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Windows 7: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

22 Nov 2008   #549
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

...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2012   #550
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PeterAstle View Post
If I do move my user account back to C, what's the best approach as my SSD is only 120 GB and too small for all my user files?


Do I
  1. move the contents My Documents, My Pictures etc first so the folders are empty
  2. move my account to C
  3. change the location of My Documents etc. to A?
  4. copy the contents back again
or is there a quicker way forward?



I would do 1 to 3 and not do 4 but use libraries to link in the folders you have moved the documents, pictures etc to.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2012   #551
Maco88

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Hi guys,

Firstly, thanks brink for the great work in creating this tutorial.

I have used the windows 7 to create a 'System Image' a few days ago on my desktop PC so I was somewhat already familiar with the process, and unfortunately or fortunately, depending how you look at it, i have had to use it once already [BSOD, driver conflict by the look of it] so i can tell you from experience how valuable they can be.

Then it got me thinking that I have a Dell laptop that I do the bulk of my important stuff on, and on have regular backups of the registry and System Restore points, but have not yet created a 'System Image'.

So before I go ahead and create one, I have one rather simple question, that I somehow may have missed that has already been asked within the 56 pages on this topic.

My laptop has a 500 GB drive that is one big partition [C:\] only taking up a total of 170GB, however, my personal folder takes up about 110GB of the total space and I don't really want it in the System Image, as it contains stuff that (1) is already backed up else where, and (2) other stuff that I want to keep for now but not too concerned if I lost. I feel worse case, I can at least somehow get most of it back if i had a severe crash.

Anyway my question is, I don't think Windows 7 System Image creator allows you to select or omit what goes in/stays off the image, is that correct??? If so, is there another such System Image creator that will allow for something like this? I want everything in the System Image except my personal folder that holds the 110 GB mentioned above.

Thanks in advance to all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2012   #552
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Maco,

By default, all system drives/partitions are included in system image and cannot be unselected since they are required for Windows 7 to run.

Your user folders are also part of the system. To get around that, you could do this below with having the files in another folder, and include the folder in a library. This way the folders will not be included in a system image. After you restore the system image, you would only need to include the folders in the different libraries again.
  • Create a new folder at any location you want other than on the Windows drive.
  • Move any files you want into the new folder.
  • Include the new folder into a library of your choice.
  • If you like, you can also set the new folder to be the default "save" to location for the library as well.
  • If you like, repeat to create another folder for other files to use another library.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2012   #553
Maco88

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

hey Brink,

Sorry maybe you misunderstood. I was not actually talking about the C:\Users folder. That one is fine. What I meant was i have a personal folder I created within the directory eg/ [ C:\Maco] and have my stuff there. So basically in the case of a system image restore, this folder would not be necessary for the system to be restore properly.

I was just after a way I could make a 'System Image' minus this one folder.

I guess if I wanted to use Windows 7 to create a system image minus this folder in question,then i would have to "move" it to an external drive, do the image and move it back right???

Other than that I am just wondering is there a 3rd party program that might let me do a system image with the options to not include some folders [eg. a personally created folder with various stuff in it]

Cheers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


30 Dec 2012   #554
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Ah, in that case, yes you would need to move the C:\Maco folder to another drive than the Windows drive to not have it included in the system image by default.

3rd party image programs will let you select what drives or partitions to be included, but not folders. If you go that route, you would have to be sure to include all of your system drives/partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2012   #555
Maco88

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Yeah, I figure maybe moving that particular folder temporarily will be the go.

I will use Windows 7 Image creator to make the image as I find it quite easy and straight forward, and best of all its already there.

One thing that may have already been mentioned, but I'll mention it again.. DO NOT change anything once the image has been created. Best to leave it exactly as is.

All i did was just add a date to the main folder and when I went to restore, windows could not find the image. I deleted the date part I added and bingo, it found it and restored beautifully.

Cheers and thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2012   #556
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome.

Yeah, Windows will not find the image unless you rename the folder back to the default name first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2012   #557
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Maco88 View Post
Yeah, I figure maybe moving that particular folder temporarily will be the go.

I will use Windows 7 Image creator to make the image as I find it quite easy and straight forward, and best of all its already there.

One thing that may have already been mentioned, but I'll mention it again.. DO NOT change anything once the image has been created. Best to leave it exactly as is.

All i did was just add a date to the main folder and when I went to restore, windows could not find the image. I deleted the date part I added and bingo, it found it and restored beautifully.

Cheers and thanks again.
This is what I do if I want to keep multiple images. If I ever need to use a particular image I rename it back to WindowsImageBackup.

EDIT: Once again Shawn's fingers were faster than mine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #558
dnh1981

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Can you create and store back up images of two different win 7 os's on the same external back up drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2013   #559
Ron5382

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dnh1981 View Post
Can you create and store back up images of two different win 7 os's on the same external back up drive?
Yes you can....I have four different backups on the same external drive...Just make sure that each installation is named differently, so that you know which backup to use..

Ron
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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