Do you have to back up whole system to restore?

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by villandra, Feb 22, 2012.

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  1. villandra

    villandra Registered Member

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    Part of my problem is that I have a 1 terabyte drive that I didn't want and don't like. I use only the first two of the four partitions that I created on the drive as a computer. The third partition is for movies or books or whatever, and the fourth is where I'm currently putting my backups.

    My first two partitions are 40 G for the system partition and 240 for the data and the bulk of my programs.

    I've no reason to make a backup image of my backup files and whatever movies and books.

    I'd really like to be able to restore the first two partitions to a 320 Gigabyte drive when they get over their floods in IndoChina and one can find 320 gigabyte drives again.

    Do I HAVE to back up the "whole system" or "my computer" or whatever, with all partitions, in order for a restored drive to boot up?

    Or can I just back up the master boot sector/ system state, teh system drive and the other drive?

    Also, provided it is possible to restore my system with the image of just the two drives, how do I work the master boot record? Obviously it won't be the same on a smaller drive with fewer partitions. Will it boot up if the master boot record is for a bigger drive with more partitions, or is there some way to adjust that when restoring?

    The manual says it's possible to restore to a smaller drive, but when it comes to how to do it, it's the usual 50 pages of dense but vague information poorly translated from Chinese.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    IndoChina? That´s a colonialist-era term that I think is offensive for the people who live in this area. It disappeared a long time ago from the geopolitical landscape.
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    In Windows you can go into Disk Management and delete the last 2 partitions you don't want. I'm assuming your drive is layed out with the 2 you want as the first 2 partitions. This will leave you with unallocated space and you can pretend you have a 320GB drive.

    You should be able to image just the 2 partitions you want (include the MBR) and restore them to a new 320 GB drive.

    While I think 1TB is more space than a lot of people would use in a lifetime, it depends on what you get into. That size is very handy for data and image backups and you can keep a good long image/data backup history just in case you need to roll-back to an earlier date but I would never keep a permanent backup on the same drive for obvious reasons.

    If you happen to get into video editing/storage you will find you need more space not less. Doing this type of work can be a problem with a small C partition if you aren't careful or able to set default buffer locations because temporary files may be written to the C drive and you can run out of space say when making a video recording. I had this happen and I now create my C partitions around 80GB instead of the 30-40GB size.

    I'm afraid I don't understand why having a big drive is an issue and in time, you will find they are cheaper than the small drives because of production volume.
     
  4. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    In fact, big hard drives are getting so inexpensive that I sometimes wonder why anyone even bothers with partitioning any of them anymore -- unless, of course, you run out of bays and SATA slots for adding more of them. I'd be more concerned about running out of drive letters. Wonder if we'll ever see 1TB SSDs. :)
     
  5. villandra

    villandra Registered Member

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    No video editing here. Only editing I do is Word, Excel, genealogy and web site, and I do only simple web sites.

    So what I want to do is, back up the whole system and then delete the archives of the partitions I don't want? And the MBR on the restored system will work if the last two partitions don't exist?

    Dora
     
  6. SIW2

    SIW2 Registered Member

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    Just backup any partition you want - no need to image the whole drive if you don't want to.

    Yes, a restored image will boot fine.
     
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