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  1. #1
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    Managing multiple Windows system images

    LANGALIST PLUS

    Managing multiple Windows system images


    By Fred Langa

    By default, Windows' built-in imaging tool keeps only the most recent copy; it overwrites deletes older images. Here's how to keep multiple copies. Plus: What really needs to be backed up before a Win10 upgrade? And why some software requires very frequent updates.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/managing-multiple-windows-system-images/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    While the manual copy method works, with multiple drives to back up wouldn't it be simpler in the long run to create a partition for each HDD to be backed up on the external drive?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Atkins View Post
    LANGALIST PLUS

    Managing multiple Windows system images

    [tbl="bgcolor=white cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width=100% summary=LangaList Plus summary"][tr][td="align=left valign=top width=510"]
    By Fred Langa

    By default, Windows' built-in imaging tool keeps only the most recent copy; it overwrites — deletes — older images. Here's how to keep multiple copies.
    The Microsoft link in that article seems to suggest that the previous System Image is not overwritten unless you are saving your system images in a network location.

    Is that accurate?
    And just what would constitute saving your system images in a network location?

  4. #4
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    Also, if you can't boot into Windows, how would you "move one of the dated folders back to the root of the external drive" as Reader John K. Radcliffe suggests?

  5. #5
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    Is there a way to make a system image of just the OS drive?

    This has been a frustration of mine for some time. I would like to back up only my C: drive which runs my OS so that I could restore it if ever needed. The reason is I have installed a 223 GB SSD for that drive for speed in boot up and most programs and I have another platter drive (2 TB) installed that holds all or at least most of my data - the primary storage drive "E". This Primary storage 2 TB drive is backed up daily to another internal 2 TB drive "F" and weekly to a network drive; so I don't need or want to include it in the back up or system image of the C drive.

    When I try to create a system image I really only want an image of the C drive but the process requires me to include the primary storage too. Is there a way to make an image of only the C drive to an external 500GB drive without copying all the extra things from the E drive? Thanks to you and the other Windows Secret readers for you advice.

    DNev
    Last edited by DNev; 2015-12-17 at 11:14.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevenXXXX View Post
    Also, if you can't boot into Windows, how would you "move one of the dated folders back to the root of the external drive" as Reader John K. Radcliffe suggests?
    In the event of failure of one computer's hard disk, you would simply work on the backup drive connected to another of your myriad PCs or laptops! Then reconnect to the failed computer and do the restore.
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  7. #7
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highstream View Post
    While the manual copy method works, with multiple drives to back up wouldn't it be simpler in the long run to create a partition for each HDD to be backed up on the external drive?
    I would suggest that there are two problems with your proposal: with a large number of computers being backed up one quickly runs out of available drive letters (yes, we have over 26 PCs at work!), and you inevitably have to over-allocate disk space in each partition (our Windows 7 backups vary in size between 25 GB and just under 50 GB).

    Yes, I know you can remove the drive letter from a partition (a bit of a pain, though), but we were always running out of space on the external USB hard drive, with quantities of unusable free space in each partition.
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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