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Windows 7: Multiple images from two PCs to one external HDD


10 Sep 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
Multiple images from two PCs to one external HDD

Hello, all.

I am wanting to create multiple images (clean Windows 7 Pro w/ SP1 and updates, then w/ drivers, then a final one with programs and apps included) for my two laptops. I want to use the Windows 7 backup utility to do this to an external drive. If successful, I would have six images created, three for each laptop.

Will the Windows 7 backup utility allow me to do this without over-writing each image? How do I organize the images on the external HDD so that I know which ones belong to which laptop. I know I can't rename the image files and expect them to restore properly.

Thanks for any help in advance.

Mark

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Sep 2013   #2

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Laptop 8.1 Pro all 64bit
 
 

Mark my obviously basic query is why? Plus mate some system specs would be nice for us to wok with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Mark.......I would seriously consider using the FREE version of Macrium Reflect to do this - its far easier to use and considerably more flexible. Image names can be named any way to choose, so its easy to know which belongs where, etc.

Download:
Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

Tutorial:
Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Sep 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

I agree with Golden about using Macrium. It's a lot more flexible than the native Windows 7 imaging tool. But If you absolutely want to use 7's imaging program, I've found the simplest solution (for me) is to just rename each image. The first image you create will be called WindowsImageBackup. Change that name to Image-NoDriversPC1 (or whatever you choose.) The next image you create will again be called WindowsImageBackup. Change it's name to Image-WithDriversPC1. As long as you change WindowsImageBackup to something else you can create as many images as you want for as many machines as you have. If you ever need to use one of the images, rename it back to WindowsImageBackup so it will be recognized by Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2013   #5

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Laptop 8.1 Pro all 64bit
 
 

Hmm I use this one too Golden and Marsmimar but I was wondering how is the OP going to select just the install OS on one partition the one with update on another and a third partition with the OS and drivers??

I was just curious hence why I asked because I couldn't figure out the reason for it to be like that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2013   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
I was wondering how is the OP going to select just the install OS on one partition the one with update on another and a third partition with the OS and drivers??
Not partitions, just images. Like this:

Step:
1. Install Windows 7+SP1, do all updates, use native Windows 7 drivers - create image_1
2. Install manufacturer specific drivers - create image_2
3. Install programs+apps - create image_3

Repeat for next laptop. Result = 2 x 3 sets of unique images allowing him to select whichever he chooses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2013   #7

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Laptop 8.1 Pro all 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICit2lol View Post
I was wondering how is the OP going to select just the install OS on one partition the one with update on another and a third partition with the OS and drivers??
Not partitions, just images. Like this:

Step:
1. Install Windows 7+SP1, do all updates, use native Windows 7 drivers - create image_1
2. Install manufacturer specific drivers - create image_2
3. Install programs+apps - create image_3

Repeat for next laptop. Result = 2 x 3 sets of unique images allowing him to select whichever he chooses.
Hmm got you mate I didn't think that was possible to do to be absolutely honest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2013   #8

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I also use Macrium Reflect. I have images from both the boot drive of my desktop and the boot partition of my notebook stored on a data drive on my desktop machine (which gets backed up on external drives). Each machines images are stored in their own folders. I have restored images for both machines using an image on the internal data drive of my desktop to restore the desktop's boot drive and an image on the backup external drive (actually, an internal type drive in a dock) to restore my notebook's boot partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2013   #9

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Thank you, all, for the helpful info. I'm not deadset on using the Windows 7 backup utility. At the time of my first image creation on my laptop, the Windows 7 backup utility was available and I didn't have to load any additional software to create the image.

I think I was looking for an image creation application that would allow me to create images without having to actually have that application reside on the laptop. I'm new to imaging, and to be honest, I'd only ever created one image and that was with the Windows 7 backup utility.

Again, thanks for the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2013   #10

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Keep in mind Macrium Reflect has an excellent free version. Many of Win 7's built in functions can be replaced with better performing third party utilities, many of which are free, so don't be afraid to add them to your computer. Most third party applications recommended on these forums are excellent and safe to use. If you are ever in doubt about installing one on your computer, just as and there will be plenty of knowledgeable people here responding with how safe or effective the program is and, if necessary, suggest better alternatives.

Many people complained about Win 7's backup utility being troublesome or have had problems with it. Based on all the complaints I've seen, I went directly to Macrium Reflect and haven't regretted doing so one bit.

For backups to be effective, they should be made frequently, starting when Win 7 is first installed on a computer. The first image should be made as soon as Win 7 and any needed drivers are installed and updated. That image can later be used as a faster way to do a complete reinstall, should you ever need one, since much of the work has already been done. A second image should be made after installing all your programs for the same reason. Both images should be kept until you do a complete reinstall, especially the first one.

How often you make images of the OS will depend on how often it and programs are changed. I do a weekly image and keep all of them for one month back; after a month, I keep only one per month. Others may find one per month to be plenty (that ensures the monthly M$ updates don't have to be redone).

Data should be backed up as soon as practical after it is added or changed. Remember, any data that doesn't exist in more than one place, preferably more than two, is susceptible to being lost if the HDD it resides on is ever damaged beyond repair or the data is irrecoverably deleted by user error or malware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Multiple images from two PCs to one external HDD




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