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Windows 7: Win 7 system image - safe to restore a data partition?

21 Aug 2017   #1

windows 7 64 bit
Win 7 system image - safe to restore a data partition?

I have a multi-boot system with 4 hard drives, 5 partitions on each hard drive. I did a system image backup of Win 7 plus a "data" partition. The "data" partition is actually Windows 10. If I do a system image restore, at boot up the partition letters are different than what is shown, the Win 7 and Win 10 partitions show as a different letter. If I continue with the restore, excluding the data partition, then during the restore, the display shows the proper Win 7 partition letter for the restore.

My concern is if I include the "data" (actually Win 10) partition on the restore, is it going to restore to the proper partition or is there a chance it will overwrite one of the other data partitions due to the partition lettering differences?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2017   #2

win 8 32 bit

What have you used to create the image if your restoring via Windows change drive letter first
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2017   #3

windows 7 64 bit

After reading some articles about system image backup / restore, especially to replacement hard drives, it became clear that the system image includes a form of partition mapping along with partition letters. If all partitions are backed up with system image, the restore can be done to a new blank hard drive, and image restore can do the initial partitioning of a new blank hard drive as needed. Based on this, I felt that restoring the "data" partition would be safe.

I've now actually confirmed that this works, including the Win 10 partition in a Win 7 system image backup, formatting both Win 7 and Win 10 partitions, then using Win 7 repair dvd to restore both partitions.

I also discovered that once any Win 7 image restore is done, any Win 10 image backups will no longer appear in the list of images from either Win 7 or Win 10 repair dvd's, even though the images are still present on my hard drives, making the Win 10 system image backups useless. Fortunately, using Win 7 system image backup to backup both Win 7 and Win 10 partitions solves the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Aug 2017   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

One thing I've done is to give each existing created-by-end-user partition, and the OS partition (the one containing Windows and all 3rd party programs), unique names that include respectively their normally assigned drive letters. For example: S02_3T0_C is my C, the OS & 3rd party programs, of the laptop that stays home; S02_3T0_D is the same laptop's Data partition. S0x tells me it's the home computer, 3T0 is part of its internal hard-drive's serial number, C of course immediately tells me which partition. All of this is important when, days or weeks or months later, I have to comb through the full image backups, pick the one I want to restore, and I know exactly which partition to do the restore onto -- no matter what drive letters any particular USB or DVD boot coughs up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win 7 system image - safe to restore a data partition?

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