[SOLVED] How to best use old SSD as recovery disk

Feb 19, 2022
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So this might be a simple question, by I'm just looking for different opinions.

I upgraded the SSD in an older laptop (Lenovo Yoga 710) from 128GB. I don't really have the need for an external SSD drive, knowing that I can reformat/remove partitions for that purpose. I'd like to use the SSD as a backup/recovery disk in case something falls with the new system.

Should I
A) do nothing and just store the SSD as is (a bootable Win 10 with all programs and data from date of upgrade). My thinking is if something fails on laptop, I can just reinstall the old SSD.

B) clear partitions, reformat, and create a bootable recovery disk. This takes more time, but then if have a bootable drive I can use thru USB to recover problem.

I'm curious to know people's thoughts and pros/cons of both methods.

Thanks in advance.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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@Lafong and @dwd999 Thanks for the quick responses. Yes, now that you've turned me on to Macrium, that is definitely the program I'll be using for disc images. Thank you for that tip and the further explanation that the images can all be stored on the same SSD.

The other part of the question is the bootable aspect, but I think you've answered that as well if Macrium "image covers an entire disk (all 4 partitions) so they are complete for each computer. Operating system is irrelevant." Is my understanding correct that as long as there is a bootable element on the SSD to get into Macrium, I can restore the image to either the Windows 10 disc image (for the older laptop) or the Windows 11 disc image (for the newer laptop)? That certainly makes life and managing backups for different platforms a lot easier.

Thanks again for the tips and for walking me through this.
For something 'bootable" to get into the Macrium environment....create a RescueUSb from within the Macrium client.
Any small flash drive.
Store this away somewhere safe.

For your backup Images...any device or location that is large enough to hold your entire C drive (or whatever drive).


 

Lafong

Respectable
Not exactly sure what you mean by "bootable recovery disk" in part B. Linux-based bunch of tools?

I guess the motivations for A would be different than the motivations for B, although both A and B allow you to boot. The A choice would allow you to immediately get back up and running if the new drive fails.

I'd guess a "bootable recovery disk" with a bunch of tools could be put on a smallish flash drive...rather than wasting a 128 GB SSD on that.

Can the old drive be put in an enclosure of some type and used for backups?
 
Feb 19, 2022
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@Lafong Thanks for the quick reply. Sorry, I should have been more specific on my B option, but I think you answered my question regardless.

By "bootable/recovery" disk, I mean use the old SSD in an enclosure connected via USB that can be booted by the BIOS and then recover the backup on that disc to the internal SSD. But, now by saying it out loud, that would really be the same as just leaving the original SSD alone to put back into the laptop should the new drive fail, and reimage it to another disc. I think I'm just over thinking things. 🤓

I could get an enclosure and use the old SSD as backup disc, but a plain Jane 128GB USB flash drive is about the same price and smaller form factor, so will just keep the old SSD as is as a fail safe in case something goes horribly wrong with the new drive.

I'm just really amazed at how much the prices have dropped with speeds and storage increasing. When I bought the laptop 3-4 years ago, getting even a 128GB SSD in the computer was a huge deal!
 
Reactions: Lafong

dwd999

Honorable
Here's what I do which is similar to option B: download free Macrium software and use option to create a Recovery disk in ISO format; use Rufus to write ISO to an unused m.2 in a Sabrent enclosure; the writing process automatically overwrites the m.2 so removing partitions and formatting is not necessary; use Gparted or any partition editor to resize the partition containing the Macrium software to 1 GB; create new NTFS partition and format it in remaining space. Now I have a bootable external m.2 which I can boot and onto which I can create backup images of my system.
 
Reactions: Jerlenaz
Feb 19, 2022
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@dwd999 Thanks for the info! I think this is solution I'm looking for, but wasn't able to explain it clearly. I'll test this out.
@dwd999 A follow up question. I have two other laptops (Samsung Spin 7 NP740U5M running Windows 10; brand new Samsung Galaxy Book NP750TDA running Win 11). Can I use the same 128BG SSD that I just created as recovery and backup images for them? I'm thinking I would need to add a partion for the Win 11 recovery piece and separate partitions for each laptops back up image? Or would two different recovery systems on the same bootable SSD cause a conflict?

Thanks in advance for any insight.
 

dwd999

Honorable
@dwd999 A follow up question. I have two other laptops (Samsung Spin 7 NP740U5M running Windows 10; brand new Samsung Galaxy Book NP750TDA running Win 11). Can I use the same 128BG SSD that I just created as recovery and backup images for them? I'm thinking I would need to add a partion for the Win 11 recovery piece and separate partitions for each laptops back up image? Or would two different recovery systems on the same bootable SSD cause a conflict?

Thanks in advance for any insight.
Hopefully you're not thinking of using Windows own backup options. If you are using a program like Macrium (as I do) you can store the backup images for all your computers in the same place and just name them accordingly when you create them. Each image covers an entire disk (all 4 partitions) so they are complete for each computer. Operating system is irrelevant. Macrium provides its own numbering system so that no two backup images can ever be named the same and of course they are dated according to their creation date.
 

Lafong

Respectable
Macrium image files are large and have an .mrimg extension.

But they don't require any special handling or to be stored on separate partitions.

You can store them or move them to wherever they will fit.....just as you could keep pictures, videos, and Excel documents in the same folder on the same partition. They can all co-exist.

The only caveat is that Macrium image files cannot be saved to a partition which is itself contained in the image file. For instance.....if you make an image file that includes the C partition found on drive 0, you can't save it to the C partition on drive 0.
 
Reactions: dwd999
Feb 19, 2022
5
2
15
0
@Lafong and @dwd999 Thanks for the quick responses. Yes, now that you've turned me on to Macrium, that is definitely the program I'll be using for disc images. Thank you for that tip and the further explanation that the images can all be stored on the same SSD.

The other part of the question is the bootable aspect, but I think you've answered that as well if Macrium "image covers an entire disk (all 4 partitions) so they are complete for each computer. Operating system is irrelevant." Is my understanding correct that as long as there is a bootable element on the SSD to get into Macrium, I can restore the image to either the Windows 10 disc image (for the older laptop) or the Windows 11 disc image (for the newer laptop)? That certainly makes life and managing backups for different platforms a lot easier.

Thanks again for the tips and for walking me through this.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
154,832
11,306
176,090
24,158
@Lafong and @dwd999 Thanks for the quick responses. Yes, now that you've turned me on to Macrium, that is definitely the program I'll be using for disc images. Thank you for that tip and the further explanation that the images can all be stored on the same SSD.

The other part of the question is the bootable aspect, but I think you've answered that as well if Macrium "image covers an entire disk (all 4 partitions) so they are complete for each computer. Operating system is irrelevant." Is my understanding correct that as long as there is a bootable element on the SSD to get into Macrium, I can restore the image to either the Windows 10 disc image (for the older laptop) or the Windows 11 disc image (for the newer laptop)? That certainly makes life and managing backups for different platforms a lot easier.

Thanks again for the tips and for walking me through this.
For something 'bootable" to get into the Macrium environment....create a RescueUSb from within the Macrium client.
Any small flash drive.
Store this away somewhere safe.

For your backup Images...any device or location that is large enough to hold your entire C drive (or whatever drive).


 

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