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Old 17. Jul 2013, 03:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Joe A.TT View Post
I do have factory restore disks which my sis made for me when the laptop was first purchased, but I'm in favor of keeping the PQ Service partition as added insurance. For that matter, I have to get around to verifying that they work. My BIOS was changed already to boot from the optical drive first - if I were to insert the 1st disk and reboot, would that be a good way of verifying at least the 1st disk?
How did your sis make those discs, do you know? I strongly advise keeping the PQ Service partition. You are right, it's an insurance. Also, you have big enough hard drive for your needs, I think, and an additional portable one is available. So, you can afford to have some space for the PQ Service partition.

Yes, that would be a good way to test the disc, by booting the laptop from it.

I suspect those might be the System Restore discs, that Windows 7 provides the option for? This can be accessed from Start Menu --> Maintenance --> Create a system restore disc.

But, it might be different too. It will be good to see what it contains.

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT View Post
The laptop's C: drive is 250 GB, and I'm backing it up to a 500 GB portable HDD. I successfully backed up the "Basic MBR Hard Disk 0". I read in Paragon's manual that verification of the backup is a default setting, nevertheless, I still did another verification afterwards. Maybe the 2nd time wasn't necessary, but as you guessed, I don't have a spare HDD to test if it will restore properly.
The image size of the backup will be a lot less, depending on how much extra data you have on the drive, besides the OS. If you take image of a bare OS, it will be lot less. Also, these imaging software do not include the page memory, etc, which is unnecessary, so this also saves space. And compression of the image reduces the size further.

And yes, since you intend to store the image for later, as a sure shot backup, it's good to verify by double.

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT View Post
My intention is to always retain this "full" backup of the "Basic MBR Hard Disk 0" because I'm fairly confident everything in my computer is functioning at this stage. I want to keep that as my last resort in case nothing I do helps in a disaster.

I also want to make another backup of "Acer (C: ) [Primary]" and either update it incrementally, or make another backup like it on a regular basis. This will be the my first recourse if I need to restore the C: partition.
This plan of action seems good to me, and also makes sense. First one is definitely good.

When I was going to install Windows 7 on my brother's laptop with Vista, I too first made a full image backup of the drive, with all it's restore partition, etc. Because, in case the Windows 7 install did not work for any reason, I could go back to how the laptop was, originally.

After I had a backup image, I then deleted the factory restore partition, as I no longer needed it, as it was for Vista. This being an old laptop with a smaller hard drive, I needed the space too.

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT View Post
Also, the 500 GB portable HDD will have surplus capacity. I want to create 2 partitions on it - one for the archived backups/images, and the other for storing less important stuff that isn't accessed regularly. My intention is to make the partition for backups, say, 200 GB, and allotting the remainder to the other partition. I've read where partitioning is serious business, and doing so without really knowing what you are about could have serious consequences. That's partly the reason I asked for advice in the first place.
Yes, partitioning is risky, when you are working on partitions with data on them. Otherwise, it's not. So, if are going to work on creating, deleting, expanding, or resizing partitions with data on them, it's always good to have a backup of your data.

On an empty disk, it won't really matter if the partition went wrong, because there won't be data to lose, and that also makes it an easy and risk free process. You can just format the drive, if something goes wrong, and start again. But, if you have data, it's always good to be careful.

Generally, partition of a disk is done to separate the OS from the data, so that in case you need to reinstall the OS, the rest of data in other partitions is not affected. Partitioning is also a good way to organize the data properly.

So, if you are looking from an organization point of view, then you can go for partitioning, otherwise, it's not necessary on a pure data disk.

If you do go for partitioning, I will advise that you take backup of all data first... maybe just empty the data on to your hard drive, and then format and partition the external drive. That would be a good way IMO.

In most cases, Windows Disk Management is enough to partition the drives. Partition software is helpful in cases, where you want to partition a drive with data on it.

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT View Post
I feel sorry for most people if they have to learn all this stuff. On the one hand it's daunting; on the other hand if they don't find out how, they would be lost if disaster struck. I consider myself technically inclined and always willing to learn - but not everyone is that way. Just saying...
You are right. Most general users won't even know about such methods to backup data. Even look at us... despite being technically inclined, it took us some time, before we got to try imaging. It seemed daunting enough for us... so imagine about novices, or general users.

Little can be done in such cases. Because, I have observed, that even if you make them aware of these methods, and even do it a couple of times for them, they still get lost, and still need help. So, rather than explaining to them, I find it's better to just do it for them . Of course, when you are not there, they are stuck.
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