How To Create A Windows 7 System Image / Backup File


21.03.2011

How To Create A Windows 7 System Image / Backup File

Nowadays there are lots of third-party apps which are designed to help users to back up their systems. But they can be very confusing sometimes or you have to pay an important amount of money to purchase them. The new Windows 7 comes with several new features including backup utilities. So you see, you don’t really need expensive software when you want to create a backup image of your system, because you can do it using only Windows 7, no matter which version you own.

An image is an accurate copy of your system containing all the settings and pretty much everything stored on your drive, allowing a complete restore in case of a system crash. If you want a clean and smooth restoration it’s best to create the image when you’ve got everything organized and to its place (this way the image file will be smaller). In my opinion the perfect time for creating a system image is after you install Windows 7 and customize it as you like. Creating such image will save you from the stress in case of unexpected events, because you will be able to restore your machine to its current state.

How to create a system image in Windows 7

  1. The first thing you have to do is hit the Start button>Getting Started>Back up your files.

    Window 7 Start Menu

  2. On the left there’s an option called “Create a system image”, click it.

    Create a system image option

  3. Now it’s time to choose the location where you want to save the image. You can burn it, save it on an external drive or network location.

    Select the image location

  4. Besides the drive where you have installed the OS, you can include others as well but keep in mind that the final image will be bigger, and maybe you don’t want that.

    Select other driver for backup

  5. Next, Windows will ask you to confirm the backup settings presenting you the size of the future image, if you’re not OK with it, you can still go back and make the desired changes.

    Confirm your backup settings

  6. The time in which the backup can be made depends on the size of the image, the place where you save it, and of course on the performances of your system. In the example bellow the backup is made to an external drive, the image has about 15 GB and took near twenty minutes.

    The backing up process

  7. When the process is complete, Windows will ask you if you want to create a system repair disk. It’s recommendable to do that, and it’s also recommendable to store it into a safe location.

    Choose to create a system repair disc

    Create a system repair disc

  8. If an unpleasant event such as a system crash happens, you will be able to restore everything back using System Recovery Options.

    System Recovery Options

How to create a system image in Windows Vista

Unfortunately not all Vista versions allow users to create backup images (Vista Home and Vista Home Premium don’t have this option available). But on┬áVista Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise you can create an image without any issues. The entire process is comparable to the previous one.

  1. Go to the search bar and look for “backup”. After, select Backup, the Restore Center.

    Windows Vista Start Menu

  2. Once you click Back up computer, you will be guided by the wizard through the entire process.

    Choose Back up computer options

To conclude, I can say that creating a system image can be very useful, and the good thing is that the feature is included in all versions of Windows 7, not only in the more expensive ones. The feature does a very good job ,you don’t need to spend money for applications which do the exact same thing.

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