Are backup image files more fragile than just having copies of all the individual files?

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I’ve been suffering from some minor disk corruption over the past couple of years. I ran every test I could think of. Eventually it turned out all four sticks of RAM, when used together, caused data corruption, but any two worked fine. I still can’t figure that out, but anyway, it’s replaced now and works fine.

However I now have some corrupt files, including some Macrium reflect disk images. Fortunately even if the backup is corrupt you can still browse it to get individual files out, but you can’t restore the whole backup.

So my concern is that if you have one huge backup image (which for me could be 2TB+) or even one logical backup file split into say 1GB chunks it’s relatively easily to corrupt that single file/backup set. If each file (or folder, or some subset) is backed up individually corruption is likely to take out a small subset of your backups, not the whole backup.

Interested to hear your thoughts on this, and if you know any programs that can do something along these lines.

Actually I have several thoughts, but I’ll answer your last question first: no, I’m not aware of a backup program that works as you’ve outlined.

Your line of reasoning isn’t at all new; I get comments similar to this relatively often. Nor is the concept limited to just backups, believe it or not.

There are reasons individual file backups can be useful.  However, while I could be wrong, I don’t think the solution you’re proposing actually solves the problem you think it does.

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