Windows 7 Disk Imaging - Easy
Disk Imaging is Free and Easy in Windows 7
Disk imaging is the process of making an exact copy (a clone) of a computer's hard drive and storing it in the form of a file in a different location for safe keeping. If the original Windows 7 system becomes unstable, won't start up, or suffers from a hard drive failure, the stored disk image can be used to restore the original hard drive or a new hard drive to good working condition. The restored image will contain the complete installation of your Windows 7 system and all of the programs and files The Windows 7 free disk imaging feature is similar to disk imaging provided by more full featured commercial products like Acronis True Image and Norton Ghost.
Restoring a disk image to repair a damaged installation or a failed drive is much more efficient and quicker than reinstalling Windows 7, all of the necessary updates and finding all the discs and serial numbers needed to reinstall your applications. Restoring your Windows 7 installation will put your system back to the condition that it was in at the time you created the backup disk image.
Creating a Backup Disk Image of Windows 7
Go to Start > Control Panel > Backup and Restore.
Click "Create a system image".
Later, we will also create a system repair disc that will allow us to restore the system when needed.
Choose where to save the disk image backup. You should choose a separate hard drive location or network location to save your backup. It won't do you any good to save your backup on the same hard drive as your system. If your hard drive completely fails you would also lose the backup. You can choose to save your backup disk image to a separate hard drive, an external drive, one or more DVD's or a shared folder on a network location. Are you paranoid about data loss? Save in multiple locations. In this example, the system is being backed up to an external USB drive.
If your hard drive has more than one partition, you will be able to choose which partitions you want to backup. In this example, there are two partitions a (C:) (System) partition and a (D:) Data partition. Only the (C:) (System) partition is being selected for backup here.
Confirm your backup location and drives to be backed up, then click "Start Backup".
Windows begins the disk backup process.
When the backup completes, you will be prompted to create a system repair disc. Choose Yes.
You will need to insert a blank DVD into a DVD burner to create the repair disc. This is the disc you will need to restore your disk backup.
When the creation of the system repair disc is completed, be sure to label it and store it in place where you can find it when you need it. You need this to restore your system from the backup you just made. It also has the added benefit of being able to repair your system without having to restore it in many cases.
You have successfully created a backup disk image of your Windows 7 system.