Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


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

14 May 2011   #51
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Yes, a lot of people are not quite sure what win sys img is doing - both during backup and restore.

Use whatever method and whatever program works for you - and you feel comfortable with.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
14 May 2011   #52
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

You might also consider imaging after "Patch Tuesday" so you don't have too many updates to apply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #53
Frozenthunder

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by larrymcg View Post
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
But the problem with such strategy is the HDD lifetime. I mean it's not good if you write many TBs on your external HDD monthly. I'd rather do incremental/differential image. I try use my external HDD as less as possible because I want it to survive many years.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

14 May 2011   #54
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frozenthunder View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by larrymcg View Post
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
But the problem with such strategy is the HDD lifetime. I mean it's not good if you write many TBs on your external HDD monthly. I'd rather do incremental/differential image. I try use my external HDD as less as possible because I want it to survive many years.
I think you imply 2 problems:

1. One should always have at least 2 external disks for every PC and alternate the images - just in case one disk breaks (which they rarely do).

2. If you have many GBs of stuff, most of it is data. That should be seperated from the OS into a data partition. Then you can image the system (which is usually between 20 and 40GB in size) and backup the data with a sync program.

The system images will be between 11 and 22GBs and you should keep many (I always keep at least 25 images). The data sync moves very little data around (just what you altered since the last sync) and should not be stressful for any disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #55
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

25 images ?

That's being careful. LOL
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #56
Frozenthunder

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frozenthunder View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by larrymcg View Post
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
But the problem with such strategy is the HDD lifetime. I mean it's not good if you write many TBs on your external HDD monthly. I'd rather do incremental/differential image. I try use my external HDD as less as possible because I want it to survive many years.
I think you imply 2 problems:

1. One should always have at least 2 external disks for every PC and alternate the images - just in case one disk breaks (which they rarely do).

2. If you have many GBs of stuff, most of it is data. That should be seperated from the OS into a data partition. Then you can image the system (which is usually between 20 and 40GB in size) and backup the data with a sync program.

The system images will be between 11 and 22GBs and you should keep many (I always keep at least 25 images). The data sync moves very little data around (just what you altered since the last sync) and should not be stressful for any disk.
Then how do I tell Windows to save User- and ProgramDatafolder on another partition and not on my C:? because I would like to sync appdata and such too. My data like music, videos, pictures, documents actually doesn't change often. I never get new songs or videos or such. So most data which changes or grows is in Appdata folder and Programdata folder (found out that I could make some programs save data I record in different folders, so Programdata wouldn't be that big anymore).

Just found out that only my Program files folder is 68GB big, I got many many programs and games and such. 158GB is the used space in total, over 100GB is Windows+Programfiles+Programdata together. So each image would be at least 100GB and the seperate personal data like videos and such is only 50GB. So I'm not sure if it's worth it to create another partition on which I put only videos, music, pictures, documents and such, since I'm more the type of person which has alot of programs. Each person is individual
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #57
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. Appdata does not have a Location tab in Properties. But the 4 folders inside Appdata have a location tab and can be moved easily.

2. Programs you can direct to any folder during the installation. Moving the program files in hindsight is a bit more tricky but can be done: How to Move the Program Files and User Folders in Windows 7 to a Different Drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #58
Frozenthunder

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Would like to move programdata too. Programs + Windows in 1 image would be nice so then I don't have to reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #59
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Yes, a lot of people are not quite sure what win sys img is doing - both during backup and restore.
Apart from within Microsoft do you know anyone who does?
Better still do you have any solid technical references you can point people to?
Apart from general stuff like
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VHD_%28file_format%29
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #60
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frozenthunder View Post
Would like to move programdata too. Programs + Windows in 1 image would be nice so then I don't have to reinstall.
Here is a suggestion how to do that but I have not tried that myself:
Quote:
rmdir "C:\ProgramData" /S /Q
mklink /J "C:\ProgramData" "D:\ProgramData"
Reference: http://tuts4tech.net/2009/08/05/wind...ent-partition/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Win 7 System Images - incremental or not?




Thread Tools




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Creating system images
What software do you use for creating system images - is Win7's backup & restore software good enough or do you use other software like Macrium etc? Thanks.
Backup and Restore
System images not incremental as Windows would lead one to believe
I just ran the windows 7 disc and checked the repair feature after creating several (or so I thought) backups of my computer through creating a system image. I found that I could only access the backup I created today, despite the manage space feature telling me I could delete all but the most...
Backup and Restore
Win 7 Pro-System Images & System RestoreMy OS is Win 7 Pro 32 bit. I
My OS is Win 7 Pro 32 bit. I created a System Image using the feature in Control Panel-Backup and Restore-and saved the image on one of my 3 internal drives. When I click Restore My Files I am told "there are no backups at this location" and if I choose Restore from another location again no...
Performance & Maintenance
Laplink Incremental images,need help
I have Laplink disk image but I just cannot seem to get it to do incremental images.I am pretty sure that I am just not getting it configured properly. So I need a step by step in how to get incremental onto my external drive "E" where I do have a base image of "C". At the moment it is storing...
Software
How create incremental Full System Backup?
It is difficult for me to distinguish what parts of the Back up and restore screen apply just to creating a full backup and and which apply just to creating a file backup. I know I can create a system Image by clicking in the upper left hand area of the screen (the create a system image link). ...
Backup and Restore
Why Backup user and system files fails to create system images to optical disc?
1. Open center 2. Set backup settings and Select a optical disc as the location to save backup 3. An informaion pops up, says "System images cannot be saved on this device" Click for help, and can find "you can't save a system images on a CD or DVD" So, my question is why we can't do it,...
Backup and Restore


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:21.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App