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Need Help Please - External Drive want to create partition but not loose existing data with PA


I am new to the Forum and I need help.  

I have a 3T external 'myBook' drive that I use for media (music/videos etc, ).  Right now I have 546gb free on this drive.  I want to be able to house a system image of my C drive which is 165/gb, on this G-Mybook drive.  So, I thought I'd need to partition this drive and create space (200gb? - my estimate) to store that system image.  

So this is really a 2 part use case.  1- to make-ready the G-my book drive and 2- create the system image.

I have been in contact with AOMEI support as I have the PA trial version on my Windows 10 Pro PC.  She replied the following to my request: "You can use AOMEI Partition Assistant to shink G: drive to get 200gb unallocated space, and then create a partition on the unallocated space."

I want to confirm with the audience on how YOU would approach this situation, Using the PA Trial Version, and also, I don't see an option in the application to 'shrink drive' or anything of the like - so I need EXACT STEPS so that I don't lose the vast amount of data that I have collected on the drive in question.

I am an IT Business/Data analyst and I've been practicing for over 20 years, but I do not have the knowledgebase with partitioning and hardware.  

Any HELP would greatly be appreciated.

Thank you-


  • edited March 2020
    Well, I don't see a need for partitioning. If there is enough space, keep the backup in the rest of this 3TB unit.
  • I agree with Vagn_32, there's no need to partition the drive.
  • Really, so I can just select the option to create disk image on this drive and it won't compromise anything :) 

    So, my confusion was that the directions for the create image was telling me to 'format' the drive first - that is what confused the heck out of me. 

    I also have the option of creating the image on my C and MOVING that image to the MyBook G (3T drive).  I assume I need to create a re-boot USB also - correct?  Sorry for all of the questions - this is just new territory for me.

    Thanks so much for the quick response!

  • edited March 2020
    You can't create a system image and keep it in the same partition of the image. Don't even think of trying that. I originally posted about how is the drive formatted, but I looked it up and it says it comes with Acronis backup so there is no reason Aomei wouldn't work. Just create a folder on the drive... call it ....Aomei Backups... or something like that. Then set up the back up to save it to that folder. It shouldn't be a problem.
  • YES - I did some more research and found out more info - I will not create it on the same drive. 

    However, it's not a back-up it's a System Image. (I don't  think this is just semantics).   The PA system is telling me that I NEED to shrink the drive in order to create an image on the disk, if not PA WILL HOSE my data.  It is not ALLOWING me to select a folder to create the image - only a drive (partition). 

    I think the girl I spoke to originally is correct, the only issue I have now is, (following the instructions on-line) I ran a drive check test - the system is telling me there are applications utilizing the drive. 

    I could only think of 3 possibilities -
    • The WD (Western Digital) Interface Tool - I exited out of this. It's the tool by the mfgr to look at stats, etc.
    • My Music Bee Application (for music), which I imported a library under my Music folder on my C drive - it's not connected LIVE SCANNING the MyBook Drive and I EXITED OUT of it.  
    • MonkeyMedia - (for Videos/Movies) - same situation as with MusicBee, except this DOES scan upon opening, I turned this function off and exited. 

    NOW, one would think I'd done my job and killed all of the connections to this drive, but PA is still saying there are 'things' using it.  I've attached a screenshot.  I don't know how to proceed from here.  

    The instructions say to safely shrink the drive all applications associated should have access revoked.  But as one can see, there are still statistics saying there is activity. 



  • edited March 2020
    A System Image is a back up. I wouldn't try to shrink the drive. Just create a "new folder" on the drive and direct the back up (system image) to be saved at that location. I've used PA to resize partitions (shrink or enlarge) but I wouldn't do that in your case. It shouldn't, but it MAY do something to make the drive unusable and I don't think you'd want to lose your data. If you can't save a System Image to a folder on that drive, to be safe, just get another dedicated 1TB (or 500GB) external USB drive (they're relatively inexpensive) and use that to store your backups. After doing a back up, unplug the drive and keep it in a safe place away from the computer. That's the safest and probably the best practice you can do to keep a back up.
  • Ok, thanks for the help!  If I could have afforded to do it my first choice would be to get a smaller external drive to house the data, but that's impossible right now :wink:  I will check my options again Flyer (on PA).  Will check back in if I can't get it to do what we need it to do.  Will follow your instructions.  

  • Flyer - I just wanted to say thank you, it seems I was having sort of a brain-fart as I was looking at PA to get this done.  I used the Windows system (in Control Panel) to create a system mirror.  It worked great, no issues created its own folder, etc.  I am really appreciative you took the time explaining things to me - everywhere I turned in PA, the options were saying they would HOSE the drive I was trying to add the backup on.  Now, I got it thanks to your help.  

    I now wonder if I create ANOTHER updated image/backup if it will replace or create a new folder - but I guess I will find that out when it happens :).  I did not notice if the backup folder had a date timestamp, but my guess is it does.  So that would mean a new image.  

    Thank you!
  • Did you use Aomei Backupper or Windows Image to create the backup? Either should add another image without erasing the old. You have to do that manually for Windows. You can set the number of backups you want to keep in Aomei. Another thing to be aware of. If you did use the image program in Windows, it has been known NOT to be reliable. Send me a private message if you want to know what will keep you safe.
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