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How to Create a System Image in Windows 7

A system image creates a snapshot in time of your hard drive and can be a real time-saver when your hard drive crashes. Windows 7 allows you to easily create a system image of your hard drive at any time.

If you have the disk space available on your backup device, Windows Backup can create a system image for you each time your regular backup runs. However, it isn’t necessary to create system images as frequently as you back up your data. As a general guideline, you should create a new system image when you install any new programs or make major changes or updates to your computer or Windows 7 (or at least every couple of months).

1

Open the Windows Control Panel, and then click System and Security.

The System and Security window appears.

2

Click Backup and Restore.

The Backup and Restore window appears.

3

In the left pane, click Create a System Image.

Windows Backup begins scanning your computer for backup devices. You can create a system image on an NTFS-formatted hard disk (but not the same hard disk that you are creating the image from), on one or more discs, or to a network location. If you create a system image in a network location, Windows Backup overwrites older system images and keeps only the most recent image.

4

Click Next.

The Confirm Your Backup Settings screen appears.

5

Confirm your backup destination is correct and click Start Backup.

Windows Backup starts creating your system image.

6

When prompted, insert blank discs (if you’re backing up to DVDs) as needed.

DVD-R/RW discs are a good choice for creating system images; they’re durable, inexpensive, and easy to use — both for creating and restoring a system image.

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