Windows 8 backup questions...

Posted on 2014-07-28
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Trying to do a little preventative maintenance here with backing up a windows 8 computer.
I've got a Dell OptiPlex 3010 with a 500 G HD that's about half full. I added an internal 1 TB drive, that I planned on backing up a system image, as well as files & settings for disaster recovery. For starters, when trying to set up the backup, where I'm trying to back up about 226 GB on a drive that has 391 GB of free space, I'm getting the message that there's not enough space. I'm not a math major, but that doesn't seem to compute, to me! Secondly, is the option available to make this disk strictly for backup, where the user doesn't even see it, the way Windows server backup will set up a drive for back up purposes only? And third, I obviously can't keep a backup of everything ever made - just maybe a system image & files that only go back a couple of days.
One thing that did just dawn on me, if I'm letting windows decide what to back up, is it looking at my intended back up drive, as well as any mapped network drives as things it needs to back up, as well?
As usual, any advice appreciated!
Question by:gromack
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LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 40225106
The first thing to do is never to backup to an internal disk. If malware etc can cause corruption to all physical disks for example. You should rather have the backup disk connected externally (for example via USB or LAN), and then safely remove the disk after the backup is complete. You should also store it as far away from the PC as possible for better safety.

Then, make sure the partition on the disk is formatted as ntfs. Fat32 has a file-size limit of 4GB, and the message you get would be the same if a file is too large.

I'd also recommend using a 3rd party backup tool rather to what is included in Windows 8.x. You have more options with them. Very good is the free backup and recovery of Paragon (If this is for busines use, then you'll have to pay for the non-free version):
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 40225288
About 226GB used space or entire partition size to backup? I think you are trying to backup 500GB drive to 3xxGB space and thus it says - it cannot. Windows backup compresses the backup image in a poor way thus it is important that backup destination drive has enough room for entire source drive backup. Not only ised space.
If you want it to work without this message use the backup approach suggested by rindi.
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 40226052
How to hide a partition in Windows?    -->>>

Right-Click on My Computer [Computer in Windows Vista and Windows 7]
Click on Manage
From the list of options Click on Disk Management that will be located in the left-bottom section
All your hard disk and its partitions will be show in the right hand side
Right-Click on the partition that you want to hide and select "Change Drive Letters and Path"
Click on "Remove" and click "Yes"
Your drive will now be hidden in my computer

To unhide the drive :
Go to Disk Management Right-Click on the hidden partition [there will not be a drive letter on the hidden drive] again select "Change Drive Letters and Path"
Click on add and select an appropriate drive letter.
Click Ok
Now the drive is unhided

what i do for backups :
1-i make an IMAGE backup of the drive
2-i make a normal backup (you can use Syncback for thsi)
3-i make a second normal backup, that i use for incremental backup (storing only the changes)
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Author Comment

ID: 40236290
Sorry for ignoring this for a couple of days, as it's been a busy week!
To clarify a couple of things in what I'm wanting to do here.
I was hoping there was a way to designate the drive as strictly a backup drive, like how they behave in windows backup on server 2008, where they are only visible in disk management. As far as viruses spreading to it, I recently had a user pick up the virus that encrypts files & holds them for ransom. Once it encrypted MS docs, PDFs, etc., on his computer, it moved to network shares. I was able to recover these from backups & somewhere in my reading, thought I read that viruses usually can't get into windows backup files, or anything that doesn't show up in explorer as a connected or mapped drive. I am just wanting a solution, preferably that requires no user interaction & using programs already available in Windows 8 to allow me to create an image (or maybe 2 or 3), that I could restore from in a worst case scenario. If that's not possible, I'll consider other options.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 40236303
well - you have all the tools you need then, and i showed how to hide a partition
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40236307
If you remove the backup disk after the backup is done like I suggested it won't be visible. Also, proper backups require you to backup to not just one backup media, but rather rotate between them. That way you have different versions of your backed up data, and as long as you notice things like cryptolocker early enough, it'll be likely that at least one backup version isn't yet involved. As far as I know, cryptolocker currently will only lock actual drive-letters (local disks and mapped network drives). If you are backing up to a NAS or other location on the LAN, you can do that using the url of that location, and you don't need to mount it. So that way it would also be safe from that virus. Another thing I believe cryptolocker does, it locks certain file extensions, like doc, xls, etc. files (well known data files), but not program files or files created by backup tools. So backups should currently be safe from it. But of course, things like that can change with future versions of the malware, so eventually also backup files could be added to it.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40542065
Thanks, guys!
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 40542132
glad to help

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