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Windows 7: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup


22 Nov 2008   #289
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

How to Create a System Image Backup in Windows 7

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My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2010   #290
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi polycue,

Yes, as long as it is a Primary partition.

You can run it from within WinPe too.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2010   #291
Tyrantt23

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Hi Tyrrant,

It's because drive M is the system drive.

You can make your C partition into the system drive very easily.

D/l this, and rt click and Run as Admin on sispar.cmd.

Attachment 63307

Then go into Bios setup and set Disk 0 is the first HD in the Bios Boot order.
That worked. Thank you so much! I am now able to select my Media drive as a system image destination. Thanks a bunch!

Now I just have to install a few more drivers before I do the definite system image backup, and complete reformat and install will be a thing of the past!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #292
robinb9

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Hi Mr Grim,

Can't see a way round that as it's a complete pc backup, and the 7 boot files are on the System partition, it wants to back that up too.

Backup size would be huge, also be interesting to know how long it would take!

3rd party apps. would be better for this - quicker and with compression, plus more flexibility.

I am using the free version of Macrium Reflect - it is unbelievably small and fast, also allows you to schedule and to mount a backup
and also to copy back any files you want - in addition to being able to restore the image.

It does all that for free and you can make a boot disc if you need to boot in to restore an image.

The paid version adds a few extra bells and whistles , but the freebie will be enough for many people.

Macrium Reflect Free Edition 4.2 build 2033 - Downloads - ZDNet Australia

Hope you like it

SIW2
i just installed Macrium free for xp pro sp3. I am not sure which bootable restore image need to make, do i need Accessing Macrium Reflect from BartPEThe BartPE Recovery Environment or Linux one. and if the bartpe can you please explain how to do this?
thanks
robin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #293
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Robin,

Use the Linux boot cd.

The Bartpe is there as an option for those who already have /would like to make one.

The Linux cd should be fine with any version of Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


11 Apr 2010   #294
Greg S

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit (6.1, Build 7600)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Greg S View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Greg,

It's just easier to copy the entire folder to avoid accidentally not copying over a needed file, but yes you could still copy only the subfolder with the computer name on it instead though.
Are the other files in the user named folder relevant to a restore? On the other topic, I questioned and re-questioned all of this with the final verdict being that the only thing that needed to be saved and moved to another safe location was the folder mentioned above, example: Backup 2010-03-14 004647

At the time, I had the feeling that more was needed for a restore than just the example folder I just mentioned. It's possible I mis-understood,lol.
Well I guess to answer my own question, it appears for whatever reason that I should have been copying the entire WindowsImageBackup folder for safe keeping, at least according to the help file(see #2 of the second quote below). Here's what I don't understand from the help file

Quote:
Keeping different versions of system images
  1. If you're saving your system images on an internal or external drive, or on CDs or DVDs, you can keep several versions of system images. On internal and external hard drives, older system images will be deleted when the drive runs out of space. To help conserve disk space, you can manually delete older system images. For more information, see
It states that one can keep several and even goes on to say one can delete some to conserve space.

Here's the part that I don't really understand, quoting from the help file

Quote:



If you're saving your system images in a network location, you can only keep the most current system image for each computer. System images are saved in the format of drive\WindowsImageBackup\computer name\. If you have an existing system image for a computer and are creating a new one for the same computer, the new system image will overwrite the existing one. If you want to keep the existing system image, you can copy it to a different location before creating the new system image by following these steps:
  1. Navigate to the location of the system image.
  2. Copy the WindowsImageBackup folder to a new location.
Mine always overwrites the existing, I assume it does since I don't see multiple image backups in the folder unless they are there and kept by some catalog or something. Here's my question, if mine are being overwritten each time, then why? According to the help file, my saved images would have to be saved on network location.

1) I don't even know what a network location is??
2) If I have one, and I assume I do since my images are overwritten, how'd I get it??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #295
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Greg,

A network location would be saving to say a hard drive on another computer on your network.




I always found doing the below the easiest way to keep mulitple copies of system images.
  1. Navigate to the location of the system image.
  2. Copy a older WindowsImageBackup folder into a new folder at a new location than where you are saving the new system image backup.
Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #296
Greg S

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit (6.1, Build 7600)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Greg,

A network location would be saving to say a hard drive on another computer on your network.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
OK, but what is the criteria for the term "another computer"? I have one laptop, one internal HD partitioned with Win XP on one partition and Win 7 on the other partition of the same drive, two external USB HD's for storage. With those specs in mind and according to the Help file, I should be able to keep as many images as my storage drive will allow without having to copy/paste them, Correct? Here's the help file quote, maybe I am mis-understanding the help file,lol.

Quote:
If you're saving your system images on an internal or external drive, or on CDs or DVDs, you can keep several versions of system images. On internal and external hard drives, older system images will be deleted when the drive runs out of space.
On the other hand, I may be mis-understanding the term network location but with my little understanding, me thinks that I am not saving my images to a network location since I only have one laptop, but according to Win 7, I must be because I can only have one image which is overwritten each time a new image is made. Can you help me make sense of this? Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #297
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Unless you select the network drive option at step 5 in the tutorial, you are not saving the system image to a network location.

To keep multiple system images on the same partition/drive you should copy a older WindowsImageBackup folder into a new folder at a new location than where you are saving the new system image at. It will not overwrite the old one this way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #298
Greg S

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit (6.1, Build 7600)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Unless you select the network drive option at step 3 in the tutorial, you are not saving the system image to a network location.
Hmm, me needs to go read step 3,lol. Probably be back here in a minute.


Brink, that would be step 5. No I'm not selecting this option. To be honest, I think it's grayed out. Let me see.... No it's not grayed out and I'm not selecting it
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OK, here's the million dollar question, how can I tell for sure if I have multiple image backups since we know now for sure that I'm not saving to a network location? I've checked the WindowsSystemImage Folder and to the best of my know how, the image is being overwritten with each new image made. I can mount the VHD and I have in the past and to the best of my knowledge the images are being overwritten but according to the help file, they shouldn't be. But here again, I don't know for sure if there are multiple(about 6) images in the WindowsSystemImage Folder. Any more thoughts/help/advice? Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #299
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Ooops, you're right, that's step 5 not 3. LOL


The only way that I know of for you to keep multiple system images on the same partition is to "move" or "Cut & Paste" the older WindowsImageBackup folder into a newly created folder, then create a new system image backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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