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System Backup VS Partition Backup

I have a 500 GB drive divided into two partitions. All of my working files and system files are in one partition. So rather than doing a Disk Backup I did a Partition backup. Now I'm wondering if I should have done a System Backup. So my question is this: "Is there any functional difference between a System backup and a Partition backup?"


  • edited March 2017

    A partition backup won't be bootable when restored on a clean disk. It can only be made bootable alongside an existing OS. That is because the system partition and bootfiles like Bootmgr are missing. You should do a system backup (or a disk backup including all partitions). You can backup the data partition using a partition backup.

  • @gridflash  yes, you need to do the system backup, if you just do the partition backup, you just get the data not the booable OS.

  • Okay thx. Does the System Backup create a disk image that I can drag and drop to another drive?

  • Yes, you can restore the system backup image to anothe drive. But if you need all the data in the disk, you need to do the disk backup.

  • All of the data I need and the system is in that first partition. All longs as that's trans ferable after a system backup I should be good to go. Thanks for the help.

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  • Please help, and explain doing a system backup vs. a disk backup with all partitions, is there any difference???  I want to create a disk image that is bootable, including all of the OS and additional program files I have installed, which are all on the main partition...

    All of my personal files (docs, music, pics) are on a separate drive.  Thanks for any help!

  • edited February 2018

    Basically the same for what you want to do. As an FYI, I've done both and found what may be deemed as quirks with each.

    With a SYSTEM backup, the restore will NOT copy the recovery partition to the new drive. They say this is done so you can expand the new drive to fill the whole drive. If the recovery partition, which is to the right of the OS partition, is copied, you can't expand it as you can only expand a drive on its right side. To get around this you can make a Windows recovery disk (USB) and use that if needed. It will contain all that is necessary for operations that were in the recovery partition...but not a factory installed recovery partition if you have one. That will be gone. (Probably not needed anyway.) You can also make a partition backup of just that partition and then restore it (after you've done the System restore and expanded it) to the unallocated space to the right of the OS.

    With a DISK backup, I've found a glitch that support said they're working on. On restore, it tends to add a drive letter to the normally hidden recovery partition. You can delete the letter in diskpart or with Partition Asst easily. (I imagine Disk Management can do it also by assigning "none" for partition letter.)

    Personally, I'd use the SYSTEM backup and restore to get rid of the unnecessary recovery partition. Just be sure to create a recovery boot disk (USB) in Windows first. You should make one anyway in case of emergencies when you can't boot at all. You can also use the repair function available in a Windows installation ISO to get to the same place.

  • Very cool Flyer, thanks much.  I am imaging a failing disk drive, and just might have a shot at it.  It is about 160GB, and am trying AOMEI to image it in sections, as it conks out if I try to do it all at once.  Any other insights?  Thanks for the help!

  • I also already made a recovery USB boot disk using LazeSoft, which also has some nice utilities, so I should be good there.

  • I'm not sure what you mean by restoring in sections??? To get a bootable disk you need either a full SYSTEM or DISK backup. 

  • I meant using "Splitting" in the backup settings menu on SYSTEM or DISK backup...  If I do the whole 160GB at once the drive always shuts down before I finish, corrupting the ISO.  If I split it into, say, 30GB imaged pieces, I can complete each incremental chunk before it fails and/or redo a chunk when the drive crashed, but lock in the previous chunks.

    It also says AOMEI Backupper doesn’t support drives with 4096 bytes per sector?  Most NTFS drives are, so I don't get that know if that is a concern.

  • I never used that function. Good luck with it and post what results you get so others can possibly benefit from what you did.

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