Does restoring backup images degrade/damage the HDD?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by WSFfan, May 5, 2014.

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  1. WSFfan

    WSFfan Registered Member

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    I restore the backup image for the OS partition once every month.Does it cause any damage or degrade the hard drive performance?
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    WSFfan,

    No. I restore an OS image to my SSD every week or two and I'm not concerned about damage. I have HDs that have experienced thousands of restores. They are fine.
     
  3. gbhall

    gbhall Registered Member

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    WSfan,
    I see no reason for damage to HDD to occur. But you might damage your internet security - it depends what it is you are restoring. Is it some age-old OS version you were happy with? If so, it will have no recent OS updates and will be very vulnerable. If it is the previous month's backup after MS patch Tuesday, then you will have a month's worth of zero-day vulnerability to contend with, not to mention a month's worth of anti-virus updates.

    Please explain the logic behind what you are doing. To my mind it is either a smart or a dumb thing to do o_O:rolleyes: and I'd like to know which !

    Brian K I know is extremely competant, and what he does it for is likely to be very different - probably backup application testing for example. On the other hand he is using up SSD cycles, which as far as I know were or are quite limited.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  4. WSFfan

    WSFfan Registered Member

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    I create backup images after every Patch tuesday.Restore the last month backup image,do patch tuesday and then create a new backup image.Mainly do this so that i have backup of the latest Windows updates for Windows 8.1.I can't download GBs of updates with slow internet connection,so like to have the latest backup image containing MS updates.I don't use AV/AM.Using AppGuard,NoVirusThanks EXE Radar Pro and Sandboxie for protection.:)
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    gbhall,

    I'm playing it safe with SSDs. I use the IFW Restore Changed Sectors Only switch with restores. So instead of writing 20 GB to the SSD during a restore, I only write one to two hundred MB.
     
  6. WSFfan

    WSFfan Registered Member

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    Does using this option have any disadvantage?
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    None that I know about. There was a question about it being slower than a normal restore (the sectors are read before the changed sectors are restored) but the restore speed seems the same on my HDs whether I use the switch or not. At present I only use the switch with restores to a SSD.
     
  8. gbhall

    gbhall Registered Member

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    It's the 'restore before backup' I am puzzling over. It means, does it not, that you always go back to a state where your internet cache is gone, any software updates other than MS are gone, all your emails are gone, and so on. Whilst you may be quite confident you have your software updates stored somewhere else, your emails stored somewhere else, I would suggest that is quite difficult and dangerous to do in practice, and not always possible. It is certainly a lot of extra work.

    I base my opinion on the hard-earned knowledge that if you try to prevent (in particular) a MS application from using it's own default directories to store things, then you are sooner or later going to be slugged from behind the neck by a MS stupidity. Because all MS defaults tend to leave things lying around all over the place, but always on the system drive, which you are restoring over every month o_O

    My own method, like yours, depends upon a full backup after every patch Tuesday, but I never restore. I keep a number of these monthly backups, which also cover my emails, software updates and so on, but I hope I never have to restore any of them.

    Keeping my system reasonably clean and secure (from such real nasties as cryptolocker) is an entirely different topic. Ccleaner helps a lot, but IFW backup of data drives is vital. http://windowssecrets.com/newsletter/cryptolocker-a-particularly-pernicious-virus/
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    gbhall,

    I create images daily and usually restore to "yesterday's" image. My data is not in the OS partition so I don't lose email, browser bookmarks, downloads, documents, pictures, music, video, anything on the desktop, etc when I restore. At the worst I might have to re-install a program that was installed earlier that day. The data partition is backed up in native format, not by imaging.

    If I had to restore an image daily, it wouldn't bother me at all. It is easy, takes two to three minutes and I lose nothing.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  10. WSFfan

    WSFfan Registered Member

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    Yes.I have backup of data partition(music,videos,documents,etc) on Portable HDD:)
     
  11. gbhall

    gbhall Registered Member

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    Then you are at risk (unless you disconnect your backup drive), because cryptolocker seeks out and effectively destroys all files word, excel, pics, music zip etc, by file version. It travels though all mapped drives at the moment, but will very probably become more sophisticated still and be a major, major horror. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryptoLocker
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    It is a nasty virus. I backup data to an internal HD and to two external HDs that are only connected for the duration of the backup.
     
  13. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    IMHO, one should regularly restore to ensure that backups are working properly. I usually restore an image right after creating it.
     
  14. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    I restore to an identical SSD, alternating between them, immediately after an update to the imaging app. That way if it fails (hasn't yet) nothing is lost except a bit of my time.
    So,
    1) make an image, "old", of drive A with a known good version of the imaging app "just in case"
    2) install the imaging app update
    3) make an image, "new", of drive A with the updated imaging app.
    4) disconnect A, connect B (switch both SATA and power cables, both drives are always in the drive cage)
    5) restore image "new" to B and if it's OK, continue using B, otherwise
    6) disconnect B, connect A
    7) restore image "old", and carry on.
    This does require two physical drives but is essentially fool proof.
     
  15. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    Isn't opening computer and switching cables a little inconvenient?
     
  16. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    I usually don't update backup programs if a particular version is working fine for me. I have separate partitions for programs and data.
     
  17. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    Not really if I only do it every 6 months and the drives are in a Corsair Obsidian case which is super easy to open and has easy access to the cabling. Takes about 3 minutes to open the side panel, switch cables and close the panel.

    So basically I agree with Brian's approach, if it works no need to update, but as I said, I do it when things like the PE 4 and then the PE 5 recovery media is introduced and, if I was contemplating building a new PC, I'd get the latest version which would 'likely' have all the necessary drivers (Macrium Reflect Pro does this, makes a hardware switch easier, they say, I haven't done one yet).

    Frankly I've never understood why so many folks restore so many times. If it's to revert to a prior state to 'get rid of all traces' of some software being tested, I'd use First Defence ISR or something similar rather than an imaging app.
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    jwcca,

    I use an imaging app because I know it will work. The snapshot programs make me shiver. An image restore only takes me a few minutes. Not much longer than a snapshot restore and a snapshot program is of no use if your HD dies.
     
  19. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    To answer the question of HD wear from imaging and restoring. My old desktop had literally over a thousand backup and restores done. The drives in that machine were still going strong after the machine itself started failing. This was after 6 years. I think one of the keys is how the ventilation is.

    Pete
     
  20. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    I use both Brian, the imaging app for bare metal restores if ever needed (takes 25 minutes to create and/or restore) + the snapshot app for "testing programs" which takes about 30 seconds each way. Neither has failed me.

    I have a couple of Quantum 20GB IDE drives (yes - GB, early 2001), four WD 36GB SATA Raptors (2003) and two Seagate 500GB SATA (2005) that still work.
    The Seagates quit working when I had them in Thermaltake external housings and they got too hot but about a year later I bought a docking station and tried them just for fun and they are still working today as part of my offline backup storage plan. So Pete's quite right, proper ventilation is critical.

    J
     
  21. cooldays

    cooldays Registered Member

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    Im sorry to be so uninformed. Please tell my why so many backups are needed? This is a serious question as I do not back up ever. thank you.
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    cooldays,


    ...Quoting Dan Goodell

    Are you prepared to lose your data by not having it backed up? If it isn't important then a backup isn't needed.
     
  23. clubhouse1

    clubhouse1 Registered Member

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    Aha, I was interested in the op's question, I became a little lost when people started to give opinions about SSD's....I'm no computer expert but I do know my way around mine....I have a HDD as the op mentioned.....I think the technologies are different....One being solid state and the other being mechanical...Unless I'm wrong :)
     
  24. cooldays

    cooldays Registered Member

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    I'm sorry to be repeating myself. What I am saying is I am very careful about backing up all my data every week. Why should I back up the whole drive/operating system.

    thanks!
     
  25. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    What do you do if you operating system get's corrupted. It happens. I always image before any updates, or upgrades to software. Restoring an image is the quickest and most painless fix.

    Pete
     
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