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A full backup needs to be a full backup. I explain why you need to also backup your recovery partition.

I double-backup my Windows 7 machine: one image with the Win 7 Image Backup, and another with Acronis True Image. Here's my dilemma: when I use Acronis to back up Drive C, it also checks off the Recovery Partition by default. If I try to remove the check, it will allow me to do it – but issues a warning. My concern is this: can I back up the C Drive alone, and WHICH partition contains the boot record? If I restore C only, will I still be able to boot. I ask this because I have used Acronis to restore the D, E, and F drives, but NEVER have had to restore drive C. Thanks!

In this excerpt from Answercast #33, I look at the dangers of messing around with the recommendations and defaults in you backup software.

Backing up the recovery partition

My strong recommendation is that you not try and screw around the recovery partition.

  • If Acronis is selecting it,

  • then let it select.

  • It's really unclear as to which partition is going to contain the master boot record.

So my recommendation is that you actually backup everything that's on that hard drive, all of the partitions on that hard drive.

Because... let's face it: if the hard drive dies, you're gonna want all of those partitions back, including your recovery partition if you keep it.

So that's my recommendation. Let Acronis backup the recovery partition, your C partition, the master boot record, by itself. Don't try and play around with the settings and that way you're certain to have you everything you need.

Article C5561 - July 9, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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