Vista Backup & Windows 7 Clean Install


Senior Member
I have three computers presently loaded with Vista (vista home basic, vista 64 home proffesional and vista 64 ultimate). In preparing for next weeks windows 7 release I will be backing up the computers to an external drive. When I have completed the double install to get a clean formated install, will windows 7 recognize the backup files generated by the copies of vista?


New Member
Hopefully - they will be vhd files - so in theory, it should.

Windows Backup is not entirely reliable - sometimes has difficulty picking up the backups - even when they are visible in Explorer. You may be OK.

If it is important to you - I would use a 3rd party app. - faster, more reliable and more flexible.

You are in luck atm. Paragon are giving away PM9.5PRO - It is a fantastic partitioning app.

They have included - disk imaging - you can select include/exclude, compression level., etc. You can't schedule ( that is in the Drive Backup products) , but you don't need to for what you are doing.

Get this while you can - for free. Backup all your Vista installs with it. You can run off the bootable cd from within PM9.5PRO - use that to restore the images.

License software giveaway - free backup, partition freeware & data recovery

I have used this a lot on Win 7 x64 - works pefectly.

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Hope it helps.


Senior Member
Thanks, that looks veryhelpful. I am loading both the 32 and 64 bit versions right now. I hope that when I install them following the Windows 7 installations they will still be free. It's strange to me that when microsoft comes up with a new version that the new version can not recognise a backup made from the prior version.


New Member
Once you have the product key they email you - reinstall as often as you like. It is yours free with no time limit.

After you have registered for the free key(s), you can go and get the key again from :

They will probably also let you d/l the product again from there - best to keep a copy of the .msi installers you downloaded - just in case.

[7 Backup should be able pick up the Vista vhd's - and it may well - but I wouldn't bank on it.]


New Member
Forgot to say - when the download is complete - start the installer - you will get this screen - click "Get Free Serial" - it takes you to the reg. link.

Once you have registered, they will email a key - you don't need to continue to install at that point - you can use the installer and key any time after you have got them.

Here is the reg. link for the 64 bit version

Partition Manager 9.5 Professional

So you can get it directly from there - no need to start the install of the 64 bit version.

If you want a different key for the 32 bit - you will need to start it off and click the link , like this:

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Senior Member
Thanks again. I have downloaded both 32 and 64 versions and followed your instuctions to get the product key and serial number.
It may be that the product key and serial number works for both versions. I hit the V64 "get free serial" I recieved two different product key and serial numbers that are different and indistinguishable to the v32 numbers.


New Member
That's good.

Click the link in the email to the login page - sign in to "My Account" - see if the installers are available for download again from there. I think they will be.

Please let me know - so I can pass the info on.


Senior Member
I have now installed Partition Manager 9.5 pro on one of my computers. I logged on to "my account" at the Paragon web site and could not find the free link only the downloads for Partition Manager 10.0 pro . I could see the three product codes and serial numbers i had generated earlier. If I used the original link the free files were still available to download, and per your suggestion I had saved the msi files.
One further question. This program saves the whole drive. When restoring in Windows 7 will it allow a partial restore of say my data files, or will I have to restore to a partition?


New Member

You can save all the partitions in one go - including the mbr, or you can image them all separately. Tick whichever you want in the "What to Backup" window.

It is worth cleaning up the o/s before imaging it - remove all restore pts except the last is not a bad idea. Also try disk cleanup.

In start search , type cleanmgr /sageset:1 , then press enter. In the window that pops up - tick all the options - except setup log files. OK.

That sets it up - it doesn't actually clean.

To run it, either type in start search cleanmgr /sagerun:1 , then press enter.

OR make a shortcut - rt click desktop >New>Shortcut, type in cleanmgr /sagerun:1 , click Next, Finish.

Run the shortcut to cleanup.

There is no point in splitting the image - unless you are backing up to dvd's - so untick that. Normal compression level works well. Skip o/s auxiliary files.

You can get individual files out of the images like this:

Use the Volume Explorer - dble click the arc, dble click the .PBF, dble click the Partition - you will see all the files inside - rt click and Export any you want to any Location.

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Or use the File Transfer Wizard - again dble click arc, .PBF, - then copy the files you want to the clipboard. Click Next - select where to put the copies.

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Couldn't be easier or quicker.

It's a good idea to run off the bootable disc now. It is useful, not just for restoring images - but it also contains boot corrector tools and file transfer wizard , partitioning, etc.

Hope it helps.


Senior Member
I loaded Partition manager 9.5 and saved my primary drive to an external drive (had to remove norton backups to make space). Then I tried to follow the procedure you outlined to partially recover.

I could not perform the direct volume explore method you described the system wanted to open with the correct program.

When I used the file transfer wizard the PBF file did not expand.

By trial and error I found that the ...0000p.000 file expanded and I was able to perform a partial restore that way.

So I had final success, and so I have a extra level of protection now for Oct 22. Thanks


Senior Member
You are correct I was using windows explorer rather than Volume explorer. I was confused becasuse when partion manager was first run it started with an express launcher, which is all I used. To find the volume explorer I had to go to the full scale launcher. From there it opens up exactly as you state. With File transfer wizard, however, fired of from either launcher on my PC, I can not expand the PBF file. Not that I need to now. Thanks a lot for all your help :D

You're welcome. Have fun.

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