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Laptop Windows 7 cloning and backup

Posted on 2013-05-10
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I periodically do a clean install on my sisters computer who's computer knowledge is limited.
She uses Windows 7 on a two disc laptop with limited space requirements.

1.)I would like to create a clone post a clean install so that I can copy the clone next time instead of going through a full clean install.
2.) I would also like to create an automatic data backup to her second disc so that she always has a full data backup.

Can I do this through Windows 7 or would a third party application be better for this purpose?
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Question by:Marina2006
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by:Haresh Nikumbh
Haresh Nikumbh earned 400 total points
ID: 39154973
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by:rindi
rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 39155024
What you are talking about is imaging, not cloning. Cloning would be to make an exact copy of your HD to another one, and when the disk fails, you just replace the bad disk with the cloned one.

Imaging is when you create an image of your HD, and when you need to, restore that image to the same or another disk. Windows 7 has a builtin backup tool that does a disk image, and you can also set it up to make scheduled backups. So you could do what you want to do using what your OS already has. But that tool doesn't have as many features and sometimes isn't as easy to use as a 3rd party tool. One disadvantage is that it doesn't compress the image, so it uses lots of space (although you could set the destination file-system to use compressed folders, which has a similar effect as when your backup tool can directly compress it's backups, but it is far less efficient).

I recommend using Paragons Free backup and recovery utility. It is very easy to use, you can make a boot CD so it is easy to restore your images:

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/index.html
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by:Scott C
Scott C earned 400 total points
ID: 39155806
You can use Windows 7 to make an image of itself.

1.  Click the Start Menu and type "Back Up" then click on Back up your Files.  
2.  In the Control Panel window that appears, Click the blue Create a system image link.
3.  The Create a system image window should pop-up.  Select which hard disk, DVD, or network location you are going to save your system image to.  Click Next to continue.
4.  On the next page check both your System and System Reserved drives.  Once you have selected the drives Click Next to continue. Note: You can select as many drives as you want (if available), but the more you choose to include means the larger the image size will be.
5.  The next window is just a review, make sure everything is correct then Click Start backup to start the process.  This can take 10 minutes or more so patience is required.
6.  After the backup completes, you?ll be prompted with the option to create a system repair disc.  This is a good idea just in case your system has any problems in the future.  Click Yes.
7.  Choose which Disc Recording drive you?ll be using to burn the disc.  Insert a blank CD or DVD to the physical drive and then Click Create disc.


And after the image is done here are the directions for your sister:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/7702/restoring-windows-7-from-an-image-backup/

Or you can look at CloneZilla, I've used that too and it works great.

http://clonezilla.org/
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by:shahzoor
shahzoor earned 400 total points
ID: 39156743
you can use Acronis to do that
create a backup partition and store the image on that machine. Even if you will format the windows partition this partition will remain there
you can even have start-up recovery option to press F11 and start the recovery process
You can even define various scheduled tasks
full backup
incremental
or differential
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nobus earned 400 total points
ID: 39157724
for the data backup - you can use syncback http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/
good - and free
for imaging, i also recommend Paragon's B&R
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