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Windows 7: Need Hard Disc Imager

13 Mar 2010   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Need Hard Disc Imager


In a post on another topic, this was said by lehnerus2000:
You could set-up everything the way you want, get all the latest Windows updates and then make a disc image.
Windows 7 has a built-in imager (I haven't tried it though).

I use Macrium Reflect (Free Edition) to make my disc images.
It takes about 2 minutes/GB to image a partition (on my PC).
It takes a similar amount of time to restore an image (much faster than re-installing).
It also allows you to create a rescue CD, so that you can re-image your System partition if required.
Remember to store your backup images on a different drive (preferably an external one), so that if your HDD dies, you can put your image on a new HDD.
Macrium converted my Windows 7 Ultimate x86 initial install (plus updates and drivers, no programs) to a 3.2 GB image which is small enough to put on a DVD (or USB stick).

Does anyone have experience with the disc imager in Windows 7? I am looking for a program that will take a "System Restore" image of my HDD when my system is set up basically the way I want it, so that if anything happens in the future, I can at least go back to that without re-doing everything, including the HD format, Windows 7 install, hardware specific driver installs, and user customizations.

I do not understand what he is saying about Macrium also. I thought that an "image" would be created on a bootable DVD, but it sounds like he is creating an image on his HD, then using a bootable CD.

Any advice on this is appreciated, as I am reinstalling my system for the 3rd time in as many months due to system instabilities caused by other programs. So, I would like to have a program tonight that I could use to "image" my HDD. (Unfortunately, I also only have one DVD tonight, but I could also "image" it to an 8GB memory card I have, or to the HD itself.

Help, please!


Juan Antonio

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64

Sure, no problem. The Windows 7 backup has a good imaging system.

See these 2 tutorials:

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

System Image Recovery
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2010   #3

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

This is just a quick note to let everyone who was kind enough to offer assistance how things went...

I had done the system image with Macrium a few weeks ago and, over the weekend, tried to turn off my Taskbar Thumbnails and make them appear as a list instead. I used an executable program that turned them off, but did not make them into a list. So, I turned them back on. But the program did something to my registry which made my Quick Launch bar keep disappearing on every boot. So, I ran the Macrium image restore, and it worked! And, it only took about 35 minutes! I was pleasantly surprised, especially since I was considering using MS Backup until the night before, when I tried to backup some files, and it hung at 31% for about 45 minutes before I just gave up on it... It is so NICE when something actually works, and it is such an elegant solution.

As for the media I have my backup on, I am just maintaining (right now) the bare essential of my Windows installation on image. If I start imaging more compex (and therefore bigger) partitions, I will definitely go with someone's advice and use a USB drive. For the last restore, however, I was able to do it from the image I had made to another HDD partition, and it worked marvelously! I keep the 2 DVD-Rs as a next, "last resort".

Either way, Macrium rules, and I wouldn't trust Microsoft with backing up my data.

Take good care,

My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Apr 2010   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64

All right, wish you luck with your system.

Let us know if you need anything else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

Glad Macrium Reflect worked for you, it's a great program and many people say they've had no problems with it.

I use it and the free Acronis versions from Seagate and Western Digital. They work very well, but the program itself is a lot larger. The good thing about Macrium Reflect is its reliable and has a small foot print.

An external HD, USB or eSATA, will work very well for a backup storage device.
It's nice to know you can be up and running again in just a few minutes.

Thanks for letting us know how it worked out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Either way, Macrium rules, and I wouldn't trust Microsoft with backing up my data.

I can only confirm that. And for those that are not yet familiar with Macrium, I have made this detailed video tutorial.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Need Hard Disc Imager

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