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COKEDUDEUSF

Backing up an entire HD

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Are there any recommended methods for Backing up an entire HD? Will just copying and pasting the entire HD lead to fragmentation?

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I prefer Acronis True Image Home (Home is good enough for the average used, I think). I payed retail for it years ago, cost more now from what I see. Not sure about free software.

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Backing up is not imaging and copying is neither backing up nor imaging (or cloning).

This very theme has been discussed to death n times on MSFN.

Check this thread first:

https://msfn.org/board/topic/157634-hard-disk-cloningimaging-from-inside-windows/

Particularly this post:

https://msfn.org/board/topic/157634-hard-disk-cloningimaging-from-inside-windows/?do=findComment&comment=1007158

What (EXACTLY) do you want to do/need?

jaclaz

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hello jaclaz..

I read over the links you posted here, and I guess I can see the difference now.

I don't use Windows 8, so maybe I should just stick to what applies to my situation, apologies for that, and I should bow out of this section.

Thanks again for the links and help.

Edited by sal here
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19 hours ago, jaclaz said:

Backing up is not imaging and copying is neither backing up nor imaging (or cloning).

This very theme has been discussed to death n times on MSFN.

Check this thread first:

https://msfn.org/board/topic/157634-hard-disk-cloningimaging-from-inside-windows/

Particularly this post:

https://msfn.org/board/topic/157634-hard-disk-cloningimaging-from-inside-windows/?do=findComment&comment=1007158

What (EXACTLY) do you want to do/need?

jaclaz

 

 

 

I want to backup my data. I do not care about the windows file. I just want my work, movies, and music. I have about 600 GB of work, movies, and music so a bit worried about fragmentation if I just copy and paste.

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As a matter of fact, by copying files sequentially you reduce (or more exactly avoid creating) fragmentation on the target.

Just for the record once upon a time NT 3.51 and NT 4.00 did not have any fragmentation utility, so it was common to copy the whole volume contents to a temporary storage, then format the original volume and copy back the whole stuff in order to have a defragmented filesystem.

The only "issue" (if it is an issue) of doing copy and paste is that if/when you want to update the backup (and/or make "incremental" backups) you will have difficulties with overwriting existing files and/or replacing with newer ones the old ones, etc.

If you adopt an "integral" backup strategy, that is not an issue at all of course.

Otherwise I would suggest you the use of Robocopy (the actual command line tool has a little bit daunting sintax, but there are free GUI's for it that are very handy), examples:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/2006.11.utilityspotlight.aspx

https://archive.codeplex.com/?p=betterrobocopygui

https://sourceforge.net/projects/roboscript/

https://sourceforge.net/projects/robomirror/

If you are OK with command line tools, besides Robocopy you may want to try the excellent STRARC:

http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/

@Sal

No prob :), it is just that imaging takes more time (and usually more space on target media) because it stores much more information, and sometimes this is not needed as in this case.

jaclaz

 

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On 8/3/2018 at 6:12 AM, jaclaz said:

As a matter of fact, by copying files sequentially you reduce (or more exactly avoid creating) fragmentation on the target.

Just for the record once upon a time NT 3.51 and NT 4.00 did not have any fragmentation utility, so it was common to copy the whole volume contents to a temporary storage, then format the original volume and copy back the whole stuff in order to have a defragmented filesystem.

The only "issue" (if it is an issue) of doing copy and paste is that if/when you want to update the backup (and/or make "incremental" backups) you will have difficulties with overwriting existing files and/or replacing with newer ones the old ones, etc.

If you adopt an "integral" backup strategy, that is not an issue at all of course.

Otherwise I would suggest you the use of Robocopy (the actual command line tool has a little bit daunting sintax, but there are free GUI's for it that are very handy), examples:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/2006.11.utilityspotlight.aspx

https://archive.codeplex.com/?p=betterrobocopygui

https://sourceforge.net/projects/roboscript/

https://sourceforge.net/projects/robomirror/

If you are OK with command line tools, besides Robocopy you may want to try the excellent STRARC:

http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/

@Sal

No prob :), it is just that imaging takes more time (and usually more space on target media) because it stores much more information, and sometimes this is not needed as in this case.

jaclaz

 

 

How do you copy files sequentially?

 

Does Robocopy copy files sequentially?

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11 hours ago, COKEDUDEUSF said:

 

How do you copy files sequentially?

 

Does Robocopy copy files sequentially?

You first copy File #1, then File #2, then file #3 ... this is what most copying programs will do.

An exception is Richcopy (as an example) that uses multiple threads concurrently:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/2009.04.utilityspotlight.aspx

never actually tested if using it causes fragmentation (or more fragmentation than other normal and sequential tools) on the target, but it may.

But personally I wouldn't be too preoccupied by fragmentation, nowadays we have efficient defragmentation tools, and even if some fragmentation is created in the case of an "integral" backup it doesn't cost anything to run a defragger on the target after having completed it, on the other hand if you do "incremental" backups some fragmentation is implied in the method i.e. when/if you replace on the backup File 1 with a (larger) version, this latter "won't fit" in the previous space and will likely be fragmented, and as well deleted files or files smaller in the new version will create "holes" that - before or later - will be filled by fragmenterd content.

jaclaz

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