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Windows 7: System Image & Full Backup


29 Nov 2012   #1

Win 7 Pro x64
 
 
System Image & Full Backup

Good day!

I just started to use Windows 7 backup and restore feature and got confused all over. I know the difference between Backup and System Image but here's the confusing part:

I created a system image that contains all my drive. Then, I created new, full back up, let Windows choose what to back up and BY DEFAULT it created a system image which I assume would kill the system image I created before I do this full backup. Now since Windows didn't backup everything, I believe the system image is not the whole image of my computer. I thought the solution would be easy, just click the "CREATE SYSTEM IMAGE" on the left pane, but what about when the next backup schedule is up, this system image would also get overwritten right??

I just want to have one SYSTEM IMAGE of:
System
C:
D:
Which made a total of 171GB
and store it inside my 500GB external hard disk

I also want to set a full backup and have an incremental backup stored in that same external hard disk, running by weekly basis WITHOUT messing around with the first system image I created. Anyone have any idea how can I get this thing done?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Nov 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello EP, and welcome to Seven Forums.

A system image (computer) is saved in the WindowsImageBackup folder, and a Windows Backup (files) is saved into the computer-name folder.

Each system image created is a new backup period of your complete computer (all system drives included by default). This is true whether it was created through Windows Backup or a separate system image by you.

By default, system image periods will only be deleted when the HDD space runs out of space to make room for new ones. Because of this, you may want to rename the WindowsImageBackup folder to keep the first system image that you want to always keep. This way you can keep your other ones in a separate updated WindowsImageBackup folder.


For more details about these two, you can read the top part of the tutorials below. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2012   #3

Win 7 Pro x64
 
 

Thanks for your reply Shawn, before I started this thread, I've done my research and I've read them too, they all are quiet informative now probably the only things left is to confirm my understanding about these feature to you:

1. Create a system image (on the left pane)
It will make an image, backing up the whole computer from system, program, configuration, data, etc.

2. Create a system image (during full backup, check the Include a System Image of Drives box at the bottom)
It will backup your personal files and data, and create a system image of whatever Windows needs to run (Not the whole package like the first one up there)

3. Is that okay to move or rename WindowsImageBackup folder from where Windows has created it??

Let say the image created in G:\WindowsImageBackup

Am I allowed to create a folder G:\EP2012\ and move the WindowsImageBackup folder there??

Should I just rename the WindowsImageBackup folder?

Which approach is recommended and will Windows still recognize it??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


30 Nov 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Answers inline.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by EP2012 View Post
1. Create a system image (on the left pane)
It will make an image, backing up the whole computer from system, program, configuration, data, etc.
Yes, it will back up everything on all drives included in the image.
Quote:
2. Create a system image (during full backup, check the Include a System Image of Drives box at the bottom)
It will backup your personal files and data, and create a system image of whatever Windows needs to run (Not the whole package like the first one up there)
It will create a Windows Backup (computer-name folder) of any selected folders and their contents. When you include creating a system image, it will also create a system image (WindowsImageBackup folder) like in 1 above for the whole computer.
Quote:
3. Is that okay to move or rename WindowsImageBackup folder from where Windows has created it??

Let say the image created in G:\WindowsImageBackup

Am I allowed to create a folder G:\EP2012\ and move the WindowsImageBackup folder there??

Should I just rename the WindowsImageBackup folder?

Which approach is recommended and will Windows still recognize it??
You don't want to move the WindowsImageBackup folder. Doing so could corrupt it preventing it from being able to be restored.

It would be easier and safer to rename the WindowsImageBackup folder instead, then rename it back when you need to restore the image in it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2012   #5

Win 7 Pro x64
 
 

Ahhhh that explanation clear all the confusion I had.. Thank you sir!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

In folder \WindowsImageBackup is the latest backup. But also previous ones!! They don't take much disk space... because it uses the same method as system restore. Only modified blocks in the backup are overwritten. The old version of that block will be saved in a snapshot. It can do sort of rollback just as system restore does.

You can move WindowsImageBackup to another disk without any problems. Previous versions are lost then.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by EP2012 View Post
Ahhhh that explanation clear all the confusion I had.. Thank you sir!
You're most welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kaktussoft View Post
In folder \WindowsImageBackup is the latest backup. But also previous ones!! They don't take much disk space... because it uses the same method as system restore. Only modified blocks in the backup are overwritten. The old version of that block will be saved in a snapshot. It can do sort of rollback just as system restore does.

You can move WindowsImageBackup to another disk without any problems. Previous versions are lost then.
Hello Ron,

You must be thinking about Windows Backup instead of a System Image.

System images are saved in the WindowsImageBackup folder, and Windows Backups are saved into the computer-name folder instead like below.
System Image & Full Backup-backups.jpg
System Images take up GBs of space since they include all system drives and any other drive added by the user.

System images are not incremental like Windows Backup. Each image created is a separate full image backup period saved as a VHD file in the Backup YYYY-MM-DD HHMMSS folder in the WindowsImageBackup folder.

It's not recommended to move the WindowsImageBackup folder to another disk because it's to easy to corrupt it by mistake doing so. There have been many complaints about that here. I personally find renaming it on the original saved to location easier and safer to prevent corruption.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2012   #9

Win 7 Pro x64
 
 

Arghhhh..
The backup process last about 9 hrs and it ended giving error msg (TWICE!):

Windows Backup failed to create the shadow copy on the storage location.
Details: Another shadow copy creation is already in progress. Wait a few moments and try again.

Error code: 0x87080034

I never knew creating a back up could make me stall like this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

It sounds like it stalled out since you already had one being created in progress. You can only do one at a time, and must wait until the other is finished first.

If you keep getting the same error, then restarting the computer and possibly having to also reset Windows Backup should sort it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Image & Full Backup




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