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Question about System Restore with multiple drives

Last response: in Windows 7
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July 24, 2011 5:26:39 PM

My system has two drives - the system on C, a tiny 40GB SSD, (which leaves about 15GB to temporarily place a 1-2 current games on, or something like that), and a 1TB storage drive on D.

How exactly does system restore work with two drives? Basically, can I turn it off on C, turn it on on the storage drive, and have full protection without using up my tiny SSD's space (which would beg the question why it offers it for both separately)? Or does it only protect the single drive it's turned on for? If the latter and I need it turned on for C, is there any reason to turn on D's as well, given that D has no system files?

Sorry if this is a really "duh" answer, but I can't find an answer within Windows or from Googling.

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a b $ Windows 7
July 24, 2011 5:45:19 PM

if you turn it off on c drive you wouldnt be able to restore c drive if you needed to--as its a small ssd you could make the amount of room allocated to system restore smaller to gain some space

might as well leave it turned on on drive d

to gain more space on drive c you could also delete hyberfil.sys file and if you have at least 4gb of ram remove the page file--though some programs might not work if you do that--could move the pagefile to drive d
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July 24, 2011 5:49:52 PM

Thanks, that basically answers it. Still wondering though - since system restore only deals with system files (right?) why is there even an option for it on non-system drives? What would it do?

Hibernation is off and the page file's on D already. I also wove a web of symbolic links to move non-vital stuff to D without programs knowing (like iTunes taking up 1.5 GB in %appdata% on C even with the program on D). So I'm not really hurting for space, I just like being as efficient as possible. :) 
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a b $ Windows 7
July 24, 2011 5:55:02 PM

never had to use it on my non system drives--but possibly could recover it from virus or accidental file deletion--so i leave it on just in case i ever need to find out
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October 12, 2013 10:24:47 PM

The question about sys restore on other drives is an EASY one

system restore has TWO functions in Vista and 7, Win 8 is different

In Vista and 7, the System volume information folder store system restore points. It ALSO stores SHADOW COPIES of data (folders and files) when you run windows backup... This enables you to right click a folder or file, choose previous versions and restore a prev version WITHOUT having to fire up file backup. This can lead to a LOT of space used up - which is why you should limit space

Windows 8 no longer uses "previous versions", nor does it store previous versions in System Volume Information. If you enable system protection on drives other than C: "Windows File History" now does what the shadow copying did in windows 7 and vista. However it runs completely independent of the backup process. You still have to specify a drive to store file history (default is C), and it's default is to run every 24 hrs.

This BY NO MEANS is a substitute for a TRUE backup solution! However if you point file history to a nice large 2-4TB external usb drive (preferable 3.0 or eSata), it will protect your documents, pictures, data just as good as a backup, but that's all it backs up

Since windows backup and file history are INCREMENTAL backups, the more they are run, the faster they complete (for the first time, they take a LONG time on systems will a lot of space. I have 12TB in data, and my initial backup to over 48hrs to an eSata raid array)... After that, my backups run daily at 2am, and finish by 4. Another difference: Vista & 7 system image gets overwritten each time. Win 8: System image has incremental files added so it can keep an image "history"

Personally, I would use the windows backup to run EVERY night, make a system image of your boot/system drive(s) AND do a file by file backup of non system drives.

Between that and file restore, your data is very rock solid - barring major physical disaster, or a nasty virus.
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