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Windows 7: Question about Backup System Image


23 Dec 2009   #1

Windows 7 Pro 32/64 bit and Windows 8 Pro 32 Bit/64bit
 
 
Question about Backup System Image

I originally posted this to the tutorial section but no one has answered me and if i posted it in the wrong section you can remove it and leave it where it does belong but i really would like an answer before i go out and purchase a new external HD and find out i bought it for nawt.

I used the system image backup in windows 7 home premium.
btw i backed it up to an external HD
It made a folder with several subfolders after the backup and was about 55gigs
Now it is next month and i added programs, updates etc and i want to make another image does it go over the existing image backup or does it create a new folder with new subfolders?
I would like to understand this because i plan on purchasing a bigger HD and want to estimate how much I need

Also when i get the bigger external HD and do another backup image since it will not see the first one will it make a new beginning one? or will it have a fit and look for the old one on the other smaller external HD- then what would I do?
I did the first one just so i could see how it is done and to have something until I get a bigger external HD

thank you very much
Robin


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I am not sure how much room it will use but you don't need to worry about it not fitting. It MAY overwrite the existing image. It may give you a warning when you start it. You will want to use the last one you created anyway, so it's okay to create another "on top of the one you have now.

I have a 250GB external and back up 4 systems on it with Windows imaging tool. I have run it on each computer several times and still have 60-70GBGB free space.

Hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #3

windows 7 ultimate
 
 

I'm a total windows 7 newbie (ultimate)

When about to do the backup, Windows will tell you something like "this may take up to 232gigabytes. proceed?".

Is this a fairly accurate estimate? ... or does it actually compress the system image?
I'm wondering how you have so many computers fitting on a single external drive. (also, I think that answers my next question, "can you back up multiple computers to a single drive?")

OP - I'm trying to keep this on your topic (and avoiding hijacking!)... but I'm also trying to avoid adding another post to this forum that some may feel is repetitive.

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


24 Dec 2009   #4

Windows 7 Pro 32/64 bit and Windows 8 Pro 32 Bit/64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nate42nd View Post
I am not sure how much room it will use but you don't need to worry about it not fitting. It MAY overwrite the existing image. It may give you a warning when you start it. You will want to use the last one you created anyway, so it's okay to create another "on top of the one you have now.

I have a 250GB external and back up 4 systems on it with Windows imaging tool. I have run it on each computer several times and still have 60-70GBGB free space.

Hope this helps.
but the drive i have it on is only 100gigs each partition and it is a 200gig ex HD. I have the laptop for one partition- the desktop for the other. and have used 55gigs.
I want to buy a 1-tb so i can partitioin it 3 ways and make it 325 gig each and keep updating and using the 3rd partition for anything else. Since the first backup will not be on there what is going to happen when i put it on the new drive since it will not see it?

Will it start all over again or is it going to have a fit because it cannot see the other backup?
I was going to get a 750gig but i got the same price for the 1-tb so why not get the 1-tb if it is the same price.

robin

robin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Windows will compress and overwrite the last backup and current one too. The compression ratio I can't remember, but you will be fine. You will always have the last image you run. If you get a 1TB you can split it up for back-ups (if I understand you right) but you don't need to....Windows will find the correct one if you ever need it. It will create a folder and put ALL images into that. You can have several images from different computers on the same drive and it will be no problem.

I hope I understand your question. I hope this helps you. Have a great day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Robin,

I understand where you are coming from.

There are some major shortcomings with Windows System Image.

The GUI forces you to image the system and boot partitions - you can add other partitions if you like - BUT you will have to restore them all. You might only want to restore one.

It adds the extra/incremental images to the same folder - you can't put them somewhere else if you are short of space.

If you move the image , or change the drive/partition arrangement, it might not recognize them - and you won't be able to restore.

There are free 3rd party programs which allow you to choose which partition(s) to image, where to store the images, which to restore, and where to restore them to. They also allow you to browse to locate an image - so if something is different about the drive arrangement, or the name has been changed - you can still pick it up and restore it.

In addition, they are faster and offer better compression.

Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Free Edition

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

Hope it helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks SIW. You're the man.

I took your advice months ago and have had mixed results with Macrium and Paragon. Sometimes they work and sometime they don't. Windows imaging has worked every time.

What might be my problem? User error?

I thought it was my external disk for a while....but it works fine in every other way and with Windows imaging.

I can't figure out what it may be. I get "write errors" when I use Macrium or Paragon. (even got one trying to back up to a network drive) Do you know what would cause that (considering the drive works fine otherwise)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

That's odd. Particularly as you get it with both apps.

Not sure - maybe you need to run chkdsk /f /r on the drive.

Why you should get that on a network drive is a mystery - maybe a permissions issue - any error messages?

I see you have a WD drive. Try the free WD Acronis app. - see if that works.

http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

It's been a while since I tries the network drive. I can't remember what the problem was there.

Someone gave me advice to run chkdsk /f /r on the drive. It came out fine as I recall.

I have read ALL of Macrium's tutorials and followed them to the letter. I have test PCs and I think I have had one (maybe two) successful image and restore with it. This is out of 12-15 tries. I finally gave up.

I always run 64bit but Macrium seems to install the correct version. It says at install it for 64 bit systems.

I don't know what to think. I have read a lot of great reviews and I know it's a good app. I will look you up next time I get the time to try again and tell you what the errors are....I think it may have been you who told me my external disk may be going bad. That's when I ran the chkdsk /f /r

It MUST be something with me....but on 5 different systems and 3 different drives...I just don't knwo what to think.

Anyone reading this should not be afraid to try Macrium or Paragon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #10

Windows 7 Pro 32/64 bit and Windows 8 Pro 32 Bit/64bit
 
 

I am still a bit confused.

All I want to do is start a brand new system image on a brand new external HD even though I already made one on another ex HD. Can I do this without windows 7 barking?

robin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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