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I've installed fresh Windows 7 Ultimate (32bit) on my laptop. I've installed all the application/WindowsUpdates which I wanted to and my system is ready to use. All my other data is now on D: drive. I need to backup image of my system drive (C:) and want to be able to restore it whenever needed.

I want to back it up only once. I don't want to do scheduled backup and I will only restore it on this system.

Is there any free tool which can allow me to write DVD or back up image on an external hard drive or on my E: drive?

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not cheap idea to save money on backups )) –  stim Oct 8 '10 at 14:46
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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Paragon Backup & Recovery 2010 Free Advanced

Does Complete & Differential Backups, Backup Scheduler, Backup to FTP servers, Backup Capsule (unerasable) and P2V Migration (physical to virtual).

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+1 thank you very much –  iSid Oct 9 '10 at 5:00
    
If you have tried it, can you let me know how was your experience with it? –  iSid Oct 9 '10 at 5:11
    
I just tried it for a few minutes, and it had a nice, friendly and modern UI, unlike Clonezilla which is a bit of a relic. Screenshots are available here : paragon-software.com/home/db-express/screenshots.html –  harrymc Oct 9 '10 at 7:05
    
If I've backed up image of C: drive on E: and do I need to also build recovery media? Also will I be able to format (not quick) my C: drive before restoring image? –  iSid Oct 11 '10 at 11:23
    
As far as my understanding goes, you need the recovery media to boot with, in case your disk becomes unbootable, to restore the image. Restoring the image is in essence the same as a format, but nothing stops you from booting with the Windows CD, formatting, then rebooting with Paragon. I would also counsel making a dry-run with the Paragon boot CD, to see if it can at least see the backup image on the E drive. –  harrymc Oct 11 '10 at 11:51
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Macrium Reflect Free

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+1 Looks promising! I will surely give it a try. –  iSid Oct 8 '10 at 13:32
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Clonezilla?

Clonezilla, based on DRBL, Partclone and udpcast, allows you to do bare metal backup and recovery. Two types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla live and Clonezilla SE (server edition). Clonezilla live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. While Clonezilla SE is for massive deployment, it can clone many (40 plus!) computers simultaneously. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the harddisk. This increases the clone efficiency

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+1 thank you very much –  iSid Oct 9 '10 at 5:00
    
@linker After checking out Clonezilla for a bit, I cannot seem to find a way to get it to back up to multiple DVD's. Do you know if this is possible? –  greatwolf Jul 20 '11 at 6:29
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You can try the default Windows System Restore, but that is not as good as other third party software (Rollback Rx comes thru my mind now).

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It's not free :( –  iSid Feb 4 '11 at 4:21
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