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Windows 7: backup/restore system image?

08 Nov 2012   #1

XP windows Professional
backup/restore system image?

hey , this a stupid question, i think. but i just can't understand what is the deference between a system restore image and a backup data image etc? i've heard that u can save both a system restore image and backup at the same time to an external hard drive : for example, f:drive\name of pc user\backupImageSet YYYY-MM-DD HHMMSS is this correct? how is this possible , thank you

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


As Brink says, "There are no dumb questions, just the people who do not ask them." :)

backup/restore system image?-nodumbques.jpg

A "plain backup" usually just backs up data files, while a system image backs up everything on your drive. A system image is a kind of backup. To confuse things, it depends on which backup/imaging program you use as to whether or not you can extract individual files. The native Windows 7 tool lets you create a "plain backup" of data files, or a full system image. But you cannot restore individual files from the system image.

backup/restore system image?-sysimg.jpg

Let's say you accidentally delete an important letter that had been in your Documents folder. Either a system image or a data backup could restore that letter. But if all you had was a Windows 7 system image, you'd have to restore the entire hard drive and not just the letter. That's why the native Windows 7 lets you select what kinds of backups you want to create: a data backup, a system image, or both. Other backup software (like Macrium, EaseUS Todo, Paragon, etc) offer more flexibility than the native Windows 7 imaging tool.

Hope this doesn't make it even more confusing.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2012   #3

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

As stated the file/folder backup is aimed at backing up your data and restoring everything, specific folders or files:
Backup - Manually Extract Files from in Vista & Windows 7
However if you have an image all isn't lost. You can still extract files and folders
System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management
But normally as stated, images are generally intended to provided a full system restore.

You can also mount and extract files/folders from the popular (free or paid) imaging program, Macrium Reflect. Probably a little easier in fact.
Note: When you "extract" from an image you should be copying so that the image is left untouched.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Nov 2012   #4

Windows 10x64 Build 1709

If you use a system image, it will save all your settings and "customizations". I use a custom (clear) start button and various other personal things and redoing them after a clean install takes up to an hour and a half. With a system inmage it takes considerably less.

System restore will take you back to an earlier time, but at the risk of losing newer programs, settings etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 backup/restore system image?

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