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Anyways, I've got a Windows 7 installation that I want to make a generalized backup image of so I can use it for future installs on not only my desktop from which the image is to be derived from, but also other systems with dissimilar hardware. Therefore I've arrived at either 2 options, using either sysprep/imagx from WAIK (guide here), or the simpler Acronis True Image w/ their Universal Restore addon. Of course, they create distinct image file types, .wim and .tib respectively.

  1. What I'd like to do is to periodically update this image, say with Windows Updates, by booting it to either a physical partition or using virtualization (VirtualBox/VMWare), perform the updates, and save the updated .wim or .tib image file again. What's the simplest way I could do this?

  2. Another question is, I created this generalized backup image on a 500GB Seagate 7200RPM HDD. Say I get an SSD as an OS drive in the future, can I just deploy this backup image to the SSD normally, or are there any potential problems to be aware/avoid (ie. is it best to completely reinstall the OS on the SSD from scratch, or can I use the image created on the normal HDD with no issue)?

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Acronis can do incremental backups, this would do what you need, then use universal restore when you need it to be deployed on different hardware.

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Can I restore this image to a temp location (partition or virtual space), update the image (mostly checking for Windows updates), and then create an updated backup image? Because I will be still using my main Windows install with apps and such, I do NOT want to make a backup image of that, only to periodically check for updates on the 1st image (sans apps and whatnot, basically a slightly tweaked Win7) I made. Hope that makes sense. – user52775 Dec 27 '10 at 5:52
I don't know for sure, sorry. – Moab Dec 27 '10 at 15:33

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