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Windows 7: Burn System Image backup to new hard drive

04 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 Build 7601 32-bit
Burn System Image backup to new hard drive

I am seeking advice on how best to replace my existing main hard drive, which is partitioned into a C Drive and a D drive] as each half of this hard are nearly full. The C Drive is used for the Windows operating system and programmes – the D drive is used for my User files and documents. The existing hard drive is a 250GB hard drive, and partitioned into two 125 GB drives. I have now bought a 2TB hard drive and would like to partition it on same 50/50 basis, and use it for the same purposes.
I have used the Windows 7 System’s [Start Menu >> Control Panel >> System & Security >> Backup and Restore >> Create System Image] to create a System Image, and have stored this backup onto an external hard drive. Both C and D drives were included in this same backup.
How do I now burn the backup “System Image” onto my new 2TB hard drive?
Will I have to reactivate windows 7 as well as MS Office 2010 again as well as other programmes?
Any help in step by step instructions would be greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I can't give you exact instructions because I don't use that particular imaging program.

But generally---you don't "burn the backup". You "restore" it, using the same program you used to make the backup.

You might have complicated things by putting C and D in the same image file. I'm not sure if they can be restored separately, but I doubt it.

You should not have to reactivate anything and all programs should operate with no issues.

If the restore process goes well--you cannot count on that.

Someone else will have detailed instructions, but there should be a tutorial on this site.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello witelite and welcome to Seven Forums.

I think this tutorial will answer most of your questions.

System Image Recovery

I believe that the Windows 7 imaging tool will format the 2TB drive and create one large partition. You might have to use something like Partition Wizard after the fact to create separate partitions.

Free Partition Magic alternative. Free Partition Manager Software for Windows 7/VISTA/XP/2000 and Windows Server 2003/2008/2000.

A lot of folks recommend Macrium Reflect (free) or Paragon (free) for imaging because they offer greater versatility.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

Free Backup Software: Paragon Backup & Recovery (Advanced) Free Edition - Overview
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64

If the system image you created with the built in backup imaging program contains both partitions, which it should, then when you restore it it will create 2 partition of exactly the same size as what is in the image and leave you with a whole lot of unallocated disk space after the last partition. Which is OK.

You will then need a program that can work with that unallocated space to move it all first into the D partition and then part of it into the C partition.

I've been using Acronis Disk Director for years, first version 10 and now version 11, and it has always done this without screwing up any of my data, whether OS, programs or just user files.

There are other programs that can do this and some are free and listed on this forum.
I have never used any of those but other have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2011   #5
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello witelite, welcome to Seven Forums!

This is an excellent, free program to use to resize the partitions after they have been reimaged to the new HDD; be sure to use the Partition Wizard Bootable Disk (PWBD) and not the installed version; download the PWBD ISO file from this link and burn the ISO to CD then boot the CD to make the changes.

Scroll down to see the PWBD ISO file download and save it to the desktop.

Partition Wizard Free Bootable CD

Use this program to create the PWBD.

ImgBurn Free ISO Burning Software

Have a look at this tutorial at the link below for some ideas on the basic uses.

Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2011   #6

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I have restored to 2 new HDDs and would suggest the following steps using 3 programs:
1) Windows Imaging
2) Macrium imaging
Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
3) Partition Wizard Bootable version
Partition Wizard Bootable CD allows user to boot computer directly to manage partition.

1) Image C: (OS) with Windows Imaging to ext HDD
2) Image D: partition with Macrium to ext HDD
3) Remove old HDD Replace (ALONE) new (out of the box) 2TB HDD
4) Boot System Repair CD and reimage C: from Windows image.
5) Check new HDD boots
6) Boot Partition Wizard.
7) Resize C: into the huge unallocated space to where you want it.
8) Select remaining unallocated and create a primary partition and assign drive letter D:
9) Boot Macrium Restore disk
10) Restore old D: image to new D: partition; select not to replace MBR

You can use Macrium for steps 1) and 4) but Windows deals with the MBR and system reserve partition automatically. You need to do this manually with Macrium.

I would recommend against a 50:50 split. I would make the OS/programs more like 200GB than 1TB. You may then want to consider another user partition on a big disk like this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2011   #7
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

You may want to have a look at Method One of this tutorial at the link below, to create additional storage space.

Partition / Extended : Logical Drives
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 Build 7601 32-bit
Burn System Image backup to new hard drive

Thank you to all who helped me successfully create my system image and restore it to my new hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2011   #9
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Good to see you got it running and thanks for the update!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Burn System Image backup to new hard drive

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