System Clone Question:

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System Clone Question:

Postposted on Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:56 pm

Just wondering how important you think an image/disk clone is for restoring your system.

It's not any great trouble to make one, I'm just thinking that when my boot drive dies - and the only thing on it is the OS and my applications - wouldn't it be better to just reinstall everything at that point?

Do I really want to back-up (and then restore) all the temp files, event logs, etc. - all the gunk that gets accumulated?

I understand there are numerous tweaks I've made and I'd lose all them. I don't mind that so much.
Is there anything else I'd lose, anything I might be overlooking?

Thanks for sharing any thoughts...!
canoli
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Re: System Clone Question:

Postposted on Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:20 pm

canoli wrote:Do I really want to back-up (and then restore) all the temp files, event logs, etc. - all the gunk that gets accumulated?
You may not want to restore that, but you certainly want the option to restore it. My current concerns are similar to the ones in the thread about your build. If you're using this machine to earn (part of) your income, you want to be able to restore it in ~2 hours, not ~10 hours. And not only is it a lot quicker, it's a lot less risky. A 2TB drive for around $100 is big enough that you shouldn't need to worry about the extra space a bare metal restore occupies.
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Re: System Clone Question:

Postposted on Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:32 pm

Thanks for your reply wib -

So it's strictly about the time it takes to get back up and running, gotcha.

As it is now I'm rarely under the deadline gun so I could deal with a 10-hr restore if I had to (which I'm sure would never take that long!). Even so I guess it's smart to have the quicker option at my disposal. I might as well take the time and clone my boot drive...

Thanks again!
canoli
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Re: System Clone Question:

Postposted on Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:44 pm

For this situation, it's not strictly about time. When you reinstall stuff from scratch (especially in a hurry), it opens up the possibility of more going wrong.

I do both (a file-only backup and a bare-metal backup) several times a week, on different physical drives. It's nice if one of the drives is external, so you can leave it unplugged and be more protected from a lightning strike.

Scott's article may give you other ideas.
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Re: System Clone Question:

Postposted on Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:27 pm

Hey canoli

I just finished reinstalling Windows 7 Pro after something bogus happening to my OS without backup. So I've just been in a similar position to you. I have an SSD for the OS, a 1TB Data drive and another 1TB Backup drive.

I moved the entire Users folder to the Data drive using this technique - http://lifehacker.com/5467758/move-the-users-directory-in-windows-7

Then I moved all of the Temp files to a folder on the Data drive called Temp, here's another guide for that - http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7files/thread/19f13330-dde1-404c-aa27-a76c0b450818

So that gets all the App data and temporary stuff off the main drive. I then performed all the driver installs, updates and made a drive image of the OS drive using the built-in backup feature of Windows 7. Result was 12GB in size which I dumped on my Backup drive. I intend to do more drive images as I get all my software on there but I will keep this original in case the very worst happens. This article basically outlines the Windows Backup feature I believe - http://techreport.com/articles.x/17178

I realize this might not actually help you decide if you should back it up in the current condition (I personally would). If you decide to reinstall when SP1 is released you might find the above method useful though. Always nice to have an easy way to start fresh without having to reapply customisations, thousands of updates and the like. So mind numbing, I do it enough for my virus magnet relative's PCs, I've finally start cloning them too.
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Re: System Clone Question:

Postposted on Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:48 am

hey Thanks P - thanks for the links and for sharing your experience.

As for myself I think I'm just going to keep my important data backed up on external HDDs and DVD as usual and not worry about my C:\ drive. I figure the best system image is a clean install anyway.

Of course if you've got things setup a certain way that's hard or tedious to re-create I can understand why images are a good idea.
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