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Backing up 3TB data HD in Win7

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October 11, 2012 4:58:06 PM

Hello,
I bought a Dell XPS 8500 with Win7 on SSD and a 3 TB secondary HD just for data. I am trying to figure a solution to backup the 3TB HD. Windows 7 Backup does not recognize the drive since it is larger than 2TB and uses GPT. I thought of partitioning the drive but I think it won't work since the difference in sector size is the root of the problem. Some disk mngmt apps allow creating 2 GPT partitions and backing them up. My question is: if my HD crashes and I replace it, will I be able to recover my original data and partitions if the replacement HD would be large enough?
Also, since I am presently unable to back the drive before partitioning, would I be at risk of corrupting the drive as to make it useless?
I completely lost on this so I would appreciate any help. I didn't know that there wasn't any paid app that could backup the 3 TB HD.

More about : backing 3tb data win7

a b G Storage
October 11, 2012 5:11:14 PM

SyncBack?
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a c 371 G Storage
October 11, 2012 5:19:53 PM

Windows 7 has no problems with using GPT drives, even bigger than 2TB. It's the backup software that may have problems. I'm surprised windows 7 backup doesn't recognize the drive considering the OS does. I use acronis true image home 2012 with plus pack. It's able to backup large (GPT) drives.

EDIT: True Image home 2013 is out ans supports large disks even without the plus pack. Plus, it's windows 8 compatible.

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage...

Hit show more features.
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a b G Storage
October 11, 2012 5:24:52 PM

What are you trying to backup the files to? You could use something like crashplan which is free if backing up to another local drive, or to a network share and it shouldn't have the issues win backup has with the larger drives (at least I don't think it will, it's free to try though).

Edit: Was typing while Hawkeye was, his solution is just as viable, I'm just partial to crashplan.
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a b G Storage
October 11, 2012 6:42:01 PM

You may want to have a look here which may help you and possibly others:
http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6618/se...

However I cannot confirm at the moment as I do not own a 3TB drive but I am in the market for one.

Edit: This will only work for Western Digital drives as the software or tool performs a scan on the device itself to verify.
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October 11, 2012 10:19:55 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
Windows 7 has no problems with using GPT drives, even bigger than 2TB. It's the backup software that may have problems. I'm surprised windows 7 backup doesn't recognize the drive considering the OS does. I use acronis true image home 2012 with plus pack. It's able to backup large (GPT) drives.

EDIT: True Image home 2013 is out ans supports large disks even without the plus pack. Plus, it's windows 8 compatible.

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage...

Hit show more features.



Thank you, Hawkeye22. I am downloading TrueImage 2013 now to try it, but it says it will deal with 2+TB drives (like Paragon and others) not 3+TB. The problem, in Win7 backup and other utilities, happens with drives larger than 2.2 TB(actually trying to create a system image in W7 with a total larger l than this value also is not allowed) apparently due to the different sector size used in GPT larger drives.
But I will give a try and let you know.

Thank you much for your reply.
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October 11, 2012 10:25:21 PM

Thank you,ELMO_2006.
My 3TB is a Seagate, also I read the WD solution not only destroys the data in the drive but also is causing lots of problems. Apparently what WD does is to reformat the drive with a different sector size (which slows it down significantly) and produces unreliable results.

Thanks again.
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October 11, 2012 10:33:01 PM

nbelote said:
SyncBack?


Thanks, nbelote. I heard of that solution but what I read is that it synchs only data, although I have the OS in the SSD, I have Program Files folders on the 3TB, i.e. file system structure plus applications and data. Also, correct if I am wrong, SyncBack just syncs (copies mirroring) to another media. I may be wrong but that will require, in theory, my buying another 3TB HD.
I will keep it in mind though.

Thanks a lot.
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October 11, 2012 10:55:01 PM

tomatthe said:
What are you trying to backup the files to? You could use something like crashplan which is free if backing up to another local drive, or to a network share and it shouldn't have the issues win backup has with the larger drives (at least I don't think it will, it's free to try though).

Edit: Was typing while Hawkeye was, his solution is just as viable, I'm just partial to crashplan.


Thanks, Tomatthe. I took a look at CrashPlan site. It seems to be personal file (data) oriented, the same problem with SyncBack, and cloud oriented. I need a backup oriented solution which would copy file system structure plus application and data, something like Paragon or Acronis but without their 2+TB limitation.

I appreciate your help.
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Best solution

a c 371 G Storage
October 12, 2012 12:16:57 PM

lobo2121 said:
Thank you, Hawkeye22. I am downloading TrueImage 2013 now to try it, but it says it will deal with 2+TB drives (like Paragon and others) not 3+TB. The problem, in Win7 backup and other utilities, happens with drives larger than 2.2 TB(actually trying to create a system image in W7 with a total larger l than this value also is not allowed) apparently due to the different sector size used in GPT larger drives.
But I will give a try and let you know.

Thank you much for your reply.


2.2TB is the limit for MBR partititions. GPT partitions can be larger than this. If backup software knows how to handle GPT disks, then it can backup drives larger than 2.2TB. Most people state you need GPT for 2TB disks. This is slightly inaccurate as they are just rounding down from 2.2TB. This may also be due to the fact that drive manufactures use a different value for TB.

Disk drive sizes are always designated in SI units by manufacturers, which is clearly marked on the packaging. Still, confusion may arise from this definition with the long-standing tradition in some fields of information technology and the computer industry of using binary prefix interpretations for memory sizes.


In standard SI usage, 1 terabyte (TB) equals 1000000000000bytes = 10004, or 1012 bytes.
Using the traditional binary interpretation, a terabyte is 1099511627776bytes = 10244 = 240 bytes = 1 tebibyte (TiB).


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terabyte
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a c 288 G Storage
October 12, 2012 6:59:02 PM

FYI, Seagate's DiscWizard is a free OEM version of Acronis True Image.

As for WD's tech note, the problem only applies to drives with 4K Logical sector sizes, not physical. Advanced Format drives have 512-byte logical sectors and 4KB physical sectors, whereas WD's high capacity external drives are often configured with 4KB logical sectors.
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October 12, 2012 9:12:22 PM

Best answer selected by lobo2121.
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October 12, 2012 9:26:43 PM

Thanks, fzabkar.
I wasn't fully aware of this fact. I only read what I could find by Googling and, as you know, you get lots of misinformation about whatever you are looking for, if it is a technical issue; for instance, a couple articles mention that DiscWizard wouldn't do the job, now I see that they were misinformed.

Appreciate the info. Thanks.
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October 12, 2012 9:39:00 PM

Thanks again, Hawkeye22!
I did buy TrueImage2013 and did a backup of the big drive, also I did a complete backup of the whole system and the app didn't balk. Of course I will only know if it restores OK if (knock on wood) I need to do the restore, my SSD uses MBR so I hope the app will detect the type of drive OK when it restores the full backup.
Yes, I knew about the manufacturers cheat on not using the true (binary) definition of the capacity of their drives, if I remember correctly, they started doing that when first 1 Gb HDs came out in the mid-nineties.

Really appreciated the help. Have a good day.
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