Backup and Win7/XP multi-boot
As many are well aware of, it is not practical to backup a running system. There are simply too many open files.
Years ago, certain multi-user systems would simply shut down for a specified period while a special operating program booted and ran the backup.
In years past I maintained 2 bootable OS images (MS pre-Vista Windows) in separate partitions: one to boot and use on a daily basis, and another 'utility' image to run backup once a week (and for emergencies). I used Partition Magic to generate backup copies.
I'd like to do something similar with my new Win7/XP multi-boot desktop build. Apparently Win7 presents some new problems with this approach.
My system has 2 500gb SATA hard drives. Win7/XP multi-boot is installed on disk 1. When I duplicate the 2 partitions on disk 2 with Partition Wizard, the result has special characteristics. The BCD boot-manager allows booting of Win7 only, and the booted OS is useless except to tell the user that the Win7 install is invalid. The install on disk 1 is fully legal and verified. To my knowledge there is no restriction on running a second copy of the OS.
Does anyone have a handle on what is practical and not-practical (and why) as regards this approach? I would very much like to avoid using any Microsoft software for backup, couldn't bring myself to depend on it.
Any/all help/info much appreciated.