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Windows 7: Recommendations For System Image Program

02 May 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Recommendations For System Image Program

I use Microsoft Flight Simulator X and I would appreciate any recommendation for a program that will take
a system image of the hard drive that contains FSX and hard drive (C) which has the OS.
I have just done a search and read both good and negative things about which program to use.
After yet another reinstall of Windows 7 and FSX/Acceleration plus all the additions I would like to know the easiest way to do this in the future.
It took me 8 hours the last time, there must be an easier way. I have FSX/A on a dedicated drive so always save it when I have to reinstall W7.
Any advice on this will be welcome.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2015   #2
Microsoft MVP


Compare the install you did with the perfect install compiled in Clean Reinstall Windows 7 based on tens of thousands of installs we've helped with here, and which has been used by over 1.4 million consumers without a single complaint.

The best imaging and every other program to use based on our experience here is given within.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2015   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Macrium Reflect Free Edition and Aomei Backupper, probably in that order.

You'll hear negative things about any of them because imaging is not perfected. Like pretty much any type of program.

It works 95 plus percent of the time. If that's a worthwhile chance in your judgement, take it. If not, do clean installs instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 May 2015   #4

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit


I had a similar need in that I have many large programs that take ages to install and configure, and I also tweak W7 with many custom settings and 'hacks' (get quick launch back, etc)... folder settings and all.... just took DAYS.

A +1 for Macrium Reflect Free. It has never let me down. If your system becomes corrupted, you can always restore any or all drive images using the most recent backup... just be sure to BU regularly.

And I highly recommend (once in Macrium) going to Other Tasks -> Create Rescue Media .... and create a Windows PE USB bootable rescue stick. Much more reliable than a CD and DVD drive. You can boot off this stick and restore drives from an external to the internal. Any, or all.

But this only prevents you from having to rebuild the system if you are restoring to the same hardware. If, for example, you get a larger capacity hard drive and restore your BU to the new hardware, it won't boot. But there is a solution for that too.

Paragon Adaptive Restore... restore any image to new hardware (be it a drive or an entirely new computer), then boot off an Adaptive Restore USB stick (which you can create in Paragon beforehand). It reads the hardware and injects the drivers needed to boot.... along with having it fix the MBR (master boot record). All in all it takes seconds... pop out the USB stick and boot into your complete system on your new hardware.

I haven't had to reinstall W7 once since I first built the system when it was initially released. But I have restored it to existing and new hardware many times. :)

Paragon Adaptive Restore is not free... That's the only caveat.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks all for the help. Will have a look at all your suggestions. I'm not looking for free only, rather something that works and is user friendly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2015   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Macrium Reflect and Windows imaging both work perfectly :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2015   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
Macrium Reflect and Windows imaging both work perfectly :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2015   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
Macrium Reflect and Windows imaging both work perfectly :)

Ditto ditto. Windows Imaging has always worked perfectly for me. The only drawback is that it can be a bit s l o w .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2015   #9
Microsoft MVP


The problem with Windows Imaging is that it will only restore to the same exact offset (position) on hard drive, so to have more flexibility I've not found any better than Macrium Reflect Free Edition - Reviews and free Macrium Reflect Free Edition downloads at

So simple to run or boot into its disk, load image and target hard drive, use links under each partition to delete those not wanted, drag the image partitions you want to the target drive, use the new links under each partition to adjust its size using sliders, then click Next because settings are all already made.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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