Basic Windows 7 Backup query


New Member
I recently got a new computer with W7. I am trying to use the Windows7 backup program.

It works well. I just did a full system backup (image) to my external hard drive. I deleted a file and was able to bring back the individual file.

NOW, I am not sure how to do future backups. I would like the next few to be incremental and then do a full system image again. Can I do this? If so, how?

I will also be making a system boot disk. Any idea how many DVD's I would need? Should I just use DVD-R? I have about 40 gb filled on my HD



Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Microsoft MVP
You are very wise to be planning regular backups but before you get too far down the road of filling your hard drive you should consider the following:

If you use the array of "My Documents, My Pictures, My Videos" folders etc you will slowly fill your hard drive to the point where backup images become unrealistically and unmanageably large I strongly recommend using the system drive for op sys and programs only, storing all data on a separate drive or partition. The data drive can also be used for storing your system drive backups. That way, unless you have some huge apps your system drive is very unlikely to exceed 40GB. (i have a lot of installed apps and my system drive is still less than 20GB). This way, system drive images are kept down to a manageable size and if ever you need to run a full reinstall of the op sys you don't lose any data.

The question of incremental or full backups is a personal one - I myself always create a full, new backup image each time (keeping you drive small helps!). It is also worth looking at Acronis True Image, a third party backup package which offers a lot of features not available in the integrated backup. You can get a full working trial here:

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Honorable Member
I use Acronis True Image Home 2010 weekly. I always have the last 3 backups saved on an external disk. I use Acronis for imaging my C drive only. Sector by sector. I also have a boot up disk created by Acronis to use in case of a system failure and I can't get into windows.
For data backup, I use a syncing program called "Super Flexible File Synchronizer" where I created profiles of my important folders from different drives (I have 10 drives of 1TB each) and all that is synced to another external drive.

People who don't backup their system and data should be hunted down and shot :)