Sunday, October 19, 2014

Backup, Restore, Test

Do you backup? I sure hope you do.

Do you test your restore? What? No, you say?

My daily driver ThinkPad X201 only came with a 160GB drive. I picked up a 1TB Toshiba for $55 and started looking for a way to clone to it.

Then I thought that I use Windows 7's Windows Backup to make a system image every month. So why not use one of these to "clone" to the new drive?

I ran my system image backup as usual to an external USB drive. Normally when the system image is complete I rename the WindowsImageBackup folder to append the date and system name.

To "test" my restore, I renamed the folder that I wanted to restore back to WindowsImageBackup.

Then I shutdown the X201 and swapped the 160GB drive for the 1TB drive. I plugged in a USB version of Windows 7 64-bit System Repair Disk. I didn't plug in my backup drive yet.

I booted from the System Repair Disk and chose "System Image Recovery." Then I plugged in my backup drive. I had to click on "Retry" and then it found the image I had just made.

I just clicked on through and the restore started. It ran for a couple of hours and automatically booted back into Windows.

Just for giggles I ran SpinRite on the new 1TB drive.

That was really easy and now I'm confident that my system image backups work.

The restore only created a 160GB partition so I used Windows 7's Disk Management to resize.

There's a good tutorial on this process here.

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