Is there a backup program I could purchase simpler than Macrium  

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  1. Posts : 228
    Windows 10 home
       #21

    Thank you for such a thorough and fast reply.

    If you are booted from C on this PC, why save to external rather than internal? What did you hope to accomplish?

    Saving to the E drive will keep the data and the OS separate so hopefully the data won't be affected by either a Windows crash or the C drive becoming damaged. I prefer this system since I once lost most of my data that way some years ago. I would prefer to have 2 internal hard drives but this is a SFF computer so there isn't room for a second HDD

    You say "back up to the external drive". Back up of what? Back up from where? As I understand it, the way you have things set up, the internal drive will contain ONLY Windows and applications, no documents, no pictures, no mp3s, no videos, etc. If that is true, you'd likely use "imaging" and include ALL partitions found on the internal drive in a single image file. That's fine as long as you understand personal data is NOT backed up. I'd certainly back it up to the external, with the understanding the external can always fail.
    Data backup is generally much more important than Windows backup. All the latter does is save you time, while the former may be highly valuable and irreplaceable.

    I agree completely and I will encourage then to copy as much of their data to their other computers as they can (or more likely now copy it the others to this one). But in the thread about reviving the M58 it was pointed out several times that it would have saved a lot of time if it was backed up so I am willing to try to do what I can in case it happens again.

    OK. That can be done with imaging. Imaging is based on partitions. You choose which partitions specifically. All of a partition or NONE of it.
    You would presumably include ALL partitions on the internal drive. If your data is on C, it will be included.
    I'd think you would want to put data on C if it will fit on C. Then back it up to the external with a full image.
    You have to figure out how big C would be if it included Windows, applications, AND data. All 3. I guess you have a 320 GB internal. If it were chock-full to capacity, an image of everything on it might be 150 to 200 GB and that would certainly fit on a 1 TB external.
    If they have so much data that it won't fit on a 320 GB drive, you have to make another plan.

    So what you are saying is that unless they have a huge amount of data it makes more sense to store the data on the C drive and back up everything.

    I know my data is about a TB these days but I don't have any idea how much data they will want to store on it. Perhaps it could be set up with a backup partition on the external drive of about 500GB and back up everything (OS, apps & data) on the C and E drives to that. That would give them somewhere in the area of 700GB for actual data storage (I just checked and only 45 GB of the hard drive in mine is used).

    Does this make sense?
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  2. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #22

    see comments:

    Sidecar Bob said:

    Saving to the E drive will keep the data and the OS separate so hopefully the data won't be affected by either a Windows crash or the C drive becoming damaged. I prefer this system since I once lost most of my data that way some years ago. I would prefer to have 2 internal hard drives but this is a SFF computer so there isn't room for a second HDD.

    I agree that it is generally a good idea to keep Windows and data separate, so I understand the impulse.

    But consider this:

    You have a 320 GB internal.

    You could split that into, say, a 100 GB C for Windows and apps and the remainder (220) for a D drive for data ONLY, and save all personal data to D, not C, not external. You can split the 320 any way you want.

    That's just something for you to ponder. It's not necessary and is something of a complication easily overcome.

    In your case, I probably wouldn't bother with that.


    So what you are saying is that unless they have a huge amount of data it makes more sense to store the data on the C drive and back up everything.

    Yes, unless there is something significant that you have not yet revealed.


    I know my data is about a TB these days but I don't have any idea how much data they will want to store on it.

    The drive is 320 GB. They can't possibly store more than that. An image of all partitions on the 320 won't occupy more than 150 to 200 GB. With Macrium, that would simply be one big file. One file. With an .mrimg extension. Save it anywhere it will fit--presumably on the external. Make a new image periodically. Keep maybe the most recent 2, totaling maybe 350 GB maximum, leaving at least 600 free on the external. Use the rest of the external for anything you want---perhaps to include an occasional manual backup of data ONLY, by ordinary drag and drop copy, NOT imaging.


    Perhaps it could be set up with a backup partition on the external drive of about 500GB and back up everything (OS, apps & data) on the C and E drives to that. That would give them somewhere in the area of 700GB for actual data storage (I just checked and only 45 GB of the hard drive in mine is used).

    Offhand, I don't see any reason to break up the 1 TB external into partitions. The image file is just that.....a big file. Save it in a folder called "images of internal" or something like that.

    Understand this:

    Suppose:

    Feb 1, you make an image and store it on the external.

    Feb 5, you install a new program.

    Feb 10, you take a bunch of new pictures of your cat and store them on C.

    Feb 15, you get in a jam and have to restore the Feb 1 image for whatever reason.

    The restored Windows will NOT include the Feb 5 program and will NOT include the cat pictures. The cat pictures that were on C were not in the image file. That's one good reason why you should back up data separately.

    You can see very basic Macrium instructions in post 12 above.



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  3. Posts : 228
    Windows 10 home
       #23

    I'm starting to think I should swap the drives so the 1TB is C and the 320GB is the external for storing backups....
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  4. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #24

    Sidecar Bob said:
    I'm starting to think I should swap the drives so the 1TB is C and the 320GB is the external for storing backups....
    Maybe.

    I guess they have laptops and that some (all??) of the data on the laptops may end up on the desktop internal, 320 or otherwise??

    You have to decide how the storage requirements are divided up. What's the cart and what's the horse? What's "original" and what's "copy".

    Images take up roughly 50 to 60 percent of occupied space on the chosen partitions.

    What's the grand total GB of data stored on the laptops in GB and how much of that stuff is destined for the desktop?

    As far as I know, you can't make an image file containing partitions from 2 totally separate PCs/laptops.

    If the 1 TB was internal on the desktop with 700 GB occupied, an image of it would likely be 350 GB plus, too big to fit on the external 320.

    You can always save backups to the cloud to try to save space, but I personally would never want to get in a position where my ONLY backup of ANYTHING was up there.

    Maybe you need to discuss this with daughter and husband in some basic way so everyone's on the same page.

    Any "backup" of the desktop OS/apps is not going to "backup" one of their separate laptops. It's a backup of the desktop and I assume the individual laptops can't be similarly imaged for whatever reason.
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  5. Posts : 228
    Windows 10 home
       #25

    Part of the problem is that they are so far away that anything I set up has to be able to work with whatever they decide to do without further intervention from me. I think for the purposes of what I'm doing right now we can ignore their other computers except to hope that some of the data will be duplicated (= a bit less likely to be lost if something happens).

    How would it work if I left it set up as it is (320 GB C for OS, apps &c and 1 TB E for data) and set it up to back up each drive to the other one?
    Yes, I understand that (assuming the OS &c on theirs stays about the same as mine, about 45 GB) there will only be maybe 260 GB free on the C drive so it won't be able to back up more than about 500GB of data but that would be twice as much as if I leave the data on C....
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  6. Posts : 14,924
    Windows10
       #26

    Sidecar Bob said:
    FORUM MODS: If you feel that I'm hijacking the thread please split this into a new thread.
    (I'm a mod on a couple of other forums so I understand that every forum does things differently)

    I'm pretty much in the same boat as the OP. I am capable of doing a lot of stuff for and with computers and if i was only working on my own I would probably take the time to figure out Macrium but I have just revived a computer for my daughter and her husband. They have lost all of their data and we want to make sure that doesn't happen again so we agree that some sort of backup is needed but 1) There is no way either of them is going to figure out Macrium and 2) they live 4 hours away so I can't go there and make sure it is backed up regularly.

    AND she coming to visit and planning to take it home with her so I need something that I can install on their computer and have running and set up by the end of tomorrow.

    And before we go much farther I would like to know why I couldn't just use Win10's built in backup app?

    Also, I have a feeling that if I ask them to plug a flash drive in and run the backup app periodically that it will never get done. Is there any way I could have them leave a USB drive plugged into the back of it all the time for that?
    Actually Macrium Reflect Free is perfect for use remotely if you also use TeamViewer.

    You can easily backup remotely but here is the neat trick - you can also restore remotely.

    Most imaging tools require you to connect to a boot disk to do a restore but you cannot usually connect to that session remotely. With Macrium Reflect, you connect remotely to normal Windows and select to restore remote pc, but it comes up with message saying it cannot do it from Windows and you have to boot pc - if you do so it automatically boots into WinPE mode and initiates the restore for you and reboots back into normal Windows once restore is complete.
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  7. Posts : 228
    Windows 10 home
       #27

    I am familiar with TeamViewer because Matt used to use it to fix stuff remotely for the rest of us but I am not interested in becoming the one that does that for everyone. I'm just trying to make things easier to deal with if they ever loose their hard drive and I am running out of time discussing options about how to do it.

    I have to get some other work done around here today too (including shovelling snow) so as of now I have maybe 2 hours to decide what if anything I'm going to do to back it up and get it set up and working.

    So I'll change my question to "What can someone that isn't a programmer have working in that short a time?"

    Maybe I should invest in one of those "smart" USB drives that "backs up the whole computer automatically" for them....
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  8. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #28

    Sidecar Bob said:

    How would it work if I left it set up as it is (320 GB C for OS, apps &c and 1 TB E for data) and set it up to back up each drive to the other one?

    Yes, I understand that (assuming the OS &c on theirs stays about the same as mine, about 45 GB) there will only be maybe 260 GB free on the C drive so it won't be able to back up more than about 500GB of data but that would be twice as much as if I leave the data on C....

    I assume you mean 320 internal, 1 TB external and then:

    1: make an image of the internal and store it on the external
    2: make an image of the external and store it on the internal

    Hmmmmmmmmm...........

    I wouldn't consider it until I knew for a fact the current data GB total on the 2 laptops combined and the growth rate of that data. Growing by 10 GB a year? 200 per year?

    Is the entire point of the desktop as of today to serve as some sort of backup mechanism for the 2 laptops?

    Or does the desktop have some other unrelated purpose.......why was it originally purchased?
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  9. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #29

    Sidecar Bob said:

    So I'll change my question to "What can someone that isn't a programmer have working in that short a time?"
    You can follow the steps in post 12 with Macrium within 20 minutes plus how ever long it takes Macrium to actually make the image.

    You'll have a full image of whatever happens to be on the desktop internal. Whatever that might be at the moment. C and whatever other partitions are required to restore Windows on the internal. Good or bad. Smart decision or dumb decision. Without regard to knowing how to restore that image. Without regard to any distinction between data, OS, and Windows.

    I don't think you could include the external E in that image file UNLESS you first split it into E and maybe F and then included only E in the image file, not F, saving the image file to F, not E.

    But if you feel you are under a 120 minute deadline, I'd suggest you should do nothing until you are not. Too much of a rush, too little thought and planning.
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  10. Posts : 228
    Windows 10 home
       #30

    The desktop was originally bought o that they would have a decent computer. As I recall, it was mostly used by the son in law for word processing but also for listening to music and watching the odd video (he was watching a movie on DVD when it stopped working).

    I have no idea how much data they will acquire per year.

    OK, that's enough messing around. I'm going to leave it set up the way it is and tell them to start shopping for one of those USB drives that you plug in and it automatically updates the whole computer.

    And tell them to make sure everything important/irreplaceable is either copied to one of the laptops or burned to a CD or DVD.
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