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So here's what I have:

  • Laptop running Win 8 with 1 TB HDD - only 1 drive in it ("C"). About 80 GB full.
  • 500GB External HDD holding about 200 gigs of media. Rest ~240 is allocated for small backups of WIndows System Image
  • 1 TB internal HDD in an enclosure.

Here's what I want now:

  1. Create monthly clone on my laptop on to the 1 TB HDD. This is the my-hd-crashed-and-i-need-to-submit-a-paper-tonight backup. In a case when my laptop stops working, I should be able to just swap out the hard drives, and the computer should work flawlessly. No need to reintall Windows, activate it, reinstall software etc. Complete clone. You get the idea.

  2. Create Windows System Image using the "Windows 7 File Recovery" option every week in the 500 gig drive.

While I am comfortable doing step 2 above, I don't have any idea how would I go about doing 1. Also, I have no idea how would I recover my system image from step 2. I'm just creating backup, without any idea on how I will recover it.

Please guide me to the best tutorials/apps. Please let me know if something is unclear, I'd be happy to clarify.

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closed as off topic by Karan, Scott, random Apr 12 '13 at 20:28

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Acronis True Image works for something like this. We don't do product suggestions so I am going to flag this question. –  Ramhound Apr 12 '13 at 18:51
    
Who does product suggestions, then? Where can I ask this question? –  None Apr 12 '13 at 18:54
    
I've asked the question only after searching and trying a lot of stuff. If you read carefully, the questions are different. –  None Apr 12 '13 at 19:20
1  
@BradPatton - to be fair, the questions seem to be done in a manner that would be appropriate for SU. –  Carl B Apr 12 '13 at 19:22
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How can anyone answer the following statement Please guide me to the best tutorials/apps. with anything except possible software? The software would have to be able to image the entire system disk in order to be a emergency backup. There is lots of software that will do exactly that. There isn't a Stackexchange that allows product suggestions. Acronis is able to ( although there are risk involved ) duplicate a system disk while its running to another disk. The risks are because Acronis will read a byte then attempt to write a byte, if this process is interupted, data loss can happen. –  Ramhound Apr 12 '13 at 19:48

1 Answer 1

I would recommend the following:

  1. repartition your HDD in your notebook and separate the system from the data (lets say 100GB for system and the rest for data)
  2. clone your notebook HDD to the HDD in the enclosure to have an exact copy. This takes time so it is something you dont want to do every week.
  3. set up syncing of the data partition (synctoy works quiet well). You don't need to sync the system partition. The syncing of the data should not take long so do it often.

In case of a HDD failure you can swap out the disks and all your data is there. Maybe the system needs to be updated but you will be able to work with your data.

If you install a new program or want to keep your system backup up to date, clone the system partition again to the backup HDD.

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