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So this is what I'm thinking of doing: Have 3 partitions on my laptop's HDD - 1 for system files (C drive). One for the data (D). And one for backups (Win 8 file history etc).

And then I backup all these drives using Acronis True Image. Is this a good strategy to protect my data?

Right now, I have only 1 partition with all my stuff on it (1 TB HDD with about 150GB filled up).

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Tog, Mokubai, Dave M, Breakthrough Sep 26 '13 at 15:53

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I use multiple drives as part of my data protection strategy, since If one drive goes, I lose all my partitions anyway. I suppose on a linux system, it makes recovery easier, but I think this is less true on windows. – Journeyman Geek Aug 28 '13 at 14:45
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The partitions really do not matter as far as the aspect of data protection go, but it may make it easier to find what you want during recovery.

As far as storing the backups, I would highly recommend storing the backups somewhere other than another partition on the HDD because if the HDD fails it will make it extremely hard to recover anything.

Since you are using Acronis I would recommend doing two backups (assuming you have the space).

First backup just your data. This makes the data portable and accessible from any machine.

Second do a full image copy of the drive in its entirety, and when you do this make any option keeping for the NT signature is selected (Different versions of acronis have this in different places). Imaging a windows 8 system can be hard due to the nature of UEFI and secureboot. If you have a copy of the entire drive with the NT signature intact, then it should image back you your laptop easily. When doing this you can use higher compression to minimize the space that the backup takes.

I cannot stress that without the NT signature intact you will have an extremely hard time recovering the OS. I learned this while designing a network imaging system to deploy Windows 8 to refurbished notebooks.

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So yes this is what I currently do: backup all my data to an external HDD, and backup the entire disk to a HDD. I do not create a "clone disk" as it is not recommended by many users. I'll look for the NT signature option. BTW, while we're at it, to restore the backup (with NT signature) to another HD, all I have to do is boot using the recovery drive and restore. Right? Or is there something different? – Karan Goel Aug 28 '13 at 15:43
The NT Signature options are only useful when doing a full disk recovery. The problem is, with certain OEM deployments of Windows 8, it may fail to boot if you recover the disk and a new NT Signature is created. Furthermore I have seen it boot, but built in recovery options no longer work. If you are not concerned about recovering your OS but just your data, then I would not be concerned with a full disk backup, since the OS is likely recoverable from an OEM CD. – h8a Aug 28 '13 at 20:56

Any protection provided by the use of partitions is so minimal as to be ignored. Theoretically it may be of help if the drive develops a bad sector that renders the filesystem unreadable, then at least files in other partitions won't be affected. Such a thing happens very rarely though. It is far more likely that the whole drive will simply die, or that a few bad sectors will only corrupt one or two files. Having backups is the only sure way to protect your data.

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