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I know Windows 7 has built-in backup facility and i also am familiar with 2BrightSparks' SyncBackSE utility.

I have questions about backing up sensitive information to external source and booting from it in case of emergency:

  1. If i backup with Windows 7 built-in backup facility, will i be able to later use external source as boot device? If yes, must i choose recommended backup or customized backup?
  2. If i backup with SyncBackSE, will i be able to boot from external source?

Would you recommend/rely on Windows 7 built-in backup facility? What other backup utilities would you recommend for backing up sensitive data and booting from external source?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would not reccomend Windows Backup after the fun and ga,es I've seen with it in the apst. I would throughly recommend Acronis True Image with Universal Restore. It's not free but the software is fantastic. I've restored everything from Laptops to Servers onto dis-similar hardware and never had a problem.
You can even choose to include a drivers disk at startup so you can take the driver executables and strip them down to their component files using a tool such as UniExtract and specify these files to be loaded at restore. Once the restore is finished you have a fully functioning computer with the correct dirvers installed.

One final point, whenever creating a backup and restore stratergy make sure you;re continually testing and checking that both parts work. The backup and the restore. Too often people concentrate on the backup only and run into problems when they try and restore their data.

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Joe how do i restore system image from external source onto my computer's hard drive after formatting hard drive? Does image come with bootable utility that allows me to (format, fdisk and other MS-DOS tools) restore backup to a hard drive? –  Boris_yo May 27 '11 at 12:21
    
Acronis comes with the option to create bootable media running from its own Linux based kernel. –  Joe Taylor May 27 '11 at 22:55
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I am no expert in windows 7 backup programs. But if you want to be absolutely sure you can boot from it you can make a mirror of your disk. You could use for example use "hirens boot cd" or other software for mirroring hard drives.

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