Backup software question for Mike & Super Sarge

Thanks, in advance. I have seen how helpful you two are by browsing around here a bit.

Mike, I got the Paragon software after seeing your YouTube tutorial, but my recovery disk program did not look like what you recorded. Could be you have a paid version, maybe they dumbed down the latest free version, who knows?

Then I saw Super Sarge's many recommendations for Macrium Reflect and it looks good and also is recommended. I could go either way at this point. I've found some nice YouTube tutorials on Macrium also, and I'm leaning that way at the moment. I have a couple of general questions, though. I'm not a tech-head by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm not afraid of the computer either. :razz: I just like to understand what I'm doing before trying to wade into new stuff.

First, in the unlikely event I have to do a full system image restore, let's say on a newly installed hard drive, can I just boot from the Macrium CD and go? Or do I have to set up partitions like I had on my original drive?

Second, I see three items in Macrium to backup. I understand what C:\ is, that is what I boot from and work on. If I understand correctly, D:\ is a partition I can use to restore C:\ to original factory spec if C:\ gets screwed up?? That is if it boots? I have a Windows 7 Home Edition Recovery CD, also. I'm hazy on that part. Finally, there is something called "System". Here is what the Macrium backup options look like. Click on thumbnail to see larger image.


The K:\ HP Simple Save is my 2TB external USB drive that I want to back up to. I suppose I should backup all three items in the top window? Then assuming I put in a brand new hard drive, what steps exactly do I need to follow to get this back on the new drive?

Thanks, and sorry if these questions sound stupid. But I've seen YouTube vids where people have tried to go with their program and it failed for some reason. I also think I should practice a full image backup and restore on my old computer I just migrated from to be safe. Thanks, fellas.

And Sarge, I was Air Force, also. I was on active duty when you separated and I remember you would have had three lower rockers. My son goes to Valley Forge Military Academy (high school) and I see AF guys around there and I get confused with the new enlisted insignia sometimes, but I think I have it figured out now. Lower rockers stop at two, and instead of two upper chevrons, now those go to three, right? :confused: thanks for serving. Below is a file I made at Army Navy Marines Air Force Coast Guard and Civil Air Patrol Email and Forum Signatures for free. If you have not been there, check it out. Thanks for serving!




If you backup up the whole disc including all partitions on that disc, yes you could install your backup to another hard Drive of same size or greater.
I do not partition drives with cost of drives being what they are it is easier to install and but new internal drives/external drives. This means when I do a image it is imaging the whole drive. However you could just backup the OS partition and again install it to another drive same caveat drive will have to be same size or bigger than the partition you are trying to install.
yes Master Sgt. now has one up senior master Sgt., has 2 up and Chief Master Sgt., has 3 up. A first Sgt will always have a Diamond in his rank. I was an Aircraft Warning and Control Operator. Served at many duty stations both in NORAD and Mobile Radar units from Kume Jima Okinawa to Hessich Oldendorf Germany

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Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
The free edition of Paragon is not the same and is lacking certain features. User interface is probably different. Also, since that video, they have come out with a free version. This version is limited, and you're going to see a difference.

Product comparison: Paragon Backup & Recovery 2011 (Advanced) Free Edition - edition comparison

Hope this helps on the Paragon issue.

Thanks, guys!

Well, I left Macromium running a backup with the whole drive selected, all three items. Sarge, if I understand you correctly, if I were to put a new drive in there, I would just restore the whole thing and it would write back the D: HP Recovery partition, my C: drive, everything would be automatic? I will try that on my old computer which I will now use as a test bed. I do like the interface. I would likely like Paragon's paid version, too, but I'm going to continue with Macromium I think.

By the way, we were in the same business, and may have even crossed paths! I was on active duty from '82-'92 as an Air Weapons Controller. I started in the old 24th ADS at Griffiss AFB, we took over from the old SAGE system at Hancock Field when it was phased out. I was then at the 848 ACWS at Wallace AS, Philippines, 26 Aggressors at both Clark AB, Philippines, and then Kadena AB, Okinawa, where we deactivated. I then switched to the 623 ACWS at Kadena AB and we would control out of JASDAF facilities at Naha or up at Yoza Dake. Finally I finished out with NATO E3A Component at Geilenkirchen NATO base in Germany.


Yes it will restore your partitions as long as you are restoring it to a hard Drive of the same size or greater. You CANNOT restore it to a smaller hard disc.
In NORAD I was at MCChord 25th Region, Duluth 23rd Region, North Bay Ontario Canada 22nd Region Headquarters Luke AFB 27th Air Division? I was also at Shaw AFB worked I think it was the 507th TACC
Over Seas I was at Kume Jime AFS, radar site 47 mile northwest of Naha, In Europe I was stationed at Birkenfeld AS in Neubrucke working in Borfink Bunker.
My first 4 years of service was in the Marine Corps 1963-1967, retired January 1st 1986 from USAF rank of Master Sgt.
2nd tour in Germany and last tour I was in the 609th TCS Radar was at Bad Munder the air station was at Hessich Oldendorf

Joe S

Excellent Member
Partitioning a drive is a personal preference. I partition mine with the system on one and the data on the other. I backup with Acronis and do a separate image for each partition. Restoring the drive partition takes about 8 min. Another advantage of partitioning is the ability to do a clean install if needed without disturbing the data. Most of these free backup programs only do full backups not incremental backups and they are missing other tools. They are probably adequate for what many people do. I have an external I use for images only and 2 other externals I manually backup data. Both of those also have one drive image.

I prefer an individual drive no partitions for the same thing, I have 4 internal drives on my machine two 1.5 TB Seagate Drives, two 750 Gig Seagate drives and 5 external Drives

Well, here is where I demonstrate the depths of my ignorance about all this partition discussion. Can you good folks help me understand what is going on here with regard to partitions?

In the thumbnail screenshot of my Macrium program in Post #1 above, you will see three items to back up.

2 - OS (C: )

For my first backup, I selected all three items. I did another one for practice and to see how long it would take, but I only did item 2 - OS (C: ).

Am I correct that these three items are properly referred to as partitions?

Am I correct in assuming that items 1 and 3 should not change and I need only backup item 2 - OS (C: ) going forward? Or might the other two items change as Windows 7 applies future updates? Maybe I should be backing up all three items monthly??

If my drive gets fried somehow and I put in a new one (of equal size or greater, I hear that), do I need to do some partitioning work on the new drive before restoring? Or can I just go to the Macrium software recovery disk and slap all three items on the new drive and expect it to boot up properly?

Thanks again, and I'm sorry, I know these are very basic questions. But I don't want to have a great backup program and be doing backups improperly or not know how to do a restore.


I personally would make an Image of all 3 to a different Internal/external hard drive, you can make backups to DVDs also but it takes longer and it will take a few discs, much easier to backup to a internal/external drive and quicker. I would do this at least weekly. If your HD ever fails you have a image only at the most a week old. You then can restore everything back to a new disc of the same size or greater.
Remember Pilots say they do it better, but Radar tells them where to go. With Macrioum you have to create the restore disc as you will need this to resore an image, you just put it in your machine make sure the BIOS is setup to boot from from your CD/DVD after that it is as easy as pie

Oh by the way I was a Senior Director Tech, and a highly qualified Weapons Director Tech in NORAD units and on the 2 man control team, so it is easy to give a Controller advise/instructions

Absolutely you can give me advice and instruction! I often missed having a second set of eyes/ears when I was an Aggressor Controller (we worked without techs), the two-man team is the way to go! I worked two-man teams in NORAD and at the 623 in Okinawa, of course.

Your advice makes sense, if I thought about it for more than thirty seconds, I'd have realized that the other two parts are less than 2% of the total backup, most of it is on C:. I will schedule it for an overnight backup once a week, and I do use an external HD.

Sarge, what is that first part, labeled SYSTEM? On my old XP machine it only has the C: drive and a recovery partition, D:

And I glean from your answer, if I have to stick a new HD inside the machine I don't have to format or partition it, I just restore all three pieces from my backup and I'm G2G? I really thought it would be more complex than that. If it's not, I am a very happy camper!

If you stick a new disc in you may have to Format it, but if use quick format on a new disc it takes seconds, if you do a full format it could take quite awhile depending on size of new disc a 1 TB full format could run over 4 hours for a full format. But after you do the quick format on a new disc just boot up your Macrium restore disc and restore the image to a new Hard drive if you ever needed to do that. Remember your CD/DVD must be the first in the boot priority in the BIOS and you had to put in a new HD you might have to make a bios change on which drive the Bios HD the Bios looks for for boot up. Do not worry about that at this point since you are not putting in a new Hard Drive

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