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 Post subject: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging software?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:07 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:04 pm
Posts: 33
Location: CT
I just picked up a Samsung EVO 500GB SSD and a Seagate 3TB hard drive. I've never partitioned my hard drives in the past, but I don't know if that is the best thing to do.
My plan was to use the SSD as my OS drive and load any frequently use games/programs on it, and use the mechanical drive for less frequently used programs and of course storage. I will be running Windows 7 64 bit.
Any help on how I should partition these drives, if at all, would be appreciated. I am open to any suggestions since I don't even know where to start.
Lastly, what is the best free imaging software? After I have a nice clean install of Windows, I would like to make an image of it so I don't have to go through the hassle of sitting through a reinstall again whether it be due to a hardware failure, OS failure or virus? I will be storing the backup image on the internal hard drive and an external backup drive.

Thank you for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging softw
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:22 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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The best way to partition the two? Don't. Single partition across both of them. But if you really want to for whatever reason follow the directions on http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... =windows-7 . The problem with partitioning is juggling partition space down the road. For instance you may think "I want to allocate 500GB to my music and movies" because you're about 200GB or so in. A few years later after compulsive hoarding, you're running out of space on that partition, even though you still have plenty of free space elsewhere. Then it becomes a problem trying to resize partitions and whatnot.

As for imaging software, use Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Backup and Restore and in the left pane select "Create System Image". You can do this regularly, but I usually just create one after I've installed Windows, drivers, and the base programs I know I want to use. If you want to use this, it's just a matter of going into the recovery mode and selecting the option to recover from an image.


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 Post subject: Re: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging softw
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:04 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:04 pm
Posts: 33
Location: CT
I just looked at that Microsoft document, thank you, but I know how to partition, I was just wondering if I should or not. I probably won't, based on what you said, that's exactly why I never have in the past. I just wasn't sure with such a big hard drive, plus I'll be installing some programs on it too.

As far as the imaging software built into Windows 7, will it allow me to copy the image over to any hard drive of greater or equal size if I have a hardware failure? The image obviously won't be very useful if I can't do that. I only ask because I thought I read or heard somewhere that it wouldn't let you do that, unless I'm mistaken.

Thank you again.


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 Post subject: Re: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging softw
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:12 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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You need something equal or larger size. The only way around this is to shrink the partition after setup and image that.

Oh and image the partition after activation of any and all programs including the OS. As far as I've done this, imaging preserves the activation status, assuming it's not a time limited license.


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 Post subject: Re: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging softw
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:01 pm 
Thunderbird
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
LatiosXT wrote:
.... The only way around this is to shrink the partition after setup and image that....

Or use a 3rd Party backup app with intelligent sector copy backup, like Macrium Reflect, Acronis, likely others by now.


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 Post subject: Re: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging softw
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:53 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5297
FascistNation wrote:
Or use a 3rd Party backup app with intelligent sector copy backup, like Macrium Reflect, Acronis, likely others by now.

How would you use it in place of the system image recovery? Let's assume that you don't have the tools or resources to basically use another computer to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging softw
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:34 pm 
Team Member Top 250
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Location: Sittin' downtown at the railway station, one toke over the line.
Actually I just did this. I had access to another computer [actually several in various states of (dis)repair and in retrospect I wished I had used it, would have been a lot faster. Just didn't want to stop folding. Any way, I put a 1TB drive in to replace a 500GB one. The new HDD is WD so I downloaded the WD version of Acronis. I saved the backup image to an external drive (USB 2.0 ,grr) and used Acronis's built in tool to burn a bootable Acronis CD. Swapped the HDD's and booted up with the CD. Used the CD version of Acronis to restore from the image file on the external drive. Did I mention it was done over USB2.0? Took a damnably long time; worked perfect.


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 Post subject: Re: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging softw
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:39 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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If it's a 500GB to 1TB, you can do that anyway with Windows' system image restore. It's going to a drive with less space is the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging softw
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:27 pm 
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Well yeah, he said equal or greater. But if you wanted to go smaller you could move data of the drive and shrink the partition to as small as possible. You could image that partition. It would depend on the size of that image what size drive you could move it on to.


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 Post subject: Re: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging softw
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:00 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:04 pm
Posts: 33
Location: CT
I'm guessing Samsung and Seagate both offer software on their respective websites to download and do backups, images, etc. Assuming I can download them even though I bought bare drives, should I look into what one of them offer, or is Windows 7 built in probably the best option for me?
I don't plan on created an image of my system every once in a while. I plan on creating one image after Windows is installed and updated, all drivers installed and all the basic software I always install is done.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Partition my SSD and Hard Drive, best free imaging softw
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:58 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5297
Personally, despite its flaws and workarounds, the system imaging tool on Windows is the best option. As long as you have access to the Windows Recovery Environment, you can recover the computer without needing to open it or have access to another computer and/or hardware (like needing a SATA<->USB interface for example). And you can access the recovery environment by either doing F8 on boot or sticking the Windows install disk in and selecting the option to repair the computer. There's a way you can put it on a USB stick or DVD as well.

I feel like the other options you have to have access to another computer or tools, and I don't know how well dd in a live Linux environment would work.


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