I don't blame you...
by JCitizen - 5/27/12 9:54 PM
In Reply to: Backup by lsjparalegal
It seems we geeks just can't get out of the geek-a-nese mode and wise up and simplify our instructions.
First some definitions:
data = stuff that only the computer understands, but is turned into stuff that you understand by the PC.
image = magnetic data on the disk exactly the way it is 'printed' on it.(boot sector)
partition = any area on the disk that is separated by a "fence" to keep things in order
source = drive you want to backup
target = media you want to place the backup files or image on.
media = objects and hardware that can record data(external hard drives, CD, DVD, USB flash sticks
snapshot = literally a magnetic picture of the original drive data.
boot drive = the hard drive you computer 'reads' to load everything into the CPU.
CPU = Central processor, or the brain that actually provides everything you see going on the monitor
GUI = The graphical user interface or controls you see on your screen after the PC boots up.
console = the box you see pop up when the backup program starts, this is its own GUI.
operating system = the underlying program that you see as a desktop and runs all your hardware and applications.
applications = programs that are not part of the operating system and provide the working side of your computing experience; i.e. - browsers, text editors, photo editors, etc.
So when you run Macrium Reflect the easy way, you take a "snapshot" of the image just like it is, and Reflect can compress the data to put it in a folder on the other drive(or other media). You can also literally take an image of the drive exactly the way it looks to the computer, and put it on another drive, but it is advisable to make that target drive bigger than the source. Just use the settings marked(recommended) on the Reflect console in the GUI.
In other words if your going to take a picture in real life, make sure the paper you put it on is the same size as the subject, so it is exactly the same size as it looks in real life. You don't have to partition anything if you don't want to, because all that is necessary is to select on the graphical representation of the partition marked "C:\" - this is the drive area that you are booting up to when you start your computer, and loads the operating system, and all your applications that run in the background.
Using Macrium is like playing a game, the illustrations and text links a very intuitive as long as you already understand computer basics, and the definitions above. It is always advisable to get your image off the 'boot' drive, because that is the one likely to become corrupted, or damaged beyond operational use.
You can use many types of media to contain the folder or image - another hard drive, USB stick, CD, or DVD, or another external hard drive. Now if I need to explain some of the words I've used other that the ones I've defined, it may be necessary to google it. But then you could simply be a troll trying to get the monkey boy geek to jump for your entertainment. This doesn't bother me, because some folks are newbies to backup and maybe it will be valuable to them.
I feel third party utilities like the ones mentioned(Clonezilla) are easier than using the built in Windows backup solutions. Unless you have a Windows operating system above basic and home premium versions, you will probably not have the image capability on that operating system. I feel the Microsoft backups are very easy and intuitive even to the newbie. As long as you experiment with targets off the "C:\" or boot drive, you can't mess up your drive. The graphics of your drive data are usually in one line that describes all partitions on it, and some only have one. The boot or first drive is always drive 0, and any others follow in numerical sequence, below the first drive. Partitions read left to right with the boot partition usually being the first one on the left. Some manufactures like to put a little one left of the boot partition for other reasons, but the factory system recovery image is usually right of the "C:\" partition. They are usually clearly marked by drive number, and even drive letter from whatever Windows reports to the utility. So they are a lot like looking at "My Computer" or Computer in your start menu. Other respondents have the rest of the process explained already, so I won't go there.
Any novice can google the procedure anyway - I'm sure there are a lot of backup for dummies sites out there.
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