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Windows 7: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

10 Oct 2012   #520
shinyjanjan

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hi,

I have 430 GB HDD,
Partition to:
C: 60.4 GB free of 230 GB
D: 35.9 GB free of 200 GB

So i already have 320 GB of files saved on my hard drive.

I want to clone my hard drive ( C: and D: ), i want to know how much capacity does the 'Cloned Files' will be? It will be the same capacity as 320 GB?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #521
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

If you are talking about creating an image with Windows Backup then the image will be about 60 - 70% of the used space on the partitions you are backing up. A third party imaging solution such as Macrium Reflect (link in my sig) will do rather better than that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #522
PeterAstle

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

When I create a system image, windows wants to backup both my C drive (Windows and programs on SSD) as well as my A dive (which holds my user account and all my files etc.) I cannot uncheck the A drive option. This makes for a huge backup size. I don't want to backup all my files as they are backed up elsewhere. I may be wrong, but I am sure I used to be able to backup just the C drive using "create system image" in Win7. I recently had to restore my system using a system image after a motherboard repair and I think that this phenomenon has occurred since that restore.

Any advice most welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #523
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

I think that the Users folder is regarded as "system" by windows backup and so will be included in an image. Another thing that may make a partition included is if it has a paging file on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Nov 2012   #524
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Peter and Keith,

Yes, that would be correct. Anything (partition/drive) that is considered "system" will be included in the system image by default and cannot be unselected since it's required for Windows 7 to run properly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #525
PeterAstle

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for your advice.

Interestingly I tried using the software, NTI Backup Now EZ, to create a system image. It stated that it was performing a complete system backup but mentioned only the C drive and no other. By comparison the image created by Windows was 438 GB whereas that created by NTI was only 64 GB! I must add that I have never tried a system restore from an NTI image, but I trust that it would do the job.

To add to my puzzlement I checked the windows created system image I used to do the last system restore I mentioned in my first post - it too was just 64 GB. I am sure I am correct that when I created this image, only my C drive was backed up.

Naturally, despite your words of wisdom, I remain somewhat curious as what is going on, particularly as the only thing that has changed is a new BIOS chip on my motherboard after a failure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #526
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Well, you say that you now have your user account on the A drive. That would be the change that caused this.

The A drive is now considered a system drive with your user account on it. That's why it's being included when you try to create a system image now using the built-in feature in Windows 7. The only way to stop that is to move your user account back to it's default C location.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #527
PeterAstle

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

A misunderstanding.
My user acount has always been on my A drive so there has been no change there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #528
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

I'm surprised that it wasn't included in your system image (built-in one in Windows 7) before, but that would be why it is now though. Normall the A and B drive letters are reserved for floppy drives, so that may be why it didn't see it as a system drive before.

If you like, post back a screenshot of your Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) window showing your complete HDDs layout. This will let us better see what system drives would be included by default.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #529
PeterAstle

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

OK, here's the screenshot you asked for.
You might realise from my disk names that I keep lots of photographs and backups!


-disk-20management.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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