System Image

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updated 12/20/09

Norton Ghost, my preferred backup program, is not compatible (yet) with Windows 7. So, I used the built-in Windows 7 Imaging process.

Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore > Create a System Image
This asks for where to store the image and what to include in the backup. I found that it worked fine, but takes a lot of disk space. It takes 8.4GB to store backup files for a new system; this is about double what Ghost would do. It is fast, however.

Restore from Image: There are two ways. One is to use the system repair CD that System Image suggests be made and boot from that CD. The other is to boot the system normally, but using F8 to select Repair at the beginning of the boot process. Both work ok.

I learned that a second system image rewrites the original image to include a selection for the later image in addition to the first image. I have not found how to delete an image without changing the rest of the backups; my query on the Windows 7 forum has gone unanswered.

It doesn't appear that it is possible to do a stand-alone backup to the same location that already stores a backup. Backups add to the backup files; when restoring, a choice is provided for selection of  the particular backup that is desired.

Norton Ghost finally available:

Ghost 15 finally available on line. Purchased for $49.99 and downloaded. Installed on computer running XP.
11/22/09: Installed Ghost 15 in Windows 7 computer. It works fine.

I've abandoned "System Image" and will use Ghost 15 for backup images.