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Windows 7: Two system images on one external HDD

28 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
Two system images on one external HDD

I have a 1TB portable hard drive.

My brother has a laptop.

I have a computer.

Both of us have Windows 7 and I'm wondering if it is possible to have two system images on one external HDD?

If so, what do I do?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Mar 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit

A system image is just another file as far as the external hard drive is concerned. If you use the native Windows 7 imaging tool, the system image file it creates on the external hard drive will be called WindowsImageBackup. Change the name to something unique like My Computer. When your brother does his image you'll see two files: My Computer (the system image you created) and WindowsImageBackup (the image created by your brother.) I'd suggest renaming his image to something unique like His Computer. That way there won't be any doubt which image belongs to which computer. If you ever have to use your image, rename it back to WindowsImageBackup. Same for your brother.

If you use a different imaging program like Macrium Reflect free, it will assign a different file number to each image. But I'd suggest you rename each file by adding a "mine' or "his" to the file number just to keep it straight which image belongs to who. If you have to use the image, just delete the "mine" or "his" from the unique number.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2013   #3
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Hello Mangoh,

Yes, you will be able to save a system image from each computer on the same hard drive, and keep both system images without having to do anything else.

Both computers will save the system image in the same WindowsImageBackup folder, but you will have a subfolder as the computer name of each computer in the WindowsImageBackup folder that contains the separate system image(s) per computer.

The trick is being able to keep multiple system images saved for a PC. The yellow TIP box at the top of the tutorial below can help show you two methods for keeping multiple system images for a PC on the same hard drive.

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Two system images on one external HDD

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