is w7 backup any good?

Windows 7 Backup feature can be slow, finicky and frustrating.

I would recommend either Acronis True Image Home or Macrium Reflect Free. Both are excellent backup programs and very fast.

It sounds like an old copy utility from years back. The program would copy a file only if it could read it as a legitimate file for that OS. If it could not read and understand the file or if it thought there was an error in the file, it would NOT copy it.

Then along came the "Bit Copier" type of copy programs. They copied everything, bit by bit, caring NOT what the bits represented.
'See a bit, copy a bit'. That made life a whole lot easier.

In the case of Ghost, when doing a Partition To Image copy, it copies files one at a time in their entirety just as they appear in the directories. Even a badly fragmented file gets fully copied, before the program moves on to the next file. It really doesn't care what type of file they are. Zip files copy as easily as a text file or executable file. Truly a HD should be error free before doing a backup.
Then on a restore the files are copied from the Image file to the HD in the same order they were put into the Image.
A Cloning program copies everything it sees, bit by bit.

Yesterday, I had a storage drive (partition) with about 120 gigs of data on it that was horribly fragmented. I spent some time deleting the things off of that drive that I didn't want any more. Then I made a Partition to Image backup of that drive to a spare drive.
Then I deleted everything on that Storage partition. Then I restored the image file I'd made of that partition.
All the files from the Image were written back to that empty partition in perfect sequential order, with no spaces between them and of course, NO Fragmentation. It took a while, but it was well worth it.

Cheers Mates!


Honorable Member
I am finding Windows 7 Backup extremely slow. I set it to backup my libraries to an external drive. I chose not to do the image file on this occasion. After 6 hours it had only done 38%. There's maybe only 80gb of data to backup and that can't be right, can it?


I do mine to an internal drive and it takes less than 8 minutes. usually about 6 minutes and 45 seconds, Is your external drive a USB? What version? I am wiondering if you may have a a external drive that may be showing signs of failure, What percentage of the external drive is free space?

A couple of things:
All too many folks keep everything they own, data wise, on their "C" drive.
It's like keeping everything you own in your living room. We have closets for our 'stuff' and even garages for the big stuff.
So why keep everything on your "C" drive? That should be reserved for the OS and programs that can only run from there.
Heck, even MS Office will install to "D" or any other drive, if you just use the "Custom" install mode and tell it were to install.

For ages I've been able to back up my "C" drive to a single DVD, using Ghost 2003 and HIGH Compression.

Some backup programs are intuitive enough to not back up your pagefile, old restore points, etc. and some are NOT.
So doing a really massive cleanup before you back up your "C" drive will save time and space in the resulting Image File.

I run my own Ghost backup program from a DOS boot disk and from batch files I delete all the junk off'n my "C" drive
before I back it up. This saves me a LOT of space in my backup image file.

It does take some planning when setting up a backup routine and some time to do the cleanup, but it's well worth it.


I have everything on C drive still only 6 to 8 minute backup time using W7 or Macrium, I know Macrium does not back up swap files. I agree use a Program like CC Cleaner to clean up disck prioor to back up CC cleaner can also remove all old restore points except for the last one

yes mine only takes about an hour and that includes the system image

Mine is a full backup/image done in less than 8 mintes

I supose it depends how big the back up is sgt why do you need all those drives 9 hard drives just how big are they???? do you work for the CIA lol


Honorable Member
I do mine to an internal drive and it takes less than 8 minutes. usually about 6 minutes and 45 seconds, Is your external drive a USB? What version? I am wiondering if you may have a a external drive that may be showing signs of failure, What percentage of the external drive is free space?
It is a 250GB Firewire 400 drive. I've had it about 4 years now and used it daily on my Mac. Windows 7 enticed me back from the Jobsian world of Apple ;-) As it was previously formatted for OS X, it is totally empty after having been reformatted to NTFS. I did do a quick format and think this may be the problem. Thinking about it while at work, it did seem strange that quick format was an option on a non Windows drive. I'll do a full format and try again. Failing that, I'll try the drive in a USB enclosure.



No I believe in the old maxim, you never can have to much HD space nor can you ever have to much memory


Honorable Member
Looks like the drive is failing. Won't even format, gets to around 1/3 and just hangs there.


I've been a PC service tech for somewhere around 30 years and the most disheartening call I ever get is from the person whose HD just went up in smoke and they have NO backup for anything. Drivers? NO!,,, OS install disk? NO! Backup of docs and pictures? NO!

At that point I usually suggest that they go to WalMart of somewhere and pick up a new computer. There is NO data recovery program that can get data off of a HD where the read/write heads have crashed into the platters and dug deep grooves in the platter surfaces.

That scenario is ever on my mind when I advise someone in regards to setting up a meaningful backup scheme.
First off the backup/restore program should NOT be on your C: drive. It should be on a bootable CD, DVD or Flash Drive, whatever works best on your system.
Likewise, the backup should be a total backup image of the OS drive, which is most commonly drive C.
That will include the boot sector, the OS, all the drivers and all the programs and data (EVERYTHING).

Then finally, the backup image file should be (must be) stored on a separate hard drive or on DVD's, for restoring to a brand new hard drive.
Always assume the worse case scenario when devising your own backup system.

Now, on my own PC, I use Ghost 2003 or Ghost 11.5 which I can boot up my system with, from either a floppy disk (Ghost 2003) or a CD or Flash Drive (Ghost 11.5---too big to fit on a floppy disk).

From that boot disk, I can access my hard drive, to delete any junk files I want to eliminate before I do my backup. My XP drive is still in FAT-32 format, so I can access it directly from my DOS boot disk, and run batch files to delete all the junk off of the HD.
On my Windows 7 HD, I still boot into DOS and then run NTFS4DOS to allow me to access the HD and delete the junk, before doing the backup.

My backups are made either to a second (or third) HD in my system or they are burned to DVD's for OFF-Site storage. The only really SAFE backup is the one that's NOT in your system when it gets hit by lightning.:( Or anywhere in your house, while it's burning down. I wonder how much data has been lost forever, for the poor people in California, whose houses have burned down in those wild fires?

Over the years, I've had as many HD failures as anyone, at least till I learned how to keep my drives COOL, but in all that mayhem, I've never lost the first data file. OS's and PC's come and go, but data (docs and pictures) live forever.:)



Well-Known Member
Well I always used Acronis but it is a manual process. I have been waiting for windows to have a feature like we see in Win7 backup. I now use it as it is much better to have it scheduled as it is. So I backup up onto my external 2TB drive and so far I am happy. Admittedly I have never used the restore but am glad to read that it has been reported here to work great. Now I feel better :razz:

Like I said before I use Macrium Reflect, to a separte internal HD this Full backup is done weekly, I also use W7 to do a full backup daily to a completely different internal HD ( I have 4 internal HD'S) this covers e in case of a C drive Failure and or one of my Internal Hard Drives fail. The only one thing Macrium does not have is a clone feature. So if my C drive failed I would have to install the image to a drive of the same size or greater size drive.

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