The Users path or the C:\ path?`

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Starkman, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Starkman

    Starkman New Member

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    Hello all,

    I am the soul user of my computer. I run it as Admin, unless I'm online banking or credit-carding. In that there are no other users, and never will be, I wonder if it's more reliable to keep my general data in the normal Users place (My Documents, etc.) or just on the root of the drive.

    The question really is, which is more likely to go sour, a user profile or the hard drive itself? I don't have to keep my stuff in the normal sections because, as I say, there's just me. And when considering using the standard Win7 backup utility, it's going to work from the user profile by default (I can change the path, but that defeats the point).

    So before I do a backup, I thought I'd check with you all before considering moving a bunch of my stuff to, say, My Documents from C:\ (it's current location).

    Thanks,

    Starkman
     
  2. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    I do neither and in particular I don't use all those Microsoft "My This" and "My That" locations on the system drive. I keep the system drive reserved solely for op sys, installed apps and associated system files. This should typically require a system drive of no more than 60GB. The mixing of programs and data is bad practice for all sorts of reasons. All my user data is kept on a separate partition. I maintain an image of the system drive also on the data partition and back up the complete data partition to an external drive. That way I can recover the entire system drive from the data partition in minutes in case of corruption, infection, bad update/install or other problem with the system drive. In the case of complete hard drive failure I can install a new hard drive, recover the system drive and the data partition from the external backup.
     
  3. Starkman

    Starkman New Member

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    Thanks for the response, Pat.

    Next question, then, would be if I want to partition my hard drive in order to do as you do, is that an issue with Windows 7? (I mean, either using a built-in Win7 util or an third-party), since I'm late in the game of partitioning, not having done so when I first built the system?

    Thanks,

    Starkman
     
  4. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    You can partition at anytime. Easiest way probably would be to move all user data from drive C to the external drive which you intend using, run ccleaner to remove any junk from drive C, defrag drive C then shrink it to a reasonable size (say existing plus 20gb), create the new data partition then finally copy all your user files from the external drive to the new data partition. For partitioning I'd use the free version of Easeus Partition Manager ( http://www.easeus.com/partition-manager/ )To create the image of drive C I'd recommend Acronis True Image which you can download a full working trial of or, if you want a free ware solution try Macrium Reflect.
     
  5. Starkman

    Starkman New Member

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    Great, thanks much. Oh, and what about programs; do you install them on your partition?
     
  6. Starkman

    Starkman New Member

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    Never mind! I just re-read your post above, and you answered that question.

    Thanks very much, again,

    Starkman
     
  7. bd3D

    bd3D Well-Known Member

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    Patcooke is absolutely right, Stakman. By not using "My This" and "My That" and saving all personal documents and information to ur own location, u will not have to worry about the most common headaches that always do eventually occur. And by suggesting Acronis, Patcooke has told u to not only use his personal favorite backup program (and mine), but also realize that the Seagate Hard Drive company has chosen Acronis source code to build their own proprietary version of Acronis. (But Seagate's Backup only works on Seagate Hard Drives and lacks many extra settings. Acronis works on all Hard Drives and has so many extra settings they're too numerous to mention.) So if Seagate chose Acronis source code, wat does that tell u? ;)

    If u want a great backup recipe, realize that a Monthly routine, has always been the the best approach. Here's how it works: (Manually with Acronis.)

    A. First day of the month, make a Full Data Backup of all personal data (Documents, info, bookmarks, etc.). And also make a seperate Full Image Backup of the Operation System (C Drive). (Manually, never ever schedule any backups, ever. And don't use the Acronis Secure Zone Partition option which is a hidden partition that Acronis can make. Because it is not as trustworthy as using ur own Partitions.)

    B. Second day and all following days of the month, make an Incremental Data Backup of all personal data (Documents, info, bookmarks, etc.). And also make an Incremental Image Backup of the Operation System (C Drive). Read in Acronis Help or google:
    "Incremental Backup versus Full Backup"
    "Data Backup versus Image Backup"​
    The most import things to note (advantages) about Incremental Backups include: How small they are. And how quickly they are created.

    C. After the final Incremental Backups of the current month, on the last day of the month, prepare to make Full Backup(s) on the first day of the next month. (Cleanup, Defrag, etc.) And after maybe a day or two, when ur satisfied that the new Full Data Backup and Full Image Backup are both in AOK condition; meaning they seem to be backed up successfully and therefore should work if a restore is necessary (be sure to occasionally test them) then u can safely delete all Incremental Data Backups and Incremental Image Backups that u made the previous month. (Therefore all the space that they previously occupied, can be re-used by the current month's Incremental Backups.) Of course always save all Full Data Backups and Full Image Backups. Two or three times a year, burn several of the oldest Full Backups to Blue Ray Disk. (Edit: And once a Full Backup is burned to Blue Ray disk, then u can delete it from ur PC.)​
    GL
     
    #7 bd3D, Dec 31, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  8. Starkman

    Starkman New Member

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    Thanks very much, bd3D.

    Yeah, I don't like the idea of the User profiles having all my data in them. If they crap out, but the drive is good, that just makes things muy difficult.

    That said, I checked up on Acronis and it's way more than what I need. All I really need to do, after partioning and getting my personal stuff on the new partition, is back up that info two to three times a week, if that, to my USB drive (and an external, when I get one).

    And so, with that, won't Win7's simple backup utility be enough for my needs?
     
  9. bd3D

    bd3D Well-Known Member

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    no, the Windows backup has always been the worst. If all u want is Data backed up, the Incremental Data Backups with Acronis are still the best way to go.

    I have a lot of stuff. But basically my Full Data Backup is 14GB. (Data only and none of my OS. or C Drive.) It only takes about 5 minuets for Acronis to make it. But after that Full Backup, an Incremental Backup is only around 390MB each day. (99% of that is just my Outlook PST file. Outlook PST file is where all the Email resides.) But it only takes 45 seconds each day. :) Think of it. A full (Incremental technically) everyday in less than a minuet. :)

    wat are u going to do with three day old backups. if u make an incremental every day ur safe as it gets. Because u have all data backed up. In the event of all data lost due to watever u may be without some very important data. Think about it. How many times have u heard to, Backup all important data every day suggested. It's not hard to learn how to and usually it is only appreciated after u loose data and wish u had a daily backup.

    also note that even though Windows has added making Backup Images, it has no additional settings. Meaning it can't backup a single partition. Only Full drives. If all u had was a fresh installation on the HDD, then it would be cool. But in the long run it is very limited as far as options and configuring it.
     
  10. Starkman

    Starkman New Member

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    Thanks bd3D,

    I'm not up to spending $30 plus dollars at the moment for Acronis, but I will be checking into more in the interim.

    As to your question, "wat are u going to do with three day old backups," as I understand it Windows does do incremental backups; backing up only that which has been changed. But if, as you say, it won't back up a non-C partition, then it won't suffice. (Why they didn't include that feature is rather puzzling.)

    Starkman
     
  11. Starkman

    Starkman New Member

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    Whoa! One more thing, please, bd3D...

    You don't advocate scheduling backups...at all?
     
  12. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    We do need to differentiate between drive/partition imaging and data backup. System imaging means that in the case of corruption/bad install/malware infection/bad updates . . . etc etc etc you can recover the entire system, including all installed apps, probably gbs of updates and whatever else in no time at all. The very first time you ever need it (and unless your are incredibly blessed, you will!) you will consider Acronis (or something like it) worth every penny. Data backup is equally important but can be managed in different ways and is no substitute for system imaging. The two practices are complementary components of a properly thought out backup strategy.
     
  13. Starkman

    Starkman New Member

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    Oh, by all means, patcooke. I'm aware of both procedures. And I'm also aware that Acronis wants about $70.00 for their moderate to advanced products...way too steep for my blood, when there are more than enough products out there that will do the simple procedures I need, including incremental backups, at half, or less than, the price Acronis wants. I simply don't need all that horse power, and the power I do need is available much cheaper.

    That said, I'm still curious about bd3D's statement about never scheduling backups.
     
  14. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    I think this question is down to individual usage and preference. When working on a programming project I will frequently back up data half hourly. I will always image a system before implementing some major change, experimental install etc. During a period of no such changes there is no need of a backup. Scheduled backup takes no account of such considerations and during such periods is likely to generate a series of more or less identical images. I can understand that there those who prefer to configure a system to rely as far as possible on automated procedures such as backup, software updates, driver updates - it's better then the very many who never back up anything! but I am one of those who prefer to make their own decisions on all such processes.
     
  15. Starkman

    Starkman New Member

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    Well, thanks very much, all. All the input has been great and I've been able to determine what I want to do thanks to all your folks' help.

    Thanks again,

    Starkman
     

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