Whats your preferance? Windows 7 System Image tool

or Macrium Reflect FREE?
I have two PCs I want to "system Image" prior to the Windows 10 upgrade as a precaution in case I want to revert to Windows 7?
Thank You for any advice.

geek_mgc54, Jun 5, 12:57 pm

Windows 7 has a built in image tool that works fine.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jun 5, 12:58 pm

I prefer Macrium, because it generates just one file. Tidier.

geek_r.g.nixon, Jun 5, 1:09 pm

+1 for macrium

geek_king1, Jun 5, 1:22 pm

the windows 7 imaging tool? is windows 10 going to access it? especially when your drive has been overwritten with windows 10

of the top of my head I'd say you won't have a chance in hell, you'll have to reinstall 7 again, then access the win7 image file and restore all the missing bits between original out of the box win7 and what you had when the image was created
I'd use a third party program, and hope win10 can install it

geek_skin1235, Jun 5, 3:16 pm

Yep. It lets you create a boot disc, so operating system and software is irrelevant.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jun 5, 3:43 pm

Time machine works very well for me.

geek_tony9, Jun 5, 4:21 pm

Time machine is for Macs only. This thread is about Windows.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jun 5, 4:23 pm

You can run a Windows image just fine under Mac OS. Then you get the ability to direct boot off the selected Time Machine image to image a system. All part of the OS.

geek_tony9, Jun 5, 4:37 pm

But the OP has Windows, so I'm unsure how talking about Time Machine is relevant.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jun 5, 4:51 pm

backupper that someone mentioned in another thread recently seems pretty good at creating a recoverable / bootable image. i find the windows 7 one crap. its so slow, and it is prone to things like "an unexpected error occurred" press ok.

with no further explanation.

geek_black-heart, Jun 5, 6:13 pm

ok so this whole post is a big fail really.

geek_ross1970, Jun 5, 6:31 pm

Thank You for your posts on this subject. I have decided on a plan of action. Nite Now :)

geek_mgc54, Jun 5, 6:43 pm

I've never used it, from what you say its similar to the third party imaging progs
and I assume you have used it

will it let win 10 open the archive/image, and let you extract from it, the image is produced under win7 - can win10 even read it - or do you have to boot from the disk once you drop 7 -most third party do allow this, and they are often backward compatible, microsoft suites are not known for their backward compatibility

geek_skin1235, Jun 5, 7:34 pm

the jury here is still out on that

if win10 will allow you to open and access the archive/image and retrieve from it without the need to boot from a rescue disk then maybe the post was in haste

I have a win7 produced image here on this computer - win7 cannot or will not open it - to open it I have to use a boot disk that I have yet to create

I use third party - it allows me to treat the image as an open drive if I desire, I can read any file on it, open any file on it, move any file on it to any other drive, cut and paste from files on it to emails etc - the limitation is I cannot write more data to it - that would require a re write of the image

the third party is an installed program, and has a boot disk, the image is not stored on the system drive - if the system drive fails I can use the boot disk to access the drives, and restore the system drive from there inside 15 minutes, back to where I was wen the last image was done

geek_skin1235, Jun 5, 7:38 pm

The Windows 7 boot image is pretty standard. It can be easily mounted as a VHD (in the disk management console) on Windows 7 and 8 so the files can be viewed individually. This hasn't changed in Windows 10.

This really is a non-issue.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jun 5, 7:51 pm

you have got to be joking, this is very much an issue

I just created an image via the win7 tool

once it completed ( and for god knows why it could not include a couple of files in the image because they already existed on the target partition - wtf, they were mp3 files in another folder = instant fail from me )
once finished, I double clicked on the vhd file - nadda, its not open access, there is no way I can open that file as it exists

so lets try mounting it, mate I'd have better luck mounting it on a post, then shooting the fekin thing - the system will not allow me to mount the drive, - I cannot access the image = fail again)

figure it wants me to actually create a vhd first, so do that, attach the image to it, it now shows as an expanded drive, lets me do anything I like to it, copy, paste, alter files etc etc

hmm, infect files, screw up files, have those files open so anyone can access them all the time

and this is supposed to be my safe copy image? ,

no doubt you can tell just how I am supposed to unmount the thing, cos currently it is able to be view on the computer over the other side of the room

which makes it a very big, extremely large, non issue thats a fekin issue

my normal image prog creates an image file, I can open it, read files in it, copy files out of it
I cannot alter files in it, I cannot add files to it, yes I can share it if I wish and others can extract from it too, none of them or me can alter the file, the image remains exactly the same - as it is supposed to do, so when needed I can restore to that known good state
I can also use that image to rebuild a new drive should I ever need to, that drive does not have to bear the sig that is attached to the win7 image - which will not build a new drive once your one has died because it will not allow you to restore to anything other than drive XXXXXXxxxxXXXXXXX that it was created from

sorry suicide, you need to get out more
and I now need to delete a 60gb vhd that is an open security threat to my archives

geek_skin1235, Jun 5, 9:12 pm



Also user error is your most likely problem.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jun 5, 9:16 pm

user problem that does not occur with other imaging progs

I can and have deleted the volume in the vhd

now how do I get rid of the vhd and reclaim the 60gb it is claiming

geek_skin1235, Jun 5, 9:20 pm

pleased I did the exercise, I now know that th win7 image tool is just that - a tool, (and thats not a useful bit of kit tool, its a stupid useless bit of kit tool)
it needed an absolute set of excessive rules ( it will not include any files that exist anywhere else on the target partition so skips them = incomplete archive= incomplete restore = very handy if you actually needed those files - NOT)
it requires me to create a vhd and commit a defined diskspace to it, which then is not available to other systems - my .tib files are whatever size they are
it then requires me to mount the image so it can then treat it as a vhd - but this is not a vhd, its my archive, it is not supposed to be alterable at whim, nor should I be able to add files to it - they could also contain bugs, which is the purpose of the archive in the first place- remain bug free as when created
the only way to get the image off public display is to delete the volume - it doesn't even have a dismount function
then to get rid of the vhd you simply select it and delete it ' should you ever require a file from the archive you have to create a new vhd, mount the image, extract the file, delete the volumn, then delete the vhd to free up the space it has dedicated for its now empty self

and you recommend this? and are assuming win10 will not change any of it and exclude all images made with prior versions than your now 10 - oh but you can boot with a win7 dick and access it - yeah, can you create the vhd from the disk? , then access the disk with the image on it and somehow, shit this gets complicated, throw a trueimage disk in, select the image you want to restore from the other partition ( that is now visible) and click restore, have a coffe and you're back to run as your computer was when the image was made

jeeze, install a thrid party imaging prog, run it, open the image, extract a file close the image, carry on

geek_skin1235, Jun 5, 9:37 pm

I also note

my system disk is 32gb used, a used portion of a 90gb partition on this 2tb drive

trueimage creates an image of it, stores it on another partiton, uses 21gb to do this

win7 image tool created a folder which stored all the files it created doing the image, the folder shows as 43gb used

my system disk only has 32 gb used
yet it adds 11gb to back it up

I'm getting the impression this tool is not going to be one of favour around here

I've deleted the volume, then deleted the vhd, now will delete the folder created to store the image in, 43gb of folder, 60gb of vhd, lucky I have 100gb spare huh

geek_skin1235, Jun 5, 9:51 pm

your Tl;dr is cute
would you have taken more notice if I simply said win7 image tool is crap

geek_skin1235, Jun 5, 9:54 pm

wassamtta suicide, more than 10 words in the post and your eyes blurred over

geek_skin1235, Jun 5, 10:09 pm

I use Macrium, never had a problem with it. Just install it, click image drive, select where to put it [ext drive] let it do its thing and when finished it will prompt you to burn a Linux disc, do that and your good to go. To install image no operating system is required, Just plug ext drive in and put disc in drive, set to boot from drive with disk with F12 [or whatever key] it will then boot from disc, find image on ext drive and run it. I do it all the time as i run 8.1 on a Vista machine but have Vista imaged and once in a while reinstall Vista, update it and then put 8.1 back in. To go 8.i to Vista and vice versa takes about 20 minutes. If your unsure of an imaging tool just use several and make a few images, ones bound to work.

geek_wayne416, Jun 5, 11:50 pm

TY wayne416. that was helpful. a WD 1TB external drive arrived by courier early afternoon and I have spent the afternoon downloading Macrium Reflect FREE to the desktop and notebook. Rescue discs and image files burnt and created for both PCs. all good so far. TY for the help everyone. Cooking dinner and having a wine or two as we speak. Regards from a cold wet night in the Wairarapa.

geek_mgc54, Jun 6, 6:00 pm

Good luck, hope they work for you. Have never failed me and always pleasantly surprised each time it works.

geek_wayne416, Jun 6, 11:26 pm

for suicide

this little snippet would say win 7 and later versions of its imaging tool have major issues

"Windows 7 now provides us a new enhanced Windows Backup and Restore application which now has the ability to create disk images, the program will create an image of any partition on the hard drive if it is formatted to use the NTFS file system but it always includes the system partition and does not let you opt out. The drive that you are saving the backup on must also be formatted to use the NTFS file system. However one interesting quirk is if your unable to boot into Windows normally and having to use the recovery CD / DVD and the start up repair process fails to find an existing Windows installation then you will not be able to restore your created backup image ! at times in this scenario even rebuilding the MBR / BCD etc from the command prompt can fail miserably all depending on how badly messed up your drive is you may or may not be able to recover it using the Windows Restore."

geek_skin1235, Jun 7, 12:57 pm

thanks very much for advising Macrium. Worked perfectly on my computers, and really quick backups and restores.

geek_clip1, Jun 8, 11:36 am

do you run 64 bit windows, I've read that macrium doesn't always play nice with 64bit, its supposed to be 64 bit compatible, but supposed to be and reality are not always shaking hands

I've always used trueimage, but will not update it from version 2010 because after that it became very invasive, and impossible to remove - it has hooks into too many parts of the system, removing it usually cripples the system so a reinstall is needed, another good program ruined by the arrogance that it will control your system wether you like it or not, so I will be looking for a replacement soon, earlier versions that were not as invasive as even 2010 will not run on win7 64 bit

geek_skin1235, Jun 8, 11:41 am

no, its good on win 7 64bit.

Backup took about 4 minutes, same for restore.

geek_clip1, Jun 8, 11:44 am

then it will get a run here , at least a try

geek_skin1235, Jun 8, 11:47 am

I use macrium also.
I image my disc every so often as a lot of things change and have no problems acessing it.
I also have a boot disc just in case something goes wrong

geek_newbie5, Sep 8, 11:04 am

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