How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Austinian
MOD Austinian Forum Pro • Posts: 10,755
Re: Great info so far

skyglider wrote:

21tones wrote:

Skyglider

I don't know what the difference is between cloning a drive and doing a full image backup but I'll read up on it. From what you say it sounds like the full image backup doesn't take as much space. I guess I need to be doing this once a month or after significant use of the ON1 software so the backup is reasonably up to date vis a vis the catalogue.

CLONING A DRIVE:

Get a new drive of the same or larger capacity. Then Macrium Reflect can make an exact copy of the source drive (the C: drive in your case) on the new drive. Now if the C: drive fails, just replace it with the new cloned drive and you can boot widows and continue running as if nothing happened. Note that only one backup can be stored on the backup drive as a cloned drive, period. You cannot clone two drives to the one backup drive. You can clone any drive whether it is the system C drive or a data D drive or an external USB drive, but it is a one-for-one backup.

A FULL IMAGE BACKUP:

Get a new drive preferably with much more capacity than the drive(s) you want to backup. Like say your C drive is a 500GB SSD and your D drive is a 2TB mechanical HDD, then maybe get a 4TB backup drive. Preferably two 4TB drives to alternate backups.

In Macrium Reflect, do a full image backup. Macrium will copy everything of value on the source drive to one large file on the backup drive. It will not copy unused space, page or hybernation files. The data copied will be compressed to reduce the file size.

If the source drive fails (say it is the C drive), then you buy a replacement drive. You use Macrium Reflect (MR) to "restore" the image backup to the new drive. That is done using a rescue CD or USB flash drive that MR creates, which means you do not need a working copy of windows to do the restore. When the restore is complete, the new drive will be bootable and have everything of value exactly like it was on the source drive when the backup was made.

Since the image backup is stored as one big file on the backup drive, you can store different image backups on the same backup drive. You can store multiple backups of the C drive on the backup drive and just restore the last image backup if the C drive fails.

I recommend doing image backups on two separate drives. Alternate the backups. Then if one backup drive fails, you will still have the other drive to restore from, though the backup will be older and have less up-to-date data. Better than nothing though.

HOW TO DECIDE WHETHER TO DO A CLONE OR IMAGE BACKUP:

If you have a business and it's crucial that you get your system up asap after a hard drive failure, then you should do a clone backup. But as a home user, it's more practical to do image backups since it only takes about 20 minutes to do a restore of a system drive to the new drive. Large data drives like a 2TB D drive that is half full will take longer. .... Some home users prefer to do clone backups which is a personal preference.

Very good summary. I would also suggest that when image backups are made with Macrium, the "Auto Verify" choice in "Advanced Options" is used, just to be sure that the backup is OK.

That does increase the backup time substantially, but I think it's worth it in case something did go wrong, though I personally have never seen that.

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