Making an Image-Backup (Windows 7)

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Cruise, May 7, 2012.

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  1. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

    For the past several years I've been making backups of my Vista system (with Acronis True Image if that matters). I know I'm a 'Johnny Come Lately', as here we are on the dawn of Windows 8 and I just bought a new laptop with Windows 7. I see that Windows 7 has a special (small) system partition in addition to the 'usual' C-partition (which I don't think existed in Vista)! So I'm wondering how this affects image-backups. Should I just backup the main system partition (as I did with Vista) or should I also backup that small system partition?

    I realize that in all likelihood this was probably asked and answered before; I just can't find any relevant posts. Please just point me to them if they exist.


    PS. The new laptop's drive is much larger than I will need for my computing needs so I'd like to divide it into 2 or 3 partitions. I've partitioned drives in the past but I'm wondering if there's anything special about Win7 in that regard.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

    I would Image both partitions "together".
    The following is a Tutorial on how to resize the C: partition using Windows 7. After decreasing the size of C:, you can add any additional partitions that you desire.
  3. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

    This small partition for only one thing, which is for BitLocker, which only comes with Windows Ultimate/Enterprise version and if only then you want and/or plan to use BitLocker.

    You can get rid of this:

    Best regards,

  4. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

    Check what partition is set as "active". If this small partition is the active one, you must backup it because it is necessary for booting.

    The size of the system partition can be reduced safely using Windows Disk Manager. But this program can leave a too large system partition, because it doesn´t move files. If you want a smaller system partition, you can use a third-party partition manager to reduce it further.
  5. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

    Thanks guys. As I have a 750GB hard drive, I'm thinking of downsizing my main system partition to about 50GB which should be large enough for Win7, IE, and my program files (including spare-room). Then I would create a 2nd partition of about 200GB, which should be more than large enought for my data, docs, music, and photos, and a 3rd partition with the disk-storage balance that I would use for daily online backups (I would also backup to an external drive on a weekly frequent basis).

    Does anyone see a potential problem with this?

  6. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

    50GB seems about right, especially if you divert all data, docs, etc. to that 2nd partition. Of course, that also depends on the number and size of your installed apps (program files). If you use an ISR app (like Rollback Rx), which saves its snapshots on the Windows partition, you may want to stretch the size of this partition by another 10 to 20GB.

    Only you know how large your data partition should be, so I can't really say any more about that other than I also keep virtual machines on my data partition, so I need some more room for those.

    Insofar as using a 3rd partition for daily backups, I think that's a smart practice (as long as you definitely adhere to saving weekly image-backups to an external drive!). Actually, instead of daily backups, you might consider a continuous backup program, such as Second Copy 8, which constantly monitors changes and automatically backs them up (with version control)!

    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  7. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

    For me, 50 GB for Windows 7 x64 is not enough. The current installation, which doesn´t contain any "data", is 32 GB, and I need space to use the Returnil cache. My size is 100 GB.

    And I don´t like to keep backups in the boot disk. If the disk fails, everything is lost. My backups are in two USB external disks. I also back up the most critical data in the cloud.
  8. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member


    Thanks very much. I think I will bump my Windows partition to 70GB, as I am intrigued by Rollback Rx.

    Also, thanks for that continuous backup suggestion (Second Copy). I will consider that as well as a continuous Cloud backup service like SugarSync.

  9. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

    Thanks Robin, I do understand that and as I said (above) I am making weekly image-backups to an External drive. I am considering Scott's suggestion to use Second Copy for continuous backups to my 3rd (Backup) partition and/or I might use a Cloud service like SugarSync. Which service do you use?

  10. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

    I use SugarSync. it has worked well for me so far, although some interfaces are confusing.
  11. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

    The thing is that for the price of just one year of SS I could buy a 2TB USB3 drive which should be viable for a number of years!
    And a SugarSync question: Is there any noticeable operational slowdown while SS is running in the background?
  12. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

    I don´t pay for SugarSync, I use the free service (5 GB), and only upload some critical (for me) information, pre-encrypted.

    I do this to complete the backup strategy, because all my physical backups are "under one roof" and could be lost in case of a disaster (theft, fire, etc.).

    I haven´t noticed slowdowns when SS is uploading. I use the "medium" speed setting for upload. My uploads take more than an hour.
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