Backing up a boot camp partition

As a .Net developer using a MacBook Pro as my development machine, I plan on using Windows 7 installed on a Boot Camp partition. That way I can either boot into Windows directly for maximum performance or use VMWare Fusion to get the best of both platforms.

After a few initial days of work, I’ve now installed all the tools I need including but far from limited to VS2010, Resharper, SQL Server Express 2008, NUnit, Git Extensions, Tortoise, Beyond Compare and many more. The project that I will be working on is also configured with locally running IIS7 websites, SQL server databases, certificates and, again, much more.

Now is the time, I think, to do a backup/snapshot/whatever of my Windows partition, because I certainly do not want to go through the entire install/configure process again and my Windows installation is still fairly clean.

I considered using Fusions “snapshot” feature, but VMWare recommends that you don’t use snapshots as a backup strategy.

My first move is to use WinClone to create a backup image of the entire boot camp partition, since Time Machine only backs up my OS X files. The otherwise incredible tool Super Duper will not do the trick here, since it only handles OS X partitions. A caveat here is that WinClone is discontinued from the originator and doesn’t support Lion. However, an alternative version that does support Lion can be found here. I’m currently backing up my Boot Camp partition to a USB drive. Next step will be to test if that backup can actually be used for anything.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. But what software are you using to go from bootcamp/windows to the USB key? I’m in a similar boat and while I don’t image per se, I’ve always partitioned windows installations and backed up the data partitions to an external drive.

  2. Actually (ashamed) I’ve never gotten past the point, where I used WinClone to back up to USB. The part where I actually TEST if the backupon the external drive works has been postponed indefinitely…

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