Image Partition or whole Drive?

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by tipple2010, Oct 27, 2011.

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  1. tipple2010

    tipple2010 Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Hi all,

    I'm seeking advice on backup/recovery with B&R 11 Free on a WinXP computer. I understand that the program can image either an entire drive, or a partition in that drive, but I'm not clear what happens when attempting to restore the system partition for WinXP. For starters my questions are:

    1) If I want to restore the WinXP partition (ie C only - not the whole drive), can this be done from a whole disc image, or only from a partition image?

    2) If I restore just the WinXP system partition from either source, does the restore process wipe the rest of the drive?

    3) For disaster recovery, am I better of with a whole disc image or just an image of the WinXP partition (C)

    4) From reading the B&R documentation, it seems like the "differential backup" option only works on drives with a single (ie not multiple) partitions - is this true?

    I have an older Dell Desktop PC with 2 x 250GB hard drives. The first drive contains multiple partitions: one primary for WinXPSP3 Pro (C), and two Logical partitions, one for Data (D: contains My Docs) and one designated for a future Linux dual-boot. Being a Dell, it also contains 2 small Dell primary partitions (Dell Utilities and Dell Restore). I back up the Data (D) partition with file-level programs (Backup Maker) to both the 2nd internal drive (see below) and to an external usb drive.
    The second drive has 2 primary partitions, one for backups and the second for miscellaneous stuff (not backed up - no need).

    Sorry for the long winded post, and thanks in advance for any suggestions you might make
  2. RAIST5150

    RAIST5150 Registered Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    Still tinkering with my strategies myself--PC is easy, but have two laptops with older wifi, and one only supports USB 1.1, so it's a chore to back everyone up sometimes. The last PC restore test I ran was from optical media. It APPEARED to let me select my E:\ partition from the full system backup (from file 21 in the backup)--but it was taking forever to read the disk. IDK if it had just hung, or was trying to somehow verify the image beforehand or what (let it sit almost 20 minutes, and nothing changed on screen). I gave up and just broke the process (CTR-ALT-DEL) as it just didn't seem practical to try to restore a single partition from a full drive backup (at least from optical media--might be different if restoring from a hard drive, but havent tried that route yet).

    It doesn't take much more time to back up each drive seperately, so I'm currently taking that route for now. Last pass, I did the first track and MBR on the C:\ backup, but not on the E:\ backup--as E:\ is mostly downloaded crap that doesn't really need to be backed up as often. Only took me about an extra 5-10 minutes to do them seperately as I opted to put each drive on their own BD-RE instead of putting them both on one disk. I imagine if doing strictly disk-to-disk, you'd be running almost an identical time frame to do each drive seperately as you would to do a single full system backup. Once I get done cleaning up the laptops (amazed at how much crap I've accumulated on them over the years), probly gonna just go back to doing everything disk-to-disk/mapped drives or something and then just dump everything to BD-RE periodically for the extra insurance. It's only a 160GB IDE drive in a USB2.0 box, so I have to delete crap after a few backup passes.

    Really need to break down and set up one of those 500GB/1TB network drives one of these days...
  3. Mech_An

    Mech_An Registered Member

    Mar 29, 2010
    System partition restore could be done from full hard disk backup or separate system partition backup.
    When full HDD backup is used you have option to select only one partition for restore or select the entire HDD.

    During restore wizard you will need to select the destination partition (by default - destination is the partition which is backed up).
    Only destination partition data is replaced with the data from archive. All other partitions and hard drives will stay intact.

    If you don't care about other data except the system partition, you can use System partition backup :)
    But if there are other important files on your system Hard drive , use the whole drive backup.

    You can create first full HDD backup and then backup only system partition. If something will happened with your system HDD, you can restore the full HDD image first and restore the latest System partition backup as next step to get the most possible up-to-date state.

    Differential backup works with 1 object.
    One partition or full HDD - is 1 object.

    Differential backup doesn't work with complex backups.
    Complex backup may contain several partitions from different physical drives or 2 of 3 partitions from the one drive.

    But you still can use differential manually selecting one partition archive from the complex backup as base.

    I would recommend the following:
    1) create full system HDD backup and keep it (for disaster recovery)
    2) Create System partition (C) backup
    3) Schedule differential backup for System partition with base archive created in point 2.
  4. tipple2010

    tipple2010 Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Thanks to you both for taking the time to comment and advise.

    Mech_An' suggestion is more or less the same as the recommendations for Acronis TI that I used in the dim and distant past, so I will try this route
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