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question about creating a full disk image as backup

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have a 6 year old 320gig Seagate drive that is still running strong, but I feel I shouldn't push my luck with my data despite hd sentinel giving it a perfect score. Was thinking of upgrading it to a 2gb drive.

Anyways, here is my question.. My current HDD is a WD Black 1TB drive. If I wanted to do weekly(maybe daily?) full image backups, would it require I have atleast a 1TB drive even though I havnt used all the free space on it? I guess what I am getting at is, if I had a 1tb storage drive, would the image I make partition a full 1tb of space as reserve? Or would it just use as much as my C drive currently has on it. Basically, does the ratio of drive space need to be 1 to 1 with main and storage drive for full backups even if I am not using all 1TB of space on my main drive. I wouldn't want to get a 1tb drive if I couldn't use the remainder free space as general storage..

Just typing that out made my head hurt. What if I just got a 2TB drive and used that for full image backups, and then partitioned the other 1tb of space for general storage? Probably a better way to go I think.
post #2 of 4
Nope, there's no need to have a 1:1 storage ratio...most disk image software will just use what it needs to when it creates the archive. Also, most products will exclude things that don't need to be backed up (hibernate file, page file, etc...) and will also compress the data as it's written to the archive. For instance, my C: drive consumes 59.4 GB right now, but the backup archive is ~ 48 GB (using Macrium Reflect). Once you have a full backup completed, many products will do differential/incremental images (i.e. it just backs up what has only changed) so the size of these archives are substantially smaller...especially if your disk remains fairly static.

I hope this helps! smile.gif
post #3 of 4
I use Macrium Reflect to image my Boot drive. The image size is 40% the size taken up by the system files on the drive. YMMV.

There would be no need to partition the drive. Just keep your image(s) in a folder and your other data in other folders.
   
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7-3930k ASUS P9X79 WS MSI R7850 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7850 2GB... Monoprice 1x2 powered HDMI Splitter 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Kingston HyperX 32GB (8 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDR... Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RP... Western Digital WD Black WD2001FASS-0 2TB 128 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD 
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Western Digital Black WD4003FZEX 4TB LG 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Inter... COOLER MASTER GeminII S524 120mm Long Life Slee... Windows 7 Ultimate 
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3 x Asus VG248QE Vizio VO320E 32" TV Logitech G510s Corsair HX750W 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Antec Two Hundred v2 Logitech M525 with Unifying Receiving Corsair SP2500 2.1 Speakers ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels 24-... 
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LSI 9211-8i HBA card HooToo® HT-CR001 3.5" PCI-E to USB 3.0 Multi-in... Antec EasySATA Internal HDD Dock 
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post #4 of 4
The way I normally backup is this:
1.) Wash free space with zeros:
Code:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/path/to/partition/temp.zero bs=4M
rm /path/to/partition/temp.zero
2.) Create a sparse uncompressed image of the entire disk (sparse images 'ignore' zeros)
Code:
dd if=/dev/sdX | cp --sparse=always /dev/stdin /path/to/disk.img
3.) Place the sparse image in a SquashFS Image for compression:
Code:
mksquashfs image squash.img
sudo mount squash.img /path/to/mount
mv /path/to/disk.img /path/to/mount/disk.img
sudo umount /path/to/mount

Then whenever I need to access the backup's files or any such I can do so by doing the following:
Code:
sudo mount squash.img /path/to/mount
sudo kpartx -a /path/to/mount/disk.img

After this you will have loop device maps for each partition in the disk image; for example /dev/loop0p1 which would be partition 1 on the disk. You could then mount and browse the contents of each partition individually. Pretty slick. Also keeps everything nice and small on file size.

Obviously this is a little advanced for an average user - and it's completely useless if all you know is Windows.
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 D0 4.2ghz HT (1.3625v) Asus R3E 2xGTX 460 (non SLi, no overclock) 6x2gb G.skill @ 6-8-6-24-1T 
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