What do you think of my backup strategy with Macrium Reflect

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  1.    1 Week Ago #1

    What do you think of my backup strategy with Macrium Reflect





    4 SSDs in the machine.. the primary Win 10 boot is designated as Samsung, PM981.
    Which is cloned to Samsung PM951 and can be selected as an alternative boot.
    Which is also cloned to the Samsung 860 EVO SATA M.2 SSD and can be selected as another alternative boot choice. I clone more or less without a schedule, when enough major changes have taken place. Sometimes twice per month and sometimes months go by without a clone. It's not incremental obviously but it dumps the entire 1TB - although it seems to me the very first time it takes 45 minutes and then 25 minutes so maybe Macrium does have some kind of incremental logic build-in.

    I worked with just 2 clones (1 primary and 1 clone) for years until an accident a few days ago wiped out the EFI partition on the clone *and* the source, I was down for days.

    The 4th drive, the 2.5" 860 SATA is just a data disk.

    Surprisingly, despite labeled as 1TB, they are not equal. Something about being managed by the system, PM981 and PM951 appear to be identical space-wise while 860 EVO M.2 and 860 2.5" unit are a bit less, strange. I am actually surprised a clone to 860 EVO M.2 worked at all.

    Question, what is that last partition in disk0? "Healthy (Primary Partition)"?
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  2.    1 Week Ago #2

    I would use imaging rather than cloning and set a schedule so you don't forget to backup.

    I backup the system drive on schedule to an internal drive and the system + data drives to an external USB drive which is stored remotely from the PC. The latter is important in case you have a malware attack which could infect all of your internal drives.
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  3. Infrasonic's Avatar
    Posts : 94
    W10 Home 1803 / Virtual Box / Linux Mint VM
       1 Week Ago #3

    Bootable clones have the advantage of getting you up and running immediately on a working PC without any need to restore, so if there's some urgent work you need to do, no problem.

    So I'd use both, clones and regular scheduled macrium backups for restoring. I also use cloud backups for folders and files (with versioning) and logged in browser full syncs so I can be up and running with the latest settings (even in a worst case total loss fire/flood et al scenario).
    Also copies of old and current Windows versions on MCT flash drives is useful if you want to do a quick clean install or in place upgrade, (quicker than the traditional download Windows Update method).


    Running cloned backups one major feature update behind the main boot drive (on a metered connection to block Windows auto updates) can minimize bug issues if they are presenting major problems to functionality. Update the clone when you are happy that the latest FU is stable on your PC.

    Having recently suffered a complete SSD failure (replaced under RMA) being able to boot straight into my HDD clone and carry on working was a definite plus. My HDD clone is currently on W10 1803 which is fully stable for me.

    Easybcd (free version is fine) is a good utility for dual / multi booting Windows fixes if you get any issues.

    Edit; WintoUSB is going to be my next project, so I have a USB bootable copy of Windows.
    Last edited by Infrasonic; 1 Week Ago at 06:54.
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  4.    1 Week Ago #4

    The only important changes that happen over time is files in ~/Documents and such folders get created, maybe I can sync that folder with something, so it's incrementally updated.

    Of course programs get installed and configured but all that can be replicated. I typically wait until there are substantial changes have been made and then clone one drive to another.

    and what is that 499MB (OEM) partition that is the very first one on the disk? It's clearly not EFI.
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  5.    1 Week Ago #5

    I've had some issues with 1809 update, kept losing some drivers such as for wifi. Wiped out my primary disk, booted into clone, and it wiped it out too. Had to install the latest drivers twice.

    I wonder if I should configure the clone drive to run on metered to stop auto-updates. Do you think an upgrade to Win 10 Pro can accomplish the same thing?
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  6.    1 Week Ago #6

    Infrasonic said: View Post
    Having recently suffered a complete SSD failure (replaced under RMA) being able to boot straight into my HDD clone and carry on working was a definite plus. .
    Out of curiosity, which brand was it that failed?
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  7. Infrasonic's Avatar
    Posts : 94
    W10 Home 1803 / Virtual Box / Linux Mint VM
       1 Week Ago #7

    dictum said: View Post
    Out of curiosity, which brand was it that failed?
    A 120GB Sandisk Ultra 11, which is actually a decent DRAM SLC cache drive, not one of the no mark brand DRAM less ones that are cheap as chips currently, suffer wear levelling issues and fail early. It was actually just outside the 3 year warranty on the old SSD, so they did well by me. I did have the original receipt and packaging though.

    WD/Sandisk replaced it FOC with a new 240GB Ultra 3D, and paid shipping both ways with UPS and provided me with the shipping label. I just had to provide a jiffy bag.
    No further warranty, as that would be open to abuse. But from new retail that drive would have had a 5 year warranty.

    Their RMA process is excellent, probably the best customer service experience I've ever had. As all my drives (HDD/SSD/USB flash et al) are WD/Sandisk, probably just as well...
    Last edited by Infrasonic; 1 Week Ago at 13:03.
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  8. Infrasonic's Avatar
    Posts : 94
    W10 Home 1803 / Virtual Box / Linux Mint VM
       1 Week Ago #8

    dictum said: View Post
    I've had some issues with 1809 update, kept losing some drivers such as for wifi. Wiped out my primary disk, booted into clone, and it wiped it out too. Had to install the latest drivers twice.

    I wonder if I should configure the clone drive to run on metered to stop auto-updates. Do you think an upgrade to Win 10 Pro can accomplish the same thing?
    1809 isn't stable on many systems and yes metered is almost a must for a previous version clone modus operandi otherwise in your hour of need the first thing that will happen is it will try and update...What I do is when I'm ready to update the clone either use the MCT USB flash drive in place upgrade OR switch off metered, let it update fully using Windows Update, reboot, then switch metered back on.
    That way you don't have to babysit the updates which you otherwise would have to do with metered as it requires manual intervention at various stages to complete (I did just that earlier today to get to 1803).
    Last edited by Infrasonic; 1 Week Ago at 11:55.
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  9.    1 Week Ago #9

    Interesting. How many TBW did you have on it? RE: 120GB Sandisk Ultra 11

    Amazon reviews are fairly decent, avg 4/5 stars. From what I hear, SSD fail suddenly and without any recovery possible. Whereas HDD fail, you may get some incremental noise out of it and you know something wore out, or missing data reads/writes and you can kind of salvage the information sometimes. of course the overall rate has to be greater for HDD just due to the complexity and moving parts and then of course HDD fails due to shock while SSD doesn't.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    1 Week Ago #10

    So I'd use both, clones and regular scheduled macrium backups for restoring.
    I need to figure out how to do incremental backups just on the user partition - Documents, downloads and stuff. There is no reason to copy the entire 1TB drive bit-by-bit.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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