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Windows 7: Win 7 System Images - incremental or not?

13 May 2011   #41
hw360

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
hw360,

Older files are moved into Shadow storage on the backup drive.

If that gets borked - and it may - then you only have the most recent image remaining.
That's what I guessed. Thanks for confirming.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
13 May 2011   #42
hw360

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

mjf, thanks for sharing your experience.

I'd like to know more about Windows 7 System Image, because I recently lost a hard disk partition and my old image backup did not work in my case. If I knew the limitations about backup software, I could have done a better backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2011   #43
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You're welcome.

I had a look at win sys img a long time ago - during the beta's.

Interesting - but decided it wasn't suitable.

Number of obvious potential problems - if it loses track of the image - there is no way of actually clicking on the image and forcing the gui to pick it up - as you can with 3rd party apps.

Succeeded in mounting the vhd, imaging that with a 3rd party app. - then restored the 3rd party app. image to a smaller drive.

It can be done - but depends on being able to access the required tools - not so easy if you can't boot in.

Restoring to a drive with a different partition structure is a touch inconvenient.

You may have repartitioned since the image - or you may want to image the o/s partition to another drive - ok if it's unallocated - not so good if you have other partitions on there.

You don't get those limitations with 3rd party apps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 May 2011   #44
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hw360 View Post
My latest tests shows: SIW2 is right!

The Windows 7 System Image is incremental. It's not visible from Windows Backup & Restore application, it's visible if you boot from Recovery CD.
Look at the test I carried out.
Using "Create System Image" you only have access to one image. The current image is the latest image. You can wipe shadow storage and still have access to the latest image. This is not incremental imaging or differential imaging as I understand it. If it was wiping shadow storage would only leave the base image.

However, shadow storage clearly plays an important role in the imaging process.

See here for example for a definition of incremental & differential
Difference between: Full, Differential, and Incremental Backup | Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #45
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hw360 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
hw360,

Older files are moved into Shadow storage on the backup drive.

If that gets borked - and it may - then you only have the most recent image remaining.
That's what I guessed. Thanks for confirming.
That explains why it writes an RP to the backup drive even though you have SR turned off for the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #46
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hw360 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
hw360,

Older files are moved into Shadow storage on the backup drive.

If that gets borked - and it may - then you only have the most recent image remaining.
That's what I guessed. Thanks for confirming.
That explains why it writes an RP to the backup drive even though you have SR turned off for the drive.
What's an RP and an SR?
Shadow protection may be turned off but the partition the image is stored on uses shadow storage for imaging. That's the only conclusion I draw.

So can I access older image files from shadow storage?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #47
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

RP - Restore Point.
SR - System Recovery.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #48
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Thanks for the acronym description.
The thread was about imaging and I was more interested in an opinion on the 2nd question - again in the context of imaging. Not restore points.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #49
Frozenthunder

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

How do you guys get the incremental feature work anyway? Are there any special things you must do? Because for me it's not incremental at all (even the normal folder only backup isn't). So maybe I'm just doing something wrong?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #50
larrymcg

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Since the imaging approach seems incredibly complicated, and there are many (conflicting?) answers to the original question, I'm going with simplification. My backups do not generate an image (just file backups). When I want to do an image I rename the previous one and then manually request a new image. They take a while to do (since each is a full or base image) but there are always big periods in a day when the PC has nothing else to do anyway.

I also figure I only really need 2 images: a relatively old one (one or two months old) and a new one. I'm thinking I can restore from either one and then use the file backups to get up to date.

--Larry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win 7 System Images - incremental or not?




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