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Windows 7: Partition Windows 7 hard drive and run a full image.

06 May 2017   #11
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Windows imaging does differential. It works ok.

Aomei is simpler to use and much easier if you want to e.g. restore the image somewhere else - a different or new drive for example. The image files are also smaller. You can select for even more compression, but it takes longer. The default settings are fine.

The free version sounds like all you need. There are paid versions with esoteric features for advanced users.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 May 2017   #12
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It seems you are planning to store an image on a different partition , but same hard drive. All imaging programs will take a bit longer to do that, because they are reading from and writing to the same Disk.

That will help if your windows installation is corrupted, you can restore from the image.

It won't help if your hard drive fails.

In the longer term, it makes sense to store images(s) on a separate drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2017   #13
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Before you undertake any repartition operation ensure your data is backed up in case things go wrong. When repartitioning your OS drive you should have a reliable system image stored on an external HDD.
When you store system images on an OS drive partition be aware that if/when that drive fails you have lost your image.
In addition to Windows Disk Management other popular disk management software include (free) Partition Wizard mini Tool.

As for system imaging the Windows inbuilt software is really quite limited. When using this software I would make single images. To make multiple images rename [WindowsImageBackup] or store the folder in a separate folder eg Image1_1_xx. An image must be renamed to [WindowsImageBackup] and moved back to the root directory. To make multiple images Windows uses difference imaging and shadow storage. I would not use this approach - just make multiple once off images.
See these tutorials if you haven't already:
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
System Image Recovery

Many forum members (including myself) use the flexible and reliable free (or paid) version of Macrium Reflect for system images:
https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 May 2017   #14
Paul Black

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Thank you SIW2 and mjf for taking the time out to answer me.

I will consider the options given and hopefully make the right choice tomorrow.
There is a lot to think about when you do something like this, isn't there?
What size is an image in general?
I just have Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 and Office 2010 with very few extra installed programs.
I have a Kingston 32Gig USB, would that be sufficent to hold an image, or maybe even a 8Gig stick. Both are firmatted as NTFS.
Then this would obviously not need me to partition my C: drive.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2017   #15
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Imaging is a very simple process, particularly with Aomei - the easiest to use, which is why I suggested it.

Just follow the simple GUI.

Click System Backup.

Partition Windows 7 hard drive and run a full image.-a1.jpg


Select where to save the image ( it will probably have suggested your new partition - for me, it suggests W because there is lot of space on W )

Partition Windows 7 hard drive and run a full image.-a2.jpg

Click Start Backup.

That's it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2017   #16
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You always make boot media for your imaging program. If you install Aomei Part assist as well - that will create boot media including both Part Assist and Backupper.

Aomei part assist is the best free partitioner - it includes partition recovery and works in pe boot media
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2017   #17
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

The size of the image depends partly on what compression level you choose. More compression takes longer. Aomei is already set at medium by default. It is fine as it is.

Some files can't be compressed much, if at all - photo and video files, iso files, wim files etc.

On average, the image will be about 50-60% the size of the used space on the source partition(s)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2017   #18
Paul Black

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Thanks again SIW2,

I might just try imaging to my 32Gig USB using Aomei and Backupper to get a feel for it then.
Will it also create a bootable file as well please, and if so, will I be able to burn it to a CD?

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2017   #19
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

To create boot media you need either a usb or a cd/dvd.

The advatage of using part assist media creator is that it will include Backupper as well

From Part Assist , select
Partition Windows 7 hard drive and run a full image.-pa1.jpg

Click Next if it asks about windows to go ( that is only for win8 &10)

Then
Partition Windows 7 hard drive and run a full image.-pa2.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2017   #20
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Or you could borrow a copy of my boot media as an iso file (lots of extra tools on it ), and burn it to cd/dvd or apply it to a usb stick.


Writing an image across a usb2 connection will be fairly slow, it is a lot of data to copy. Nevertheless a lot of people do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Partition Windows 7 hard drive and run a full image.




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