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How to Create a System Image in Windows 7
The new backup utilities in Windows 7 are actually pretty impressive and creating an image
will be possible in all versions. Today we take a look at creating a backup image of your
machine without the need for a third party utility like Ghost or True Image.
You just just finished installing a fresh copy of Windows 7 on your computer and have it
set up to your liking. One of the first things you should do now is create an image of the
disc so in the event of a crash you will be able to restore it to its current state. An image
is an exact copy of everything on the drive and will restore it back to its current state. It’s
probably best to create an image when everything is clean and organized on your system.
This will make the image file smaller and allows you to restore the system with a smooth
running set up.
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Create a Restore Point for Windows 7 or Vista’s
Next click on the Create a system image hyperlink. System Restore
Create a System Repair Disc in Windows 7
Make a Shortcut Icon to Create a System Restore
Point in Windows Vista
Completely Disable the System Tray on Windows 7 /
Vista / XP
Using System Restore in XP
Decide where you want to save the image. You can choose an external drive, burn to
multiple DVD’s, or store it on a network location.
You can include other drives if you want as well but remember that will add to the size of
the final image.
At the confirmation screen notice the amount of space the image may take. If something
doesn’t look right you can still go back from this point and make adjustments.
A progress meter is displayed while the images is created and backed up. In this example
a disk of about 15GB in size took under 20 minutes backed up to an external drive. Times
will vary depending on your system and where you’re backing it up to.
After the process is complete you get the option to create a system repair disc which you
should do and make sure to save it in a secure location.
When it comes time to restore the image, you will be able to use the System Recovery
Options to get the system back.
Image in Windows Vista
Vista Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise allow you to create an image, but Vista Home and
Home Premium users do not have the option. The process is similar in Vista, type backup
into the search bar and click on Backup and Restore Center.
Then click on Back up computer and the wizard will guide you through the process.
This is a extremely handy feature and it actually works well. It is also nice that the feature
will be available in each edition of Windows 7 instead of just the higher end versions. This
will save you some money in not having to spend $50-80 on a third party utility. You
should create an image when everything is fresh on your system so the image is not too
large and the essentials of you machine can quickly be restored. For instance I created an
image after a fresh install and putting Office 2007 and a few of my most commonly used
programs. The entire image came in around 10 GB which is easily stored on an external
drive or a few DVD’s.
This article was originally written on 09/24/09 | More
Tagged with: Privacy and Security, System Administration, Windows 7
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InDiSent September 24, 2009 4:30 am
GoodBytes September 24, 2009 7:06 am
This feature is only on Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate edition.
Mysticgeek September 24, 2009 11:54 am
The imaging feature was only available for the higher end versions of Vista, However, all
versions of Windows 7 include the imaging feature…even Starter edition
Kathy October 10, 2009 3:41 am
Can the image then be restored to a different computer (same model) as in a computer lab
John Michaels October 14, 2009 6:58 am
On NeoSmart Technologies there is download for the Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit recovery
discs. You may want to put link in your article, because I find helpful this download.
ajay November 10, 2009 3:56 am
I have tried to do a complete system image as well as a repair disk with my Windows 7
Ultimate OS. But I am receiving ‘insert blank disk’ error message. but i am using new disks
Ernesto November 25, 2009 12:27 pm