[SOLVED] Creating a backup image of Win10 parts only.

Mar 19, 2019
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I've previously asked a question about partitioning for the purpose of keeping an image as slim as possible for backup purposes.

M.2 NVMe SSD boot drive partitioning. Good or bad idea.

The results of which were... well I'm still not 100% sure. So I'll refer you to the provided link.

If it turns out that partitioning isn't a good idea, can anyone advise me of a way to image my OS without the stuff I was going to put on the second partition? Traditionally, imaging software looks at a partition and shrinks it to create the image file.
This method is less than ideal for a drive that's going to accumulate data up to whatever size the recommended full partition will be.

If I've failed to explain this well, which is likely, please don't hesitate to slap me and ask for clarification.

Thanks guys n gals.
 

ktriebol

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The free version of Macrium Reflect has an option for creating an image of the partitions required to backup and restore Windows. I have made many images using Macrium Reflect, but haven't tried that option. It does seem that it would meet your needs. Don't worry about the partition size. You are overthinking it.
 
Mar 19, 2019
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The free version of Macrium Reflect has an option for creating an image of the partitions required to backup and restore Windows. I have made many images using Macrium Reflect, but haven't tried that option. It does seem that it would meet your needs. Don't worry about the partition size. You are overthinking it.
Thanks for your reply.

You maybe right about me over thinking things. But I wanna get it right this time.
Your reply whilst being absolutely correct, doesn't sound like what I need. Can Macrium separate, or have an option to customise what it images. Simply put I don't want it to backup all the crap that...

1, isn't required by Windows to function and
2, isn't programs and personal files that I'm going to want when recovering back to how I want Windows to run as if it was fresh.
 

ktriebol

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Thanks for your reply.

You maybe right about me over thinking things. But I wanna get it right this time.
Your reply whilst being absolutely correct, doesn't sound like what I need. Can Macrium separate, or have an option to customise what it images. Simply put I don't want it to backup all the crap that...

1, isn't required by Windows to function and
2, isn't programs and personal files that I'm going to want when recovering back to how I want Windows to run as if it was fresh.
My reply described the option for imaging the windows partitions. That does not include personal files etc. You can, of course, image the whole disk, but you asked about specifically saving an image of Windows, and that is what I addressed.
 
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My reply described the option for imaging the windows partitions. That does not include personal files etc. You can, of course, image the whole disk, but you asked about specifically saving an image of Windows, and that is what I addressed.
So to clarify. Assuming I have one partition.

If I install win10, then all the drivers and programs that I want backed up anyway.
Macrium can be configured to only image those things?
And if so can it also be told to include some other areas too?

As a side note, what's your opinion on making 2 partitions on a Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB.
1 OS part , 1 Data part and apparently I need to leave 10% of the total drive for provisioning (about 50GB).
 

ktriebol

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Here is the link for downloading the free edition of Macrium Reflect. Try it out. I think you will find that it will do everything you require.

Additional partitioning is your choice. I don't have much need for it.

The free space for provisioning doesn't require any interaction on your part any more. It seems that has been taken care of automatically by the OS or disk firmware.
 
Mar 19, 2019
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Here is the link for downloading the free edition of Macrium Reflect. Try it out. I think you will find that it will do everything you require.

Additional partitioning is your choice. I don't have much need for it.

The free space for provisioning doesn't require any interaction on your part any more. It seems that has been taken care of automatically by the OS or disk firmware.
Well all this is just talk at the moment as I haven't even built the system yet. If someone could tell me with certainty that partitioning isn't going to affect this very fast drive's performance, there would be no need for this discussion. Did you read my other post that I linked to?
 
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wpgwpg

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Partitioning an SSD doesn't degrade performance. Unlike HDDs, there's no seeking on SSDs, therefore no performance degradation. Re the free version of Macrium Reflect, I've been using it for several years, and it works just fine for me on 4 desktops and a laptop. All 4 desktops have multiple partitions on SSDs with no problem.
 
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Partitioning an SSD doesn't degrade performance. Unlike HDDs, there's no seeking on SSDs, therefore no performance degradation. Re the free version of Macrium Reflect, I've been using it for several years, and it works just fine for me on 4 desktops and a laptop. All 4 desktops have multiple partitions on SSDs with no problem.
Thank you for your input here.
With the assumption that I can use partitions without an issue, I can use Macrium like I have done for years.
But if I wasn't going to partition, can Macrium be configured to not only copy the OS but also to cherry pick other programs and maybe a couple of folders as well? Or does it only image the data on the partition as a whole?
 

wpgwpg

Dignified
The free version of Macrium Reflect will allow you to cherry pick partitions. To be able to cherry pick folders though, you need the paid version. But if you put your things you don't need regular backups for in a separate partition, you can get by with the free version.
Personally I like to back up everything since I can buy an external 2 GB HDD for backup for around $65 US. It's just a matter of personal preference though.
 
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The free version of Macrium Reflect will allow you to cherry pick partitions. To be able to cherry pick folders though, you need the paid version. But if you put your things you don't need regular backups for in a separate partition, you can get by with the free version.
Personally I like to back up everything since I can buy an external 2 GB HDD for backup for around $65 US. It's just a matter of personal preference though.
Yea, I've kinda blown my budget for this build and then some. I've got other drives though so that isn't really an issue. Unless doing an image on one nearly full partition ends up being too massive after compression. I wonder what the compression ratio is on something that size. How big has your biggest image been? and what was it's uncompressed size?
 

wpgwpg

Dignified
On my laptop (and I think desktop as well) the backups are about 2/3 the size of the used space on my C: drive. I just made a backup on my laptop this morning; my C: drive is right at 100 GB used, and the backup was 64.3 GB.
 
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On my laptop (and I think desktop as well) the backups are about 2/3 the size of the used space on my C: drive. I just made a backup on my laptop this morning; my C: drive is right at 100 GB used, and the backup was 64.3 GB.
I'm starting to think that the 500GB I bought might be a tad too big for my needs. lol.
Gonna do 1x 256GB, 1x 200GB and a 50GBish unpartitioned space.
 

USAFRet

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Backup procedures, using Macrium. Read at your leisure.
 

USAFRet

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I'm starting to think that the 500GB I bought might be a tad too big for my needs. lol.
Gonna do 1x 256GB, 1x 200GB and a 50GBish unpartitioned space.
Why the partitions on the drive? Generally, doesn't really serve a good purpose, especially on an SSD.


Image sizes with Macrium:
My C drive is a 500GB 850 EVO.
Currently, about 217GB consumed space.
14 days of nightly backups, either Full or Incremental depending on the day, consumes ~585GB.
 
Mar 19, 2019
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Why the partitions on the drive? Generally, doesn't really serve a good purpose, especially on an SSD.


Image sizes with Macrium:
My C drive is a 500GB 850 EVO.
Currently, about 217GB consumed space.
14 days of nightly backups, either Full or Incremental depending on the day, consumes ~585GB.
Thanx for ur comment and the Macrium article.

AS a start to my reply i'll let u know that most things that are going to be stored on this drive will be throw away. all personal/important files are elsewhere with backups.

My ideal situation is to be able to backup in one image, Windows and all the stock programs I am going to want with a fresh system. You know? Those "I'm never gonna run Windows without them" type programs. Then a few other locations that are important. This image would have to update as needed.
So to keep a backup image of selective stuff and to keep it as small as possible (very limited on storage and no budget left) I would need to separate the data.
I can see no way to have one partition and selectively pick and choose what to image (on the cheap). Unless I'm wrong of course.
 

USAFRet

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Individual partitions? Yes. Macrium absolutely gives you the option of which partitions on a particular physical drive.
Selective applications and the OS? No.

The only way to do that is from a new install.
Before a system gets put into real use, I generally create 2 Images.
Day 1 of just after the OS install, and all of its current updates.
Day 2 of all that, and my basic load of applications.
Those images get stashed away.

But...those can be kind of useless.
If you come back to those in a year or so...the OS and all of those applications have missed out on a years worth of updates.
I've come to prefer just regular backup images, as time goes on. They are always current.
 
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Individual partitions? Yes. Macrium absolutely gives you the option of which partitions on a particular physical drive.
Selective applications and the OS? No.

The only way to do that is from a new install.
Before a system gets put into real use, I generally create 2 Images.
Day 1 of just after the OS install, and all of its current updates.
Day 2 of all that, and my basic load of applications.
Those images get stashed away.

But...those can be kind of useless.
If you come back to those in a year or so...the OS and all of those applications have missed out on a years worth of updates.
I've come to prefer just regular backup images, as time goes on. They are always current.
I completely agree, A perfect world would lavish me with TB's worth of spare drive space to allow for big images. Unfortunately this is not the case. At least not for now.
So this situation is what has prompted me to get clarification on M.2 drive partitioning, and what the affects might be.
I read somewhere that doing this on these drives can be a detriment to their operation. And I really don't understand this over provisioning and how to do it manually (as I have been told to do it this way and not use Samsung's SW).
There's also the alignment thing as well that I also don't understand too well.
 

USAFRet

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Over provisioning is just leaving some empty space, so that the TRIM function can do its thing.
You can either create a small partition on the drive, and not use it.
or, just leave some empty space.
The drive firmware does not care either way. It just needs that empty space.

As far as partitioning for data segregation...mostly useless on an SSD.
It doesn't hurt or benefit the performance, but it also serves no real purpose.
But also, it ends up with a lot of wasted and unusable space.

Let's imagine a 500GB drive, with 3 partitions. 200GB, 250GB, 50GB.
1 is the OS and applications, 2 is games and your personal data, 3 is the OP.

Space consumed on #1 is 65GB, leaving 135GB free space.
Space consumed on your games partition is 190GB, leaving 60GB free.
Total free space = 195GB

Now...lets say you wish to install a new game on partition #2, the game partition. After install, it will consume 75GB. Oops....no can do. Not enough space.
Even though there is actually 195GB free space on the whole drive.
 
Mar 19, 2019
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Over provisioning is just leaving some empty space, so that the TRIM function can do its thing.
You can either create a small partition on the drive, and not use it.
or, just leave some empty space.
The drive firmware does not care either way. It just needs that empty space.

As far as partitioning for data segregation...mostly useless on an SSD.
It doesn't hurt or benefit the performance, but it also serves no real purpose.
But also, it ends up with a lot of wasted and unusable space.

Let's imagine a 500GB drive, with 3 partitions. 200GB, 250GB, 50GB.
1 is the OS and applications, 2 is games and your personal data, 3 is the OP.

Space consumed on #1 is 65GB, leaving 135GB free space.
Space consumed on your games partition is 190GB, leaving 60GB free.
Total free space = 195GB

Now...lets say you wish to install a new game on partition #2, the game partition. After install, it will consume 75GB. Oops....no can do. Not enough space.
Even though there is actually 195GB free space on the whole drive.
Thing is I'm aware of all these issues, (after 15 years in the PC engineering industry but have been out of the loop for 10) and it's really frustrating as I can't find a way out of it.
I either partition and slimline my backup but waste space.
Or I leave as one but have the distinct possibility of a colossal image.

Do I have to worry about the alignment thing?
BTW: I was told to leave the OP space as unformatted/unallocated. Is this correct?
 

USAFRet

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Alignment, no. The Image does not care.

On Formatted/Unallocated - Again, does not matter. Partitions on an SSD are different than an HDD.
With an HDD, each partition is a physical space on the platter(s).
With an SSD, it is all one space. The partitions you see in Disk Management is a logical representation. The drive firmware uses ALL of the cells as needed. The 'free space' is so that the TRIM function has plenty of space to shuffle data around, so as not to wear out any cells prematurely. Wear leveling.
 
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Mar 19, 2019
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Alignment, no. The Image does not care.

On Formatted/Unallocated - Again, does not matter. Partitions on an SSD are different than an HDD.
With an HDD, each partition is a physical space on the platter(s).
With an SSD, it is all one space. The partitions you see in Disk Management is a logical representation. The drive firmware uses ALL of the cells as needed. The 'free space' is so that the TRIM function has plenty of space to shuffle data around, so as not to wear out any cells prematurely. Wear leveling.
It's not the image I'm worried about when it comes to alignment. It's the partitions themselves. I've got the impression from other comments that partitions on ssd's need proper alignment.
 

USAFRet

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When I mentioned the image does not care, that also extends to recovering the Image on a new drive.
It will go with whatever alignment the new drive has, and adjust itself as needed. Otherwise, this whole backup imaging thing would be MUCH more complicated.

I recently had to recover from a dead SSD> A secondary drive, Sandisk 960GB. 605GB consumed space on it.
It died. Don't know why, and mostly don't care.

The nightly Full and Incremental was held on my NAS box HDD array.
Put in a new 1TB Samsung 860 EVO, click, click...2 hours later, all 605GB recovered, exactly as it was at 4AM that morning when it ran its nightly backup.

As said, the 'partitions' on an SSD are a logical representation only.
 
Mar 19, 2019
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When I mentioned the image does not care, that also extends to recovering the Image on a new drive.
It will go with whatever alignment the new drive has, and adjust itself as needed. Otherwise, this whole backup imaging thing would be MUCH more complicated.

I recently had to recover from a dead SSD> A secondary drive, Sandisk 960GB. 605GB consumed space on it.
It died. Don't know why, and mostly don't care.

The nightly Full and Incremental was held on my NAS box HDD array.
Put in a new 1TB Samsung 860 EVO, click, click...2 hours later, all 605GB recovered, exactly as it was at 4AM that morning when it ran its nightly backup.

As said, the 'partitions' on an SSD are a logical representation only.
I'm sorry, I must be lacking in explanation skills 2day. when i'm talking about alignment i'm meaning just this issue between ssd's and partitions only when it comes to making sure the end of one and the beginning of the other is in the correct place I suppose. Maybe something to do with allocation sizes as well. Or something to that affect. This is nothing to do with images or backups at all.

Apologies 4 the confusion
 

USAFRet

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Right.
And on an SSD, the "start" and "end" of a partition is irrelevant to the user, the OS, and to the recovery software.

On an HDD, a partition can be said to start and end at a particular physical sector. The next partition starts at the sector right after the previous one ends.

On an SSD, that does not exist. You can't look at a particular 'cell', or 'sector', and say "This is part of Partition 1". There is no physical begin and end. The drive firmware shuffles the data all over the cell space, and simply displays to you and the OS what it would be if it were physical locations.

If you have two partitions on an SSD...a C and D partition.
You purposely put something in the D partition...that does not relate to a delineated physical space on the drive. You and I and the OS sees it as such, but it actually resides all over.
 

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