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Windows 7: OS Win 7 Backup?

16 May 2010   #11
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Jones,
Why don't you do this to answer your questions?

Do a system image backiup of the C.

When you do there will be, as part of that a backup a VHD file.

Using DISK MANAGEMENT, "mount" (attach) that VHD
You will then be able to view precisely what is in your backup.

Ii really think there is some confusion amongst the troops.

Just yesterday, as a part of some testing and cloning, I must have done ten backups and about four restores.

When I say all you need is your system image backup and the system repair disk, then that is all you need.

To help clarify any misunderstandings, if you were to make a snapshot of the disk managment output, that might clarify a couple of matters.

WIN key | type DISKMGMT.MSC | ENTER key

Maximize the resulting window and use the Snipping Tool to create a .PNG file.

WIN key | type Snipping Tool | Enter key to run the Snipping Tool

In your next post, attach that PNG file using the paper clip shown in the Seven message window of your reply.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 May 2010   #12
jonesnewton

Acer Aspire 7738G Win 7 X64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Thanks all for you time..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #13
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HMonk View Post
@Jonesnewton: the answer to your question is, indeed, no. You can verify that by launching the system image option in the left pane and you will see that all drives containing data "necessary" for the OS will be checked and grayed out, i.e., you DO NOT have the option of selecting only OS components (in part because they are scattered all over the place).

You can use system restore but, if you have done so in the past, you know that it DOES NOT necessarily exactly restore your system to a previous state - and - you have undoubtedly had instances when you chose a restore point only to have Windows tell you that point could not be restored.

I accomplish what you want to do by creating an OS-only partition on which I only put the OS and "everyday" apps (utilities, Flash components, browser, Winamp, VLC, etc.). Everything else goes on different partitions and/or different HDDs.

Of course, for you to do that now, you would have to copy/backup all of your non-system stuff (docs, MP3s, JPEGs, etc) to a secure location, delete your existing OS partition and create a new smaller partition for the OS/apps and a second (third, fourth, etc) partition for your data files. You would then reinstall windows, and your apps.

It's a bit of a pain now but in the end, you get what you want and it is easier from then on to maintain your system.

Monk
In reality, the procedure isn't that simple. Gone are the Win 3.1 days. The intertwining of various Win 7 elements is great. Even attempts to relocate folders to other locations is not without perils and this I know from experience. a complication is that MS doesn't even work correctly with their own software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 May 2010   #14
PeteC

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jonesnewton View Post
Hi,
if I want to do a back up of just my OS system, not any other data, can I use the Back Up facility in Windows? Will this copy all of the OS if I ever need to reinstall?

I have done an Image before, but now the HD is nearly full and my Ext HD is too small.

Sorry to ask but I just want to make sure I am copying the right thing?

Any help or advice grateful.
No, you can either do an image, or back up data files. there is no way to "separate" just the OS. I understand your question, and your goal, but no, Windows backup, while not too bad at all, can not do what you are asking, and actually, neither can any of the other backup software programs. You just can't separate OS files/.dll's from other programs and data on the active partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #15
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jonesnewton View Post
Thanks all for you time..
Jones,
Hope you come to an amiable solution.

On my laptop I have two partitions:
c: for windows and programs
d: for data such as documents, music, videos, pictures.

Presently, in fact, just 15 minutes ago, a "system image" backup of both
produced two VHD files.
The c image vhd is 9.15 GB
The d image vhd is 9.27 GB

The "Libraries" feature of Windows 7 allows me to create a DOC folder on D which I added to the Documents Library. My documents are all of D.

I followed an identical approach for the Music, Video, and Picture libraries.

An end result of this is that a system image backup of C gives me my windows and programs stuff. A system image backup of D: gives me my data files.

This permits me to make a system image backup just prior to trying out a major piece of software as a safety measure against a disaster.

I usually only use the "restore point" feature of Windows 7 but the true image backup gives me a warm puppy-dog feeling about the safety of my system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #16
HMonk

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64
 
 

@Karlsnooks: Perhaps I misunderstand the goal.

I have three 750GB HDDs. On HDD 0, I created a 100GB "OS" (Win7) primary partition, a second primary partition for MP3s and JPEGs, a third primary partition for docs, and two logical partitions for games and archives. On HDD 1, I created two primary partitions, one for storing image backups of my OS partitons (XP and Win7) and one that I use for a "workshop" for manipulating archives and sundry SW testing. On HDD 2, I created two primary partitions, one OS (XP) and one for storing app image backups.

As we know, the OS partition is a "target" for malware, misbehaving patches/upgrades, and tweaking gone bad. Prior to any alterations of the contents of my OS partition, I perform image backups. Before doing so, however, I copy or backup individual files/directories that contain data that will not be available should I have to restore a previous image backup (because they were created after the image backup). For example, FireFox profile, IE favorites, Outlook *.pst (or an HTML copy), files I saved to the DT rather than on one of my other partitions. If my current OS installation bricks, I am able to restore the immediate prior image and I am at a point where I was prior to the bricking. This protocol preserves data on the other HDDs/partitions because it is not altered by the restore process because in the restore process, my "good" registry (that links to all of my HDDs and partitions) is also restored.

In the end, the restored image re-associates all of the OS files no matter where they were located because those not on the OS partition do not change (as a rule). Even if remote (to the OS partition) files do change, image backups of the other partitions return me to a stable environment for all of my HDDs and partitions.

To be sure, this process is a bit tedious/time consuming however, I, and I am sure most, have had occasion to have to reformat a HDD/partition because of seemingly incurable issues. Now that's tedious! Since adopting this protocol I have not had the occasion to have to reformat/reinstall my stuff.

Regardless of how one accomplishes same, it is, I think, good that we are talking backups; how many times do you read posts where someone laments the fact that they inadvertently lost data and need suggestions on how to get it back.

By the way, my HDDs are all WD and I use their free WD-Acronis SW to accomplish my image backups.

Monk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2010   #17
gregrocker

 

The way to do thi, is to save a System Image externally immediately after installing Win7, and before copying in your files. You might first update, install your base programs, set it up as you like.

Then you have what you want: an image of just your OS and its functions which are OS related. You can keep your files in another folder on your external and you have everything separate. You never want to separate your programs from your OS anyway since once installed they are inextricably linked via the registry until uninstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2010   #18
jonesnewton

Acer Aspire 7738G Win 7 X64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
The way to do thi, is to save a System Image externally immediately after installing Win7, and before copying in your files. You might first update, install your base programs, set it up as you like.

Then you have what you want: an image of just your OS and its functions which are OS related. You can keep your files in another folder on your external and you have everything separate. You never want to separate your programs from your OS anyway since once installed they are inextricably linked via the registry until uninstall.
Um!
Come to think of it,, I THINK I did do a back up when I first got the laptop new, well the machine asked to do it. Must look to see where they are?
So if I can find these they will be what I want? They would be on DVD, but thats ok?

As for the future I will take note of all of these comments you have ALL made.

Why dont the manufactures supply new machine partitions already installed, it really does make sense what has been described here..

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2010   #19
gregrocker

 

If you made DVD's then it is likely the Factory Recovery disks which will also reinstall any bloatware that came pre-installed at Factory. Most tech enthusiasts avoid bloatware reinstalls at all costs as it can corrupt as much to uninstall as to keep it.

To uninstall factory bloatware use the Revo Uninstaller which scours for leftover registry keys and files. Then run sfc /scannow to see if the uninstalls have left unfixable corruption of system files, as often happens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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