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Windows 7: Attempting to create a backup system image, not enough space error

18 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Attempting to create a backup system image, not enough space error

Hello, I'm belatedly trying to create my first system recovery backup, on a system which I first installed Windows back in November 2011. There will be a newbie question included, which might answer the question pretty conclusively though.

I have a 1TB drive with a 214GB partition that I set up for a backup. I manually store all my media and pictures to both a separate partition on the drive, in the cloud, and on a separate external HDD, so all I really want to back up is the system image.

This is the newbie sounding question to confirm my suspicions: The system drive I'm trying to back up is definitely bigger than the partition I've set aside for recovery. My C drive is a 473GB partition, and I'm using maybe a bit more than half of that currently. If this is the case, is there a way to reallocate un-used disk space from my other partitions to make the recovery partition larger, or should I be biting the bullet and shelling out for a 500GB external to cover my system recovery needs?

Thank you for your attention and your time!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #2

Win 7 Ultimate, Win 8.1 Pro, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon (All 64-Bit)

Hello KEgong, you can't backup a system image to a partition which is smaller using the Windows Backup Utility. You would first have to shrink your C: Drive to the same size or smaller than the backup partition. Or you could always use a 3rd party backup tool to do the backup.
Also you could increase the size of the recovery partition using a tool like Partition Wizard bootable CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

You don't need a special partition to store the backup.

It's just another file.

All you need is enough space. Put it in a folder if you want, but you don't need that 214 GB partition.

Store it anywhere but C.

If you are using about half of a 473 C partition, the resulting image file will be smaller, maybe less than half of the size of the occupied space on C.

If you have only 1 hard drive and are thinking about using a separate partition on that drive to store the image---that's not a good idea. If your one and only drive fails, you lose the backup. You should backup to a discrete second drive, not to a second partition on the same drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Mar 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

I'm assuming your 1TB drive is an internal drive.

If so, you need to be backing up to an external drive. If you backup to a partition on your internal drive you lose everything if the drive goes walkabout.

As Burdus says, you can't backup to a partition that is smaller than your system drive so you would need to either reduce your system drive to the same size as your backup partition or increase the size of your backup partition to that of your system drive.

If I were in your position, I'd keep things nice and simple in that I'd buy a 500GB external drive and backup to that. It can be disconnected when you're done and will then be protected from any virus infection.

This tutorial should help: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Attempting to create a backup system image, not enough space error

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