I just learned about windows easy transfer and that windows 7 can make a disk image natively without the need for third party software (joy of joys, dream of dreams). I just made a disk image of my drive, and I have some questions about restoring to different hardware.
In the event of having to restore my disk image to a system with a different motherboard, is it best to boot off the recovery disc, load the image, then install the drivers for the new motherboard?
Or is it best to do a clean install of Windows 7 from the install DVD, install the drivers for the new motherboard, and use easy transfer to pull all of my program files, settings, and documents from the disk image?
Also, will Windows 7 make a new full backup disk image, or will it make an incremental backup when I go to make a new image?
First to clarify a couple of points. Windows Easy Transfer and disk image are two different utilities.
Windows Easy Transfer can not restore files from a disk image.
Windows Easy Transfer can be used to save files and settings including program settings, however it can not save the programs themselves. They must be installed from the original media that you used to install them in the first place.
When changing motherboard it would be best to to do a clean install and use your Windows Easy Transfer file backup to restore your files and settings.
A change of motherboard introduces another question, is it a retail or OEM version.
OEM versions are not transferable, a new m/board is considered the same as a new pc.
When you restore from the systems image, it's a complete restoration. You can't choose individual items to restore.
"will it make an incremental backup"
As far as I can figure out it can only make a full image. You would use Windows Easy Transfer to make a backup of your files and settings at regular intervals.