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Windows 7: Windows Backup, Used Space, & Partition Questions

08 Aug 2010   #11
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

A scheduled backup will ismply overwrite to update the previous image. For a selective file and folder backup scheduled only being a partial backup from the drive not a full image you may see dated backups.

With the latest image overwriting the previous on the same drive and location in order to preserve a previous image you would simply add a date or month onto the end of the WindowsImageBackup folder like "WindowImageBackup_August" so it will appear as different folder. Otherwise the next will simply replace the previous.

That will grab space however and why I have a separate drive for images while keepest the latest giong to another drive intended for storage. That can chew drive space fast however!

Attached Images
Windows Backup, Used Space, & Partition Questions-separate-drives-storage-images.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2010   #12
Microsoft MVP


Your first backup was so large because it made a System Image of your entire Win7 drive with all of its files (the WindowsImageBackup file) and then backed up all of your User files separately.

By shrinking your OS partition down to just the OS and programs, it will make a smaller image and end the duplication of two backups of all of your files.

Here's a short video and tutorial on how to move your User files to another drive:
Data Partition
User Folders - Change Default Location
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2010   #13
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Here I can simply nuke all extras right off the drive as far as files and folders present on the main drive and not worry a bit. The system image is made to preserve the softwares invested in however while the entire drive can simply be wiped at any moment just by having one good image tucked away elsewhere.

For repeat regularly scheduled backups that do not overwrite previous ones that will simply continue to eat up drive space in a fast hurry. The links gregrocker posted can save that from being a worry especially when opting to relocate the folders under your user account to a new location as directed in the second guide.

If you look at where the cursor is in the attached image(window at left) you can where the Favorites folder was a fast test of that when compared to the other two windows. The one on the right with the properties screen shows the original location while the 3rd(in front of other two) shows the move was made successfully assigning a new location for anything new as well as keeping it apart from the main drive.

Attached Thumbnails
Windows Backup, Used Space, & Partition Questions-user-files-moved.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Aug 2010   #14
blue skies

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I read the big long System Image tutorial thread a while back, and in it Brink mentioned that he made one after his clean install. I wished I had done that. I think I would prefer to move all of my data off my computer and make a system image either right after a clean install, or a clean install with my most basic and proven stable programs... and then just use Sync Toy to keep my user files backed up. I think that would work best for me. I don't expect to add a lot of programs down the line... I already have most of what I use and like already... although I suppose if I ever had to use my basic System Image to restore, I would still have to update a lot of the programs. And Windows too, of course.

If I had gotten a 1.5 or 2 GB external hdd to back up my 1 GB internal hdd, I guess it wouldn't matter so much... but as it is, I don't like that Windows File Backup uses so much extra space. The basic OS system image plus backing up my user files with Sync Toy should use an amount of space that is similar to the used space on my internal hdd. Unless I'm missing something.

I had a lot of BSOD driver issues since I received this Windows 7 computer, and I think I've gotten them all resolved now. But there were two occasions when I tried to do a system restore, after having a problem with a program, and the restore failed. That never happened in all the years I used XP, and it makes me a little nervous that there is still some underlying issue that hasn't been corrected... so that's another reason why going to the trouble of reinstalling the OS and then making a System Image seems somewhat appealing to me, even though it will be a lot of extra work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2010   #15
Microsoft MVP


Concur, SysRestore failure is rare enough in Win7 I would consider reinstalling.

Getting a baseline image after setup is also valuable even if you keep subsequent images. Creeping corruption has made me shrug off newer images several times to go back to baseline.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2010   #16
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

I keep one oldie as well as the latest. For a 1tb drive you wouldn't need a 1.5tb or 2tb drive to store a few images however since there is a degree of compression along with not seeing the main 1tb drive filled to the max when simply having 7 and your programs on.

While the next updated image will see new files it will also be a little lighter from old temp files being tossed. In fact I just restored the July image to redo a few things with that in mind. The average size for an image here runs presently at 131gb while the next should be closer to 100gb max.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2010   #17

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

With a backup produced by Win 7 Backup and Restore, you will always be able to restore your hard drive.

Therefore, I recommend:
Use PARTITON WIZARD to create another partition our of your unused space in your C:

Once that is done, then you can put your docs, pics, music etc into that new partition.

Then, as a safety measure, do another Win 7 Backup.

Run PARTITION WIZARD again and use it shrink your C down to about 80 gigs. Then move and expand your new data partition to fill out the rest of the space.

Now to elucidate a couple of points.

There are different schemes for moving data over to a newly created "data" partition. I will give an example of my procedure for moving the stuff in Documents to the new partition. I create a folder in the data partition called DOCS. I move everything from Documents to DOCS.
Next, vie Windows Explorer, Add your new DOCS folder to the Documents library. This way any reference to Documents will also look in your new DOCS folder. Do the same thing for the other libraries.

Partition Magic is NOT Partition Wizard.

The link you need is:Free Download Partition Wizard

Be forewarned, that some of the operations you will perform with partition wizard are going to take a painfully long time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2010   #18
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Who mentioned abything about Partition Magic? I just prepped two drives on an entirely new with GParted for a 64bit 7 HP install there. I'm posting this reply while booted on that system while readying it as an upgrade for someone. Others point to Partition Wizard being simply another free partitioning program seen there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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