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Imaging, Backup, Ghosting

Hi, I'd like to create a backup image of a clean install of Windows + certain applications.

My plan is this: Format my SSD that I am currently using. Install fresh windows 7, do all the updates, install a few choice applications, and then get an image of it to use for recovery. I have a few questions on this topic as well:

1. This is probably obvious, but I want to make sure; I can store the image wherever I like, correct? If I am using an SSD for my boot drive, I can image that, and store the image on a regular hard drive, right?

2. How big will the image be? Is it going to be as big as the entire drive that I back up? I cannot imagine how it would go any differently, but I am hoping for some unrealized magic.

3. Do I need to buy the Ghost software? If not, does it make imaging a whole lot easier to make it worth the price tag?

4. How arduous and time consuming is the actual recovery process?

Thank you.

p.s. Something I just thought of. I don't know how I would do the actual backup without an OS to interface with so maybe I could make the image contain everything except the basic install of windows to cut down on space and time. Is this feasible?
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about imaging backup ghosting

  1. You can back up to any hard disk you choose. The Partition you choose to back up to can be resized to suit - usually if you're backing up to a larger disk, the Partitions are altered accordingly. It won't matter if the original is on an SSD and the image goes to a PATA or SATA disk.

    You can get free software which is quite good my my answers are based on Acronis True Image 2011, which I use myself and for my customers.

    I can't be much help with question 4 - haven't had to do that yet but when I went from an 80Gb disk with XP on 50Gb and Linux on the rest up to a 1Tb with XP on one Partition of 200Gb, it was immediate and the new disk just took over. The image itself took a little over half an hour to make.

  2. Best answer
    1. Yes, but you need a recovery boot cd to boot the computer when you do a restore (I think you probably know)
    2. Smaller than your current usage. My system is 45GB of 111GB, also an ssd (vertex 2) and the image made using window 7 is only 38GB. Games and program are compressed, but movie and photowhich is already compressed will not benefit as much
    3.Use window 7 backup
    4. With ssd and a HDD on usb 3.0, I haven't timed it but it is fast (definitely less than 45 minute, probably within 20).

    Edit: I am going to time a backup now and see what I got.

    Edit: sorry, I read it wrong. You want recovery process time not backup process time. Well I will post backup process time anyway.

  3. You can back up to any hard disk you choose. The Partition you choose to back up to can be resized to suit - usually if you're backing up to a larger disk, the Partitions are altered accordingly. It won't matter if the original is on an SSD and the image goes to a PATA or SATA disk.

    You can get free software which is quite good my my answers are based on Acronis True Image 2011, which I use myself and for my customers.

    I can't be much help with question 4 - haven't had to do that yet but when I went from an 80Gb disk with XP on 50Gb and Linux on the rest up to a 1Tb with XP on one Partition of 200Gb, it was immediate and the new disk just took over. The image itself took a little over half an hour to make.



    Thank you for your helpful reply. You answered many questions.

    Acronis does not seem to be free. I am downloading the trial to try it out, anyway.

    Do you know of a way to do a backup of everything after the basic Windows install? So I could automatically initiate all of the Windows updates I would want, immediately after finishing the basic Windows 7 install.

    Thanks again.
  4. Pyree said:
    1. Yes, but you need a recovery boot cd to boot the computer when you do a restore (I think you probably know)
    2. Smaller than your current usage. My system is 45GB of 111GB, also an ssd (vertex 2) and the image made using window 7 is only 38GB. Games and program are compressed, but movie and photowhich is already compressed will not benefit as much
    3.Use window 7 backup
    4. With ssd and a HDD on usb 3.0, I haven't timed it but it is fast (definitely less than 45 minute, probably within 20).

    Edit: I am going to time a backup now and see what I got.


    Must I use a physical CD/DVD? Couldn't I use a thumb drive?
  5. mmm... yes, I forgot not everyone have a dvd drive now. I couldn't find that option to make boot from usb.

    Also, I edited my previous post. I miss read your post. So no I am not going to recovery my system just to time it because it is running just fine. However, I will put a backup time. Sorry.

    4:18pm-4:32pm so 14 minutes to backup.
  6. I am pretty sure acronis creates usb boot device. My xp HTPC uses acronic for WD and recovery from sata HDD (old mobo doesn't support esata so I unplug my backup drive from dock and plug it in the case). From my memory, it is also fast, definitely within an hour (possibly within 30 minutes), between 2 HDD. But then again, the image is only 9GB I think. Also, you cannot use acronis for wd on your ssd.
  7. Best answer selected by timothy2180.
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