Need help understanding system backup vs disk backup

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BigBen08 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,504
Need help understanding system backup vs disk backup

I was visiting Aomei's site where it explains system vs disk backup.

Here's what they say about each backup type...

System Backup is a type of backup aiming at imaging system partitions and other system related partitions (such as system reserved partition and boot partition), including system files, boot files and data on these partitions.

^ The data in this case is not stuff like photos, documents, etc. But other types of data used by the system (operating system) Am I correct?

Disk Backup is to back up all partitions on the specific disk you select, including all data on that disk.

^ The data in this case is stuff like photos, documents, etc. Correct?

So if I want to backup everything on my disk, I should use Disk Backup, right?

One last question...in what cases would one use System backup? Would that backup the operating system, but nothing else?

Many thanks!

https://www.ubackup.com/help/system-backup.html

https://www.ubackup.com/help/disk-backup.html

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Philip Eihuyar
Philip Eihuyar Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Need help understanding system backup vs disk backup
1

BigBen08 wrote:

I was visiting Aomei's site where it explains system vs disk backup.

Here's what they say about each backup type...

System Backup is a type of backup aiming at imaging system partitions and other system related partitions (such as system reserved partition and boot partition), including system files, boot files and data on these partitions.

^ The data in this case is not stuff like photos, documents, etc. But other types of data used by the system (operating system) Am I correct?

Disk Backup is to back up all partitions on the specific disk you select, including all data on that disk.

^ The data in this case is stuff like photos, documents, etc. Correct?

So if I want to backup everything on my disk, I should use Disk Backup, right?

make sure it is a bootable backup and not just of your personal data.

One last question...in what cases would one use System backup? Would that backup the operating system, but nothing else?

Many thanks!

https://www.ubackup.com/help/system-backup.html

https://www.ubackup.com/help/disk-backup.html

A system backup is a bootable clone of your OS in case there is some damage or corruption to your primary boot OS; It can be on a separate partition or a separate drive, HD or SSD. Backing up or cloning your disk is also including your data, docs, apps, images and such.

As well as a backup on your computer, it is a good idea to have a separate backup of all your important data stored separately in a second location in case of fire or theft or whatever.

bmoag Senior Member • Posts: 2,313
Re: Need help understanding system backup vs disk backup
1

There have been uncounted discussions of backup schemes on this forum and other websites,

The generaly recommended scheme is the primary data, a local backup, and an offsite backup (cloud or other physical location). The more one is a digital hoarder the more difficult that becomes.

Most people, particularly those who tend to tinkering, will have an easily available and easy to restore copy of their "C" or system (as in operating system) drive. It is more efficient to image that disc than to clone it but to each her own. A system image or clone when restored will not require reactivating most drmed software.

Windows has built in software for disc imaging but in my sad experience it has been utterly unreliable compared to alternatives such as Macrium. Its a good thing Microsoft hides it from users. Time Machine in MacOS is also not as reliable as it should be but better conceived than what is in Windows.

If able keeping the operating system with installed programs separate from data(images, documents etc) facilitates backup schemes. Those limited to laptops and Apple products have only a smallish single internal storage drive, smallish if you accumulate lots of photo data, are wise to pay the not so great penalty of reading and writing data files from external drives or the cloud but to each her own.

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SC489 Senior Member • Posts: 1,019
Re: Need help understanding system backup vs disk backup
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A system backup images all partitions required to restore a bootable PC. In addition you can add data partitions to also recover your data. I would use Macrium Reflect rather than any Acronis software.

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Robert Zanatta Senior Member • Posts: 1,703
Re: Need help understanding system backup vs disk backup
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The OP is looking at AOEMI, not Acronis.

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Greybeard2017
Greybeard2017 Senior Member • Posts: 1,207
Re: Need help understanding system backup vs disk backup
1

BigBen08 wrote:

I was visiting Aomei's site where it explains system vs disk backup.

Here's what they say about each backup type...

System Backup is a type of backup aiming at imaging system partitions and other system related partitions (such as system reserved partition and boot partition), including system files, boot files and data on these partitions.

^ The data in this case is not stuff like photos, documents, etc. But other types of data used by the system (operating system) Am I correct?

Disk Backup is to back up all partitions on the specific disk you select, including all data on that disk.

^ The data in this case is stuff like photos, documents, etc. Correct?

So if I want to backup everything on my disk, I should use Disk Backup, right?

As it says on the web site:

"Disk Backup is different from System Backup, because System Backup backs up partitions related to the system only (system partition, system reserved partition, etc)."

My guess would be that the system backup includes your C: drive and that these backups would only differ if you have created separate data partitions on your drive (such as a D: drive etc. to hold your user data).

If you only have a C: drive and your photos, documents etc. are stored in this C: drive then both backups would seem to be the same. (Caveat - I don't have the Aomei software).

These tools all use slightly different wording for the same tasks and it can be complicated to figure out exactly what is going on.

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Ho72
Ho72 Senior Member • Posts: 2,035
Re: Need help understanding system backup vs disk backup
3

BigBen08 wrote:

One last question...in what cases would one use System backup? Would that backup the operating system, but nothing else?

This usually depends on how you've arranged things. System backups are useful, especially if you've taken care to separate your personal data (documents, images, downloads, etc) from your system or OS drive/partition. In this case, a system image can be used as an alternative to Windows system restore, which I always disable. System restore may be better than it was in the past, but my personal experience is that it failed when I was the most desperate for it to work.

I make scheduled images of my OS drive, one full image per month followed by weekly differentials. I also invoke manual backup images in certain instances, such as before an OS update or software install. Having your personal data on a separate partition or drive ensures that you can restore your OS without losing something you recently saved to your docs or downloads between backups. Further, this sort of personal data can be backed up by simply copying it to another location without the need for imaging.

Finally, a couple of definitions may be helpful:

Drive Image: A compressed, monolithic file that cannot be restored or read without access to the same software that created it. Used to create bootable backups of an operating system

Drive Clone: An exact duplicate of a disk, file for file. Cloning is useful when upgrading disks or for creating a backup drive for disaster recovery. The files are readable by any computer that recognizes the file system employed, without the need for specialized software.

OP BigBen08 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,504
Re: Need help understanding system backup vs disk backup
1

Greybeard2017 wrote:

BigBen08 wrote:

I was visiting Aomei's site where it explains system vs disk backup.

Here's what they say about each backup type...

System Backup is a type of backup aiming at imaging system partitions and other system related partitions (such as system reserved partition and boot partition), including system files, boot files and data on these partitions.

^ The data in this case is not stuff like photos, documents, etc. But other types of data used by the system (operating system) Am I correct?

Disk Backup is to back up all partitions on the specific disk you select, including all data on that disk.

^ The data in this case is stuff like photos, documents, etc. Correct?

So if I want to backup everything on my disk, I should use Disk Backup, right?

As it says on the web site:

"Disk Backup is different from System Backup, because System Backup backs up partitions related to the system only (system partition, system reserved partition, etc)."

My guess would be that the system backup includes your C: drive and that these backups would only differ if you have created separate data partitions on your drive (such as a D: drive etc. to hold your user data).

If you only have a C: drive and your photos, documents etc. are stored in this C: drive then both backups would seem to be the same. (Caveat - I don't have the Aomei software).

These tools all use slightly different wording for the same tasks and it can be complicated to figure out exactly what is going on.

Very good, thanks. I agree very much with your last sentence.

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OP BigBen08 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,504
Re: Need help understanding system backup vs disk backup

Ho72 wrote:

BigBen08 wrote:

One last question...in what cases would one use System backup? Would that backup the operating system, but nothing else?

This usually depends on how you've arranged things. System backups are useful, especially if you've taken care to separate your personal data (documents, images, downloads, etc) from your system or OS drive/partition. In this case, a system image can be used as an alternative to Windows system restore, which I always disable. System restore may be better than it was in the past, but my personal experience is that it failed when I was the most desperate for it to work.

I make scheduled images of my OS drive, one full image per month followed by weekly differentials. I also invoke manual backup images in certain instances, such as before an OS update or software install. Having your personal data on a separate partition or drive ensures that you can restore your OS without losing something you recently saved to your docs or downloads between backups. Further, this sort of personal data can be backed up by simply copying it to another location without the need for imaging.

Finally, a couple of definitions may be helpful:

Drive Image: A compressed, monolithic file that cannot be restored or read without access to the same software that created it. Used to create bootable backups of an operating system

Drive Clone: An exact duplicate of a disk, file for file. Cloning is useful when upgrading disks or for creating a backup drive for disaster recovery. The files are readable by any computer that recognizes the file system employed, without the need for specialized software.

Thanks for the help. I believe Drive Image is sometimes call a backup image or image file. Slight variations of the same term.

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