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Windows 7: Using System Image on New Hard disk

28 Nov 2009   #11
Seventh Son

Windows 7

I have used system imaging 4 times since using Win7 for a month now. 3 times because of crashes and once for installing a new HDD. It saved me numerous hours of sitting in front of the computer. The Win7 system image is god sent, completes your imaging in 20 mins. Now I "enjoy crashing my computer"

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #12
Microsoft MVP


If you have a drive you absolutely cannot afford to lose the image, then use two imaging programs to back up images.

Macrium Reflect is fine freeware so with that and Win7 Imaging you won't have to pay a dime and have a double backup which is failsafe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #13

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

Acronis TIH now has a new add on package for Acronis TIH called the "Plus Pack" which provides some additional functionality and integrates seamlessly with TIH (see screenshot below). Among other things, it adds the ability to restore a system image made on one machine to a different machine with different hardware. I haven't had an opportunity to test this function yet, however.

I use Acronis to make both scheduled compressed system images as well as clones of my laptop's hard drive to extra laptop hard drives in external USB enclosures. (The enclosures are available for about $15 from So in the event of a disaster, I can attempt to restore from my compressed system backup, however, should the restore process fail (which has been known to happen from time to time), then I could just swap in one of my clones (takes a Phillips head screwdriver and two minutes on my Thinkpad) and be up an running again, almost immediately.

If the Windows Back Up and Restore utility works for you that's great. Unfortunately it didn't work with my particular external USB drive (Seagate FreeAgent Desk 1.5 TB). I successfully created an image on the external drive but when I tried to restore it, Windows saw the drive and backup image but simply would not restore from it. I was unable to figure out why. This was enough to put me off relying on this utility for mission critical backups. So I continue to use Acronis TIH 2010 which has proven itself to me over many years to be very reliable, and has a lot more features, including the ability to make sector by sector clones.

Another Acronis utility I have found surprisingly useful is the disk/file shredder which can completely wipe a hard drive (to US DOD standards or even higher, or lower; (lower is faster)) so the data on it can't ever be recovered using even the most advanced recovery methods. This is useful for protecting one's data (if it's not already encrypted) when disposing of or selling a machine or drive or sending it in for repair work. (Several other programs (e.g., TuneUp Utilities) offer this functionality as well.)

Btw, Acronis TIH 2010 can now read, convert and restore backup images made with the Windows Back Up and Restore utility.

Attached Images
Using System Image on New Hard disk-acronis-plus-pack.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Nov 2009   #14

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit


I'd be interested to know what qualifies as "different hardware". If they mean "new hard drive", I would have assumed the standard product already had that capability. If it doesn't already have that capability, who needs Acronis? If they mean "new motherboard", I wouldn't put any faith in it. Advise if you learn any details.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #15

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

No they don't mean new hard drive. They've always had that capability. In this case, they mean a different machine entirely. Could be a different brand, different specs, etc.

I think people have managed to use Acronis to restore to different machines in the past but it probably took a bit of work and manual loading of a lot of drivers and such. I would assume that Acronis has made it somewhat easier with this feature. But as I said, I haven't had an opportunity to actually test it yet, but it sounds like it could be very useful.

I know Paragon advertises a similar functionality in some of their products.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #16

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

Acronis® True Image Home 2010 Plus Pack

Add-on for Acronis® True Image Home 2010 featuring enhanced backup and recovery functionality

Acronis® True Image Home 2010 Plus Pack is an add-on module for Acronis True Image Home 2010 featuring enhancements for advanced home users. It includes the flexibility to restore files, applications and an operating system to dissimilar hardware as well as providing support for dynamic disks and Microsoft® Windows Preinstallation Environments (WinPE).
These three powerful features, originally only available in the Acronis corporate product line, are now accessible to technical home users. The optional Acronis True Image Home 2010 Plus Pack integrates seamlessly within the Acronis True Image Home 2010 standard version*, and leverages its intuitive graphical interface.
  • Restore to Dissimilar Hardware Restore a computer to dissimilar hardware regardless of make, model, or installed components, or to a virtual machine.
  • Dynamic Disk Support Back up and restore dynamic volumes easily, taking advantage of dynamic disk capabilities including multi-partition and fault tolerant volumes as well as partition size adjustment.
  • Microsoft® Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) Support Speed up your recovery process with easy and quick integration of the latest Microsoft drivers, customized scripts, applications and plug-ins to your rescue or boot media.
*Acronis True Image Plus Pack works with the Acronis True Image 2010 standard edition, but not with the Acronis True Image Netbook Edition or previous editions of Acronis True Image Home.
Supported Systems

If this works as advertised, it would make migrating to a new machine a lot easier.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #17

Windows 7 - Home Premium 64bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Seventh Son View Post
I am changing to a new hard disk and here's my question. Can I just use the Windows 7 system image which I created from the old C drive to "restore" or image it into the new hard disk? Thanks for all replies.
Yes, leave the new drive unpartitioned and unformatted

Sorry for the Necro Post revival here but, How would I take an old drive with existing data and turn it into an unpartitioned, unformatted drive?

Thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Using System Image on New Hard disk

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