Backup strategy to hard drive bigger than original


G

Guest

This may sound like a pretty basic question, but I've hung on to various
threads around the topic for a while, but still have a few points to clear
up.

Have XPPro on a nearly full 40gig internal drive, and recently bought 2
MyBook 500gig externals.
Despite reading around, I still got a surprise to find there was only a usb
port on the back of the drives, so I won't be plugging one in to my router
after all... so I want to minimise the chances of any further c ' ups.

The way I see it, the sensible thing to do would be to divide the new drives
into sections (drives? partitions?): a section, maybe the same size as the
original drive, to clone the operating system and programme files to; and a
main section for transferring and backing up all the personal data files. I
have never done any work on drives/partitions before, so I am not sure
exactly how to proceed.

I am also unsure as to whether I can boot from any clone I might put on the
external drive - obviously I would like to be able to do this; and whether
there will be a problem cloning from a smaller drive to a larger one (One
source I read mentioned a clone programme treating the larger drive as if it
was still only the same size as the original.)

I know these are questions that ideally I should have asked before buying
the new drives, but until one actually tries to use them, the questions
don't occur to the inexperienced!

Also, are there any suitable free cloning programmes I should consider;
and/or should I nowadays be looking at Ghost, or Acronis?

Any advice or links pointing to a step by step process for achieving the
above aims, would be much appreciated.

Regards,

S
 
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B

Big_Al

spamlet said:
This may sound like a pretty basic question, but I've hung on to various
threads around the topic for a while, but still have a few points to clear
up.

Have XPPro on a nearly full 40gig internal drive, and recently bought 2
MyBook 500gig externals.
Despite reading around, I still got a surprise to find there was only a usb
port on the back of the drives, so I won't be plugging one in to my router
after all... so I want to minimise the chances of any further c ' ups.

The way I see it, the sensible thing to do would be to divide the new drives
into sections (drives? partitions?): a section, maybe the same size as the
original drive, to clone the operating system and programme files to; and a
main section for transferring and backing up all the personal data files. I
have never done any work on drives/partitions before, so I am not sure
exactly how to proceed.
You don't need to partition anything. A good program like Acronis True
Image Home will write an *image* of your 40 gig drive to the USB drive.
You can store several copies on that same large drive.
If you clone over and over and over, you only have the last backup.
And in reality, if you get a virus, and then clone before you know it,
you now got a clone on the only copy of your backup. So multiple
images is a more practical backup.
You can boot off the restore CD and pick which image you want, and you
can even pick files within the image. You don't have to restore the
entire drive.
I am also unsure as to whether I can boot from any clone I might put on the
external drive - obviously I would like to be able to do this; and whether
there will be a problem cloning from a smaller drive to a larger one (One
source I read mentioned a clone programme treating the larger drive as if it
was still only the same size as the original.)
Acronis will allow you to clone from a small to a large drive. That's
one of its features, to allow you to install a new drive and upgrade.
But it will be hard if not impossible to boot from the external drive.
Another problem is that cloning is meant for drive replacement. And
normally the directions are to remove the cloned (USB) drive after doing
the clone operation.
If you make the boot disc and boot off of it, you make the clone and
then immediately shutdown and swap drives. The new drive, lets say the
500 gig is in your cabinet, now boots and changes the drive letter to C:
as it should be and not the D: or E: or whatever it was. This is the
intent of the clone operation.

I know these are questions that ideally I should have asked before buying
the new drives, but until one actually tries to use them, the questions
don't occur to the inexperienced!

Also, are there any suitable free cloning programmes I should consider;
and/or should I nowadays be looking at Ghost, or Acronis?

Any advice or links pointing to a step by step process for achieving the
above aims, would be much appreciated.

Regards,

S
Hope this helps.
 
G

Guest

Big_Al said:
You don't need to partition anything. A good program like Acronis True
Image Home will write an *image* of your 40 gig drive to the USB drive.
You can store several copies on that same large drive.
If you clone over and over and over, you only have the last backup. And in
reality, if you get a virus, and then clone before you know it, you now
got a clone on the only copy of your backup. So multiple images is a
more practical backup.
You can boot off the restore CD and pick which image you want, and you can
even pick files within the image. You don't have to restore the entire
drive.

Acronis will allow you to clone from a small to a large drive. That's one
of its features, to allow you to install a new drive and upgrade.
But it will be hard if not impossible to boot from the external drive.
Another problem is that cloning is meant for drive replacement. And
normally the directions are to remove the cloned (USB) drive after doing
the clone operation.
If you make the boot disc and boot off of it, you make the clone and then
immediately shutdown and swap drives. The new drive, lets say the 500
gig is in your cabinet, now boots and changes the drive letter to C: as it
should be and not the D: or E: or whatever it was. This is the intent of
the clone operation.


Hope this helps.

Thanks Al,

Still a bit puzzling though: the 'clone' appears to be a very large' image'
folder that is used to write everything onto a replacement drive, should the
original become unusable. Yet you say that one can choose which files are
restored? This sounds like a contradiction?

Should, say, just one programme become corrupted in some way, how would one
pick out all its various components and get them back and working in the
right places? Or does one use the clone like a giant 'System Restore'
point, where, as soon as anything starts playing up, one reverts to an image
of the whole system that previously worked, without any reference to the
individual programmes? With the possible difference, that one might have to
reformat the whole drive before installing the full system clone?

As the system and programme files are less likely to change, fundamentally,
than the personal data files, I would have thought that the 'clone' ought to
be just these files, while the data files were backed up with a normal back
up programme.

You say I must remove the usb drive after doing any clone operation, yet I
can have multiple clone images on that drive? Doesn't that imply that I
must have 'two drives' on my new 500gig, so that one can be 'removed' while
my other 'non image' stored files, remain available?

Sorry to appear so dumb...

Assistance much appreciated,
Thanks,
S
 
P

peter

Your getting confused with Cloning and Imaging.
A clone of the drive is an exact bootable copy/clone of the original
Its intent is to "tranfer" all of your old drive to a new larger drive....
An Image of the drive is a exact non-bootable copy/image....A compressed
file is created with this image and can be accessed by Acronis True Image
program to restore either the whole Image or individual files inside the
image. Acronis prompts you to create an emergency start up CD/DVD by means
of which you can start your system without running XP and restore the Image
or Files within the Image.

I use imaging as a backup procedure..I basically have 2 partitions on an
external HD and rotate Image creations..

peter
 
B

Big_Al

spamlet said:
Thanks Al,

Still a bit puzzling though: the 'clone' appears to be a very large' image'
folder that is used to write everything onto a replacement drive, should the
original become unusable. Yet you say that one can choose which files are
restored? This sounds like a contradiction?
I may have typed wrong. Peter gave a good response. A clone is a
complete bootable copy made to another drive, the complete partition is
duped.
An image is a complete copy but its just a compressed file and you can
restore individual files from it. However if you restore it as a
complete, you can make the destination bootable. So its almost the same.
Should, say, just one programme become corrupted in some way, how would one
pick out all its various components and get them back and working in the
right places? Or does one use the clone like a giant 'System Restore'
point, where, as soon as anything starts playing up, one reverts to an image
of the whole system that previously worked, without any reference to the
individual programmes? With the possible difference, that one might have to
reformat the whole drive before installing the full system clone?
If you had a problem with Office, having a backup would do you little
good unless you specifically knew that file xxx.dll was bad or such.
Otherwise yes, you could just restore the entire image and like you
said, make a giant system restore. And TI will format and/or partition
before restoring an entire image if you wish.

When I reloaded my PC with SP3, I did all the loading and setup and
custom config etc, then imaged the PC. Now I have the very very very
first virgin load to use. I also have more recent images if I want.
And daily minor file backups.
As the system and programme files are less likely to change, fundamentally,
than the personal data files, I would have thought that the 'clone' ought to
be just these files, while the data files were backed up with a normal back
up programme.
You cannot pick with a clone. A clone is the entire partition.And as some people suggest, you can make two partitions C: for the OS
and D: for the data. As long as you understand an install of a
program on D: effects changes to the OS on C: and you have to manage it
like so, yes you can do that.
You say I must remove the usb drive after doing any clone operation, yet I
can have multiple clone images on that drive? Doesn't that imply that I
must have 'two drives' on my new 500gig, so that one can be 'removed' while
my other 'non image' stored files, remain available?
You can have multiple images on a drive. But a clone wipes an entire
partition. Peter commented that he makes multiple partitions and
rotates his clones. Doing one on partition #1 then one #2 then back to
#1 (if I got his quote right). I just put several images on the same
drive partition.

And (assume you have single partitioned drives) TI's procedure for a
clone would be to clone your C: drive to lets say E: drive in a USB
cabinet. When you finish, you turn everything off, remove the C: drive,
put the E: drive in the PC and boot. TI has a small loader that
changes the E: to C: for the obvious reasons and then boots. You now
have your system running but on another drive. When you did the clone,
you had the option to size the partition on E: by the way, so you can
move from small to a larger partition.
Sorry to appear so dumb...

Assistance much appreciated,
Thanks,
S
TI can actually be used like a partition manager. A bit awkward but if
you had a C:/D: drive split, you could image the two of them (in one
operation) to the USB, then restore them back but partition the C:/D:
different. A bit awkward but it can be done.
 
G

Guest

Big_Al said:
I may have typed wrong. Peter gave a good response. A clone is a
complete bootable copy made to another drive, the complete partition is
duped.
An image is a complete copy but its just a compressed file and you can
restore individual files from it. However if you restore it as a
complete, you can make the destination bootable. So its almost the same.

If you had a problem with Office, having a backup would do you little good
unless you specifically knew that file xxx.dll was bad or such. Otherwise
yes, you could just restore the entire image and like you said, make a
giant system restore. And TI will format and/or partition before
restoring an entire image if you wish.

When I reloaded my PC with SP3, I did all the loading and setup and custom
config etc, then imaged the PC. Now I have the very very very first
virgin load to use. I also have more recent images if I want. And daily
minor file backups.

You cannot pick with a clone. A clone is the entire partition.
And as some people suggest, you can make two partitions C: for the OS and
D: for the data. As long as you understand an install of a program on
D: effects changes to the OS on C: and you have to manage it like so, yes
you can do that.

You can have multiple images on a drive. But a clone wipes an entire
partition. Peter commented that he makes multiple partitions and rotates
his clones. Doing one on partition #1 then one #2 then back to #1 (if I
got his quote right). I just put several images on the same drive
partition.

And (assume you have single partitioned drives) TI's procedure for a clone
would be to clone your C: drive to lets say E: drive in a USB cabinet.
When you finish, you turn everything off, remove the C: drive, put the E:
drive in the PC and boot. TI has a small loader that changes the E: to
C: for the obvious reasons and then boots. You now have your system
running but on another drive. When you did the clone, you had the option
to size the partition on E: by the way, so you can move from small to a
larger partition.

TI can actually be used like a partition manager. A bit awkward but if
you had a C:/D: drive split, you could image the two of them (in one
operation) to the USB, then restore them back but partition the C:/D:
different. A bit awkward but it can be done.

Thanks very much for the clarifications Peter and Al.

So would I now be (unfortunately) right in telling my partner, that should
she step on her laptop again, while out and about, she cannot have a clone
on a portable drive handy to boot from unless she dismantles the laptop and
the drive to swap them over? Somehow I was foolish enough to expect that
there would be a real backup option to get around this situation. Are you
telling me there is not? If there is such a product available, what is it?

On the less extreme back up situation front. It seems that I need to know
more about the methods/pros/cons of partitioning and drive manipulation.
Can either of you point me at any good reading matter on the subject? How
did Peter partition his drives: there does not seem to be a partitioning
option in 'Disk management'?

Finally, from what you are both saying, it would appear that ATI will, on
its own, be able to accomplish everything that I may need to do with regard
to back up processes/partition creation etc. and so this is the product I
should be getting.

On a more general back up note: do all back up products work by creating
their own 'image sets' that just look like single files that only the
creating programme can open (I think I have stacks of such sets from my old
W3.1 days, and I never could keep track of which was which and which
programme made them!). Apart from copying 'by hand' is there no back up
that just copies the file system over as is?

Thanks once again,

S
 
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B

Big_Al

spamlet said:
Thanks very much for the clarifications Peter and Al.

So would I now be (unfortunately) right in telling my partner, that should
she step on her laptop again, while out and about, she cannot have a clone
on a portable drive handy to boot from unless she dismantles the laptop and
the drive to swap them over? Somehow I was foolish enough to expect that
there would be a real backup option to get around this situation. Are you
telling me there is not? If there is such a product available, what is it?

On the less extreme back up situation front. It seems that I need to know
more about the methods/pros/cons of partitioning and drive manipulation.
Can either of you point me at any good reading matter on the subject? How
did Peter partition his drives: there does not seem to be a partitioning
option in 'Disk management'?
There is. When you have a virgin drive and create that first partition
it will ask you how much of the drive to use. If you use less than
100%, you have another option later to partition the remainder. Again
you can use less than 100% of that and so on. There are limits, but
you get the idea.
Finally, from what you are both saying, it would appear that ATI will, on
its own, be able to accomplish everything that I may need to do with regard
to back up processes/partition creation etc. and so this is the product I
should be getting.
It will backup files and clone drives. When it clones, it allows for
changing a partition or using what is currently there. So far I have
not found a reason for another utility.
On a more general back up note: do all back up products work by creating
their own 'image sets' that just look like single files that only the
creating programme can open (I think I have stacks of such sets from my old
W3.1 days, and I never could keep track of which was which and which
programme made them!). Apart from copying 'by hand' is there no back up
that just copies the file system over as is?
There are programs like SecondCopy that keep things in sync. Goodsync
and Allway, are two others. These do file copies. But yes,
generally a backup utility writes proprietary single files like winzip.
I normally put the program in the name:
ATI9 C Drive Full Backup 6-10-08.tib
I have ATI ver 9 on the laptop and ATI ver 10 on the desktop. So I do
this for obvious reasons. ATI 11 is on sale at newegg for a week for
25$ right now. I may solve my delema this week.
 
P

peter

--
DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate... ;-)

So would I now be (unfortunately) right in telling my partner, that should
she step on her laptop again, while out and about, she cannot have a clone
on a portable drive handy to boot from unless she dismantles the laptop and
the drive to swap them over?
ANSWER......this is where an Image comes in..you can Image the whole laptop drive
Then when that little accident occurs you can restore the whole image back to the original drive.
Using the ATI bootable disc and an external USB drive..or if not too large a DL DVD .
of course this is assuming her Laptop HD is still functioning..
On the less extreme back up situation front. It seems that I need to know
more about the methods/pros/cons of partitioning and drive manipulation.
Can either of you point me at any good reading matter on the subject? How
did Peter partition his drives: there does not seem to be a partitioning
option in 'Disk management'?
ANSWER...I use a Program called BootIt NG..........if you do a Google for it you can download a free trial.
I expanded the program to a Floppy and run it from the floppy...There is a huge help file included.
But an external drive can be partitioned In XP thru Device manager./admin tools/.Computer Management
Finally, from what you are both saying, it would appear that ATI will, on
its own, be able to accomplish everything that I may need to do with regard
to back up processes/partition creation etc. and so this is the product I
should be getting.

On a more general back up note: do all back up products work by creating
their own 'image sets' that just look like single files that only the
creating programme can open (I think I have stacks of such sets from my old
W3.1 days, and I never could keep track of which was which and which
programme made them!). Apart from copying 'by hand' is there no back up
that just copies the file system over as is?

ANSWER...ATI has a backup option that lets you decide what and when to back up to what..
I save all of my work to a specific Folder/subfolder...this plus the My Documents folder is what I automatically back up every nite
I re Image once a Week.............
 
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G

Guest

--
DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate... ;-)

So would I now be (unfortunately) right in telling my partner, that should
she step on her laptop again, while out and about, she cannot have a clone
on a portable drive handy to boot from unless she dismantles the laptop
and
the drive to swap them over?
ANSWER......this is where an Image comes in..you can Image the whole laptop
drive
Then when that little accident occurs you can restore
the whole image back to the original drive.
Using the ATI bootable disc and an external USB
drive..or if not too large a DL DVD .
of course this is assuming her Laptop HD is still
functioning..
On the less extreme back up situation front. It seems that I need to know
more about the methods/pros/cons of partitioning and drive manipulation.
Can either of you point me at any good reading matter on the subject? How
did Peter partition his drives: there does not seem to be a partitioning
option in 'Disk management'?
ANSWER...I use a Program called BootIt NG..........if you do a Google for it
you can download a free trial.
I expanded the program to a Floppy and run it from the
floppy...There is a huge help file included.
But an external drive can be partitioned In XP thru Device
manager./admin tools/.Computer Management
Finally, from what you are both saying, it would appear that ATI will, on
its own, be able to accomplish everything that I may need to do with
regard
to back up processes/partition creation etc. and so this is the product I
should be getting.

On a more general back up note: do all back up products work by creating
their own 'image sets' that just look like single files that only the
creating programme can open (I think I have stacks of such sets from my
old
W3.1 days, and I never could keep track of which was which and which
programme made them!). Apart from copying 'by hand' is there no back up
that just copies the file system over as is?

ANSWER...ATI has a backup option that lets you decide what and when to back
up to what..
I save all of my work to a specific
Folder/subfolder...this plus the My Documents folder is what I automatically
back up every nite
I re Image once a Week.............
Thanks again to you both. I should, I think I am beginning to get the idea
now, and will read up on both ATI and BootIt.

Cheers,
S
 

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