1.    3 Weeks Ago #1
    Join Date : Jun 2017
    Posts : 54
    Windows 10

    Safe to use external HD for both 'Macrium Images' and Personal files?


    -I have a 2TB external HD (lets call this ExHD_1) that I am currently using to create 'Images' of only my SSD. I think having 2 months worth of the SSD image is enough, then when I create a new one, I then delete the one at the back of the queue...if that makes sense...

    -Anyway, I also currently manually backup personal file i.e photos, documents,music, work projects, onto another separate 2TB external HD (lets call this ExHD_2). So this is 1 form of backing up files so far!

    -People say to backup your important work multiple times, so I am wondering..
    Can I use 'ExHD_1' to, not only store my Macrium Images of my SSD, but to also store personal files, like the photos, important projects etc?
    I understand the whole restoring method, although I havent actually done it before, my rescue CD works and I plugged my ExHD_1 and was able to locate the 'SSD Images'.
    I feel that having important files, as well as the images, will cause a confusion when (if I was to restore), and the personal files would be removed or something like that?

    Is this completely safe to do so? Use ExHD_1 for both images and personal files?

    Many Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    3 Weeks Ago #2
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 12,826
    W10Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by C0zzie View Post
    -I have a 2TB external HD (lets call this ExHD_1) that I am currently using to create 'Images' of only my SSD. I think having 2 months worth of the SSD image is enough, then when I create a new one, I then delete the one at the back of the queue...if that makes sense...

    -Anyway, I also currently manually backup personal file i.e photos, documents,music, work projects, onto another separate 2TB external HD (lets call this ExHD_2). So this is 1 form of backing up files so far!

    -People say to backup your important work multiple times, so I am wondering..
    Can I use 'ExHD_1' to, not only store my Macrium Images of my SSD, but to also store personal files, like the photos, important projects etc?
    I understand the whole restoring method, although I havent actually done it before, my rescue CD works and I plugged my ExHD_1 and was able to locate the 'SSD Images'.
    I feel that having important files, as well as the images, will cause a confusion when (if I was to restore), and the personal files would be removed or something like that?

    Is this completely safe to do so? Use ExHD_1 for both images and personal files?

    Many Thanks!
    Hi.
    Best practice for backups is the 3-2-1 method: 3 total backups, 2 local/swapped at regular intervals, 1 off-site.

    So, in your case, I would use eHD1, make system images and data images on it, then regularly swap it out with eHD2, making the same types of images. Lastly, I would look into some sort of cloud storage, or an eHD3 to store at a neighbor's or in a bank vault.

    The eHDs 1&2 should be swapped, so that they are not connected to the computer at the same time. This will help protect against the type of ransomware which encrypts everything attached to your system.

    In the Macrium instructions set, you can tell it to keep a certain number of backups, so it will automatically delete the extras, to keep your drives from filling up.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can also tell Macrium to make (for example) a full image every week, and a differential every day, in the auto-schedule.

    The eHD1 and eHD2 should have two folders on them: one for system images and one for data, and they should be the same names on each drive, so that when you swap drives, Macrium finds the folders it's looking for, no matter which is connected to the computer. It will also help you when you are looking for images to restore.

    HTH.

    EDIT:
    You should also add the boot menu recovery option to your system:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That way, you don't need to use the separate boot media, unless your drive has actually failed.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect Backup Restore Tutorials

    .
    Last edited by simrick; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:00. Reason: added boot menu option info
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    3 Weeks Ago #3
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 270
    Windows 10 Build 1703

    That sounds exactly like what I do. Have done it since Paragon's backup and now Macrium.

    The process has never failed me as has saved me many times.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    3 Weeks Ago #4
    Join Date : Jun 2017
    Posts : 54
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks guys

    When you say the eHD1 and eHD2 should have a folder called 'data', are you talking about my personal files; photos, music, work etc?

    Also thanks for the advice on backing up, however personally I just create an image once a week of my SSD manually. I sort of started using differential backup when I just had my hdd, but it just became annoying and also pointless.
    But since getting the SSD I image that on eHD1, and with work/photos/music etc on my internal HD, I also manually copy/paste on eHD2

    If I add new photos, work, music etc, I just pop in my ExHD_2 and manually copy and paste, which is why I dont bother with differential

    I dont quite understand this swapping out the harddrives so you get no ransomware. All I am doing is plugging in external hd and backing up

    And I just wanted to know if its perfectly normal to have both 'images' and 'personal data (photos, projects etc) both on 1 HD. There wont be an issue IF I have to restore. The personal data will still be on the eHD1?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    3 Weeks Ago #5
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 12,826
    W10Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by C0zzie View Post
    Thanks guys

    When you say the eHD1 and eHD2 should have a folder called 'data', are you talking about my personal files; photos, music, work etc?
    Yes, you could have 2 folders on the external hard drives, one called System and one called Data.

    Quote Originally Posted by C0zzie View Post
    Also thanks for the advice on backing up, however personally I just create an image once a week of my SSD manually. I sort of started using differential backup when I just had my hdd, but it just became annoying and also pointless.
    But since getting the SSD I image that on eHD1, and with work/photos/music etc on my internal HD, I also manually copy/paste on eHD2

    If I add new photos, work, music etc, I just pop in my ExHD_2 and manually copy and paste, which is why I dont bother with differential
    I assume you have your operating system on the SSD, and your data on the internal mechanical hard drive, yes?
    My point is, you don't have to manually do this. Macrium can be set up to make the backups of both the operating system (SSD) and the data (mechanical drive), automatically. You don't have to keep track of what personal files are new. You don't have to remember to make your backups. All you have to do is remember to swap external hard drives on a regular basis.

    If you are doing weekly images, and your last image was 6 days ago, and, say you get hit with a virus, or a drive fails, your backup is 6 days old. Why not let Macrium make weekly full images and daily differentials? That way, you'd be able to restore your system back one day.

    Also, copy/paste is not completely reliable. Macrium has a "verify" function, to be sure the backups are good. Even the Robocopy function in Windows would be a better way to go than a simple copy/paste for your data, to be sure it is intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by C0zzie View Post
    I dont quite understand this swapping out the harddrives so you get no ransomware. All I am doing is plugging in external hd and backing up
    Most encryption ransomware will encrypt everything connected to the system, even mapped drives and shares. So, the only way to truly ensure something doesn't get hit, would be to have it disconnected from the computer. You leave one external hard drive connected while the other is not, and let Macrium do all the backups automatically. Then you swap. Plugging in drives constantly can wear out connections prematurely.

    Quote Originally Posted by C0zzie View Post
    And I just wanted to know if its perfectly normal to have both 'images' and 'personal data (photos, projects etc) both on 1 HD. There wont be an issue IF I have to restore. The personal data will still be on the eHD1?
    Not a problem at all. Just keep them in separate folders.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    3 Weeks Ago #6
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    Posts : 673

    To help prevent ransomware from encrypting original and backup copies of data folders' files -- any external device being used as a container of backups should not remain plugged in the computer 24/7, rather, should only be plugged in during a backup process -- I think that was one gist of previous posts
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    3 Weeks Ago #7
    Join Date : Jun 2017
    Posts : 54
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Yes you are correct, SSD store the OS (and my games/software), and internal HD stores my photos, work, music etc

    Ye I do see your points, but doesn't a differential image (I need to purchase Macrium for Incremental to work) create a certain Macrium file type? Or does it actually 'copy and paste' the updated file from your PC to your external HD?

    I honestly dont have an issue with manually backing up, so I think I am ok with this.
    I literally just remember to make 1 full image of my SSD per week, and whenever I edit/work on my important projects, add photos from phone to PC, etc, I plug in myExHD_2 and copy and paste it to that (which I have been doing for years, and I am sure millions of people do?..

    Also, I dont really like to have, not only an external HD always plugged in, but having to change it weekly also. But I do appreciate the advice/tips you have given me, this has given me more insight into what Macrium can do!

    Thank You very much
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    3 Weeks Ago #8
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 12,826
    W10Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by C0zzie View Post
    Yes you are correct, SSD store the OS (and my games/software), and internal HD stores my photos, work, music etc

    Ye I do see your points, but doesn't a differential image (I need to purchase Macrium for Incremental to work) create a certain Macrium file type? Or does it actually 'copy and paste' the updated file from your PC to your external HD?
    The Macrium "image" is a compressed file, and yes, both full images and differentials are in this format. Macrium images can be "mounted" using the Macrium program, and particular files can be extracted if desired. So, the images take up much less space, yet the data is fully accessible.

    Quote Originally Posted by C0zzie View Post
    I honestly dont have an issue with manually backing up, so I think I am ok with this.
    I literally just remember to make 1 full image of my SSD per week, and whenever I edit/work on my important projects, add photos from phone to PC, etc, I plug in myExHD_2 and copy and paste it to that (which I have been doing for years, and I am sure millions of people do?..

    Also, I dont really like to have, not only an external HD always plugged in, but having to change it weekly also. But I do appreciate the advice/tips you have given me, this has given me more insight into what Macrium can do!

    Thank You very much
    Welcome!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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