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Windows 7 Backup & Restore Options


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#1 leelord

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 10:17 AM

Windows 7 SP1 NTFS

I'm trying to create an image as I did with Norton's Ghost in XP and later when I used Norton's Save & Restore in Vista where the entire contents on my C: drive was backed up.

In Windows7 Backup & Restore it's a little ambiguous where it saves in steps. I've viewed all options which are:

I selected " Create an Image" on the left side of the first dialog box. This gives me these selections which are pre-selected and can not be changed:

System (System)
(C:) System
Recovery (D:) System

In choosing "Set Up Backup" I get.....

1. Let Windows Decide

All Users
System Image

2. Let Me Choose

Backup Data for Newly Created Users (which there aren't any)
LEELORD Libraries
Computer (C:)

Maybe it's me but I'm not sure which option to choose. I don't want to do incremental backups where data is added automatically later. All I want is a one time only backup which creates an image of my entire C: with... Program Files, Registry, System Files, Boot sector, Partition table, etc... everything!

Any help on how to proceed would be greatly appreciate. Thank you.

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#2 Jacee

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 11:12 AM

Follow this tutorial http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/663-backup-complete-computer-create-image-backup.html

You can also use free Macrium http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/73828-imaging-free-macrium.html

Edited by Jacee, 09 June 2011 - 11:14 AM.

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#3 RedDawn

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 11:13 AM

Hi leelord, and welcome to BC.


Below are some good step-by-step tutorials that should help you out.

How to Create a System Image in Windows 7
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
System Image Recovery

Also, be sure to create a system repair disc, in case you need to boot from it to restore a saved image.


EDIT: Sorry Jacee, looks like we were posting at the same time.

Edited by RedDawn, 09 June 2011 - 11:16 AM.


#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 12:10 PM

As good as those tutorials are, I will answer your question directly, leelord.

If you ONLY want an image of your entire drive, you should pick Option 2: Let me choose, then uncheck ALL the boxes in the top pane leaving only the "Include a system image of drives: (C:), (D:)" box at the bottom checked. Note: you can only image the entire drive. The backup built into Windows 7 does not let you pick individual partitions (which is actually what C and D are, most likely).

The following screenshot should illustrate what I mean:

Posted Image

The data backup backs up the files themselves in an archive-esque sort of way (lots of cryptic-looking folders, sorted by date usually).

The system image is different: you get a large .vhd (virtual hard drive) file that is an complete image of that partition (note each partition is imaged into its own .vhd file).

You can even mount the .vhd file(s) if you want and browse the contents of your drive(s) that existed at the time of the backup.

Does that answer your question?
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#5 leelord

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 12:01 PM

Yes and thank you for the reply.

#6 keyboardNinja

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 01:27 PM

You're welcome! :)
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