Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: How do I backup entire pc to external HD then Reinstall

05 May 2010   #1

Windows 7 home
 
 
How do I backup entire pc to external HD then Reinstall

I am getting an external HD any minute and I want to backup my entire pc to it. programs, data, music, files, folders, registry etc. Basically an exact copy of my current system but I want it to be bootable just in case I mess up the reinstall. Is this possible? If so what is the easiest way to go about it?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

05 May 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Take a look here:

System Image Recovery
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2010   #3

Windows 7 home
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
Take a look here:

System Image Recovery
I don't think that's what I want to do. At least from what I understand.

I basically want to copy my entire computer to another hard drive and then do a clean install from my windows 7 os disk. i do however want the backup copy to be able to boot up.

Is that what it is or am I completely confused?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 May 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Take a look here:
Restore Backup User and System Files

Programs will need reinstalling.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2010   #5

Windows 7 home
 
 

Looked it over...looks like what I need...few questions though. I haven't created a backup yet so when I do create a backup will it allow me specify an external hard drive that is attached to my pc? Will it backup EVERYTHING? Files, folders, registry, programs, media, everything? Will it be bootable from said external hard drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

You'll boot the Windows 7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD, select "Recover Using an Image" and it will detect the Windows 7 backup image stored on the external. That is the only booting that is involved with backup, and that is only used if you backup a System image and need to reimage the HD with it.

While everything is included in the image, it is also best to copy your files over to the external using either the backup utility or, more efficiently, by dragging the Active User files to the external.

Then you'll have a Backup image which can be reimaged to the HD or a replacement in 20 minutes, or you have files to choose from in case you lose them or they are damaged, or the backup image doesn't work and you are forced to reinstall.

For files, I backup Downloads, Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music and Internet Explorer Favorites, which is a lot smaller on the disk than using the blunderbuss backup utility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

When you make your backup, you will also have the opportunity to create a system restore disk and a system image. Create the restore disk and the image. Boot to the restore disk and you will be able to recover your system from the image - exactly as it was before you took the image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2010   #8

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
Look at commercial products such as Acronis for backing up data / Disk images..

These types of programs will allow you to back up whatever you want from your computer to ANY device(s) of your choice and then be able to recover the data even if your whole Windows OS doeswn't boot.

A good "Multi-boot" system would be to have something like the LINUX GRUB boot loader and then you can choose which Windows disk you want to boot as default -- you can usually set the GRUB loader to boot a specific disk if the user hasn't made a choice within a user definable number of seconds.

Since you can boot and restore an alternate OS even from a USB stick these days I can't see the point of actually having the backup stored on the computer -- restoring a Windows 7 image from a 16 GB USB stick on my machine takes all of 9 minutes -- and it's got a load of applications installed such as Photoshop, Office etc etc.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2010   #9

Windows 7 home
 
 

Thanks for the detailed instructions that's what I was looking for.

here are the steps I'm going to take.

1. Open control panel click create system image. Go through the steps (I assume I can specify the external hd)
2. Drag all files such as documents, media, that type onto the external just to be sure they copied correctly.
3. drag all users to the external hd.
4. insert windows 7 os disk click install. Remember I want a clean install for now. (side note: is it a good idea to zero out my hard drive so nothing is left behind from the old install?)
5. Boot up windows 7 from external hd. Have to go into the bios for this right?
6. go through programs I want installed on new machine.
7. Install them. (side note: if I bought a program how can I recover the key from the external hd?)
8. Drag any media, files etc that I want on my new machine from external HD.
I'm done right?

Side notes: I have a massive iTunes library so will I need to back up the entire library or can I just drag and drop iTunes media folder and iTunes library xml to the new fresh install of iTunes?
does anybody know a good program that transfers files faster then the windows utility? Freeware is better!


Did I miss anything? Suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2010   #10

Windows 7 home
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
Look at commercial products such as Acronis for backing up data / Disk images..

These types of programs will allow you to back up whatever you want from your computer to ANY device(s) of your choice and then be able to recover the data even if your whole Windows OS doeswn't boot.

A good "Multi-boot" system would be to have something like the LINUX GRUB boot loader and then you can choose which Windows disk you want to boot as default -- you can usually set the GRUB loader to boot a specific disk if the user hasn't made a choice within a user definable number of seconds.

Since you can boot and restore an alternate OS even from a USB stick these days I can't see the point of actually having the backup stored on the computer -- restoring a Windows 7 image from a 16 GB USB stick on my machine takes all of 9 minutes -- and it's got a load of applications installed such as Photoshop, Office etc etc.

Cheers
jimbo
I actually just bought a kingston datatraveler 128 gig usb stick off eBay just so I can have a portable linux system, media files and portable apps. I want to reduce the load on my laptop significantly.

Oh and did I mention I got the usb for 50 bucks. gotta love eBay.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 How do I backup entire pc to external HD then Reinstall




Thread Tools



Similar help and support threads for2: How do I backup entire pc to external HD then Reinstall
Thread Forum
Encrypting entire external USB drive System Security
backup entire hard drive including partitions Backup and Restore
Windows 7 backup folder had files, after reinstall backup folder is mt Backup and Restore
Reinstall OS and Keep Backup Settings Backup and Restore
Copy entire system from backup image over bootable fresh install? Installation & Setup
Solved Make Windows Backup use entire drive Backup and Restore
Backup entire System ( 4TB+ ) the fast way. HOW? Backup and Restore

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:01 PM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33