Windows 10: Imaging vs data backup software..is there a difference...which is best
Imaging vs data backup software..is there a difference...which is best
There is so much on the web regarding backup software and so many backup software that it gets a little confusing.
What is the difference between imaging backups and data backups?
I have my OS and all my programs on an SSD Drive(C) and all Data Files on a Data Drive (D)
What is the informed consensus on the most reliable method of backing your system up on an automatic routine basis
Any advice/guidance greatly appreciated
Imaging creates a compressed copy of the used part of a partition/partitions/disk/disks. (Unless you do a 'forensic' image which is exactly sector by sector what's on disk).
Imaging lets you restore a disk by decompressing the image and copying it to the target disk- same or different.
Imaging lets you restore a complete OS.. protecting your entire working environment.
It also acts as a 100% backup from which you can extract files and folders.
Creating disk images lets you restore Windows and all your disks and partitions to a previous working state, quickly and probably without technical help.
You can recover from:
- a failed disk drive (restore to a new one)
- ransomware (which encrypts your disk)
- user error
- unrecoverable problems from failed updates to problem programs
- unbootable PC (hardware faults aside)
Images also act as a full backup- you can extract files too.
You can even use images to help you move more easily and quickly to a new PC.
Can be used with Laplink software to transfer your build automatically to another PC
Imaging can even help you sleep at night knowing you have a second chance.
Many here recommend Macrium Reflect (free) as a good robust solution and more reliable than some others. It’s
- more feature rich
- more flexible
- more reliable
than Windows Backup and Restore system images.
It's well supported with videos, help and a responsive forum.
There are other such programs, free/commercial, some with simpler interfaces, but Macrium R is one of the most robust and reliable.
How long does it take?
SSD+ USB3 - maybe 15 mins for the first system image, less thereafter
HDD + USB2 - maybe 40-50 mins
That’s with little personal data, few programs installed.
- of course, depends how much you have on C:
(You can and should image all your partitions and disks)
Once you've created your first image, keep it updated with e.g. differential imaging- which images just changes from the first image, more quickly, and creates a smaller image file.
You need a backup medium - say- twice as large as the total amount of data you are imaging to keep a reasonable number of differential images. This will vary dependent on the number of images you keep, so is only a rough practical guide.
Some comment that system restore isn't always reliable; if it works and solves the problem, great. But sometimes restores won't work or fail. And of course a restore point only covers a limited number of aspects of the system. That’s where disk imaging comes in.
File backup is- well, a copy of selected files.
Do that in addition to imaging so you protect your most significant files on a more frequent basis- e.g. on any change.
There's a starter for 10.
Image Backup, as Dalchina explained allows you to recreate your hard drive in the event of a catastrophe. Data Backup just backs up your files and documents. A simple example of data backup is Windows 10's 'File History' feature. There are more sophisticated data backups available.
In fact Macrium Reflect serves a dual purpose in that individual documents can be restored from its image backup.
Automatic sync between W10 laptop And W7 Desktop on my homegroup?
Thank you very much for making this much clearer to me.
I have a W7 desktop and a W10 laptop. Is there a program that could automatically sync files I add on my laptop to my Desktop which is in my homegroup?
Robocopy is built into Windows that will sync the better way is to backup files to Google drive or one drive that way there safe and available on both PCs phone, tablet etc
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