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  1.    01 Sep 2017 #11
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 5,900
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by Terrypin View Post
    Thanks all, much appreciate those informative replies.

    OK, I'm sold. I will set aside time to try my first Macrium image within the next few days.

    One key question that's always troubled me (about any imaging program): how can I be sure it will work? Especially with that first attempt when I'm at my least confident. I have a 256 GB SSD ( C ), plus an internal, well-used, 4 TB HD, and external USB drives of 3, 2, and 1 TB respectively. But from the research I did a year or so ago, after upgrading to this Win 10 PC after 15 years with XP, I cannot make an image of C and restore it to anywhere but C in order to reassure myself it works. This 'hope for the best' aspect seems a major issue to me.
    One good way to be confident is to restore the image in a virtual machine.

    With hyper-v this is a piece of cake, using viboot as you do not even need to restore the image.

    Another way is to simply restore image to another physical drive, and swap drive temporarily.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    01 Sep 2017 #12
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,491
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Terrypin View Post
    What are the weaknesses of the Win 7 facility behind your recommendation to avoid it?
    I Use it, and I have found it to be 'fragile' and temperamental. When it works the restored image is fine, but it is all too easy to break its ability to find and recognise a perfectly good image that should be restorable. Apparently innocuous name changes or copying can make an image unrestorable.

    Anyway, Microsoft themselves recommend using something (anything) else. It's a deprecated feature for the upcoming Fall Creators Update.

    Quote Originally Posted by Microsoft
    System Image Backup (SIB) Solution
    We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors.
    Features removed or Deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    01 Sep 2017 #13
    Join Date : Aug 2014
    Posts : 169
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    Quote Originally Posted by Terrypin View Post
    how can I be sure it will work? Especially with that first attempt when I'm at my least confident.
    You cannot be sure it will work, with 100% certainty. None of the imaging programs are fool-proof and you shouldn't expect that.

    The premise of imaging is just to save you time---the time necessary to do a complete manual re-installation if it came to that. Macrium gives you a very high probability of saving that time, but not absolute certainty.

    Macrium is probably beyond 98 or 99 % reliable and you can drive down the uncertainty by using best practices with it and by doing "pretend" restores or actual test restores to a spare hard drive you may have laying around.

    You need to confirm that any recovery boot media you have made with Macrium will actually boot your PC. Recovery media is useless if it won't boot your PC. Don't assume it will.

    You should gain familiarity with the menu choices you will be faced with during restoration. The way to do that is to pretend your hard drive dropped dead and then walk part way through the restoration process when the heat is OFF, not when the heat is ON after a real hard drive failure--far enough and often enough that you are confident in your understanding of the procedure.

    Better yet, do an actual restore to that spare hard drive and confirm to your own satisfaction that it will IN FACT boot your PC. I say IN FACT.

    I'd rely on periodic full images, rather than the more complex differentials.

    All you need is the storage space necessary for the images--which typically amounts to between 40 and 60 percent of the used space on the partitions being imaged. That is: if C is 200 GB with 80 GB occupied, the Macrium image file of the necessary partitions will be somewhere near 40 GB in size, give or take. It's a single file with an MRIMG extension and you save it anywhere you want on some other drive, just like it was a picture of your cat.

    I'd back up that MRIMG file just as you would any other important file, using a garden variety "file by file" data backup program---of which there are many. I use SyncBack Free.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    01 Sep 2017 #14
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,491
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
    Better yet, do an actual restore to that spare hard drive and confirm to your own satisfaction that it will IN FACT boot your PC. I say IN FACT.
    I did that with the actual Windows 7 Backup & restore prior to accepting the original free upgrade to Windows 10. I still have that spare drive collecting dust somewhere in a draw, but it's reassuring to know I could switch back to Win7 just by swapping out the HDD. About once every 6 months I do so, but only to keep it's updates reasonably current.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    01 Sep 2017 #15
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 5,900
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by Bree View Post
    I did that with the actual Windows 7 Backup & restore prior to accepting the original free upgrade to Windows 10. I still have that spare drive collecting dust somewhere in a draw, but it's reassuring to know I could switch back to Win7 just by swapping out the HDD. About once every 6 months I do so, but only to keep it's updates reasonably current.
    Another way without a spare drive is to simply create a virtual hard drive and restore everything to vhd and then add a boot entry for vhd to existing boot host drive (basically ignoring boot entry in vhd).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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