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Windows 7: Windows Backup

01 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Windows Backup

Hello Forum,

I have been trying to use Windows 7 Backup program to backup my entire PC and create a System Image. I am backing up to another hard drive on my system dedicated for backup only (no other data resides on this drive). My problem is that after the first (initial) backup I create, any subsequent / scheduled backups fail due to inadequate disk space. It seems that Windows, instead of just backing up any changed data, goes off and creates another complete backup, which does not fit on the disk.

My question is this, is there a way to set up Windows Backup to initially backup my entire PC and create a System Image, then just backup any changes for future scheduled backups, instead of creating another complete system backup each time?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Mar 2011   #2

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

You're looking to do two separate things but only performing one of them. Creating a back up system image and backing up files are two different things. You have already created a system image, now you just need to back up your files...

Backup User and System Files

and

Restore Backup User and System Files


Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

and

System Image Recovery
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Or alternately is looking for an incremental image backup. Windows Backup cannot do this. You would need something like Macrium Pro which unfortunately is not free but is reasonably priced.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Mar 2011   #4
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DJSEVEN View Post
My question is this, is there a way to set up Windows Backup to initially backup my entire PC and create a System Image, then just backup any changes for future scheduled backups, instead of creating another complete system backup each time?
Yes.
In "Change Settings" Select the "let me choose" option and untick the "create system image" box. This way only incremental file/folder backups will be created. From time to time Windows will decide to do a full file/folder backup and create an additional backup set.

You now decide when to do a System Image (full disk snapshot). You simply click on the "Create a System Image" on the left of the Backup & Restore screen.

Note that System Images and (personal) file/folder backups are totally different and use totally different approaches.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Windows Backup

Thank you all for your responses,

After reading your comments, it looks like Windows cannot incrementally backup a system image. Personally, I would like to have a complete (system image included) backup on a weekly basis. Looks like I can do this with an incremental file/folder backup. However, if I want to update (create a new) system image backup, I would first want to delete / remove the current system image (Im not sure how Id go about doing this) and then change the backup settings to create a system image. As Kado897 mentioned, in order to backup my system as described above, I may have to look into purchasing a backup application, is this a fare assumption?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DJSEVEN View Post
Thank you all for your responses,

After reading your comments, it looks like Windows cannot incrementally backup a system image. Personally, I would like to have a complete (system image included) backup on a weekly basis. Looks like I can do this with an incremental file/folder backup. However, if I want to update (create a new) system image backup, I would first want to delete / remove the current system image (Im not sure how Id go about doing this) and then change the backup settings to create a system image. As Kado897 mentioned, in order to backup my system as described above, I may have to look into purchasing a backup application, is this a fare assumption?
Windows normally sets aside 30% of your backup disk space for system images and manages that space. So depending on your backup disk size and the image size it may hold several. If you want more control over your images create the image manually rather than automatically and set windows to hold only one image. You can then rename the old image folder which is called WindowsImageBackup to something else before taking the next image. I usually rename mine to contain a date. Be aware though that if you do this the folder must be renamed back to WindowsImageBackup before you can restore from it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2011   #7
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I always keep multiple images and use both Windows and Macrium free.
I've never had a problem with Windows imaging - others have! But I always create a fresh image.
When you rename WindowsImageBackup to say WindowsImageBackup_3_3_11
in the root windows sees no image there and will create a new one. When the renamed is put back as WindowsImageBackup it recognises the image.
see here
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2011   #8

Win7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I have been using Windows for making backup images of my system partition for the last two years which is when I upgraded to Vista Ultimate. Both making the backup image and restoring it is easy and convenient. I have a WD 500GB external hdd that I use only for this. After the image is made I unplug the hdd until I want to restore the image.

On this hdd are only two images; one is of a clean install of Vista Ultimate x64; and the other is of a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate x64. The rest of the gigabytes are reserved for Win8 Ultimate .

My system partitions are always small, no more than 120GB. I don't make incremental copies of file folders and other things because if I do I will end up keeping a lot more stuff than I need. Once in a while I just go through and DELETE a lot of it. Funny thing is, I don't miss any of that deleted stuff.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Windows Backup

Once again I thank you all for your input,

I suppose the closest scenario to what I was hoping for is in kado897s last reply, that is to create the image manually rather than automatically and set windows to hold only one image. However, since Im only interested in saving just that last (most recent) system image, I would once again be deleting the image prior to creating a new one (each week or so).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

you are welcome, but I would think very carefully about keeping only one image, if the image get corrupted for any reason then you are stuck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Backup




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