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  • Macrium Reflect Free Windows Partition Backup vs Full Image Backup

    Posted on Nibbled To Death By Ducks Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 Macrium Reflect Free Windows Partition Backup vs Full Image Backup

    This topic contains 17 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Nibbled To Death By Ducks 1 month ago.

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    • #1909339 Reply

      Have not been using this for long, and have not found the info on the Macrium site (may have missed it, old eyes) so a question or you Macrium users:

      There are two different kinds of Image you can make in the Free version; A straight “Image” and a “Partitions Needed To Restore Windows” Image.

      Funny thing is, when done, they only vary in size on the external backup drive to the tune of about 30 MB after standard backup compression! I really thought there would be more.

      The size of my “C” drive is 320 GB (OK, 297 and change), used space is 79.091 GB, and unused is 223 GB.For the backup drive I use a WD 1GB “Elements”(Yeah, I know, but it was all I could afford. I hate the proprietary connector at the backup drive, but…it was inexpensive, and once formatted for NTFS seems to work fine. Wish I could still afford those WD impact-hardened external backup drives I have for my old XP workstation.)

      Q:  Is this difference because I’ve got a drive only 1/4 full, and most of it is OS, so there isn’t much difference between the two, or is there some other reason?

      I have been doing both types once a week and putting them in separate folders on the backup drive, and just wondering at this stage of the game, if I’m wasting my time doing both if there’s not a lot of apps, data, and content that is NOT down in the OS?

      Version is Macrium 7.2 .

      Thanks in advance!

      (BTW the read/write times are fairly decent for a laptop slow-as-mud 5400 RPM drive and a USB 3.0 connection-about 740Mb/s write and 1.0 Gb/s read. 11-12 minute backup without a verify, double with one. Better than my old XP workstation’s SATA-1 connection, which is about 21-24 Mb/s, and uses an older version of TeraByte for backup. Newer hardware, USB 3.0 vs 2.0, different software, other factors.)

      Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Wait for the all-clear", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode."
      --
      "...All the people, all the time..." (Peter Ustinov ad-lib from "Logan's Run")

    • #1909399 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      It’s doing entire partitions in either case, so we would need some information about your partitions to know exactly what is going on.  In a typical Windows installation, Windows, user data, and programs are all installed on C:\, so when you have it back up the partitions needed to restore Windows, it’s going to grab everything on C:\.

      The difference is probably a recovery partition of some kind, whether from Windows or the PC OEM, that is being imaged in the full drive mode but not in the “needed to restore Windows” mode.  There’s no need to run both kinds of backups; the smaller one is contained fully within the larger.  Aside from the 30 MB that’s only in one, the images will contain the same data.  I’d just do the full drive backup and leave it at that.  It will get you back to where you are now in case of disaster.

      The free version of Reflect also lets you pick specific partitions to back up.  I did this when I used it to back up my Linux partitions before I discovered Veeam agent for Linux.  I had one “full” backup that included all of the Windows and Linux partitions, and a smaller backup that only included my Linux partitions (which Reflect will happily back up and restore, from Windows or the rescue USB stick, even though they are a foreign format).  I had often not run Windows since the previous backup run, so the old Windows backup would still be just as valid as when I’d made it.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.5).

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    • #1909400 Reply

      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      On a Windows 7 system the partitions needed for Windows should only include the System Reserved and OS partitions. If your disk contains more partitions than those, they won’t be strictly required to restore Windows, and some people may choose to omit them.

      For instance, many older Dell computers included a DellUtility partition, which had nothing to do with Windows and could be eliminated. (If the sizes of your images are only about 30MB different, there’s a good chance that’s what you have.)

      It sounds like you’ve already made images, and Macrium saves the partition layout with the image, so you could investigate this for yourself. For example, here’s a sample Win10/GPT system, on which I’ll image only the OS partition:

      macrium1

      Afterward, if I pretend to restore and select the image, Macrium will still show the entire disk layout, even though only one partition was imaged:

      macrium2

      By similarly investigating your own images you should be able to determine for yourself which partitions are not being captured by your “Windows only” images. That should help you decide whether the skipped partitions are important to you.

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      • #1910981 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        On a Windows 7 system the partitions needed for Windows should only include the System Reserved and OS partitions.

        UEFI/GPT installations will also contain an EFI partition.   I don’t know how many Windows 7 UEFI installations are out in the wild, but that was the most recent configuration I had in Windows 7 on my PC (Sandy Bridge desktop).

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.5).

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        • #1911144 Reply

          Yup, there’s a “Transitional-Hybrid UEFI/BIOS” on this machine.

          Sounds like just a “Full Image” is all I really need.

          Sounds like just a “Full Image” is all I really need. But I always was a “If unsure, a belt AND suspenders” kinda guy, so I did both until I was sure.

          I like at least three Fail Safes too. Or, as General Jack said, “Aw, c’mon! When did Plan “A” ever work?” (“B” often goes in the dumper as well as “C”. Plan “D” is usually “Run away!”*)

          My XP workstation (in storage) has four partitions, really should be five, with one just for the OS and one for the swap file:

          C: OS

          D: Static swap file

          E: Graphics Programs (closer to the center of the disk for speed-a really good high-res Poser animation or Bryce render could take HOURS.)

          F: Apps and General Programs

          G: Media Storage

          …or so my old PC guru used to say…but that was years ago. many opinions on that. But I digress. (Man, I do a lot of that! Getting old.)

          * My wife, a Tech Writer, actually had to use this decades ago in a manual for mil-spec APU’s: “If this light goes on, get away as far and as fast as possible.”

          Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Wait for the all-clear", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode."
          --
          "...All the people, all the time..." (Peter Ustinov ad-lib from "Logan's Run")

          • #1911374 Reply

            GoneToPlaid
            AskWoody Plus

            A full image will do the trick. You can verify the image later. As far as to which recovery environment to install, install the Windows PE 3.1 which is for computers with BIOSes configured for Windows 7. The other two PE environments are for either Windows 8x or Windows 10, and probably will not work correctly with computer BIOSes which are configured for Windows 7.

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            • #1911444 Reply

              anonymous

              GTP-NTDBD here-I already made a Rescue Disk with the tools in Reflect-thought that was all required-????? Have I been making all these bacups for months in vain??? No instructions about PE in Macrium!

            • #1911554 Reply

              GoneToPlaid
              AskWoody Plus

              No worries. Simply make sure that if you are using Windows 7, that the rescue disk is built using the Win PE 3.5 environment. To test the rescue disk, boot from it and simply make sure that you are able to select your backup hard drive. If so, then you are good to go.

              Admins: I just posted a similar post (forgot to log in) which can be deleted.

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            • #1911492 Reply

              OK, this time I’m awake and logged in…I found it…like I said, old eyes, must have missed it during the initial setup months ago.

              https://blog.macrium.com/the-macrium-rescue-environment-cca57a4ebc61?gi=e457b95a1b89

              …and it indicates that Windows PE is part of the Macrium Rescue disk. Whew. Had my heart pumping hard there for a minute!

              “Macrium Reflect creates custom Windows PE systems for each installation type by downloading the required components from Microsoft.”

              “If you lose your Windows operating system or need to restore your system, you can start your PC using Macrium Reflect rescue media on CD, DVD, or USB stick. This makes creating rescue media the first thing you need to do with Macrium Reflect. It contains a bootable, lightweight version of Windows and a full version of Macrium Reflect.
              “This lightweight, non-persistent, version of Windows is called the Windows Preinstallation Environment (also known as Windows PE or WinPE). A variant of this to enable Windows system recovery is called the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) typically supplied with Windows 7 and later operating systems. For Windows XP, Vista and systems without WinRE, Reflect will download the Windows Pre-installation directly from Microsoft.”
              So maybe I should have TWO Rescue media disks? (Belt AND suspenders…) 🙂

              Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Wait for the all-clear", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode."
              --
              "...All the people, all the time..." (Peter Ustinov ad-lib from "Logan's Run")

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        • #1911363 Reply

          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          I set up two of my desktop Windows installations with UEFI and GPT partitions because this supposedly provides greater security during the boot process.

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    • #1910227 Reply

      GoneToPlaid
      AskWoody Plus

      Are you patching using the Group A method? How much hard drive space (percent) is configured for System Restore points? Your read and write speeds are similar to what I get when backing up to either external USB3 drives or to external eSATA drives.

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  GoneToPlaid. Reason: Added info about my read-write speeds
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      • #1910782 Reply

         

        1. No, I wait for the “All Clear” from Woody
        2. 10GB-3%
        3. One partition only…I know, but I just can’t seem to get the time to partition this thing the way I want…I got it second hand.

        Thanks to all above, will delve in depth when time allows!*

        ——-

        *Just switched back to Firefox from Snoop-Chrome  after many years, installed Adblock Plus and NoScript, and am wrestling with THAT…(“Permissions, permissions, we have these Permissions…”[apologies to Plautus, the Roman comedic playwright])

        “In hoc signo tu conteres calcaneum tuum!” (In this sign you’ll bruise your heels!”), or

        “O tempora! O quodve tarn dirum machinery habemus!” (look it up.)  🙂

        Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Wait for the all-clear", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode."
        --
        "...All the people, all the time..." (Peter Ustinov ad-lib from "Logan's Run")

    • #1911385 Reply

      wavy
      AskWoody Plus

      * My wife, a Tech Writer, actually had to use this decades ago in a manual for mil-spec APU’s: “If this light goes on, get away as far and as fast as possible.”

      Auxiliary power unit??

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #1911493 Reply

        Right on. Who was it that said, “Mil-spec hardware is designed by geniuses to be run by idiots.”

        The only exception to this rule seems to be a certain helicopter, which shall remain nameless, where you had to remove the engine to change the oil.

        Imagine all the light-hearted laughter and good times in the service bay on that one! Oy.

        Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Wait for the all-clear", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode."
        --
        "...All the people, all the time..." (Peter Ustinov ad-lib from "Logan's Run")

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        b b
    • #1911557 Reply

      GoneToPlaid
      AskWoody Plus

      Simply make sure that you build your rescue disk for Win7 using the Windows PE version 3.5. The PE 4 and 5 versions are for Windows 8.x and Windows 10 installations, respectively. If you ever discover that your rescue disk was built with the wrong PE, you can build a new rescue disk with the correct PE by using another fairly similar computer.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Macrium Reflect Free Windows Partition Backup vs Full Image Backup

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