Sunday, May 5, 2013

Windows 7 free backup/restore solutions, continued

In my previous post I shortlisted Redo Backup and Macrium Reflect Free, but before experiencing them, I had to do some serious cleaning on my C partition.

Step 1 : basic cleanup

First I grabbed the most recent version of BleachBit, an open-source tool to clean most of the junk (temp files and such) on a PC.
Got back about 5 GB.

Step 2 : scanning biggest folders for further investigation

Then I took TreeSize Free to find out the biggest folders, and discovered that there were some serious junk too from two sources : iTunes and The Sims (my two daughters of 12 and 14 are complete fans of this game and I often have to battle with them to get hands on the family desktop :)).
After some googling I found out which subfolders could be quietly deleted for both.
Got back about 7 more GB.

There was a third huge folder, filled up with recent, and others not so recent, software and various stuff downloaded from the internet.
After sorting out what could be dropped and what was worth keeping (that moved to my D partition), I got back another 10 more GB.

Step 3 : Disk Defragmentation and optimization

I first used the Windows 7 defragmentation tool, before trying to shrink my C partition from its current 580 GB (filled only up to 90 GB) to what sounds more appropriate to me, that is to say about 200 GB.
I wasn't delighted when Windows 7 partition reducer offered me to shrink down to... 380 GB.

So I took UltraDefrag, which now is able to hook during boot, to see whether I can get better results.
I enabled the boot time scan feature (shortcut F11), editing the script (shortcut F12) to make it quick optimize the disk :
udefrag -q %SystemDrive%
And rebooted my desktop.

Indeed the command-line udefrag started during the boot and did its work perfectly.
After Windows 7 reopened, I retried the partition reducer, which this time offered me to shrink down to 168 GB. Agreed !

I reopened UltraDefrag to disable the boot time scan feature, so next boots won't be slowed down by useless repeated optimizations.

Next step, trying the backup itself with Redo Backup, and searching for an old disk drive that can be used as target of a restoration... stay tuned !

No comments:

Post a Comment