how to backup with games installed ?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by garry35, Jan 30, 2012.

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  1. garry35

    garry35 Registered Member

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    not sure if this is in the right forum, so sorry in advance if this isnt the right place.

    i have installed windows 7 x64 with all the updates and service packs etc installed along with my favourite apps. this has been backed up with ATI 2012 home as a full backup to an image. i have since installed several games on the same physical drive but different partition, my question is whats the best way to backup the OS and games but at the same time keep image size to a minimum. my basic understanding is that a incremental image with the games installed seems like the obvious choice. but can anybody else suggest a better way, even if means using a different backup program.

    thanks in advance

    Gazzer
     
  2. treehouse786

    treehouse786 Registered Member

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    personally i would backup each partition separately. games are not important as you can get back the installation files through the game media or via steam/origin.

    you could for example backup the main windows partition daily/weekly and then backup the games partition weekly/monthly. nearly all games have their save game folder in the main windows partition anyway even if the game is installed on a different partition.

    if you want to keep both partitions under the same image then incrementals/differentials will be the most size effective.

    ideally a dedicated drive for games would be the best solution.

    do you use steam by any chance? (as that could make a big difference to your backup strategy)
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Garry,

    I'm with Tree. I image both partitions.

    But you don't have to. As the Games partition is not a System partition and doesn't have locked files you could do a data backup of the partition and use Copy/Paste for a restore. Data backups (changed files) are faster than image backups if time is important. For example, I can do a data backup of a partition containing 300 GB of files in a minute or two.
     
  4. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

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    I always take full images of all partitions, even though I admit the 60+ gig of Steam game content does make for a long image time. Still, I prefer a complete image and the peace of mind I get with it.
     
  5. garry35

    garry35 Registered Member

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    thanks for the replies. my main reason for keeping games on the same drive but different partitions was to make the backup and restore simpler. time isnt an important factor because its quicker than doing a reinstall of windows and apps, and alll the relevant updates.

    i have used steam in the past and most likely will install it in the future. i am aware that steam stores game backups online, but its quicker to be able to restore any steam games along with the others and windows.

    Gazzer
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Same here.
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Some apps and their associated data won't install into a non C: drive partition. It's annoying but you can use a Junction Point to move the data into another partition and although the app and data appear to still be in the C: drive, they aren't taking up space.

    Garmin Maps and iTunes are two apps that spring to mind.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896768
     
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