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!