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Windows 7: Older Images are lost from a copied WindowsImageBackup folder

08 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Older Images are lost from a copied WindowsImageBackup folder

I recently got a new laptop and wanted to make a System Image before installing things. So in Windows 7 I used Control Panel > Backup and Restore > Create a System Image and pointed it to save the Image on an external USB hard drive. After installing applications I then went into Backup and Restore to set up a backup schedule to create a periodic Image and data backup and pointed to the same external USB hard drive. In this way I guess the second Image got added into the same WindowsImageBackup folder as the first Image.

If I boot into the Windows 7 System Repair Disk I can see both Images within the System Restore Utility and I can select them both and roll back to either.

My problem is: If I create a copy of the WindowsImageBackup folder and save it to another partition or USB drive I can no longer see the two Images but only the most recently saved Image.

I have repeated this several times and it's bothering me because in the future I may need to move my Image Backups around from one partition to another network drive or USB Drive and if doing so will result in me loosing all but the most recently saved Image then that is a big limitation.

So currently my conclusion is to make sure that I rename the backup folder to e.g: WindowsImageBackupDec022012 each time a new Image is created so the next one won't get included with a previous and have that previous image be lost unless I definately access it from the original location it was saved. So each Image has to be kept in its own distinct folder and if I want to roll back to an Image I will rename its folder back to WindowsImageBackup.

So, is this a known limitation of System Image creation in Windows 7?? More than one Image can be saved in the WindowsImageBackup folder but only the most recently saved image can be accessed if that WindowsImageBackup folder was copied from its original location to a different drive or partition?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2012   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

So each Image has to be kept in its own distinct folder and if I want to roll back to an Image I will rename its folder back to WindowsImageBackup.
That's how I do it.

I used to move my images into different folders but not any longer.

Moving an image might mess it up so I rename it now.

Older Images are lost from a copied WindowsImageBackup folder-images2.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Thanks for your reply. I also posted the question to a Microsoft forum and their answer was YES this is a known limitation of Image creation in Windows 7 and that I ought to consider paying for a superior Image management tool called Acronis True Image.

However from what I have seen and what you have said there is a work around that is acceptable... rename the WindowsImageBackup folder after it is created so the next Image is saved into its own separate WindowsImageBackup folder.

What I'm hoping/assuming is that these folders can then be copied and moved around to different drives and yet still be able to restore the one single Image stored within them.

If someone has done this and run into problems please let me know?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1

If you rename each image after you create them, then there is no problem moving them to another drive as they are a single image, unlike using just the original system image folder that contains shadow copies of previous images as well. The shadow copies are what can't be transferred.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Older Images are lost from a copied WindowsImageBackup folder

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