Nov 2, 2009

Did You Know You Can Create Disk Images With Windows 7?

While at work the other day, one of my company's principals came to me saying his computer was acting up. My boss and I went to investigate and we found that his hard drive was making some, what us professionals say, funky noises. You know, the sound a hard drive starts to make shortly before it finally kicks the proverbial bucket?

We knew we had to act quickly, so we grabbed a hard drive from a similar laptop, then using trust PING, we tried to create a quick image of his failing hard drive to put on the new drive. Well, as I found out later, PING didn’t quite mix well with Windows 7 for some reason. The image was successful, but after restarting, the laptop wouldn’t boot up. CRAP!

I remembered there being a feature built into Windows 7 that let you create a disk image. So I decided to boot up his laptop, then I went into the control panel and selected Backup and Restore, and there it was, an option to Create a system image!

system image windows 7I selected that option, and followed the Wizard to backup the system image to an external USB hard drive I had. To restore it is just as easy! You boot up using a Windows 7 DVD and select the option to Repair your computer.

windows 7 startup repair

On the next screen, you select the option to Restore your computer using a system image you created earlier and follow the wizard!


It is that simple people! I have been a big fan of system images for a long time. For home use I have used Ghost 9, Ghost 12, PING, DriveImage XML, you name it. Now, I don’t need to any more! I can get my computer the way I want it, and create my base image using the tools built into Windows! Not to mention, it saved the principal’s computer right?

A couple of things I want to note is that if the image was created using the 32 bit version of Windows 7, you have to use the 32 bit install disk to restore. Likewise for 64 bit. Also, when creating the image, Windows gives you the option of creating a restore disk so you don't have to carry around a Windows 7 install disk. Options, options, options. I like that!

Have you tried the Windows 7 system image yet? Like it? Dislike it? Problems? Success stories? Hit us up in the comments!

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