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Windows 7: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

22 Nov 2008   #589
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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06 Nov 2013   #590
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Ron,

This may work for that.

New Installation: How to Create a General System Image in Audit Mode

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Nov 2013   #591
RonAshman

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks! I'd give you rep but I can't :P I've already done it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2013   #592
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome Ron. As long as it helps, that would be thanks enough.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2014   #593
Zensei

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Hi Brink and everyone here,

Sevenforums is a great resource for finding out things about Windows 7 that I hadn't thought about. Thanks for bringing all this knowledge to the masses!

I have a couple of questions with the system image backup:

1. Just as a confirmation, will this backup everything on my computer (docs, pics, videos, mp3's, etc) that are stored in all user accounts, and even drives that are not part of the OS, if selected?

2. I think I read among the many pages (sorry, can't remember where, but I believe Brink mentioned it in one of his posts) that if you move the backup folders to another location, like to another hard drive, there's a chance they may get corrupted. Is this true?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2014   #594
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Welcome to Seven Forums Zensei.

1. It will back up everything on the drives you select. Images can get rather big however so I find it best to do File and Foleder backups of data on non OS partitions. I use FreeFileSync for that but there are others you can use.
2. It is not a good idea to move the images as this can lead to corruption. You can rename the image but you will need to rename it back to the original (WindowsImageBackup) before attempting a restore.

Hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2014   #595
Zensei

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Thanks, kado897! My concern about moving the images has more to do with the hard drive that the images are stored on failing than anything else. I've been storing images from different systems to an external hdd and renaming the folders to identify which system they belong to. I only plan to use the hdd for that purpose, so the chance of it failing is small. But because there's still that possibility, I would have to be extra careful handling the hdd.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2014   #596
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

There should not be any need to rename the WindowsImageBackup folder for that reason as there is a sub-folder that identifies the system. I've not tried it myself as I only have the one system but I believe it is to cover the situation you describe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2014   #597
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

@Zensei,
1) When you move system images between HDDs or to a different partition within the same HDD, this involves a physical move of the (large) image file. I would not recommend doing this.

2) As you know you can rename WindowsImageBackup. You can also move it to and from folders on the same partition. This involves only a change to the directory/file system like any other file move within a partition. I do this all the time. In your case of imaging multiple PCs I would make the image in the root directory/folder then move it to a folder with a meaningful name (eg. Jones PC). I would also only make images once using the "Create a system image" button. I would not rely on shadow storage for multiple images.

3) For security it is wise to store images on 2 or more external HDDs. I personally also use 2 different imaging programs. Windows inbuilt plus Macrium Reflect.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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