How do I test my system partition backups without risking my system partition?

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by JQP, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. JQP

    JQP MDL Novice

    Jan 24, 2012
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    Seems like a classic catch-22, but I'm open to suggestions. I read on the Acronis forum that I should go the full monte and test my backup solutions by actually restoring from them. Well, isn't that just paying today for what I'd gladly defer until Tuesday? If something goes wrong, I'll wind up having to start from scratch anyway. I'm talking about applications and app data, drivers, system here. I keep my actual data and files on separate partitions and drives anyway. So if I do lose my system partition, I'm just losing the time invested in getting my OS and programs set up and working the way I like them.

    But I'd love to be wrong. Is there some way to escape this catch-22?
     
  2. JQP

    JQP MDL Novice

    Jan 24, 2012
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    Yeah I agree with you. I've had pretty good experiences with Acronis, and generally the restores just work. I'm just talking mostly in the abstract here, and as you say, though the concern is minimal, it is legitimate. Though I've also had bad experiences with Acronis, like "this copy has expired" when trying to restore using a thumb drive copy of Acronis - is that really the time to screw over your users? When their internet connection is down, they have no OS, and all their data is inaccessible? There should be no question AT ALL of the boot media expiring, because it should never "expire."

    I always validate my backups right after I create them, and validate them periodically.

    Which is why diversification is part of my new backup strategy. I'm going to try Novabackup, too. And maybe even one of the free apps, if I can find a relialble one with a simple process for creating bootable restore media. And I'll probably drop Acronis because of that "expiring" boot media thing. Any company that implements such a spectacularly bad idea doesn't want my business badly enough.

    As for Windows Backup and Restore, I've never used it. I started using Acronis because of the horrible experiences I've had with Windows in terms of it corrupting itself, losing critical boot data all by itself, destroying itself during repair, losing restore points, etc. So I don't know how a system image works, and more importantly, how restore works. Where can I put the data, and have Windows find it? I have like 5 drives, not including externals, and maybe I'm being paranoid, but I can easily see Windows refusing to find it at the critical restore stage. Maybe a link to a primer on the process, if you know of one?

    Anyway, thanks for the info & advice.
     
  3. JQP

    JQP MDL Novice

    Jan 24, 2012
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    That could easily be what happened in my case. I take backup a lot more seriously now than I did back then.

    As for Windows Backup yeah I just ran through the process and it seems pretty easy, though it takes way too long and hogs too much of my system's resources (Ahhh, Microsoft). I created a system repair disc, too. Thanks again for the tip.