Creating a Windows 7 Image of the C: drive only

I recently installed an SSD in my laptop and moved the HDD to the secondary drive (I have room for two). I did a few of the prescribed steps for optimal SSD usage (moved user profiles to HDD, moved temp directory and page file, etc). Initially I was able to image only my C drive (about 30GB required). This was when I could still dual boot to my original partition on the HDD.

I've since removed the old Windows 7 install from the HDD and made it a single partition. However, now when I try to make a drive image I'm unable to deselect my HDD when creating an image. I'm given no option except to create an image for both drives with a resulting size of 209GB. I'm already backing up my user data already and don't want to include it in the image.

When I view the disk manager my HDD (drive E) is Disk 0 and my SSD (drive C) is Disk 1. I've run bcdboot c:\windows /s c: to ensure I have the boot files on my SSD. I'm able to boot my machine on the SSD if I disconnect my HDD but it doesn' like that my profile isn't available. I've also tried to change the disk order in my laptop BIOS but I don't have the option of changing the order of the individual disks.

What I want to do is be able to do is image only my SSD and not the entire system. I also want to do it on a regular basis and avoid having to open up my laptop and disconnect the HDD.

Is this related to the order of my disks in the disk manager or is that just a red herring? How do I make it so I can only select the SSD when creating a disk image?

Thanks in advance.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I would have to assume an image would include everything it needed to get your system back to its original state. So putting some of the required folders on a second drive might be your problem. I do not know exactly what those things are but perhaps testing without the HDD installed would let you know when the image you want can be created.

The system will boot to the first active partition it finds. If you system boots to the SSD with the HDD disconnected, you might want to make sure the HDD does not have an active partition if you, for some reason, cannot change the order of the drives in the bios. Disk Management will show which partitions are active. And unless you are running an UEFI bios system, the partition with the boot files has to be active.

Thanks for the speedy reply Saltgrass.

I was also wondering if there were dependencies on drive E that require its inclusion in the image. I'm not sure if the issue is the drive order or if some file/folder dependencies are causing my problems.

Here is an image of the Disk Manager that shows the drives. Drive E isn't listed as active. I had removed the old partitions on the HDD and resized drive E to fill the disk using the GParted Live CD. I'll try digging around to see if I can find any other clues.



Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
It could be the Page File or just about anything else normally used.

It looks like your drive is set up OK, but you are the second one I have seen recently with a system Partition that is no longer a system partition..strange. :andwhat:

I figured out what the problem was... The issue has nothing to do with the drive order. The problem is that my E: drive is being flagged as a system drive. I had installed SQL Server Express on my E drive which runs as a service. The existence of a service on the E: drive causes Windows Backup to force E: to be included.

I found the answer here

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