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External Hard Drive issue

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jampot, Jan 8, 2011.

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  1. jampot

    jampot Thread Starter

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    I have just purchased an external hard drive (La Cie Rikiki)

    Is it possible to back up 2 separate PC's on the drive?
     
  2. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Yes .. Assuming you want to backup the operating system and all ... See Here
    Macrium is very popular .. But I use Acronis
    The external will need to be formatted NTFS
     
  3. jampot

    jampot Thread Starter

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    I am running Windows 7 which seems to provide built in back up functionality, including all personal folders and system image - would this be enough for my needs?
     
  4. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Not sure what your needs are .. Data backup .. Or system Imaging.
    I've never used Windows Backup .. I just Copy n Paste as I collect or create Data that I want to backup.
    And there's better routines for Imaging the system than what is provided by W7 .. It has some limitations.
    I have one external that has over 10 different computers Imaged in it.

    See Here .. Here and Here
     
  5. jampot

    jampot Thread Starter

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    The forums you posted are a great source of information thanks. All I want is to make sure that I can best restore my PC if the worst should happen.As far as I am aware making back ups of all folders together with a system image should help with this. I am not terribly technically minded and it seems like Windows 7 back up utility is for people like me!

    Will try and see what happens. Certainly beats no back up at all!
     
  6. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    You may be headed for some storage space problems ...
    How many gigs of Data do you think you'll collect .. or have now ???
    Is your data mostly common to both (all) your computers ???
    Are your Computers Desktops or Laptops ???
     
  7. jampot

    jampot Thread Starter

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    Have just completed back up. Windows 7 indicates that 90gb of data was backed up with system image taking up another 128gb. The data figure sounds about right but what about the system image figure? It seems quite high. The machine backed up was an Acer 500gb laptop.

    Data on both machines is different although the second machine, Aspire 160gb laptop, does not have a lot of data on it but my intention was to back this up also just as a precaution in the event of HDD failure.
     
  8. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    There's a difference between Imaging .. And just backing up data.
    Imaging backs up the Whole Drive (or selected partition) .. And this includes any Data that's in the Partition.
    If you also backup the Data .. Then you'll have the data backed up twice and that'll take more storage space.

    Imaging is something you may want to do any time there's a major change to your system ..
    And Data should be backed up any time you get something you don't want to loose.

    If you have a huge amount of Data .. You may want to get the Data out of the system partition.
    Imaging a big partition will also take a long time to backup or recover from.
    I prefer a small system partition .. With my hundreds of gigs of data stored in another partition.
    Now .. I can Image the system .. and backup my data separately.

    If you build your own external using an enclosure ..
    You can have a bootable backup drive in it .. Just waiting to be swapped in case of an emergency.
     

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  9. jampot

    jampot Thread Starter

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    I appreciate the difference and to a certain extent I am relying on W7 to do the right thing with regards to its back up utility, which I appreciate may not be the most efficient method of backing up but it does have the advantage of appearing to be simple.
    From what you say I'm not clear why there is no option just to create a system image if that also contains all data. The back up utility simply states that running it will back up all personal files/folders AND create a system image, which would seem to imply that it treats the two separately.
    At the end of the day as long as I have a back up of my data and hard drive I have some sort of peace of mind
     
  10. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    I've never used W7's backup .. But the Image Backup will be everything in the partition being backed up.
    I once read a reliable source that W7's Image file cannot be moved (copied) to another Storage location .. It will no longer work.
    That was enough to stop me from using it.

    Extracting a missing or corrupted data file or folder from an Image backup file .. May be a little difficult.
    You won't have any real piece of mind until you understand (and perform) a recovery of the System and/or Data.
     
  11. jampot

    jampot Thread Starter

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    To be fair I think it is difficult to comment on something that you have never used. I guess that part of the appeal of computers is that there is no single way of doing anything, and different people will try different things before settling on something that they are comfortable with.
    I will give The built in windows tool a go and see what happens - as you say you are never going to know how good or otherwise a utility is until the time comes to put it to the test and this is one that I hope does not come along anytime soon.
    On the point of problems with W7 moving Image File to another storage location, I learnt a long time ago that if you believed everything you read you would never do anything!
     
  12. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    The only problem that bothered me was not being able to move W7's Image to another HDD ..
    Or make a copy to a second External ... And I assume this includes renaming it.
    Any file you don't care about is the one you only have one copy of.
    Other than this restriction .. I assume it's like the other Imaging routines.
     
  13. jampot

    jampot Thread Starter

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    For what it's worth the transferred System Image is showing up as a folder on my external HDD so I guess that's a good start.:D
     
  14. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Great .. you should be able to fetch Files n Folders from there.
    I've had some W7 recovery problems with OEM computers.
    Some OEM recovery DVDs will not perform a repair install ... and it was needed after a recovery from an Image.

    Just in case this happens to you ..
    In addition to burning your Recovery DVDs .. also Make a Repair CD
     
  15. jampot

    jampot Thread Starter

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    Appreciate that
     
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