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I'm running windows 7 with 2gb memory and 2.50 Ghz dual core cpu. here are my question regarding backing up an entire drive. I plan to use Macrium Reflect because its free. And I can't afford to buy one.

  1. If I backup a hard drive would I only be able to backup the partition where the operating system is?
  2. If I have installed applications which requires activation keys, and I have already installed an activation key. Does backing the hard drive also backup those application, so that I won't have to re-apply the keys later?
  3. If I have a multi-boot system, would the backup also include those other OS that are installed in my hard drive? Can I still boot into them after restoring the image?
  4. Do you have any links there that could enlighten me on what drive backup really is.


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

if you're using macrium..

  1. no - you can choose

  2. its a total image - it will be identical to the original system and you will NOT need to reactivate

  3. if you include the bootloader, and the other partitions, you can boot into them. there's generally an option to do so

I'd note if you want to backup just windows 7, there's a reasonably competent backup app built in - though it only works for windows.

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thanks, that really enlightened me. But your answer in # 3. Does the free version of macrium support it? – Ieyasu Sawada Mar 19 '10 at 7:36
yup. its just a matter of selecting your settings correctly. the safest option is to select the whole drive. – Journeyman Geek Mar 19 '10 at 9:16

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