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Windows 7: Back-up image size much smaller than amount of data on C Drive

25 Apr 2018   #1

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
Back-up image size much smaller than amount of data on C Drive


I just ran Back Up And Restore for the first time, creating a system image of my C drive, and saving it to an external drive. The amount of data on the C drive is about 170 GB, but the completed system image is only about 50 GB. Is this a problem?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2018   #2
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3

Hi CleanInstall,

That seems to be about right.
Did you use the Windows 7 Back Up And Restore?
What happens is that the image gets compressed/condensed for the exact reason of saving disk space.
The amount of depression depends on what software you are using!

I use AOMEI and the image normally ends up at about 30% of the original size.

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2018   #3

Win 7 Pro 64-bit

Yes, Back Up And Restore for Win 7 Professional. Thanks for the helpful response!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Apr 2018   #4

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

I don't use Windows Backup And Restore, i use Macrium Reflect.
I used Windows Backup And Restore years ago and it did not compress the backup image.
Maybe things have changed.
With Macrium my backup images are about 60% of the space used on the C drive.
I don't store user data on the C drive.
Here is a tutoriaal for how to use Windows Backup if you're interested.
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup - Windows 7 Help Forums

If it was me, i would browse the backup image to make sure it looks right.
Here is a tutorial that shows how to mount and browse the data in the backup image.
System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2018   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

There is compaction ( but not compression) in a windows system image. 50gb seems small.

I suggest you mount the image ( it is a .vhd file ) in disk management and check everything is there. Windows System image works pretty well. Some people prefer 3rd party tools. If you would rather use a 3rd party tool, I suggest Aomei Backupper as it is the simplest to use. The free version is fine for most people.
Best Free Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP Backup Software 2018 | AOMEI Backupper Standard
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Back-up image size much smaller than amount of data on C Drive

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