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  1.    08 May 2017 #210
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Athens, Greece
    Posts : 141
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooly View Post
    You've got me wondering. Are you saying that the moved WindowsImageBackup file is non valid after such a move ?
    Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. I copied the Image (WindowsImageBackup folder) from the root of one disk to the root of another and when tried to restore the image from the new drive, Windows does not see it!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    08 May 2017 #211
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 22
    windows 8.1

    Will this only create a image from C: OS full installation? I trying to create the image to a specific drive with 250GB of free space while my C: installation has only around 45GB. The problem Windows image backup is complaining my 250GB maybe dont got enough space for the backup. So my doubt about what it's going to backup.

    Will this backup any game i have installed in secondary drives which appear in settings>apps? I have some Steam/Origin/Uplay games which appear there too besides Windows Store ones.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    08 May 2017 #212
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    SC
    Posts : 147
    Windows 10 Pro

    My Guess As To Why Moving Things Around


    I would think it is related to the registry files. But it is just a guess. I've changed hard drives and things related to them.
    I made the mistake of changing the drive letters in regedit (took hrs) when I should've just changed the drive letter to match the one that was already there in the registry.
    Last edited by tazmo8448; 08 May 2017 at 20:29. Reason: clarification
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    08 May 2017 #213
    Join Date : Jun 2016
    Posts : 1,474
    Win10 1607

    Windows Backup backs up ALL Drives IT "thinks" it needs to restore Win10 , so if like me you have moved your Library locations for your Pics.Videos etc to other Drives , it also tries to include those Drives (drives , not partitions) so suddenly you may have a 2TB backup....this is why I primarily use Macrium Reflect Free these days and image only those Partitions I need too to backup windows , Macrium also has a built in feature for "Backup my Windows Files" .....of some similar name... you can use.
    Last edited by Kbird; 25 Jun 2017 at 12:23.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    09 May 2017 #214
    Join Date : Jun 2014
    UK
    Posts : 1,077
    W10 pro x64 and W8.1 x86

    So I have done a bit of testing and I'm pleased this question cropped up because it has answered my question I was going to ask.

    Here is the set up I use. I create and store my backups on a separate partition on the main drive. These are my working or running backups for daily use.

    Here is the location and currently this contains a single WindowsImageBackup folder. I run backups twice daily and so each backup is added to the single folder as a differential (or incremental, I've never figured out which).

    Look at the space used.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can see that this next image has available all the differentials (or incrementals) available to restore from. Notice how the restore program alters the drive letters (as do other 3rd party offerings). The restored images always have the correct letters reinstated.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I now move this image to a USB drive.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now it gets interesting.

    The moved image is fully restorable (as I say, I know I have done this in the past) but you lose the option of seeing all the differentials in the sequence. What you end up with is a restorable image of the last backup in the set. All other are unavailable.

    Edit... I missed this image out. Here are both images as seen by recovery. Both are available, one is the original and one the moved copy.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That now makes sense because this is where the 'shadow copies' thing comes in. That is the vital info for the differentials to be restorable and in moving the file they have gone.

    To show just how much space the 'invisible' shadow copies use I renamed my main backup file and then ran a disk clean using the 'more options' and 'delete shadow copies'.

    Look at the free space now compared to the first picture.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So I now have now converted my set of many differentials into a single restorable image of the last date a backup was run.

    To answer the question... yes, you can move images, rename them etc. All you need do to restore them is to ensure that you name it back to WindowsImageBackup.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    09 May 2017 #215
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,824
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooly View Post
    So I have done a bit of testing...

    Now it gets interesting.... The moved image is fully restorable (as I say, I know I have done this in the past) but you lose the option of seeing all the differentials in the sequence....That now makes sense because this is where the 'shadow copies' thing comes in. That is the vital info for the differentials to be restorable and in moving the file they have gone....

    To answer the question... yes, you can move images, rename them etc. All you need do to restore them is to ensure that you name it back to WindowsImageBackup.
    Thank you for this. I use Backup & Restore for my system images too and have had some success (and failures) in copying the system images to other drives - some could be restored, others weren't recognised as restorable images. I wasn't aware of the part shadow copies played, this goes some way to explaining the unforeseen failures.

    By default you do not have access to the WindowsImageBackup folder, but can gain permanent access if you try to open it in File Explorer. Inside you will find a sub-folder with the same name as the PC you made the system image for. It is therefore possible to keep multiple independent images of different PCs on the one external drive, provided they all have different names (or the same PC if you rename it before making each system image).

    A word of warning though, do not mix OS in the same WindowsImageBackup folder. various images of Windows 10 can happily coexist in one folder, but if you put a Windows 7 image in the same folder most (if not all) the Win10 images will cease to be recognised for restoring. If you need to add a Win7 image, first rename the Win10 WindowsImageBackup folder and let Win7 make its own new one. For a drive with several renamed folders, change the appropriate folder back to WindowsImageBackup before attempting the restore.

    My practice is to make a system image of each of my PCs on a second partition on the same drive as the system, effectively my personalised 'factory reset' partition. This is convenient for a quick restore, but no protection against drive failure. For that I have an external drive with a single WindowsImageBackup folder. This contains images for all my PCs, each image includes, in addition to the OS partitions, the partition holding its system image.

    Restoring from this external drive gives the option of restoring just the system, or the additional partition as well. Once restored, the image(s) in this data partition are themselves restorable.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    09 May 2017 #216
    Join Date : Jun 2014
    UK
    Posts : 1,077
    W10 pro x64 and W8.1 x86

    You're welcome

    Its always interesting to try all this stuff out and then you are not in for any nasty surprises when you really need it. I always tend to both move and rename the backup folder once I wish to start a new sequence off. Curiously, renaming and then naming it back again doesn't seem to break the availability of all the differentials in the set so long as the shadow copies are still lurking on the drive.

    On my picture of the Seagate drive that shows the backups in file explorer, some are x64 and some x86. All are renamed though. x64/x86, that's another story as to why I am doing that though
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    25 Jun 2017 #217
    Join Date : Jun 2014
    UK
    Posts : 1,077
    W10 pro x64 and W8.1 x86

    A little bit more info to add to all this. Beginning on the 1st of June I started a new backup sequence off but this time around I'm just letting it run and run. I continue to make two images a day and have noticed now that the free space on the drive used has 'levelled off' and is hovering around the value shown in the image despite continuing to make images.

    To see how this translates into practice I entered the restore menu and see that backups from 1st to 7th June have disappeared from the list. So Windows is self managing this, there is still just the one visible folder plus the hidden 'restore points' as I call them.

    I haven't been able to decide whether the time taken to make an image has slowed (it doesn't seem to have done) because we must now be a long way from the first base image.

    The more I use and delve into Windows disk imaging and the more impressed I am.

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    25 Jun 2017 #218
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooly View Post

    The more I use and delve into Windows disk imaging and the more impressed I am.
    Creating the image is only 1/2 of the equation, however. The other 1/2 is being able to reliably restore it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    25 Jun 2017 #219
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,824
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Creating the image is only 1/2 of the equation, however. The other 1/2 is being able to reliably restore it.
    I've learned the hard way that doing anything slightly out of the ordinary (like renaming or moving images) can break the ability to restore.

    Being careful to stay within its limitations, I've found the restore to be reliable - I've lost count of the number of times I've done it. Every 'Patch Tuesday' I restore, update then save three of the images (1703, 1607 & 1511) for my test machine (System Two in my specs).
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 
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