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Windows 7: Can I use my computer while it is Imaging my Hard Drive?

26 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Can I use my computer while it is Imaging my Hard Drive?

With my current backup plan, using Macrium, I schedule a full image every Monday and incremental tues - sun. I also have Windows backup and restore image my had drive every Sunday night. My question is, by working on the computer while the image is being created (visiting websites, working on files, and using various other programs) will that disrupt or corrupt the image? Since I have the image run on a schedule I usually don't even notice when it begins and wonder if my computer use while the image program is running will affect anything.


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26 Jul 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Joe,

Usually it will not be a problem at all unless the program you are running does something that would interfere with the backup from being created. For example, installing a Windows Update at the same time that requires a restart.
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26 Jul 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

This is one of those FWIW personal opinions so take it with a grain of salt.

When I first started using Windows 7 and began playing around with the 7 imaging tool (as well as Macrium and Paragon free) I noticed that if I was using a file or folder that would normally be included as part of the imaging process, it didn't always get updated in the image. Also, there were at least a few times when I tried to use the image and it was corrupted. I simply figured it was because I was using the computer at the same time the images were supposed to be made.

For those reasons, I really, really try to schedule my images for when the computer will not be in use because I'm really, really paranoid. FWIW.
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26 Jul 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

I'm with marsmimar on this one on.

By just letting Windows get on with the backup I decrease the chance of anything going wrong, and for that reason alone, my backups are scheduled for the silent hours when I'm away from the keyboard.
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26 Jul 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Windows backup takes a snapshot of the drive using volume shadow copy at the start of the backup. Any changes you make to files during the backup will not be reflected in the image.
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26 Jul 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
Windows backup takes a snapshot of the drive using volume shadow copy at the start of the backup. Any changes you make to files during the backup will not be reflected in the image.
This is correct, you can safely use your system while it's imaging. I mean you don't think that in the middle of the night that your box is 100% idle without windows updating files and such, do you????
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26 Jul 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
Windows backup takes a snapshot of the drive using volume shadow copy at the start of the backup. Any changes you make to files during the backup will not be reflected in the image.
This is correct, you can safely use your system while it's imaging. I mean you don't think that in the middle of the night that your box is 100% idle without windows updating files and such, do you????
That said you shouldn't do anything silly like windows updates or the more aggressive defrags but normal day to day computing should be just fine.
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26 Jul 2011   #8

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

OK, that is the answer I was looking for - I figured that there is probably some chance that I could corrupt a image while working on the computer during the image, but I wanted to make sure that it won't definitely corrupt it. I will try to avoid using the computer during the scheduled backups, and will definitely not make any dramatic changes to the system during the image. I am forced to schedule my backups during the day as I shut my computer down every night.

Thanks everyone for the input
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26 Jul 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

glad to be of help jetablack.
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26 Jul 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're most welcome Jetablack. I'm glad that we could help.
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 Can I use my computer while it is Imaging my Hard Drive?




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