[SOLVED] Build a bootable backup drive

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I would like to create a bootable drive so that if my current drive was to die or become corrupted I would have one ready to just install. In other words a rescue drive.
So you want to clone your drive to another, that is easy and done all the time. You have two options, clone or image. A clone is just a copy of the same drive, you plop the drive in to replace the old one. An image is an image file that can be expanded on a drive. I usually use images instead of clones. Get an external drive, get USB stick. Install Macrium Reflect. In that program is an option to create boot media, do that on the USB stick. Boot off that with the external drive connected to the computer. Then use the program to make an image on that USB drive. Put that aside. If/when your drive fails, get a replacement, and use the same software to image the new drive with the image you created.

If you want to use a clone of a drive instead, buy a drive and a usb enclosure for it and do the same booting off the USB stick and clone the main drive to the second one. It may be a good idea to test the boot by swapping the drives before you put it away.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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I have Windows 7, I am investigating the possibility of creating a bootable back up drive.
Why bootable? There are much better ways to do backups.

Windows, especially pre-Win 10, really really does not like booting the full OS from a USB.

I use Macrium Reflect to create Images. And then a Macrium Rescue USB.
In case of need, boot from the Rescue USB, and recover the Image.
A Full image, and then a series of Incremental or Differential gives you much greater depth in what and how to recover.
 
Sep 29, 2019
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I would like to create a bootable drive so that if my current drive was to die or become corrupted I would have one ready to just install. In other words a rescue drive.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
Windows just doesn't like to run from removable devices period. What you have to do is mark the USb drive as non-removable. How you do this varies with the drive, usb2, usb3, controller type... all make a difference. There used to be a more generic method but I'm not sure it's still valid and I'm lacking time to test esp when there exist better methods to recover from a failed drive.

As for why you are doing this, it doesn't make sense to me. Why waste a whole drive with 1 copy of your windows to rescue your current drive when you could have several copies, of different points in time, by storing images of your drive instead. Macrium restores images just as fast as cloning a drive back to the replacement drive.

If you are just going to set the drive aside until you need it, then just clone to it periodically and install it in place of the system drive when it fails.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I would like to create a bootable drive so that if my current drive was to die or become corrupted I would have one ready to just install. In other words a rescue drive.
So you want to clone your drive to another, that is easy and done all the time. You have two options, clone or image. A clone is just a copy of the same drive, you plop the drive in to replace the old one. An image is an image file that can be expanded on a drive. I usually use images instead of clones. Get an external drive, get USB stick. Install Macrium Reflect. In that program is an option to create boot media, do that on the USB stick. Boot off that with the external drive connected to the computer. Then use the program to make an image on that USB drive. Put that aside. If/when your drive fails, get a replacement, and use the same software to image the new drive with the image you created.

If you want to use a clone of a drive instead, buy a drive and a usb enclosure for it and do the same booting off the USB stick and clone the main drive to the second one. It may be a good idea to test the boot by swapping the drives before you put it away.
 
Sep 29, 2019
8
0
10
0
I appreciate your help and advice. The computer I am talking about is my wife's. She has a ton of stuff on it. To the tune of 500GB. The system drive is a Samsung EVO 1tb. I also installed a second EVO 1tb and using Image for Windows created an Image on it. Is Macrium better?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
114,553
2,115
157,240
18,630
I would like to create a bootable drive so that if my current drive was to die or become corrupted I would have one ready to just install. In other words a rescue drive.
Right. And that's where I was going with for the Images.
Not directly bootable, but much much easier to manage.

That is the basis for my complete backup routine.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I appreciate your help and advice. The computer I am talking about is my wife's. She has a ton of stuff on it. To the tune of 500GB. The system drive is a Samsung EVO 1tb. I also installed a second EVO 1tb and using Image for Windows created an Image on it. Is Macrium better?
I have used Macrium and have had 0 issues with restoring images made with it. I have not use the MS option but I have read on the forums that people have had issues with it. Only way to find out is to get a spare drive and test the recovery to see how it works. And of course keep backups aside from this image. You want to have an image of the drive, as well as backups of the files and notes about your setup and passwords somewhere safe.
 

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