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New to recover Windows - Disc and partitions or Clone Disk?

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I always do File and folder backups of my private data so when it comes to making a copy of Windows and being able to restore it i am an absolute beginner and need some directions.

Today i have a perfectly functional version of Windows 10. For some testing purposes i would like to do regarding a Support ticket i would like to do a clean install of Windows 10. So for this i want a way to take a backup of my existing Windows 10 installation so i can recover it when the testing is done. I will recover to the same computer and the same disk.

Is it enough to do a "Disks and partitions" backup of my system drive (existing Windows installation) and selecting all partitions or must i go to Tools > Clone Disk and clone the system disk?

If a "Disks and partitions" backup is the way to go, can restore this directly from the user interface of TI2021 in the clean installation of Windows 10 or must i create boot media and restore using that method?

Greatful for help and tips! :)

-- Image from Disc and partitions backup --

Attachment Size
backup.PNG 7.69 KB
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Roger, you definitely need to create a Disks & Partitions backup of your OS disk drive if you want to be able to recover Windows 10 at a later time.

It is recommended to do any OS type recovery after booting from Acronis Rescue Media and this should be booted in UEFI BIOS boot mode to match your EFI boot OS as per the image above.

You should create and test booting from the rescue media to ensure you understand the process and can see the required disk drives for the recovery operation, including the backup storage drive.

See KB 65508: Acronis True Image 2021: how to create bootable media and KB 59877: Acronis True Image: how to distinguish between UEFI and Legacy BIOS boot modes of Acronis Bootable Media

KB 65539: Acronis True Image 2021: How to restore your computer with WinPE-based or WinRE-based media

Note: if you attempt to recover the OS from within Windows, then ATI will force a restart which will boot into a temporary Linux based OS environment - that environment may not have all the support for some system scenarios, i.e. if RAID or BitLocker is in use, or for some NVMe type drives...   The 'Simple' version of the rescue media, created from the Windows Recovery Environment should have all the required driver support for your drives.

Regular Poster
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Thanks for the answer! :)

Maybe ten years ago i tested the system backup in Windows 7 and i did that, test the bootable media step by step so i got the hang of it before i did a new install on that computer. Great tip btw!

I have no RAID/BitLocker or anything special so i think i will test a restore from within the OS first since i like to test how things behave, or not behave. :)


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@Roger, as @Steve Smith said, definitely Disks & Partitions backup of the system drive.  Clone Disk makes a clone of the drive on another drive. As you want to perform a clean install, you need an empty drive for that, or a drive which you can overwrite. Also, I would ALWAYS make a Disks & Partitions backup of the system drive, on a daily basis. If something goes wrong, I'm back to  a functioning system within minutes. With a file&folder backup, I'd  have to reinstall Windows, and all programs after the excrement hit the ventilator. Could take days.

For a test install, allow me to recommend leaving the original drive alone, and making the test install on a separate drive. (After making the  Disks & Partitions backup, in case something goes wrong…)  Any small drive you have sitting around will do, Windows takes less than 100GB. Install your experimental Windows, and boot to that. When you are done testing, boot to the original drive.

This way, you can easily flip back and forth between Windows installations. If Windows won’t let you install to the second drive, temporarily disconnect all other drives, and it will work.

As for the bootable rescue media, you should always have one with the PC, just like having a spare tire in your car. If you ever need the backup, you probably don’t have a working computer (unless you can fall back to the 2nd drive.) My rescue set lives on an USB stick that hangs off the side of the computer on a flexible keychain.

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Bertel Schmitt wrote:

Also, I would ALWAYS make a Disks & Partitions backup of the system drive, on a daily basis. If something goes wrong, I'm back to  a functioning system within minutes. With a file&folder backup, I'd  have to reinstall Windows, and all programs after the excrement hit the ventilator. Could take days.

I don´t do file and folder backup of my Windows disk. I take backup of private files such as mail, documents etc and i work with video and the project files are golden. All those files spread over seven internal disks and none of those files are stored on the OS drive.

So for me a re-install of Windows from scratch is not an issue, but a lost project file can take months of work to recover the work done on the project.

@Steve Smith:
I installed a clean version Windows 10 to prove that my Drobo 5C won´t mount with TI2021 installed even on a clean install of Windows 10. I made screen recordings (again) and expect better answers back this time from the technician since there is no other app for them to try blaiming for the issue. ( Drobo 5C won´t mount if TI 2021 is installed | Acronis Forum )

The restore back to my "old" version of Windows 10 worked as a charm and i thank you for your help. I used the recovery media and did never try to restore from within Windows using TI2021.

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I also do content creation work. All work and project files  are stored on drives separate from the boot drive. Likewise the Outlook mail storage. These drives are backed-up with Acronis to separate backups. Those are nightly written to a  Linux server, and from that to yet another server across town.  Even if the house burns down, I will only have lost a day's of work, max.