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Windows 7: Back up my 300GB Windows 7 drive


22 Jun 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 
Back up my 300GB Windows 7 drive

I'm currently using a MacBook Pro i7 and My OSX fails to recognize the NTFS partition which my Windows 7 Ultimate is installed on.
It seems something has gone wrong during the boot camp installation.

I've tried everything to solve the problem, but I never had luck.

The thing is, my Windows 7 drive is about 300GB and there are a lot of applications to be installed when I reformat it that would require more than the time it would take to copy a 300GB data at USB 2.0 speed rate. Not to mention the time it takes to re-configure all those applications.

What I've figured out after days of research is that in order to solve my problem I had to rebuild the partition table so that my Mac OSX would recognize my NTFS partition this time which is not possible without having my hard drive to format some of the drives.

Some of the application configuration is very easy to migrate, like ones that store their data in AppData folder, but I do also have numerous application that scatters their configuration files, project files and etc all over the place. One of the great examples are Adobe applications.

I do a clean install of Windows once to twice a year on every PC's and it is usually easy when I partition them, but the laptop already has four partitions so I did not have a chance to make an additional partition.

Here is my partition table just to give you clear picture of my hard drive on my laptop.
[Windows 7 Reserved: 200MB] [Windows 7: 300GB] [Mac OSX: 150GB] [Mac OSX Reserved: 1GB]

My question is, are there are any safe applications that lets me to dump the whole disk as an image file and restore it later to make the partition fully working with Windows 7 on as a boot drive?
If not, is there any fastest and best way to reformat, install Windows 7 and restore all my back ups?
I have one 320GB and one 500GB external HDD that would act to store the backup so storage is not an issue here.

Please understand a long post but I had to be as detailed as possible so that you guys have enough information to help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Jun 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

It sounds like you should be able to use Windows 7's built-in system image tool. Go to Backup and Restore in Control Panel (type "backup" in the Start Menu) and click "Create a system image" in the left pane. It should then let you pick the drive to want to store the system image on. When you're done partitioning, you can then use the Windows 7 disc to restore the system image to the new partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Does this back up my entire drive which Windows 7 is installed on?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Jun 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

The system image will essentially be an exact copy of your Windows 7 installation. I'm not 100% positive that it will save user-created folders/files in custom locations. Just to be safe, you might want to have Windows 7 both perform a standard backup to one of your external drives AND also create a system image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

By meaning system image, does that include any third party software installed in Program Files?
Also, what do you mean by the standard backup process? Do you mean by just copying files manually to other physical location?


EDIT: I did a research and found out that System Image copies entire partition.
Thank you so much this is exactly what I wanted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sherisdoppel View Post
By meaning system image, does that include any third party software installed in Program Files?
Also, what do you mean by the standard backup process? Do you mean by just copying files manually to other physical location?

Thank you and I really appreciate your help.
Yes, I believe the system image will include third-party software. The purpose of the image is for people to be able to recover their entire system if their computer breaks, so it has to collect everything.

Yes, you should also manually copy the contents of the entire drive to one of the external drives. That way you have access to all the individual files if anything goes wrong.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Back up my 300GB Windows 7 drive




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