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Windows 7 Image Restore

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April 2, 2013 12:14:39 PM

So I have recently bought a Western Digital My Passport 500gb to back up my computer's hard drive. I made a system image of Windows 7, so to my knowlege, everything on this hard drive, including the OS should be backed up... Right? So what I want to know is, lets say that my internal hard drive crashes and I lose all of the data on it. Would I be able to get a new hard drive and put the image of Windows 7 on it and have my old OS with all of the settings and files?

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a b $ Windows 7
a c 79 G Storage
April 2, 2013 1:38:15 PM

Windows 7 "Backup & Restore >> Create System Image" creates an image of your Windows partition and any other partition which is required for Windows to start & run (eg, the System Reserved partition if it exists). It does not backup any other partitions which might exist but which aren't required for Windows to run (eg the factory recovery partition).

You can certainly use that backup image on a new hard drive, and it should boot in to Windows no problem. Just make sure that you have created a "System Repair Disc" from which you can boot your PC to access the backup image.

If your existing hard drive has other partitions on it which are not included in the backup image, and you really would like to create an image of the entire hard drive (all partitions), you will need to use third-party disk-imaging software.
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April 2, 2013 2:35:19 PM

phil22 said:
Windows 7 "Backup & Restore >> Create System Image" creates an image of your Windows partition and any other partition which is required for Windows to start & run (eg, the System Reserved partition if it exists). It does not backup any other partitions which might exist but which aren't required for Windows to run (eg the factory recovery partition).

You can certainly use that backup image on a new hard drive, and it should boot in to Windows no problem. Just make sure that you have created a "System Repair Disc" from which you can boot your PC to access the backup image.

If your existing hard drive has other partitions on it which are not included in the backup image, and you really would like to create an image of the entire hard drive (all partitions), you will need to use third-party disk-imaging software.
Ok, All I wanted to do was to image my Windows 7 Partition, which is around 222gb, so that's a good thing that I didnt make an image of other partitions. I made the image successfully on an external HDD (500gb). Is it true that the new disk size needs to be equivilent or greater than the original in order to restore sucessfully? I also have Windows 8 on another partition, so if I were to create an image of that from Windows 7, would I be able to delete that partition afterwards and make more room for Windows 7?

EDIT- Another question, is it bad if I open the image after fully saved on my HDD?

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a b $ Windows 7
a c 79 G Storage
April 3, 2013 1:30:16 PM

You can't open a system image created with Windows 7 Backup & Restore. It can only be used to recover Windows.

Some third-party disk-imaging utilities can open their own disk images in Windows (in order to read and copy files from it), but it's not possible to do that with the Windows 7 built-in system-image creator.
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