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Windows 7: Recommended System disk backup software


08 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Recommended System disk backup software

What do people use to make bitwise image backups of their system disk, so it can be recovered standalone in the event of a catastrophic failure?

My System Disk is a 128Gb SSD, so I could easily fit a number of generations of backup in my 4Tb external (USB) enclosure.

Ideally, the backup utility could be scheduled to create daily/weekly/monthly backups (perhaps via "Scheduled Tasks" if the backup has a command-line interface).

I'd prefer a bootable CD for the recovery mechanism, so that would need to support external USB drives. I know a dedicated memory stick might be neater, but I'm not sure I'd be able to find something like that when I'm in a panic; I know where my pile of "Useful CDs" is.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Dec 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

A lot of people recommend Macrium Reflect free. One of the Forum members has a tutorial on it.

Imaging with free Macrium

Other recommended free imaging tools (besides the native Windows 7 built in software) are:

Paragon

EaseUS Todo

All have the means to create recovery CDs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

I prefer macrium reflect free. Very easy and flexible. Supports usb2.0 and most of usb3.0 (just test once from recovery CD if it can access external drive). Be sure to make a winpe rescue cd instead of linux! The linux version can restore backups to exact same spot only. Imaging with free Macrium

You can also schedule backups.

When restoring it's possible to restore it to any place on disk that you want. You can even make the partition smaller/larger on the fly. Parition type (logical, primary) will be the same on restore, but can be changed. It changes the bootmenu so it can boot to the restored partition.

Give it a try
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

My recommendation is Acronis 2013, I have used it on my machines and I try it out to make sure that it works.
I get mine from the user group relations store as a member of a computer user group for about half price from the stores or acronis I don't have any financial interest. ugr.com is their website.

It just works for me. but for $25 it is pretty cheap insurance.

rich
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

If you do use Macrium Free, and I recommend it, you will want to use the WinPE recovery disk rather than Linux as it is much better. To avoid the 1.7 GB download of the WAIK needed to create it whs has included a link to a pre-built iso of the WinPE recovery disk in his tutorial. You just need to burn it to a CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thank you all for your suggestions. I think the biggest hurdle will be finding out how to alter my BIOS so that it boots from the DVD drive! (I'm mostly kidding, but the BIOS handbook that came with the PC, built by Arbico, is very comprehensive, and quite technically advanced in places. Actually, finding the manual may be the hard part.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by swiftie View Post
Thank you all for your suggestions. I think the biggest hurdle will be finding out how to alter my BIOS so that it boots from the DVD drive! (I'm mostly kidding, but the BIOS handbook that came with the PC, built by Arbico, is very comprehensive, and quite technically advanced in places. Actually, finding the manual may be the hard part.)
You don't know how to enter BIOS. On startup it's most likely shown on BIOS splash screen very short. Most likely ESC, F2 or DEL.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kaktussoft View Post
You don't know how to enter BIOS.
I can find my way in (that's the easy part of most mazes) but from past experience, it's not always easy to set the system to boot from the CD player, especially if you're worried about booting from the system disk afterwards.

Most BIOSes that I've encountered recently have been easy in this respect, but the BIOS on the system I have now is considerably more complex that anything I've encountered on previous systems (all business PC's, with few options).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

No option look boot device or boot device order?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Recommended System disk backup software




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