Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


how to backup all files including system reserved?

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8

    how to backup all files including system reserved?


    Actually My Question is: Will a backup of all my files (including system reserved partition) be just as effective as a system image?

    When creating system images I can only make exclusions for folders I don't want to backup. However when doing a normal file/folder backup, I can select just a few files/folders within a folder instead of making exclusions for every single file/folder I don't want to backup. That is why I would prefer to do a regular file backup as opposed to a system image.

    However, is a file backup as effective as a system image at restoring a drive to a previous state from scratch? Would there be any hidden/protected system files/folders that may not be backed up in a file/folder backup?

    NOTE: When performing the file/folder backup I would be booting up from a recovery drive on a USB flash drive and not from my Windows OS.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 21
    Windows8


    Not sure what's your meaning. I just know the backup way through image and sync files.

    About the ordinary files/data, the files backup is effective as a image backup.

    But for the system backup (maybe including hidden/protected system or boot files), you'd better use image to backup.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    I use Clonezilla to make whole disk backups. It backs up all partitions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Imaging and file backup are two different things. If you want to have a backup for your user files only, use file backup. If you want to backup the system including the system reserved, use imaging.

    Just a file copy of the system reserved makes no sense because there is nothing you can do with it. For imaging, I recommend Free Macrium. Imaging with free Macrium - Windows 7 Help Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy456 View Post

    About the ordinary files/data, the files backup is effective as a image backup.

    But for the system backup (maybe including hidden/protected system or boot files), you'd better use image to backup.
    That's what I think already but I'm looking for some more specific reasons to confirm that using a system image would be more effective in restoring from scratch than regular file backup while booting from a USB flash drive. Do you know of any specific folders/files that wouldn't be backed up? or any specific issues that may arise?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Quote Originally Posted by Ganesh Ujwal View Post
    When creating system images I can only make exclusions for folders I don't want to backup. However when doing a normal file/folder backup, I can select just a few files/folders within a folder instead of making exclusions for every single file/folder I don't want to backup. That is why I would prefer to do a regular file backup as opposed to a system image.
    What is the difference (to you) between excluding folders from a System Image and selecting files/folders in a file/folder backup?

    Is it a question of the volume of data that would be included, or the time it would take, or more related to having control over exactly what you include?

    Your best option(s) might depend on your priorities here.

    How about doing a full system image periodically so you have all your programs etc. safe, and supplementing this with more frequent backups of important files or changed files.

    Okay, you are doing 2 different things, but each does serve a different (and complementary) purpose.

    Remember that if you do need to use a system image you would restore everything to that point, including files, so anything changed afterwards would be lost.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 34
    Linux Lite 3.2 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Ganesh Ujwal View Post
    However, is a file backup as effective as a system image at restoring a drive to a previous state from scratch? Would there be any hidden/protected system files/folders that may not be backed up in a file/folder backup
    No, because not only do some critical system files need to be present, they need to reside in certain designated partition sectors. Just dumping those files onto the drive will not make them available to the boot system. You might be able to do a boot repair after the restore, but it's an extra few steps and probably would carry risk.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    That's what I think already but I'm looking for some more specific reasons to confirm that using a system image would be more effective in restoring from scratch
    A system image is the only way to restore your system - unless you prefer a reinstall. Forget file copy.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Yellow Belly
    Posts : 178
    Windows 8.1 with Bing x64


    Cloning is the other option whs but you are looking at copies the full size of the drive ...bit heavy on storage space.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Quote Originally Posted by stringjunky View Post
    Cloning is the other option whs but you are looking at copies the full size of the drive ...bit heavy on storage space.
    Cloning is not a restore and that's what I thought we were talking about. Cloning gives you an extra bootable copy of your system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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