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I have a Windows 7 machine in a remote location and I want to make a bare metal backup image of the hard drive in its current state.

Before I make the backup, I'd like to know if the system will drop the network connection and lock me out?

I wouldn't want to make a backup and then find out I can't log back into the system...

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I've no idea, but maybe the /console option might help. –  Arjan Jul 11 '10 at 15:31

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It all depends how you want to take the backup. If you are using the built in backup mechanism you will be just fine and you won't lose connection. If you are trying to use something like Clonezilla you won't even get the process started without a networked KVM. There are other backup options like DriveImage XML that will work remote and use VSS and those should all be safe to use remote.

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Yes, I'll be using Windows 7 built in imaging utility. Since this workstation is critical, I'll experiment in VirtualBox first and see what happens. –  Level1Coder Jul 11 '10 at 15:35
    
It also depends on how you're using the Windows Backup & Restore utility. If you're making an "image" (which is what it sounds like), Windows goes into a special state so that you can't make changes while it's creating the image (as opposed to when you're just making a file & folder backup, where you can keep using the machine while the backup is being made). I have no idea, though, whether or not this state disconnects remote desktop connections. If there's any way to use VNC instead, you might try that; it seems that its connection is much less likely to be dropped in such a situation. –  jrc03c Jul 11 '10 at 16:10
    
I tested in VirtualBox and I could see the progress bar grow longer as it completed the drive imaging process so I guess it's safe and network connections do not get cutoff when using the built-in Windows 7 drive imaging utility. –  Level1Coder Jul 11 '10 at 17:13

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