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Krister's Blog
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MultiBoot and Backup

The last time I bought a computer program (except for what has been bundled with hardware) was a backup program in 1996. Then I needed to restore for not being able boot Windows 95, and I realized that the backup program required Windows 95 to be running. So I was stuck! I then started to use xcopy and wrote simple batch-files to make incremental backup of new and changed files. System files like the registry cannot be copied in this way when they are running - thus the need for partitioning: Boot one partition to backup or restore another.

View Video 5 min Partimage When using the Linux operating system I do backup using PartImage which creates an image of the entire partition. Also here you need at least two partitions, one booted to backup or restore another. A disk can have only 4 primary partitions, so I ended up with two Windows partition and two Linux partitions. Then I learnt the hard way that it is better to backup to another disk drive. I now have two disk drives, each with four primary partitions (plus a few hidden partitions, which I can unhide to test different flavours of Linux).
At boot time a Boot Manager (Ranish Partition Manager) and a Linux "Grub" boot menu help me to choose between the seven different operating systems, or I can let it boot the default Windows 7 after six seconds.

Link to the Ranish boot menu (May 2015)
Link to the all boot menus
Link to the screenshots of desktops
Video Showing MultiBoot - 9 min:MultiBoot Menu