What is a sensible and pragmatic backup strategy for Win10?  

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  1. Posts : 81
    Windows 10

    A "reasonable strategy just for the operating system?"
    Anywhere from a 32-120gb drive - or partition, to hold the OS and programs you use.
    All else goes on one or more other drives which have their own backup scheme.
    Personally, that's about 18gb for me, with 12gb images. I only keep a few images.
    I only install Window once, and find the original worthless, because of Windows updates.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 28,389
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    cloa513 said:
    The computer I have is an ancient Win 7 Premium Japanese Version with C and D drive- I am pretty they are just partitions.
    Do you do a backup before you install applications or operating system updates? Do you discard them if there are no problem?
    How ancient? My daily workhorse is a 2011 Toshiba laptop (System One in my specs below) original supplied with Win7, now running Win10 1809, the October 2018 Update.

    Yes, OEM's of that era generally divided the HDD into two equal sized partitions, a C: partition for the OS and a D: partition intended for data. My Toshiba came with an HDDRecovery folder on D: containing the OEM factory reset image, and a lot of free space on D:. Even though OEMs typically supplied a new machine with a D: partition, all the user folders, default save and default installs pointed to C:. Some machines went their whole working life without their owner putting anything on D: (or even realising it was there).

    I now use the D: drive for data, in particular for Macrium images. Yes, I know that's no protection from a drive failure, but it's convenient for restores. I also image the whole drive including the D: partition to an external HDD. All my user files and all my installed software are kept in the default C: drive locations. According to Settings > Storage there are 69GB used on C: of which 13GB is used by the Windows system files. My user folder accounts for about 30GB, Program files about 5GB. For this machine the Macrium image of the partitions required for Windows (so not including D:) is just 44GB.

    I also have a test machine (System Two below). That has 32-bit Windows and MS Office installed. It also has images in its Data partition for every version of Win10 from the original release up to 1809, plus its original OEM Win7. Its C: drive has about 25GB used, but its Data partition holds about a dozen images, any one of which can be (and often is) restored for testing/support purposes.

    My third machine in regular use (not in my specs) runs Windows 10 Pro and hosts virtual machines for Windows XP, 7 and 8. The virtual drives for these VMs occupy over 50GB on the C: drive. There are very few user files and about 5GB of programs, all kept on C:. As with the first machine, the windows system occupies about 13GB. This one's Macrium image is 46GB.

    There are a couple of other machine too, both of which get imaged. One is an old Win7 laptop with MS Office that never goes on the internet (I use that for my personal finance spreadsheets) and there's a little netbook running 1809 that I take on holiday with me. The accounts on the Win7 PC get copied to my 'workhorse' user folder to be backed up.

    Backup routine:

    All my Win10 machines are imaged with Macrium once a month to their data partition, straight after the 'Patch Tuesday' cumulative update. I always keep the previous month's image until I need to delete it make way for the next month's image, so at any one time it will have at least two images available. In addition I like keep the last known good image of the previous version of Windows before a Features Update. For the 'daily workhorse' I have an image for 1803, 17134.285 in addition to its image(s) for 1809.

    Separately, my backup routine for the 'daily workhorse' (the one with all my user files) includes a full back up all my user files by copying them to an external drive once a month, and an incremental backup of any new or changed user files twice a week. I have written a batch file to help with this that uses RoboCopy.

    I hate 'Patch Tuesdays', it's my busiest day of the month. My routine is to install the CU as soon as it's released (6pm UK time), run Disk Clean up to get rid of the update backups and temporary internet files, delete all restore points, then image the PC to a local Data partition on the same drive. When that's done, I image the entire drive including the Data partition to an external HDD (even my backups have backups).

    It was bad enough when I had just the two machines in my system specs, especially as the test machine has multiple system images (each of the currently supported ones gets restored, updated, then imaged). But then I added a 3rd to the mix. It is not unknown for me to have all three updating at the same time.

    Surprisingly, the Macrium images for all my machines (including the images of their images) fit on one external 1TB HDD (only just, I may need a bigger one soon).


    In the event I need to restore an image (say after installing software that didn't work out, or I've played around in the Registry a bit too much for my own good) my first recourse is to restore the latest image from the local Data partition. This may be up to a month old, so for the 'workhorse' I would then copy back the appropriate full and incremental user file backups. If I'm lucky, I only need the few incrementals dated after the latest Macrium image.
    Last edited by Bree; 01 Dec 2018 at 07:48. Reason: spelling
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 55
    Win 10 64 byte Home
    Thread Starter

    How old- 2008 or so. We had a computer tech in try to fix some of the faults and he just accept a token payment rather than the full call out fee.
      My Computer


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