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Windows 7: Can Backup and Restore save to a subdirectory on an external drive?

28 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Can Backup and Restore save to a subdirectory on an external drive?

I have multiple computers that I want to backup - a Windows 2000 computer, a Windows XP computer, and a Windows 7 computer. I have one external hard drive that I want to use for all 3 computers.

I would like to have 3 subdirectories on the external hard drive - one subdirectory for each computer's backups. I am going to use a third-party backup program for the Windows 2000 and XP machines, and I know that it can backup to a subdirectory on an external drive.

But I'm thinking about using Backup and Restore to backup my Windows 7 machine. Is it possible to tell Backup and Restore to store its backups within a subdirectory on the external drive, so that it doesn't affect the Windows 2000 and XP subdirectories? Or will it take over the entire external hard drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hi Delerious, welcome to the Seven Forums.

You get partly what you want to using native tools, Windows Backup & Restore creates independent folders for each computer using computer name. I just reinstalled Windows to this laptop today, the highlighted folders were created by system when doing initial backup after everything was installed.

Can Backup and Restore save to a subdirectory on an external drive?-backup_folders_1.png

You can't put these main folders, backup and image, into another folder. System creates them and does not let you to modify the path. Backup folders are located on root and named with PC's actual name, system images are located in image folder's subfolders with PC name.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks Kari, that's very helpful. So the backups are fully contained in a folder named after the Computer Name, and the system images are contained in a subdirectory of WindowsImageBackup named after the Computer Name, so neither of those will mess with any of the other files/folders on the external drive. That's good!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jan 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient



Just to clarify things, I did a full backup of another PC to same drive over network. See screenshot, it's quite self-explanatory:

Can Backup and Restore save to a subdirectory on an external drive?-backup_folders.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Noticed this thread at the bottom, listed as related posts; and while a bit aged, I was able to do what the OP was wanting. So I thought i would post in case it helps anyone else who happens upon it...
Instead of sharing the entire HDD, I shared a folder within in I called BACKUPS, inside of the folder I made a folder for each computer on my network (named accordingly, all of which are using various versions of Windows 7, and connected both via wireless and wired). During 'set up backup' process, I selected a 'save on a network', and directed it the folder I desired no problem. Now each folder only holds the contents for that computer, even the computer to which the hdd was attached.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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