Backup (D:) to NAS N: Drive. Use disk image?

I've been trying to do my research, but I'm getting outside of my comfort zone messing with images. I built my first PC last year and used a SSD as my primary OS (C: drive and a second (D: drive for data, media, games, large programs, etc. I also have a NAS (N: drive DNS-323.

I've been using windows backup to create an image of the primary OS, C: SSD drive to the D: drive in case it fails or develops issues. I'd like to create a backup of the D: drive to the NAS but not sure what's the best method or program for this. I've been using SynchToy to mirror the folders on D: drive to the NAS (N: drive but I've been told since I have programs installed on my D drive and to help with future expansion, I should start backing up an image of the D: drive to the NAS instead of just backing up via folders / drag and drop backup.

In the future I'd like to upgrade my D: drive as it's starting to get pretty full. It appears to make logical sense to start working with drive images but I'm not sure of a good recommended program that will work with network attached drives. I'm also not familiar with drive images. I'll start reading more on drive images today. The guys at work use Driveimage XML but I've read it won't work with networked drives. I'd like to go with free software but if there's a paid lightweight program I'd like to hear recommendations. I've tried to figure out how to create an image of that that second D drive using windows 7 without luck. Windows backup appears to only be concerned with my primary OS C: drive along with also not seeing my N: drive. I've read some reviews online and when I read about backups everything is referring to a cloud based solution. Hopefully when I get this straightened out sometime in the future I can upgrade that D drive to a larger capacity without loosing the ability of programs to run / have it mapped exactly as the current drive is. For reference D: and N: drives are both 1TB units.

Thanks for any and all recommendation or suggestions : )
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  1. Stay with SynchToy, there is nothing wrong with it.
  2. Thanks noidea! That's almost too easy : )
    My concern with sticking with SyncToy is when I decide to upgrade that D: drive to a larger one. I know I can remove my current one and slap the larger one in but do I simply copy all the folders/files I've backed up on the NAS back to the new larger drive and tell windows it's now the D: drive and cross my fingers? I wasn't sure if just changing the drive letter of the new larger drive I install back to the older one would be sufficient in getting windows to run games / programs off of it.

    One of the guys in my IT department said he didn't believe SyncToy copied everything, like there was some file types it overlooked and that's why he recommended I start using disk images but I'm not finding a lot to support that.
  3. It's starting to look like SyncToy doesn't copy everything. I just did a run on it and it came back with about 77 errors on files it didn't copy stating "Error, cannot read from the source file access is denied". They were various things from system files to the backup of the C: drives image on the D: drive that Windows makes during it's backup :(
  4. That's true and will happen with any backup program that runs without administrator credentials / tries to copy open files.
  5. I gave Macrium reflect a try. It worked over my NAS and was free with the option to upgrade to a "Pro" version. It took it 16 hours to image about 410GB of data but part of that is because of the drive being written to is a network drive (50-100mb real world throughput). It doesn't do incremental backups though in the free version so I may be buying it if that function works with disk images. I have enough room on that drive I'll probably do SynchToy and the image till space starts getting cramped. Can't have too many backups : )
    Thanks for the help!
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