How to create System Image & How to partition? I have a new Dell and a New Western Digital External HD

Feb 17, 2018
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I need to know how best to partition and create a systems image (bootable I assume)

I have a New Dell 5580 laptop and the only thing I have done with it is to plug it is - so it is Right out of the Box (It should have Microsoft Office Home and Business 2016 loaded as well) - Windows 10 Pro 64.

I was told that to put in the external HD that I should create a partition, so it can be bootable(?) and I can keep it's files all separate (It is 2 TB) and I have another laptop that I wonder if I should have it's own partition as well. Apparently there are some files from WD preloaded on the HD - which I would not want to lose? From what I have read, I have to decide how much space I will need but I am also concerned that I have seen where it talks about it doing a FORMAT of the drive.

I obviously do not want to have any data loss - seriously - why would a format ever be a default?

I hope this is enough info to start?

 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


So for this brand new laptop, there is almost certainly the function to create a factory restore DVD or USB.
This should be mentioned in your user manual.

Create that, and stash it away.
After that, then move on to a better backup routine.

For all of my systems, I have a Day 1 and Day 2 image created with Macrium.
A single xx.mrimage file.
Day 1 = just the bare OS
Day 2 = the OS after all of the extant upgrades, and my baseload of applications and utilities.
Being individual files, they can live on a single drive.

Either of those can be applied to a new drive, in maybe 15-20 minutes. Boot from a Macrium Rescue USB, and apply one of those images to a new drive.
No actual "fully bootable drive" needed.

But you can if you want.
Macrium (or Acronis) will create an exact clone to another drive. Do that, disconnect that drive and stash it away.

You don't want two fully bootable drives of the same OS in the same system. I've seen too many problems with people doing that.
 

drtweak

Honorable
Sep 17, 2012
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You can clone your existing drive to the external or use Macrium Reflect to make backups that can be restored. The clone though WILL allow you to boot right off of it.
 
Feb 17, 2018
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The new laptop has a 312 SSD Dell 5580 16G memory.
(My existing lap top (HP Pavillion) 4 GB memory (3.47 usable) 569GB HD? with 133 GB used) - I figure OUTLOOK files may be my biggest space usage - and search has been awful)

My new external drive is a WD Passport Ultra 3TB - and it shows 3.94 GB used - it only has the files that came with it - I have not used it yet other than to see what was on it. ... The files/folders appear to be Installation files, Documentation (in a bunch of languages), and a couple of Apps - like WD Backup, Drive Utilities and Security.
 
Feb 17, 2018
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Thank you - and I think I saw Macrium mentioned elsewhere... but do I have to partition? And I am not sure how to do that?
Also do I have to look at how much space is currently used on the new laptop - Do I determine the size by getting Properties for the C: drive on the new computer and seeing the Used Space?
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


So...the WD external may have its own proprietary backup solution.
I'd suggest avoiding that function, and whatever files it came with.
Don't delete them, but I wouldn't use them.

And whoever told you whatever about "format" etc...ignore that.
Connect that drive. Does it work? Apparently so. Then ignore that "format".

So, for an actual backup routine.
I highly recommend Macrium Reflect. I use it daily. There are also other tools that do the same thing.
Install it, and run a whole drive image to that external weekly. Or whatever schedule you desire.

If the laptop drive dies or otherwise gets borked up, you can recover from that backup image on the external drive.
Not directly bootable, but easily recoverable.

For a real backup, the external needs to be disconnected, except for the time you are actually doing a backup.
 
Feb 17, 2018
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I do appreciate all of the advice on on-going backups - and to use Macrium.

But I still would like to have a systems image or bootable backup before I do anything else. So my question still remains about partitioning (or I guess I can do it to a large "dedicated" flash drive....
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


So for this brand new laptop, there is almost certainly the function to create a factory restore DVD or USB.
This should be mentioned in your user manual.

Create that, and stash it away.
After that, then move on to a better backup routine.

For all of my systems, I have a Day 1 and Day 2 image created with Macrium.
A single xx.mrimage file.
Day 1 = just the bare OS
Day 2 = the OS after all of the extant upgrades, and my baseload of applications and utilities.
Being individual files, they can live on a single drive.

Either of those can be applied to a new drive, in maybe 15-20 minutes. Boot from a Macrium Rescue USB, and apply one of those images to a new drive.
No actual "fully bootable drive" needed.

But you can if you want.
Macrium (or Acronis) will create an exact clone to another drive. Do that, disconnect that drive and stash it away.

You don't want two fully bootable drives of the same OS in the same system. I've seen too many problems with people doing that.
 
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