Create an initial baseline Image Backup: First you need to establish a backup of the entire drive (all partitions) in case you need to restore Windows Vista to its current state (containing all your data files and applications) after your evaluation of Windows 10 has been completed or for whatever reason after installing Windows 10 you are no longer able to boot to Windows and need to restore Vista.
You can and should read the Todo user’s guide (starting on page 10) about creating backups.
A number of computers with Windows Vista preinstalled may have included “Recovery Media” (set of CDs) or a recovery partition located on the hard drive. Recovery partition sizes vary from one manufacture to another and can be as small as 10GB or as large as 30GB. You should include this partition as part of your backup. Note that using the recovery partition or media to restore Vista will erase all your existing data and applications which is the main reason for an Image Backup which will restore Vista and all your data and applications.
The image backup(s) you will create over time (after Windows 10 is installed), eliminates the need to use the recovery partition or media to reinstall Windows Vista, your applications and data files. It’s your safety net!
That first / baseline image backup you create will allow you to revert to your pre Windows 10 drive configuration should Windows 10 fail to install and you want to try to install Windows 10 again or you discover after you install Windows 10 it lacks the device drivers needed for your computer to function properly.
Note: After you have your dual boot system configured and operational, “if and only if you plan to keep Windows 10 preview for a period of time”, you should create separate image backups of just the partition that has Vista installed on it, if and when you install additional applications within Vista. This will allow quick recovery of your latest Vista configuration, data files and applications.
The Disk Management utility screenshot shows a relatively small 250GB drive (not an uncommon size with computers sold in the 2006, 2007 time frame) with a Vista (C:) and a recovery partition.
Connect your external USB drive and then launch Todo Backup and from the main screen click the ‘Disk/Partition Backup’ option located in the upper right corner.
The next screen (Disk/Partition window) is where you:
A) Choose the disk (and partitions) by clicking on / placing a check mark in the box in the upper left of the drive that contains Vista. Note that the second disk displayed would be your external USB drive.
B) Select a destination (your USB drive) and create a meaningfull folder name (Example: Vista_Baseline_ImageBackup)
C) Enter a description as to why the backup is being created. (Example: Vista Baseline Image Backup)
D) Make any changes to the backup options (compression level for example)
Note: The ‘Schedule’, ‘Backup options’ and ‘Image-reserve strategy’ links located near the bottom of the window can be left unchanged from their default settings. If you want the backup to consume less space on the USB drive you can click on the ‘Backup options’ link and move the slider from ‘Normal’ to ‘Medium’, which is the best compromise between the file size and the time it takes to complete the backup. The highest compression level saves a little space but at the expense of noticeably longer backup completion times. Click on the ‘Save’ button to save any changes you made.
E) Start the backup by clicking on the ‘Proceed’ button. The time to complete the backup is dependent on a number of factors such as how much data is on your drive, the performance of your hard drive and CPU and if your external USB drive is USB 2.0 or 3.0. That said the accuracy of Todo’s ‘Estimated time remaining’ (to complete the backup) is not very accurate untill the progress bar reaches about the 33% mark.
My personal style is that after the backup has completed, inside the folder on the USB drive I also create a small Notepad readme.txt file that includes notes of why and when the backup was created. This saves me the effort of starting Todo just to see the comments I entered, with multiple backups this could be time consuming and the readme.txt file is a lot quicker means of locating a specific backup.
Now that your baseline backup is complete, the next step is to shrink the existing Windows Vista partition to make room for an additional partition to be used when installing Windows 10. After you shrink the partition you will create a 2nd image backup prior to installing Windows 10. Should Windows 10 fail to install you can restore the 2nd backup and try again.