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Windows 7: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup


22 Nov 2008   #559
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
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18 Apr 2013   #560
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Yes. It stores the backups in the same WindowsImageBackup folder but in separate sub-folders named for each PC.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Apr 2013   #561
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
Yes. It stores the backups in the same WindowsImageBackup folder but in separate sub-folders named for each PC.
I've never knew or tried this. What about when it comes to recovery does Windows go into the WindowsImageBackup folder recognize the PC name and restore appropriately?
I prefer to keep a distinct WindowsImageBackup folder for each PC to I can rename and store in another folder on the partition if required. This is the clunky workaround using Windows imaging but can be managed.
How do you manage this process if everything is placed in the one WindowsImageBackup folder?
To be specific I may want to image different PCs at different times while maintaining a copy of the old image.
Sounds messy to me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2013   #562
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Michael,

Sometimes it will and sometimes it won't, but you'll still be able to select the image you want to restore.

It helps to keep up with them when each PC's image is be saved under it's computer name subfolder in the same WindowsImageBackup folder.

I personally like renaming the WindowsImageBackup folder as well. It's more reliable in my opinion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2013   #563
Ex_Brit

Vista Ult SP2/Win 7 Ult SP1/Win 8.1 Pro w/MC (all x64)
 
 

I see this was mentioned earlier in the thread. In a multi-boot, if you backup the entire system on C:, that's all that gets backed up, but then when you go to backup any other other OS's, C: gets included along with whatever drive letter you are doing as it's the OS with the boot sector.

Wont this present complications down the road if you only want to recover a secondary system, in my case L: Win 7, or N: Win 8? (My main OS is Vista on C:).

Am attempting to backup each OS separately as the 3 are on different hard drives. I have partitioned each drive in half so that one can be backed up to the other and so on.

Just thinking ahead to if and when I get another HDD failure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2013   #564
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Peter,

Yes, this would be an issue since you would not have a choice but to restore all system drives when doing a System Image Recovery. Only any included data drives in the system image would be optional to restore.

You might be able to using a 3rd party image program like "Macrium Reflect", but then you would have to worry about them being included in the boot manager if they were not all restored.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2013   #565
Ex_Brit

Vista Ult SP2/Win 7 Ult SP1/Win 8.1 Pro w/MC (all x64)
 
 

I thought as much. I'll try Macrium or Acronis TI, it comes free with my hard drives from the WD website. I can always repair the boot sector using the system disk.

In actual fact, I prefer the long way, format and reinstall, and I still have my personal file backups to fall back on anyway.

Thanks. ;-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2013   #566
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

I hear you Peter. I find clean installs always give the best results as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2013   #567
RonAshman

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi,

Thanks for this tutorial. I have one question though.

I open the backup utility when my external USB disk is plugged in. It appears in the list.
As this tutorial shows, the option to start the backup is there.

This external hard drive is a large drive where I keep personal data. I was hoping I could save this system image in a folder within this drive. Something like x:\Win7Backup\

Since Windows doesn't ask where I want to save it -it just lets me choose the drive- I'm not sure about something.

Where will the backup be created?
Will it delete any information I already have in the drive? I'm too afraid of that.


Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2013   #568
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Ron,

By default, a system image is saved to the root directory of the drive you select like below, but substitute D for whatever drive letter it is for you instead.

D:\WindowsImageBackup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2013   #569
RonAshman

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thank you for replying.

So it will not delete any information nor change other files.
Will do my backup then.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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