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  1.    30 Jan 2017 #11
    Join Date : Dec 2016
    Posts : 59
    xp
    Thread Starter

    The thought of cloning to a flash drive had occurred to me but I was thinking an external hard drive might be more dependable for recovery. Is that thinking wrong??? Also, if using Reflect, do I need a separate bootable flash drive or can all that go on the external drive (or stick)?

    By the way, this clone will just be made and saved in case of a hard drive failure down the road. My last computer was over 13 years old and ran 24 hours a day all those years. Amazingly, the hard drive still ran perfect. And I had never made a system backup, just my own files and photos, etc.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    30 Jan 2017 #12
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,416
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by reelme View Post
    The thought of cloning to a flash drive had occurred to me but I was thinking an external hard drive might be more dependable for recovery. Is that thinking wrong??? Also, if using Reflect, do I need a separate bootable flash drive or can all that go on the external drive (or stick)?
    You are exactly correct, an external HDD is much more reliable for long term storage of a backup image than a USB flash drive is. Macrium Reflect Free includes the capability to create a rescue drive. It will either create a bootable USB flash drive for you, or it will create an ISO file. You can use the ISO file to make a bootable partition on a USB hard drive. When I deployed last time that's what I did. A USB hard drive with a bootable FAT32 partition on it with my recovery tools, including Macrium Reflect Free. The rest of the hard drive was an NTFS partition with all my movies and a backup image stored on it.

    I've set up computers with clean installs of Windows for friends and created NTFS partitions at the end of the drives and saved an image of the clean Windows install in that partition, then remove the drive letter from it to hide it from Windows explorer. That way if their Windows installation got corrupted somehow, but the drive was still good, the hope would be the image stored on the hidden partition could be restored easily by booting from a rescue drive to access it. That's only protection from software corruption, obviously, and won't be any good for a hardware failure.
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  3.    30 Jan 2017 #13
    Join Date : Dec 2016
    Posts : 59
    xp
    Thread Starter

    So to be safe I should probably go ahead and create the rescue flash drive since this would probably only be used if my hard drive dies? If so, how big of a flash drive would that take (not the clone, just the rescue)? And are some flash drives better than others brand wise or are they pretty much all okay?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    30 Jan 2017 #14
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,416
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by reelme View Post
    So to be safe I should probably go ahead and create the rescue flash drive since this would probably only be used if my hard drive dies? If so, how big of a flash drive would that take (not the clone, just the rescue)? And are some flash drives better than others brand wise or are they pretty much all okay?
    For Macrium Reflect rescue drive you only need 4GB. People seem to have the best luck with brand name generic USB 2.0 flash drives. I like SanDisk myself. If you want a more complete rescue drive like Kyhi's Recovery tools, you will want 8GB.

    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk
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  5.    30 Jan 2017 #15
    Join Date : Dec 2016
    Posts : 59
    xp
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for that. Since I don't add or change files very frequently (mostly just web browsing), and since I want to keep things as simple as possible, how is this for a strategy: once a month or so just do a complete system image backup, nothing more and nothing less. I understand that if I had to restore it might be a month old but that's probably okay in my case. Anything wrong with that approach?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    30 Jan 2017 #16
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,416
    Windows 10 Pro

    Nothing wrong with that plan.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    30 Jan 2017 #17
    Join Date : Dec 2016
    Posts : 59
    xp
    Thread Starter

    Oh, just one more thing if you don't mind: could I put the cloned image from Reflect on an external drive AS WELL AS an area for weekly files only backup? Or would that require a separate drive just for the daily or weeklies? Just considering my options. If I did the daily or weeklies it would be nice to have them on the same external drive as the system image - just didn't know if it's possible. Thanks again for the pointers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    30 Jan 2017 #18
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,416
    Windows 10 Pro

    Yes, it is possible. Macrium Reflect just creates image files. You can store those files anywhere just like any other file.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    30 Jan 2017 #19
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Arnold, MD
    Posts : 29,071
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by reelme View Post
    Thanks for that. Since I don't add or change files very frequently (mostly just web browsing), and since I want to keep things as simple as possible, how is this for a strategy: once a month or so just do a complete system image backup, nothing more and nothing less. I understand that if I had to restore it might be a month old but that's probably okay in my case. Anything wrong with that approach?
    @reelme. Just a note concerning your strategy. If you decide to make a complete system image just once per month, consider doing that on the Monday preceding the 2nd Tuesday of each month. MS schedules Patch Tuesday (they like to call it Update Tuesday) for the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Next one would be the 14th of February. That way, you are secure just before any major changes from MS or if something were to go wrong in the process. TC
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  10.    30 Jan 2017 #20
    Join Date : Dec 2016
    Posts : 59
    xp
    Thread Starter

    Great advice Tomcat. I never knew that was their schedule. By the way, do most people just do a system image one time then do their regular backups thereafter? Just seems to me, I guess depending on how long a system image takes, that it would be simpler just to zap the entire thing. But I guess a lot of people are creating or changing files constantly. Thanks, I appreciate the help.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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