[How to] Back up your entire hard drive in Windows 7 using Create a System Image


We have covered create system repair disk in case for system failure, but its always important to have all your data backed up, this way you can still retrieve all your important data from your backups. Windows 7 came a nice feature that allows you to create a whole new image of the hard drive you want to back up. It will copy exactly the same content to another data storage device, such as USB removable HDD, DVDs etc. Keep in mind that you need at last the same size of the hard drive you are about to back up. If you are familiar with Mac, this is basically the time capsule, that can only backup your current data, cannot use for overwriting the content.

So here is how you can create a system image:

Type “Backup and restore” on the Start Menu text search field

backup and restore

Click “Backup and Restore”

create a system image

Now click “Create a System Image”

create system image

Choose which hard drive you want to put all your content, be sure to have a large enough size of hard drive. It’s always preferred to have the backup on a different volume (ie. different physical HDD, or physical media)

which drivers backup

Now choose which hard drive you want to back up.

confirm backup

Confirm your backup settings. [note: you can also backup on numbers of DVDs, but be sure to have lots of DVDs if you plan to do so, and the process may take hrs]

Backup is always one of those tasks normal people won’t do on regular bases, but it is yet the most important thing you need to keep in mind, because you never know when your hard drive will failed, when it did you can’t do anything just watching all your data has gone. Of course there is always those services that can “try” to get your data back, but it will cost you lots of fortune to do so. Having a backup always save you the unwanted trouble that you can potentially avoid.  So if you are a person that never done any back and yet never experience any data lost, GOOD FOR YOU! BUT some day you will, so start get the habit of backing up your important data.



  1. IIRC this feature is also there in windows vista, and yes i remember i normally mess a lot windows programs and applications and operating systems, damaging them and fixing them. so when i got windows server 2008? first i did was i backed up the entire windows server 2008 64 bit image on an external usb hard drive. yes the image was a .vhd image and loads of .xml files. and i did also take a few backup on dvd's (just for kicks, i wasted 2 dvd disks) and when i compared the image types? i figured out that the dvd image is compressed i guess 7z or lzma and the image is an exact replica of the .vhd found on the usb, just the sequencing is a bit messy, as if you wanted to rescue the image it was retrieve the data from the usb image in one go and dump and get the system back the way it was before and when i had used the disks? i had to used the disk one first then the last disk and then i had to get back to disk one and then subsequent disks. sort of logical. and yes i did use this method in windows vista and in windows 2008 as well.
    messy messud up guy. 😀


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