How do you manage data on very large discs?

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  1. Posts : 11,590
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1776

    I have two disks in each computer - one for the OS & applications, one for my data. The data disks vary - up to 2TB.

    About "I should back up these partitions perhaps every 3 months or so" - I imagine this was a typo. If it wasn't then it hardly seems worthwhile helping you because it is all going to end in disaster anyway.

    I'd suggest thinking through your backup policy. Anything that is best backed up & restored in the same way [imaging, simple file copying, ...] can be in the same partition.
    1 I have an OS partition on each computer - my diary contains the note to image this weekly but I often skip weeks if there have been no substantial changes. I retain the last few images and weed out older ones except significant ones. All images are made onto [alternately] one of a pair of external drives. The images are saved in separate folders not in separate partitions.
    2 I have a Maps partition on each computer [for maps of the MS Maps App] - this gets imaged once in every blue moon because that's how often I change anything.
    3 I have a data partition on each computer for my own 'conventional' files. These are backed up using the built-in utility RoboCopy - hourly to a set of mirror folders in an SD card that lives in the computer, "weekly" to an external drive.
    4 I have another data partition on each computer for my large collection of audio files and for my recent TV recordings. These are backed up using the built-in utility RoboCopy - new/changed files only are backed up hourly to a set of mirror folders in the same SD card that lives in the computer, all files are backed up "weekly" to an external drive.
    - [The files are removed from the SD card when they have been backed up to the external drive. The SD card is not used for an accumulation of backups but merely for a single, automatically-maintained set of file copies.]

    I think your extraordinary number of partitions is unnecessary and achieves nothing for you. I appreciate that you regard them as helping you avoid mistakes.
    I also think separating system images into separate partitions is a complete & utter waste of time.

    Best of luck,
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 42
    windows 10.0.19042
    Thread Starter

    Hi Folks,
    Thanks for sharing your configurations and backup strategies.
    I wasn't aware of the fact that a backup image can contain several partitions, so that changes everything.
    It means I can keep my multiple partitions for organisation and separation and as someone said, if it works for you ...etc, and it does work for me, but I don't need to worry about multiple partitions for backup as I can roll them all into one and keep them up to date using incrementals.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 1,181
    Windows 10 Pro

    Ford Prefect said:
    Thanks very much for your interest and for your "suggestions", I've tried fewer partitions and using folders but it doesn't give the separation and it didn't work for me, it's too easy to end up with hundreds of folders which become a nightmare to monitor.
    Do you actually manage very large discs and data?
    If so, I'm interested in what you actually do, rather than suggestions.
    I'd like to here from people who have been there and done it!
    Thanks again.
    I also have this issue, perhaps not as many files or TB, but the issue is the same. I also have just one MEDIA drive, with top-level folders like:
    iTunes (since I have iPhone and iPad devices)
    Books (PDFs, mainly)

    By the way, I do all my photo work in Lightroom and I use the YYYY\MM\DD structure inside all the photo folders. To manage things properly, I rely on Lightroom's keywords and collections features. Some people have over 500,000 images in their Lightroom catalog, which just is an information repository for all your files on disk. Works great, but the downside is that if you want to move photos to a different folder location, you have to do it within Lightroom.
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 42
    windows 10.0.19042
    Thread Starter

    Hi x509,
    Thanks for your input.
    I use Capture One Pro for my photo editing and I chose it in preference to Lightroom because it allows you to open sessions without having to import all the photos into the catalogue first. When Lightroom first came out I already had over 10,000 photos and I didn't feel like re-tagging them all!
    I'm retired now so it's only personal stuff from now on, so hopefully this will be my last big re-organisation of files.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 1,620
    Windows 10 Home

    OP, concerning backups: you can make one full image of each partition, one partition = one full image. Your OS partition and any related hidden partitions can be one full image. Then, each of your data partitions gets one full image. No more mixing OS and data. And, naturally, as the data in each partition changes, simply update that particular's partition's full image - maybe once weekly, or bi-monthly at least. This might have already been suggested earlier by others.

    Actually, your data partitions remind me of a church elder, using a 286 or 386, on a 100MB HDD, had to form many partitions because DOS at that time could only handle 1-20MB per partition.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 42
    windows 10.0.19042
    Thread Starter

    Hi Roland,
    Yes, a backup image for each partition makes good sense as only a few get changed frequently, so those could be backed up weekly and the others at more appropriate intervals.
      My Computer


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