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Windows 7: System Image much larger than C: drive contents

03 Feb 2015   #1
DaleD

Win7 Home Premium-SP1
 
 
System Image much larger than C: drive contents

I have been doing a nightly windows backup w/system image for years. Even used it successfully to recover after a disk crash last year. The system image has slowly grown as my stuff has grown which makes sense. I am using a total of 170G on the C:drive now(out of a total of 1TB). I believe that the image file has been around 130G for a while. Recently the image size suddenly jumped to 288G even though the total C:drive space used is only 170G. How can the system image size be larger than the total c:drive space used? It should be smaller since it is compressed. What has changed you ask? I recently added a WD MyCloud network drive to the system and backed up all my stuff there using WD backup sw. Could windows backup be including that drive in the system image? Why? If so, how can I make it go back to using just the C:drive?

thanks, dale.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Feb 2015   #2
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

when you use the "create a system image" you will be shown the partitions Windows insists on including in the image. This will generally be any partition containing system files.
Also, it's up to you but I would partition the 1TB drive and restrict the size of the OS partition. I'd use the other partition for data (non system files). Windows imaging does not use compression but doesn't store certain unnecessary information such as pagefile contents. Again it's a personal choice but I'd be trying to restrict my images to no more than ~60GB and move data off the OS partition.

If you want some significant compression with your system images you could try (free) Macrium Reflect. I think medium compression will give you ~40% smaller images.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #3
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Also, you can use this tutorial by Brink to attach an image VHD file to see what is in the image:
System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Feb 2015   #4
DaleD

Win7 Home Premium-SP1
 
 

MJF - thanks. The C drive is already broken into 100gb system partition and the rest in another partition. The system partition is only using 38% of its space so its within the guidelines you recommended. I very much want to be sure that in the case of a disk failure that I can use the system image to rebuild the os, all my installed programs, settings - basically everything except my data (docs,music,videos,pictures, etc). Will I get all this by just imaging the system partition?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #5
kyHAS

Windows Home Premium 64bit
 
 

You're talking about the recovery partition? All OEM computers have a recovery partition. If you use a recovery partition for back up it will include all factory default settings, drivers, and your computer manufacturer's programs. I would recommend making a Recovery CD for all OEM computers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
. I am using a total of 170G on the C:drive now(out of a total of 1TB).
Quote:
The C drive is already broken into 100gb system partition and the rest in another partition. The system partition is only using 38% of its space
Can we get the nums right before we go into any analysis of the problem.

My first take would be that your WDCloud stuff was included in the image - but that is only a guess. If you want to have full control of what is being imaged, you have to use another imaging program like free Macrium. The Windows imaging always includes everything that only has a slight smell of belonging to the system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2015   #7
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DaleD View Post
MJF - thanks. The C drive is already broken into 100gb system partition and the rest in another partition.
It may help if you post a complete screen shot
Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
Also, how are you making system images and how are you determining their size.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Image much larger than C: drive contents




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