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Windows 7: What does a System Image include?

13 Sep 2012   #1

What does a System Image include?

Hello All-

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere.

I currently have 3 data drives in my PC-

1x SSD with OS and a couple often used programs

1x HDD with all of my media

1x HDD I've been using to store a Win 7 backup and System image.

Here's my question:

If I am telling Win 7 to include a system image in my backup, is it necessary for me to back anything else up? Will this system image by default cover my OS ssd drive, as well as all of my media hdd?

Also, if I have two drives that I'm backing up (OS ssd and media HDD) would I be able to use that backup to restore to a separate ssd and hdd if ever either or both of the original drives went south?

Many thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

The Windows tool has its own idea of what a "system" is--which can be confusing or inconvenient and is one reason some people use other tools.

I'd think by definition a "system backup" would not include partitions that are not part of the "system". Your HDD with the media files is likely not part of your "system". If it is included in your backup, I'd guess that it was added by a separate and deliberate choice you made.

For comfort's sake, I would make occasional backups of data files by ordinary methods---drag and drop---completely outside of Windows Backup and Restore.

You have to be comfortable with your backup tools and know what they are doing. If it's unclear to you, it will be trouble sooner or later.

With other imaging tools, there is little doubt what you are backing up--you must choose on a partition basis, with no confusion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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