Using Windows 7 Image Backup Tool

We have been using third-party utilities like Acronis True Image and Macrium Reflect to create image backup of our installed Vista or any other drives. Gone are the days of using third-party applications to create image backup.

But with Windows 7 everything is possible now. Just say good bye to Acronis True Image before we get into the innards of this post. We can now create image (clone) backup of drives easily using the in-built Image Backup feature. Though there are few limitations basic Windows user will find it very useful. So how to access and use this feature?

Create Windows 7 image backup using Image Backup tool

Step 1: Open Control Panel, under System and Security open Backup your computer option.

Step 2: In the lift pane, open the link “Create an image backup”.

Step 3: Select the destination drive or Optical drive or network location to store backup files.


Step 4: Click Next to include/exclude drives in the image backup. Note that the disk that Windows is installed on will always be included in the backup. You cannot include the disk that you are saving the backup to.


Step 5: In the next step Windows 7 will give a last chance to confirm the backup settings you have chosen in the last step. Once you are agree with the backup settings just click Start backup button to start backup process. Backup process few minutes to hours depending on the size of the disk.


Step 6: After finishing the backup process Windows 7 prompts you an option to create a recovery CD so that you can restore the created image using the bootable recovery disc.



  1. Amit Kumar says

    Hii Admin,

    A big thank to you for solving my issue of restoring the image using the bootable recovery disc on Windows 7. This article helped me so much.

    Thank you for sharing this helpful atep by step guide 🙂

  2. Gordon says

    I needed a bigger hard drive so done a disc clone image from windows 7 ultimate onto a spare drive (sata). Put in the new HD and the one with the image and ran the tool from CD to restore and it wouldnt load the clone file. Had to download Acronis boot cd which worked great it restored my system on the bigger drive. So just be aware that using the microsoft method from start to finish to clone to another drive is not as good as it sounds.

  3. Jogi says

    Which type of DVD Burner do you have? I’ve had the same problem with a Sony Optiarc AD7240. The problem was the Firmware of the DVD RAM. After I updated it to 1.04 everything worked fine. But before the update, it wasn’t possible to burn a system image to disk neather to do this by acronis. I think you have a comparable problem.

  4. David says

    when trying to create an image backup on windows 7 (32bit) i keep getting the message asking me to format the DVD (+R) when i do that it then asks me to lable a dvd and insert only to be asked to format again and so on and so on. What the hell is going on….. the writer is ok as it enabled me to create the usual restore disc.

  5. Ralph P says

    @elijah harp jr
    What are you talking about, you jabbering idiot? This post had nothing to do about security issues, servers or roaming profiles.

  6. Wildcard SSL says

    Hi, I’m solving one problem and maybe you could help me. First time when you start back up you have to click on “Set up backup”. When you do it you won’t get this message (Set up backup) again. I’m making some screenshots for Win 7 and I already set up backup, but I need to view this messege again and make a screenshot of it (in various languages). Is this somehow possible?

    thanks a lot

  7. elijah harp jr says

    no wonder so many companies have security issues because they are still essentially on a type of “windows server” maybe even a local server also for email, social networking sites etc also whenever you create any user profile you cannot change it from roaming one way or another windows seem to change every user profile to “roaming”

    go to windows start type in “user profiles” then go to “change profile type”

    i used to wonder how atlas.dmt and other spyware made its way onto my computer now i am missing msvcr71.dll a file needed to run my games and install games

    no wonder

  8. Nicholas Piazza says

    I would like for the Windows 7 Image Backup to be upgraded to support backing up to Blu-Ray discs. This would provide the ability to backup about 25 GB per disc.

  9. W7 Zerg says

    I installed 7 this evening and it took 30 minutes and I don’t have a single missing device in device manager after a clean install on an Nvidia motherboard!

    I’m planning on getting the manufacturer Drivers installed and trying this out so I have a clean backup to start from while I test.

    Thanks for this guide!

  10. bbqchickenrobot says

    Used this is as well last night. It ran moderately quickly and backed up my system drive to my RAID drive without a hitch! All the while I was running Visual Studio, WMP + several other applications without any slowdown on my system.

    If your system is slow, it could be due to your hardware. Don’t be quick to blame windows for that. My boot times are great and I have zero lag on my machine at all.

    For those curious, my system specs are as follows:

    ASUS M4A79 Deluxe Mobo (790FX and SB750)
    AMD Phenom II 940 BE 3.0Ghz running at stock speed and voltage
    Corsair Dominator DDRII 1066 8GB @ 4x2GB
    ATI Radeon 9870 1GB GDDR5 (x1)
    WD Raptor 10k RPM 75GB System Drive (x1)
    WD 1TB Data/Backup Drive (x2 in RAID)
    Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate

    Absolutely hums along without issue. Love this setup. Coming from Windows XP => Vista => Windows 7 and by far it’s the best yest IMO.

  11. magicbirds says

    This Windows 7 Create Backup Image is causing the computer to run so slowly that the computer totally is unusable! Windows 7 by itself is totally unusable because it’s way too slow! This is not acceptable! Windows 7 Sync Center is also slowing down the system too much!

  12. Philip says

    Keep in mind that you can always rename the previous backup directory if you wish to create a 2nd image.

  13. Tom says

    I have created an image with success a few days ago with success.
    In addition, I have used the restore function as well to test it, using the boot disc created by the application, and the restore has worked out very well without any problems!
    However, it seems to be impossible to create ANOTHER image afterwards without destroying the first one!
    It is apparently not possible to define a subfolder in which you can put all new images, This is a nice feature of for instance True Image: you can either create a complete new image or an incremental one.
    Will this feature be available in the next versions of the backup-restore feature of W7?? I hope so…

    For the rest I am quite enthusiastic about Windows 7: it is fast and seems to be quite stable!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *