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  • Idiot proof step by step guide to backing up / creating image?

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 Idiot proof step by step guide to backing up / creating image?

    This topic contains 14 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by

     Tex265 4 days, 18 hours ago.

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    • #169330 Reply

      anonymous

      Would someone mind either pointing me to an easy to follow step by step guide to backing up / creating an image backup (think along the lines of GPS driving directions) or help walk me through exactly how to do so?

      I gather this is something that should be done regularly but I don’t know how to get started. Feel free to talk down to me as much as possible as I am a slow learner but don’t mind following instructions.

      I see Woody mentioned a couple of free programs to use (Macrium?). Anything safe (no bundled ads, etc.), simple and effective is fine. After downloading and installing whatever program is most recommended, I would need help from there. I think I need a USB Flash Drive also? Anything specific or just whatever is cheapest?

      Thanks in advance. I am hoping it is easier than I anticipate.

    • #169378 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      Here’s something I posted a while back about backups:

      https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/how-often-to-backup-in-windows-10/#post-108362

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #169424 Reply

      anonymous

      https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-7/
      .
      https://www.howtogeek.com/131907/how-to-create-and-use-a-recovery-drive-or-system-repair-disc-in-windows-8/
      .
      Only the built-in Windows Restore & Backup Tool for Win 8.1/10 allows you to store the System Image on a USB Flashdrive, ie not so for Win 7.
      ___ Macrium Reflect Free, Acronis True Image and other 3rd-party tools also allows you to store the System Image on a USB Flashdrive, ie besides on an external hard-drive or a set of DVDs or a networked-drive.

      To reduce the size of the Windows System Image, the internal hard-drive should have separate partitions or Drives for C:/(= System) and D:/(= Data storage). For Win 7, the C:/ Drive or partition can be reduced to below 16GB, in order to fit into a 16GB USB Flashdrive.

      All installed Windows systems have a Recovery partition on the internal hard-drive, from about 200MB(= Win 7) to 400MB(= Win 10) which is used for the Windows Recovery Environment. The bootable Win 7 System Repair CD and Win 8.1/10 Recovery Drive are created from this Recovery partition.

      Similarly, new OEM Win 8.x/10 computers also come with their own separate OEM Recovery partition of about 12GB to 15GB in size. Buyers are supposed to immediately create an OEM Recovery USB Flashdrive of the Factory System Image by using the built-in OEM Recovery & Backup Tool.
      ___ Previously, the OEMs supplied free OEM Recovery DVDs with their new OEM Win 7 computers. The former was to replace the latter, so that the OEMs could save costs and work on the DVDs.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #321051 Reply

      Morty
      AskWoody Plus

      Dear Anonymous,

      Thank you. But dare I not listen to the boss and go with howtogeek’s advice on the built-in image creator?

      Frankly, I’m looking to divest programs, not learn new ones. I’ve barely got the hang of EaseUS Todo Backup. And I’ve never mastered restoring files from the backup.

      I used to use a 360k floppy disk when floppies were floppy and that was fine for me. I long for the good old DOS.

      Somewhere along the way, our tools took over and became the masters. Now we work for them.

    • #321105 Reply

      Arvy
      AskWoody Lounger

      I see Woody mentioned a couple of free programs to use (Macrium?). Anything safe (no bundled ads, etc.), simple and effective is fine.

      Personally, I prefer Terabyte’s Backup & Recovery Suite as it includes better selective recovery support for Linux ext partitions.  It has an automatic “point and click” mode that makes backups about as simple as they could possibly be and it also provides every imaginable option for “expert” use if and when that’s needed.  It’s not free however.

      The free edition of Macrium Reflect will certainly do the job just fine if that’s what you prefer.  If you do go that route, the Macrium knowledge base is among the most comprehensive and detailed of any available on line.  Start with the Reflect user guide.

      After downloading and installing whatever program is most recommended, I would need help from there. I think I need a USB Flash Drive also?

      Either of those products has its own user forum and their experienced users are very willing to provide whatever “hand holding” help may be required.  Yes, a USB flash drive is highly recommended in any case so that you can create a “rescue boot device” to have available in case of catastrophic failure.  In fact, that should be your first post-installation job regardless of which backup product you choose.

      Asus ROG Maximus XI Code board; Intel i9-9900K CPU; 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM; Nvidia GTX1080 GPU; 2x512 GB Samsung 970 Pro M.2 NVMe; 2x2 TB Samsung 860 Pro SSDs; Windows 10.1809; Linux Mint 19.1; Terabyte Backup & Recovery
      • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by
         Arvy.
    • #321115 Reply

      CADesertRat
      AskWoody Plus

      My 2 cents worth:

      I use a cloning program (it’s not free) called Casper. It’s simple, easy to use, and clones the HD or SSD to a certain point in time. I usually run it at least once a month before updating patch’s from MS (as long as the computer is running smoothly) on Win 7 and I usually update Win 10 as soon as I am satisfied that there are no problems with the updates/upgrades.

      It has saved my butt a few times by just swapping the drive I am having a problem with to the last backup (no recovery disk’s, just swap the drive and boot). Every one has their own way of backing up, that’s mine and I’m happy with it.

      If your at all interested https://www.fssdev.com/

      Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
      Grp. A with 2 Win 7 Pro, also 2 Win 10 Pro currently 1803 (1 Desktop, 1 Laptop).

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by
         CADesertRat.
    • #321142 Reply

      Tex265
      AskWoody Plus

      There are several posts here in AskWoody, one started approx 2 months ago when Woody requested if someone would like to post about Macrium.  But I cant seem to locate either (may be a member with better search skills then me can locate them).

      Anyway I use the built in Windows Create a System Image backup program on both my Win 7 and Win 10 computers.  Easy to use, already installed, and when asked no one can really find a fault with it – so why not use.

      My problem with the third party programs is not how to install or use the program, but in making the required recovery disk/usb to be able to boot into your computer.  If it creates right out of the box, great!  But if your system needs special drivers or additions, you need to be knowledgable in finding drivers etc. and the directions to do so are minimal.

      Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 and Windows 7 Pro x64
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #321168 Reply

        Arvy
        AskWoody Lounger

        My problem with the third party programs is not how to install or use the program, but in making the required recovery disk/usb to be able to boot into your computer.

        The Terabyte suite that I mentioned above includes a pre-built ISO file that can be used directly “as is” for rescue media creation, but it also lets you build your own if you want to.  If using Macrium Reflect, its WinPE build process should normally load all required drivers, but there can be driver mismatch problems if you select a PE base version that doesn’t correspond to the Windows version under which the build process runs.

        Anyhow, if you’re happy with Windows own backups, that’s fine.  Just be sure to create backups on a physical drive other that the one being protected.  Another partition on the same physical drive isn’t good enough in case of catastrophic failures.

         

        Asus ROG Maximus XI Code board; Intel i9-9900K CPU; 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM; Nvidia GTX1080 GPU; 2x512 GB Samsung 970 Pro M.2 NVMe; 2x2 TB Samsung 860 Pro SSDs; Windows 10.1809; Linux Mint 19.1; Terabyte Backup & Recovery
        • #321253 Reply

          Morty
          AskWoody Plus

          Every time I hear about “third party programs,” I think of Groucho and Chico talking about the party of the first part and the party of the second part in the contract scene in “A Night at the Opera.”

          Well, you should have come to the first party. We didn’t get home till around four in the morning. I was blind for three days!

          • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by
             Morty.
          • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by
             Morty.
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #321334 Reply

            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            What comes to my mind, switching to a more (or less) Freudian theme, is this misquote: “A cigar is not always a cigar.” And a third party fix is not always a fix. I tend to stay away from those. In fact, the few that I’ve ever tried caused me more dramatic problems than what they were supposed to solve, and had me metaphorically running around putting out fires before they consumed my PC, my work, and who knows what else…

          • #321679 Reply

            Morty
            AskWoody Plus

            Now that I think about it, my comment could be too easily misinterpreted. Despite my growing technophobia, it’s misleading to imply that I don’t like third party programs. Back in DOS days, I was a TSR junkie. But in those days, the programs were simple and single-purpose. Still, I compulsively check Woody’s latest list of Windows programs. But when the learning curve takes the first hairpin turn, I put on the brakes.

    • #321178 Reply

      Sinclair
      AskWoody Lounger

      HDD Raw Copy Tool

      Is a super simple free tool to make bit for bit exact copies of Hard Discs or anything else connected through an interface.

      The catch? There is no compression of any kind so the target medium must be of equal size or greater.

      Reading a bit futher version 1.10 may have some sort of compression type. But I have not tested this.

      W7 x64 Pro&Home

    • #322218 Reply

      Joulia.S
      AskWoody Plus

      Hi,when i was still a newbie with computers – not that long ago – and found myself thanks to an Windows Update screw – up needing to do an image recovery,i printed out the following how – to and it all went swimmingly easy,simply following the instructions.

      https://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/675-system-image-recovery.html

      Hope it helps you as well.

      PS Here’s some more useful info and easy to follow instructions.
      https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/system-image-recovery-in-windows-7-8/

      Windows 7,Home Premium 64 bit - Lenovo laptop
      Group A - Intel (R)Core i7 Processors -

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by
         Joulia.S.
      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #322230 Reply

        Morty
        AskWoody Plus

        In 2001, I was up and back with the manufacturer of a new system. Finally, someone from tech support told me, “Everything you’re doing is a band-aid. You really need to reformat the disk and reinstall the system.”

        I told her that I had a full backup of my data on a second internal drive. What she failed to tell me in her instructions was that both drives would get reformatted. I watched as eight months of work disappear in a puff.

        I’ll spare you my reaction. But the company owned up to their responsibility and paid for Ontrack Data Recovery to try to retrieve my files. The backup files I needed were too large to be retrievable.

        Lots of lessons. All of them obvious. May we all learn from my mistake.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #325509 Reply

        Tex265
        AskWoody Plus

        Very good information.

        A Google search will produce lots of links specific to using the Windows Backup Image creation program with Windows 10 (it is very similar to Joulia’s second link).

        The main difference with Windows 8 and 10 verses Window 7 is that with Windows 7 if you can access your computer, you can use the same Windows Backup program you made the Image with to also restore the image as well as use a bootable recovery disk.

        With Windows 8 and 10, Microsoft removed the option to access restore the image from within the program so you have to use the Advanced Startup option or a Recovery USB drive (ie: Windows Recovery Environment aka Windows RE) to access the backup image.

        Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 and Windows 7 Pro x64

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