Windows Backup

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Dark Void, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011

    I finished dual-booting and installed some games and did an obnoxious amount of updating for the clients, etc. In other words, I do not want to ever have to do this again, and I want to back up all of these installs.

    I have a 1 TB external hard drive that is currently just one partition for Mac OS X backup via Time Machine. I have a 500 GB internal hard drive that is currently two partitions - 320 GB Mac OS X and 180 GB Windows. My external hard drive is partitioned as a GUID map currently, being that it is only for Mac OS X via Time Machine.

    What are my options here? If I use WinClone, do I basically just keep the external hard drive in one large GUID map partition and clone my internal Windows partition as a part of Mac OS X backups so to speak?

    How possible is it to just use two completely different partitions? A 640 GB HFS+ Mac OS X backup and a 320 GB NTFS Windows backup to cover the 320/180 internal partitions? Would I be able to switch my drive to a Master Boot Record map and each partition will recognize the drive that it is compatible with?
  2. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Not to burst your bubble but I have over the past few weeks making lots of tests regarding backup and recovery scenario's. I do not want to repeat my experiences here so have a look at my recent posts.

    Short answer: Lion does not support WinClone. OS X & Windows on same hard disk: very tricky and potentially unstable (never use third party tool to change partition sizes is Apple's advice) , taking extremely long times to backup / recover. My solution is to have Windows on the internal HDD and OS X on an external. But I am using Windows 95 - 98% of the time (mission critical application). While on this subject: do not rely on a single HDD for your backup; they fail regularly. I have just bought a small RAID and will be mirroring the disks (RAID 1) so when one fails I can replace it before the other fails.
  3. Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    Sorry, I should have mentioned that I am running Snow Leopard 10.6.8. WinClone looks to be the best solution for backup honestly, but does that mean I just include it in the same backup partition (1 TB HFS+) as all of my Time Machine backups?

    Would WinClone need its own partition or something?
  4. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    WinClone lets you place the image anywhere on a HFS partition. It also compresses while it is making the image and the final size depends on how much data was on the partition ( that you are saving for later restore). In other words: no dedicated backup partition like "Time Machine" is required, I have mine sitting in "Documents" for the time being.

    I experimented with CopyCatX but that is really for cloning one HDD to another and that will work when going to a larger HDD but not in the other direction. The image is here the same size as the HDD and not very practical if there is only 15 G on a 320 G HDD.

    With WinClone the image size ended up being about 8.5 Gb.

    I have used Acronis for years on a Windows machine and it has saved me from many reinstalls: install, make a "clean" backup and then when I need to refresh the machine restore the last "fresh" backup, do all the M$N updates and make the next "fresh" backup before starting to use it. Keep at least 3 copies going so you can go back.
  5. Dark Void, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2011

    Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I basically just want the game information on a backup in case I have to reinstall Windows for whatever reason, and then I can restore that partition with all of the games updated until the point at which I backed up. That way I don't have to install and then update them all again.

    WinClone will allow me to do that? As I have said, I have a 1 TB external hard drive that is named "Mac OS X Backup" which has then entire 1 TB of storage dedicated to backing up my OS X partition (320 GB internal now). Should I create a "WinClone Partition" on the external hard drive or just include it in the 1 TB "Mac OS X Backup" partition?

    I don't think I fully understand WinClone, I'll see if I can find a nice showing of it. Thanks for your replies.

    EDIT: Alright, so I think I got it now. It's basically creating a file that is an image of your Windows partition (as you stated) and then that file is of course going to take up space on my internal Mac OS X partition.

    This is getting old, but just for my brain to sort this out - I have a 500 GB internal (320 GB Mac OS X / 180 GB Windows) and the Windows partition is about 90 GB full. Then, if I use WinClone, it is going to create a 90 GB image file for backup on the Mac OS X internal partition and then I backup with Time Machine and it will basically just add that 90 GB file as if it were just any other file to my external hard drive.

    Does that sound right?
  6. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    no, it just depends on how much of the 90 Gb can be compressed, for Windows 7 basic install which is around 17 Gb it gets down to approximately 11 Gb. If it is all documents then it can be a lot less than 90 Gb, if it is raw music it can be a lot less, if it is compressed music or photos then it may be close to 90 Gb (minus the size for the page file and hibernation file).
  7. Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    Sure, but is my interpretation right that it will create an xxGB single file to back up my Windows partition and then Time Machine will read that file and back it up?

    No sense in having a Windows backup that gets lost...
  8. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Yes, it will create a single file and if it is in a folder that Time Machine backs up then it gets backed up.
  9. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Quick note: The compression that Winclone uses has created so mane problems with both Snow Leopard and Windows 7 that it should always be turned OFF. The recommended settings for SL/W7 are: use DMG format, turn compression off.

    Winclone was abandoned at version 2.2 without really making the transition to Snow Leopard.

  10. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Would the built in backup function of Windows work? In case of disaster, one would reinstall Windows, but not any updates and/or apps. Just enough to launch the Windows restore program. Thoughts?
  11. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    no need to reinstall windows - boot from the windows DVD and select repair and then select image to restore.

    if you have OS X running on the same internal hdd then do not let windows create a new partition, only do a reformat (you can do this through selecting install and do a custom install, then use the arrow in top left to go back. closing the install windows gets you back to the initial repair/install window)

    If somehow the windows partition has been damaged then you'll have to recreate the windows partition using bootcamp (and then format it ntfs ifrom the install DVD) so make sure to note down how big you made it.
  12. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    Would you recommend this as a replacement for winclone for those of us running Lion?
  13. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    At this moment I have the internal SSD dedicated to Windows only and am using this for backup.

    Provided you do not let Windows change the partitioning scheme (only format can be allowed) on a disk that has both OS X and Windows this will work but I have not tested this under Lion (only Snow Leopard). If the partitioning scheme needs to be redone then let Boot Camp assistant do it.

    One caveat: When I had both Windows and OS X on the same internal HDD (before SSD) I did a "Repair" (windows automatic repair) and Windows changed the HDD partitioning scheme after with Snow Leopard no longer booted (the whole HDD was converted to MBR) Cannot remember if Windows wanted to boot or not afterwards.

    I think it is a viable solution until something more elegant becomes available. I am saying this since I had a few times that Windows Backup gave an error message telling me the external HDD had no space available, even when I just had reformatted the backup HDD. (this was doing the system image, when next doing a "scheduled" backup and starting that off manually it worked fine. More people seem to have this issue and it is the only reason I would move away from the windows backup/restore. Fortunately never had an issue with the restore.)

    As usual, YMMV and I give no garantees that this will work for everyone. Only way to know is to test when you get a new machine and before you start customising, installing software and put data on it.
  14. Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I will be giving this a shot sometime within this next week, that is, imaging my Windows partition and then backing it up via Time Machine. I expect it to take quite a bit of time (USB 2.0).

    Thanks for the help everyone, I appreciate it.

Share This Page