Backup Strategy for Multiple Computers

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by hackzaw, Jan 18, 2014.

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  1. hackzaw

    hackzaw Registered Member

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    Hello,

    Looking for an overall backup strategy. Allow me to detail my computers and corresponding equipment.

    Computer #1 (5 years old)
    - currently main computer, but soon to transition to secondary use computer
    - use the computer for everyday stuff, but also as PVR for media
    - Windows 7 OS
    - C: drive - 1T - 80% full
    - W: drive - 2T - 95% full

    Computer #2 - Brand new
    - To be main computer once setup (PVR, media, etc)
    - Windows 8.1 OS
    - C: drive SSD - 240 GB
    - Three (3X) internal 3 T drives (not yet used) - Call them X: Y: and Z:

    External Western Digital 4 TB My Book

    I NEED a backup strategy for both computers as I currently don't have anything backed up aside from burning about 50% of my family photos to CD.

    I've looked at Acronis, Macrium, AX64, Paragon, IFW...

    Can you please detail a good backup strategy for me. There's so much choice, and to a newb in the backup world, I don't really know where to start. After reading here about AX64, I was going to go with that but then I read it doesn't totally play nice with Windows 8.1. I was going to also use Macrium Reflect Free in addition to AX64, but I also want to backup specific files/folders in addition to the OS, with all the recovery options typical of backup software.

    Thanks in advance for your advice and terrific knowloedge base.
    Hackzaw
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    hackzaw,

    Expect 100 different approaches.

    I believe in separating data files from OS files. My Win8.1 partition is 60 GB and it's less than half full. My data partition contains about 1 TB of files.

    I image Win8.1 with IFW. A backup image takes 2 minutes.

    I backup my data partition with Second Copy 8. A sync backup when there is little to copy takes 7 seconds.

    All the above is automatic. No manual input needed.

    Quoting Dan Goodell....

    You need to cover the above possibilities.
    .
    .
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  3. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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  4. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    It actually looks by your drive setup that you already have some separation of data and system and you have lots of volumes to backup the system drives. The 1tb system drive being almost full is the biggest bottleneck. If you get everything off of it that is not system or software, the PVR video it looks like mainly, your 4tb drive should be more than enough for system images and even the built in Windows imaging program will be sufficient to start. The new computer is much easier because you don't have much data on it yet and the system image will be relatively small, much less than the 240gb drive. Backing up your 2tb drive--I assume it is mostly PVR files you want to back up--is just a matter of copying the files to another drive. You can image or clone the whole drive to another drive as well. Most of the imaging programs can do this and that includes the Aomei and Easus free programs as well as the ones in mentioned in your post.
     
  5. hackzaw

    hackzaw Registered Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    So having never "partitioned" anything before, but I'm familiar with the concept, would it be recommended to make, say a 60 GB partition for the Windows 8.1 operating system on the new computer? And then, would all the programs I install go on the remainder of the SSD partition (180 GB)?

    As far as backup and recovery, I think I'm headed down the road of backing up both the old and new computer to both an internal drive in the new computer (one of the 3 TB Seagates), and also making a copy of important files (photos, videos, documents), AND also a copy an image and copy to the 4 TB external drive. Overkill?

    I'm not sure I need cloud backup, as I'll likely do "infrequent" backups to the external drive, and hide it in the house somewhere preventing theft, (still vulnerable to fire, etc). Maybe for priceless family photos, I could make a backup of those memories on line.

    Thanks for the tips and if you have any more suggestions, I'm all ears.
    Hacker
     
  6. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    I have 1 partition that contains both the OS and programs, and another partition that contains only data.
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    hackzaw,

    You need to have some idea of what software you will be installing into the OS partition. 60 GB is stacks for me but if you plan to install a 100 GB game then you will need a larger OS partition. Install software into the OS partition. Leave the remainder of the SSD as free space. Its fate can be determined later. You can enlarge the OS partition into this unallocated free space if you are running out of space. Or install another OS if you desire.

    The remainder of the SSD is too small for your data so plan on having your data on one of the large HDs. Let's say in partition D:\

    So when you download software or copy pictures, video, documents or music to the HD, you want it to go straight to the D:\ drive.

    http://researchaholic.com/2012/08/16/windows-8-how-to-move-user-folders-personal-folder/

    So right click (say) Documents, Properties, Location tab. Change C: to D: and click apply, etc. (Don't click Move)

    I've moved Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos. To my D: drive. Anything I put on my desktop will not be in my OS partition.
     
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