose of being able to do OS restores without "rolling back" Data changes,

for computers that have had OS and data residing on the same partition for some time,

-- the process of separating OS and Data into their own respective partitions will be a little involved.

We can begin to help walk you through this process whenever you desire.


Edited by RolandJS, 07 July 2017 - 06:15 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)


#6 saluqi

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:12 AM

Thanks very much!  I think I understand what will be involved, but no doubt (not having actually done it before) there may be some surprises.  I've not yet had to do an OS restore so maybe I've become complacent.

 

The greater part of the data are already on a separate partition, in fact a separate physical drive (an external hard drive); I did that when I migrated data from a previous computer.  What is still mixed up with the OS are the contents of the folders Downloads, Documents, Pictures, Videos and so on.  E-mail is an important part of the data and the Outlook .pst file is already moved from its original obscure location to a subfolder in Documents.  Of course I had to tell Outlook where to find its data.  I'll have to change the default location of "Downloads".  There are thousands of photographs in many folders - when I download from a camera I anyway have to choose where to put the files.  It would be convenient if the existing folders Downloads, Documents, Pictures etc. could just be made to reside elsewhere (after all, in a sense they are already "virtual" folders whose "real" existence is inside the OS tree), but that's maybe just mental laziness and I can certainly live with a different nomenclature.



#7 RolandJS

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:10 PM

Whatsoever default folders Windows Prime has set up, I've chosen to leave them be.  I simply copied the "real" data folders from C to D, and "educated" downloaders, writers, editors, creators, etc. to: Save To, Save As, default from C to D, and so on.  There are those who successfully moved My Documents from C to D, simply I'm not one of them  :)


"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)


#8 saluqi

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:35 PM

That sounds like good sense to me; but I want to be sure I understand what you mean here by "default folders" set up by "Windows Prime".  I'm an old (too old <G>) "nuts and bolts" guy who (in the days of Steve Gibson and SpinRite and interleave factors and so on) used to think he had some kind of intuitive grasp of where things "really" were - back when the layout of file fragments on a disk had a measurable effect on the speed of data retrieval.  In today's world of virtualization that's more or less immaterial, and certainly beside the point in the present context.  Figuring out where things "really" are is the job of the OS and not of the user.  Still, if you just leave Windows 10 to its own devices you get a set of user folders listed as "This PC" with subfolders Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, and OS (C:).  Then you will find the "real" versions of those folders, along with various others, under C:\Users\[my name]\Desktop, Documents etc.  There is also "My Documents" but that is not user accessible.  

 

Maybe I'm being simplistic, but I'd like to think one could move the folders from "This PC" (rather than from C:\Users\[my name]\) to some other partition and have the data come with them.  Certainly the various backups I've made, including plain old file copies, have had the effect of reproducing the entire folders in question on the new locations (in that case, external hard drives or thumb drives) - but in all those backup cases the folders (and contents) have been copied, not moved.

 

Sorry if I'm being obtuse.  I do recognize that these are just different paths to the same data, and that the data are physically present only once at one actual location (whatever "location" means in terms of modern storage technology).  I am hoping that what you meant above was "move" the folders from "This computer" to some other partition, with corresponding reassignments of the default target locations (insofar possible).  I don't in any case "just shut my eyes and save", but rather check to make sure things are going where I want to put them.



#9 RolandJS

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:58 PM

"...Dell Utilities partition (which was nearly empty anyway)..."  Windows explorer.exe normally cannot see what's inside of these type of special partitions.  It is not nearly empty, as far as I understand such partitions.

 

My Documents section, which also contain actual folders and files, is what is created by Windows Prime.  The OS creates and maintains My Documents, My Library, etc. -- or, whatever the names that are used by Windows editions and versions.

 

I simply choose to create on my "D drive", which is my D partition, my desired folders.  Then as I indicated earlier, I educate every program that can be educated to Save, Save As, etc. to D partition.


"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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