1. MKairys's Avatar
    In the past I have always separated system files from user data, in order to back up each appropriately. So I'd partition my hard drive and go through the exercises moving my user directories onto D: . Then I'd take a full image of my C partition once or twice a month and incremental images of D: daily. I'd save enough image files that I could roll the OS back a couple of months. And the incrementals of the user data served as version history.

    Then I got my surface pro 3 and it all seemed like too much unpaid IT labor ;) Besides I wanted to try the windows file history thing for versioning.

    But I wanted to keep the imaging software I was using (Easeus) because it let me explore and copy files from the image file, whereas windows backup produced an opaque file. So I imaged the whole disk every couple of weeks and used FileHistory for versioning.

    Then I contemplated rolling back windows, and realized I would also be rolling back my user files, and FileHistory wasn't going to work like a backup and let me restore all my files to their latest.

    So my question is, how can I back up system and data appropriately without two partitions?
    01-04-2016 02:09 PM
  2. MKairys's Avatar
    Correction, the windows backup is not opaque, but it does include the entire disk so restoring it restores user files to whatever state they were. The author of how-make-full-backup-windows-pc says

    The downside is that you cannot choose to restore individual files. It's meant to restore everything, bit-by-bit to the same (or replacement) hard drive. (Though, you can easily access the backup files and extract documents, photos, music, and other files, if you need to.)

    In addition, if you don't backup regularly and a system failure occurs, you could lose valuable documents, settings and software because you can only restore the data since the last backup.


    He or she refers to System Image Backup as an image that does not contain user data (?)
    ... and refers to File History but does not explain how it could be used, say in a bare-metal restore
    01-04-2016 03:01 PM
  3. Axeelant's Avatar
    I don't have an answer for you, but i'm also curious, why can't we just backup at least settings and personalisation stuff to onedrive, like in WP?
    01-05-2016 08:47 AM
  4. TheCudder's Avatar
    I don't have an answer for you, but i'm also curious, why can't we just backup at least settings and personalisation stuff to onedrive, like in WP?
    This, basically. Allow Windows to back up your system settings & personalization data. Then insert microSD card for backing up files using file history.
    Axeelant likes this.
    01-05-2016 09:27 AM
  5. Jozef jurcisin's Avatar
    Hi I just got WD Cloud Mirror 4t ( 2t and 2t) I am very happy.
    I still make HD images.

    see link
    My Cloud Mirror - Personal Cloud Storage
    WD Learning Center - WD My Cloud Mirror - Welcome
    01-05-2016 06:46 PM
  6. MKairys's Avatar
    microSD card is a good idea, if I could afford one big enough. I'm using an external drive and my file history is up to 38 Gb. And settings + file history does not protect against O/S corruption or hardware failure.

    Turns out
    (1) system image backup does not include user folders not managed by Windows
    (2) so-called Windows 7 backup allows you to include user folders but does not include them in the image, just makes a bunch of zip files

    So I think the best solution (to answer my own question ;) is to image the complete C drive every few weeks (I'm using Easeus) and depend on file history to update user files in the event of a restore, by going into the file history data directory and just copying it over the restored directories. This would give me the latest versions but would not account for files that had been moved or deleted, so there would be manual cleanup and this is not a perfect solution.
    01-08-2016 08:25 AM
  7. was2wuz's Avatar
    Yep, external hard drive image is probably the way to go
    01-08-2016 12:37 PM
  8. MKairys's Avatar
    Turns out micro cards are cheaper than I thought :) Got 64gb for $35 at Best Buy. Good idea!
    xandros9 likes this.
    01-09-2016 03:39 PM
  9. Trees's Avatar
    So if I'm following correctly, can I use an external USB drive to capture a System Image Backup, and then with File History set it to backup to the same USB drive as used for System Image Backup?
    01-10-2016 12:58 PM
  10. MKairys's Avatar
    Yes. That was my set up until it was pointed out to me that using an SD card for file history is a better idea.
    Trees likes this.
    01-10-2016 04:43 PM
  11. excalibur1814's Avatar
    I've created Xcopy commands that copy the files, from various locations, onto an external drive. Complicated? A bit. This would be from a WHS v2.0.
    01-12-2016 08:37 AM
  12. Trees's Avatar
    If xcopy works for you then I think the key thing is that you are backing up data. I've used Robocopy in the past at work to keep stuff backed up from various sources to a central location. PowerShell probably has cmdlets that could also be used to formulate a backup script/method.

    For home use, I'll see how System Image + File History work.
    01-13-2016 06:53 AM

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