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Windows 7: Difference with System Image + Back Up Files?

15 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 Panasonic CF F9 (used to have CF F8)
Difference with System Image + Back Up Files?

Hi Windows 7 Ships with a feature to back up AND create a system image...

Sorry if this is a real dumb question but whats the difference? They seem the same to me?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2010   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lister View Post
Hi Windows 7 Ships with a feature to back up AND create a system image...

Sorry if this is a real dumb question but whats the difference? They seem the same to me?

Image is a byte by byte copy including boot files and hidden, and system files. Backup is most frequently used with data and can be the whole partition, one HD, or files and folders

Ken J
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


The main difference is the way information is saved and returned to your system, or better said how it can be saved and returned.

Backup normally lets you choose what to backup, you must not want to backup everything. It might be you just want to backup your own files and folders but not the installed applications and so on. Same thing when restoring backup copies of your files; you can choose what to restore.

A system image is a complete copy of everything on your system drive, and could also include other drives on your system. It stores absolutely everything, from boot settings and files to your desktop settings and favourite folders. When (hopefully never!) your system crashes, computer won't boot any more, you can in most cases restore the image. This restores your computer to exactly the same state than when the image was created. Every smallest detail is restored; apps as you had them installed, emails stored by Outlook or other email client, all your documents, pics and music, in fact absolutely everything you had stored on your system.

I use system image backup exclusively. If I need to restore individual files, I can attach the image as virtual disk and extract files I need, as described in these two tutorials:Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

when choosing options in the "Manage Space" area of Backup+Restore, is it necessary to keep more than the most recent system image, or is it preferable (in the event of a catastrophe) to let Windows manage backup space in which case it would use up about one-third of my external hard drive space, which is less preferable?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Difference with System Image + Back Up Files?

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