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Windows 7: Creating system image, the best?


02 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
Creating system image, the best?

Sorry I have come back to these forums for advice but I find the info here invaluable.

If I create a system image using windows 7 ultimate of my C: and D: drive on my 1TB E: drive, will that be the best way to store and be able to retrieve a backup if any of my C: and D: drives fail?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Sep 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

There is a lot of backup software available. The one suggested, here, is macrium reflect. It is really individual taste that decides, however.

Back up on an EXTERNAL hard drive.

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

I was thinking of installing an E drive and after the backup was done, taking off the power and sata cable and leaving the drive in the HDD caddie.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


02 Sep 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

Any back up system is fine if it meets these conditions

The user must be satisfied with the method used
Reliable easy to use software
The back up is not on the same hard drive as the OS. If the hard drive fails all would be lost.

I made a copy of my OS, when first installed and activated. It is put away and forgotten.

Once a month I make a backup on my internal hard drive

If I have a problem, I have a current copy. If I have a big problem, virus or hard drive failure, I just have to remember the copy that I put away and forgot

This is what works for me and is right for me; but maybe not for you.

Use the method that keeps you comfortable. Just be sure that it meets the criteria that I mentioned

In closing, thanks for the rep points. It was indeed very nice and generous of you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I do mine somewhat different, and some may think too much but:

All my backups are stored on a 1TB HD that is "hidden" from the OS.
I use Acronis as my personal choice and this method is called the Acronis Secure Zone.
If your imaging program of choice does not offer a method like this, being partition on a HD separate from the OS works fine as well.

If You have other discs, for example a drive that has Games only on it, I would not put back ups there either. It really is best to have a HD dedicated to only backups.

Internal or External.

Also, many will say putting the Image on a DVD is a bad idea. As theres a chance of failure.
They are correct. But, I still recommend Doing at least the 1st one, and 2nd one with all major software installed and activated as a secondary layer of back up.
Simply because, theres also a chance the back up drive itself can fail.
Just be sure to verify the Image itself, burn the Disc Slowly and then Verify the Burn afterwards.


I always make my 1st Image of the OS after it is installed and activated.
The only thing included, other than Windows being Activated, is of course my Imaging Software.

I then verify, and burn the image to a DVD and Verify the burn & put it away somewhere safe. I still keep this Image in stored on the Backup drive, but keep a duplicate copy on DVD just in case

I then make another Image after all my main software is installed,activated, and everything updated. This Image will also be with all my personal preferences, views etc. I burn this Image to a disc as well.

I do not Image the OS partition, but the entire OS drive as it is.
I set mine to make incremental Backups daily.
Once a week, Consolodate those into 1 file, and create a new Full back up.

I do the same method for Documents Folder (on seperate Drive)

I try to keep a weekly OS Image for the past months in this manner. (8 backups)
With the exception of the Very 1st one, and the second image which is my major software installed. These never get deleted.

I do the same for my Games Drive, and Media Drive. Only these get incrementals every other Day, Consolodated Weekly and a New Full back Up Monthly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2010   #6

Win 7 64 bit professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
There is a lot of backup software available. The one suggested, here, is macrium reflect. It is really individual taste that decides, however.

Back up on an EXTERNAL hard drive.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
I have used Acronis very successfully for many years. Unfortunately its limitations with SSD drives and their delay in updating the latest version to handle SSD alignment issues has me looking for alternatives. Do you by chance, know if Macrium can handle SSD alignment correctly?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2010   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snakeyeskm View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
There is a lot of backup software available. The one suggested, here, is macrium reflect. It is really individual taste that decides, however.

Back up on an EXTERNAL hard drive.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
I have used Acronis very successfully for many years. Unfortunately its limitations with SSD drives and their delay in updating the latest version to handle SSD alignment issues has me looking for alternatives. Do you by chance, know if Macrium can handle SSD alignment correctly?

Thanks
Yes and no - the alignment question for a new SSD is beyond the scope of any imaging program. However, if the SSD was originally aligned, an image restore will not change the alignment. And if you restore first time to the SSD, I suggest you align the SSD first using diskpart in cmd.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2010   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snakeyeskm View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
There is a lot of backup software available. The one suggested, here, is macrium reflect. It is really individual taste that decides, however.

Back up on an EXTERNAL hard drive.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
I have used Acronis very successfully for many years. Unfortunately its limitations with SSD drives and their delay in updating the latest version to handle SSD alignment issues has me looking for alternatives. Do you by chance, know if Macrium can handle SSD alignment correctly?

Thanks
Yes and no - the alignment question for a new SSD is beyond the scope of any imaging program. However, if the SSD was originally aligned, an image restore will not change the alignment. And if you restore first time to the SSD, I suggest you align the SSD first using diskpart in cmd.

This is very true from my own experience.

The only time I have seen this alignment issue occur was when trying to restore a System Image (From a Mechanical HD) to a SSD.

A Full Disc Image, or Restoring the Partition Image originally made from the SSD, there have been no such alignment issues.

I have never had to re-align anything, so long as the original Image was of the SSD.

I too am a Acronis user, and while the issue exists, it is not something that breaks the functionality of Imaging & Restoration of SSD drives at all.
With the exception of the note above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2010   #9

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

My new HDD arrived and Windows 7 has set it up as F: drive.
I am in the process of creating a system image of my C: and D: drive.
If one of the drives fail in the future, do I just replace the failed HDD with a new HDD and restore the system image?
Will it restore C: to C: drive and D: to d: drive?
Thanks for all the helpful advice, I knew I could count on these forums.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Creating system image, the best?




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