Windows 7 Creating A System Image question...


New Member
Jun 2, 2013
hi i want to create a system image and save it to an alternate hard drive, however I am wondering if it will erase all the data of that drive?

Does it need to format or be on a clean drive? Or can I do it and it will make a file or directory despite there being other data on there... kinda hard to search for, all I find is tutorials on how to do it. I just don't want to lose my data on my alt hd, and before I try this I'm just wondering if it will wipe it or be ok...? thanks


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
May 25, 2009
Ada Michigan

No all it will do is save the backup files to a folder on your alternate drive.
I pre make the folder before hand so I just tell it where to put it.

You might want to consider creating it using something besides the built in Windows application.

I use Paragon Backup.

Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition - Free Download

It's pretty easy to use and has a good reputation.

I can't say personally that it works, I've never had to use it to restore my computer, but it was recommended to me by other people here.

It does make me feel better knowing that the backup is there.

I didn't install the software on my computer, I run it from a DVD for both the backup and restore so Windows isn't running for either process.

I also do the Windows Image file thing and save that backup in another folder on the same drive, though it might be smart to save it in a separate partition on the first drive.

I figure that if I really need it one or the other will work.

This does take a substantial amount of disk space.
Each of my backups takes about 100 gigabytes.



Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Oct 16, 2009
If you are referring to Windows Backup and Restore, you can create and save an image to just a folder, as Mike says.

If you are talking about re-imaging a hard drive or restoring the image, it will format the entire drive and make the exact same configuration as the drive the image was made from.

Third party utilities may be able to restore an image without wiping the entire drive..but I have no experience.
Top Bottom