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Drive image backup & restore (free/cheap version)

Last response: in Windows 7
January 8, 2011 2:14:22 AM

Hi All.

Instead of re-installing Windows every time I get a virus, "windows rot", etc. I'll rather create a drive image of a clean Windows configuration (all applications installed).

This will be way too big to put on a DVD and most thumb drives.

Is there a way to create the C: image as a file on the larger D: drive?
Then create a DVD or Thumb drive that will boot, allow me to (slow/fast) format the drive, then pull and restore the image from the D: to the C: ?

I read about Seagate DiskWizard, but I think that requires another drive in the case so I can copy from the (old C: ) to the (new C: ).

Any ideas??

Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
January 8, 2011 3:35:09 AM

System image backup is included in Windows 7 and it's free.
Click on start, Windows Help and Support and type disk image or backup for more information on available options for backup and recovery.
January 8, 2011 5:38:13 PM


The System backup worked (sort of). It actually did a clean restore from a drive image to the original boot drive - without Windows running.
I had a problem backing up an image from a Raid 1 drive to a non-raid drive. The drives where exactly the same size, but the image restore program just said the available drives won't work. I think the Windows backup just can't backup Raid to non-raid drives.

I re-installed Windows on the non-raid drive. Worked.
Did a backup AND resore (with drive formatting), Worked :) 
Then did a backup of a backup. Got some wierd "shadow copy could not be created." 0x80780119 error.
It seems the first backup used some System Reserved partition space.
This cleared enough space for another backup:

Right click on computer
System Protection
Highlight C drive
Click Configure
Click delete all restore points

googling also found this command, but I'm not sure if it works.
fsutil usn deletejournal /N /D F:
January 8, 2011 5:39:13 PM

Best answer selected by enewmen.
nPlease also read my above post.. ;)