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Windows 7: creating a new backup image question

02 Sep 2013   #1

windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
creating a new backup image question

I have an image backup for both of my pc builds on an external usb hd. My question is, I have fixed a driver problem by updating so when I create a newer image file should I delete the old one first, or just allow it to write over the older backup? Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello p5200,

A system image is not incremental like a backup. Each system image created is a separate full backup period. There's no need to delete the old one first unless you just wanted to since it'll be automatically deleted as needed to make space for new image backups.

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2013   #3

windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello p5200,

A system image is not incremental like a backup. Each system image created is a separate full backup period. There's no need to delete the old one first unless you just wanted to since it'll be automatically deleted as needed to make space for new image backups.

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

Hope this helps,
Shawn
I will go ahead and create a new image backup then Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


02 Sep 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello p5200,

A system image is not incremental like a backup. Each system image created is a separate full backup period. There's no need to delete the old one first unless you just wanted to since it'll be automatically deleted as needed to make space for new image backups.

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

Hope this helps,
Shawn
You might need to explain this to me.
When I was testing Win 7 system image suitability, it made different image versions.
They were selectable in the restore.
And appeared to be incrementals.

So let's say my first full image showed 15gb in the WindowsImageBackup directory.
Taking a subsequent image might take the WindowsImageBackup directory to 16gb.
And was much faster.
As I recall I took about 7-8 system images over some period of weeks.
I could select any of them to restore - they were time-stamped.
As I recall, I tested restoring older versions successfully.

But the total size of the WindowsImageBackup directory never went beyond about 28gb.
I was okay with that, because it saved space.
With subsequent testing I found that copies of the directory weren't portable, in the sense that the restore could only address all image versions in the WindowsImageBackup directory on the original drive the images were made to.
With any WindowsImageBackup copied to a different drive, restore would only see the last image, losing previous versions.
There may be a way to restore that addressability, but I didn't need "incrementals" enough to bother looking.

I rejected the Win 7 and use Ghost 15. Tried Macrium, but Ghost was considerably faster.
But it's my firm impression that Win 7 system images taken with Win 7 are "incremental."
Is that wrong?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Victor,

When a system image is created, it is saved like incremental to save space as you have seen, but still behaves like full separate images.

Learn more about system image backup - The Storage Team at Microsoft - File Cabinet Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

Quote:
What is a system image and how does it work?

Just as a brief recap, a system image is in essence a snapshot of an entire drive(s). The backup is done in block level (as opposed to file level) increments and includes all user and system files, configuration data and applications that are present on the drive, plus information regarding disk layout and boot entries. The image can be used to recover a working Windows if your hard disk ever fails, or if you simply want to reimage your OS to an earlier point in time.

During the first backup, the backup engine scans the source drive and copies only blocks that contain data into a .vhd file stored on the target, creating a compact view of the source drive. The next time a system image is created, only new and changed data is written to the .vhd file, and old data on the same block is moved out of the VHD and into the shadow copy storage area. Volume Shadow Copy Service is used to compute the changed data between backups, as well as to handle the process of moving the old data out to the shadow copy area on the target. This approach makes the backup fast (since only changed blocks are backed up) and efficient (since data is stored in a compact manner). When restoring the image, blocks will be restored to their original locations on the source disk. If you want to restore from an older backup, the engine reads from the shadow copy area and restores the appropriate blocks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2013   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks, Brink.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2013   #8
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Anytime mate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Sep 2013   #9
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

A personal view:
Make only one image at a time (WindowsImageBackup) and do not rely on shadow storage to maintain multiple/ difference images. I think it is safer to rename your current image to say WindowsImageBackup-old or whatever then make a fresh image when you see fit. Renaming WindowsImageBackup-old to WindowsImageBackup will enable you to restore that image. You can store as many renamed images as you like. This simple process has never failed me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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