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Windows 7: Performing 1st Image Backup

31 Dec 2015   #1
copiman

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Performing 1st Image Backup

I need to practice creating an image backup and restoring it back to the laptop. If I mess it up that's OK. Nothing on the laptop that I must have. I will later do an image backup on a PC prior to doing a repair install. This one I can't mess up or I'm dead. Anyway, I have questions. I have read both the tutorials on this site and will use them for a guide as I attempt them. I have done this with CDs in the past but never with an external drive. I have a 3T (WD My Book) external HDD connected USB.

The image will be restored to the drive it came from.

This is what I think, not what I know:
I need to create a partition on my external HDD that is the size of the hard drive I will be creating the image from.

Next step would be to follow tutorials on creating and recovering.


Any other words of advice prior to me going where I have not gone before?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Dec 2015   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I suggest you practice with a small 2GB partition Here are some tutorials:

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2015   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by copiman View Post

This is what I think, not what I know:
I need to create a partition on my external HDD that is the size of the hard drive I will be creating the image from.
No.

I wouldn't use Windows built-in imaging capability.

Good idea that you are practicing. Do it several times if need be so that you are familiar with the menu choices that pop up.

The external drive must have at least one partition to be usable at all--just like any other drive. You don't need to create any special partition just because you are going to store an image on the external.

You need enough space on the external drive to store the image file. That's all. It's just a file. You can store it in with pictures of your cat if you want to--in the same folder on the same partition. I'd store it in a folder named "images".

How much space do you need? If you are using Macrium, you'd need roughly half the occupied space of the partitions that you are imaging. If you are imaging C and C is a 500 GB partition with 100 occupied, you'd need roughly 50 GB of free space on the external to store the image file. Maybe 40, maybe 60.

You need to CONFIRM that the restore/recovery media you make will in fact boot your PC. Don't assume it will. Find out.

I'd avoid incremental images--just make full images periodically.

I'd never assume imaging will work as expected. Know what you will do if it fails completely.

I'd probably use another backup method for personal data as opposed to Windows itself.

Make sure you make an image file of ALL necessary partitions. On a typical system, an image of C alone would not be enough to restore Windows. You need to also image any partition marked as "system". That might be a "System Reserved" partition or some other, depending on the whims of whoever manufactured the PC.

If it turns out you need to image more than 1 partition, you can make a single image file of all necessary partitions or you can make individual image files, each representing a single partition. Your choice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Dec 2015   #4
copiman

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thanks to both of you. I will do this a little later today. I will also use Macrium. Will report back results.
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31 Dec 2015   #5
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

You don't need to create any particular size partition to put your image on. I have a Macrium Image done automatically every week. The images just go one behind the other on one partition of a separate hard drive. For better organization you should have you Win 7 and programs on one partition and you documents, pictures, etc on a separate partition. This way you can restore your OS if you need and not mess up your Documents, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2015   #6
Baddog22556

Windows 7
 
 

Many ways and opinions on what to use and why. Use what works and can be verified it works.
I use Acronis True Image WD Free and create a full system image every week. I store 6 images
on an external drive and just use the oldest one, delete it and put another system image on that folder.
I've used Macrium but very happy with Acronis. I play with my system all the time and if it can be
screwed up, I can do it. But I can restore latest image in 30 minutes and back in business.
I have tested about 7 clone/imaging programs, there are many more, but this works for me.
Good luck.
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01 Jan 2016   #7
copiman

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thanks again for everyone's input. I was able to use Macrium to create a system image. Removed a couple of programs (Adobe Reader and Google Chrome) from the laptop. Reinstalled the image and Adobe and Chrome was there. I have the boot CD created with Macrium and it will boot the laptop.

I would like to simulate a hard drive replacement. Could I create an image, reformat the laptop HDD, boot from the CD made in Macrium, and reinstall the image?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2016   #8
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Yes, however, the restore process probably will be a little more geekier than a normal restore. With the normal target "road-signs" gone, you will have to "tell" Macrium which image to restore where. I have not done that type of restore in awhile, so, I cannot remember the keystrokes right now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2016   #9
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by copiman View Post
Thanks again for everyone's input. I was able to use Macrium to create a system image. Removed a couple of programs (Adobe Reader and Google Chrome) from the laptop. Reinstalled the image and Adobe and Chrome was there. I have the boot CD created with Macrium and it will boot the laptop.

I would like to simulate a hard drive replacement. Could I create an image, reformat the laptop HDD, boot from the CD made in Macrium, and reinstall the image?
When I got my SSD, I installed the image from my HDD, as you are going to do in your test. I do not recall any strange things that happened. It just went as any other Restore Image would do. It is good that you are keeping an image. The day will come when your HDD will die and you will be glad you have the image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2016   #10
Baddog22556

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by copiman View Post
I would like to simulate a hard drive replacement. Could I create an image, reformat the laptop HDD, boot from the CD made in Macrium, and reinstall the image?
Sure you can. I do it all the time. It is easier for me to just restore a very recent image than wasting
a lot of time trying to figure out what I did to screw everything up (and I'm good at troubleshooting)
but I just don't have the patience anymore. When I updated to W10, twice, My patience ran out before
I could get a comfortable understanding of what the heck I was doing. Hence, I restored W7 and
continued on with my life no worse for wear.
Just do it!!! (Nike commercial, I think)
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