backup practises?

By boaby ยท 5 replies
Sep 27, 2005
  1. Just a few quick questions about backup (after reading the sticky). I have two 80gig sata's, one for the OS and one for music/movies etc. Currently they are both as is with no partitions. I would like to get into the practise of good backups using disk-images.

    What I would like to do is create 3 partitions on my primary drive in the following format:

    1 - around 10gig - windows and apps
    2 - whatevers required - containing a disk image of partition 1
    3 - whatevers left (might like to create a linux boot partition in future)

    What I would like to know is, if and when I come to that point when i want to refresh partition 1 with the image in partition 2 how exactly is it done? Is it done through dos or do most image-ing programs include boot disks that handle this?

    Also I have came accross posts where people mention they have another partition on their primary drive for their other apps (like say a partition containing the Program Files folder). Is their any benefit from keeping your apps and os on separate partitions?

    TIA for help/advice.
  2. Fred

    Fred TS Rookie

    To make an image you would probably need Symantec Ghost or similar software. When you install Ghost there is a section in there that makes DOS boot floppies for this purprose. I don't usually do partition backup images because I tried to reimage a C: drive (after the OS got corrupt) with the backup image and I did it wrong and it blew away the other partitions somehow. It can be done, I just never pursued it after that incident. Also I have had a few hard drives die on me in the past so I don't like to put all my eggs in one basket. I like to keep the backup image on a separate drive altogether. I went out and bought an external USB drive for my backup stuff, and I only turn it on when I'm backing up stuff. Age, heat, and wear & tear kill hard drives.

    I'm not sure what the benefit of of putting your program files on a different partition is. Most people put the OS and the applications on the C: drive and put the data on the D: drive. For Example you would put XP and Word, Excel and Powerpoint on the C: drive and put the Word docs and spreadsheets on the D: drive. That way if you have to back up your data all you have to do is just back up the D drive and not have to copy the whole OS and applications during the backup. That would just take up a lot of room on your backup media. Also if the OS gets corrupt, you can format the c: drive and reinstall XP and all the applications without bothering your data files on the D drive.

    Also if you have two hard drives some people put the swap file on the 2nd drive to speed things up a bit.
  3. boaby

    boaby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah that makes sense - refreshing a partition from another partition from the same drive that failed would be no easy task im guessing. Be better i spose to create the disk-image on the second drive or better yet a dvd.

    Think i'll revise my original plan by creating

    1 - 10gigs - OS
    2 - 15gigs - linux
    3 - whatevers left

    1 - 1.5gigs - pagefile file
    2 - 5gigs - disk image (as well as dvd)
    3 - 2partitions from whats left to organise downloaded/other content

    Cheers fred, ill have a look at symantec ghost.
  4. patio

    patio TS Guru Posts: 482

    Keep in mind also a few other things...
    If you store those images on a HDD and that drive fails unless you can recover the data your images are gone. Make backups to CD or DVD regularly.
    Also make sure the partition that temporarily stores your image files does NOT get defragmented or scanned as your other drives/partitions do. Image files hate this process and over time will be unusable.
    Sounds like you're on your way to a good backup routine though.

    patio. :cool:
  5. Char_X

    Char_X TS Rookie Posts: 170

    Hello boaby.

    I've revised all infor about this thread, so I'd like to utter my opinion.
    First of all it's better to clarify yourself how many partitions would you have.
    there are two ways:
    * create one partition for OS and apps, it'll be useful, if you have fresh install OS. In this case you'll just create an image of this partition and will be able to restore whenever you want, instead of reinstalling Windows.
    * if you don't have fresh install OS, but you want to keep your apps (especially, if you don't have exe. files of the programs to re-instrall),
    it better to keep apps on separated partition, so you could re-install windows without any pain (but any way you'd beter have distributive exe. files to reactivate apps).
    As for backup, I prefer Acronis True Image. It has Secured Zone, where you could keep your imagies and be sure in highly protection from any damage.
    Also I have one copy on DVD.
    Well, as for directly create and restore images, to my mind, True Image is just perfect for this activity. It has nice intuitive windows wizard, that makes utilization very comfortable and easy. You could make a full disk image or separate partion, also you could restore even individual file/folder. And very useful tool for data is differential backup.
    Another most important thing is that TI works faster than other backup software.
    So, I use this program, it succesfully pass all my muster. And now I recommend you to try it, as highest level backup software.

    P.S. What software are you going to use to repartition your HDDs?

  6. boaby

    boaby TS Rookie Topic Starter

    cheers for the info char_x

    im glad u mentioned true image - seems to be there are two definate camps of disk-imagers: ghost or true-image users. Im currently in my trial of true-image right now and it looks pretty good so far. Both true-image and ghost seem pretty capable so im trying to test functionality a bit deeper on both to see which i prefer.

    As for partitions software im using partition magic 8, and as for installers I tend to keep the setup files of any and all programs I use.

    This is actually a new comp ive just built so windows has only been for about two weeks. While I have always endeavored to keep safe with my comps (firewall, antivirus, etc) I've never really did much about backups bar keeping a copy of everything somewhere. So since this is my new pc the idea if disk-imaging is quite appealing (hence this thread).

    At the moment, im setting up a digital tuner ive just installed and after I get it running properly with my pvr I intend to wipe and re-install everything again and create my disk-image from there, just to be on the safe side.

    So hopefully im on the road to good backups...
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