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I have installed windows 7 with all softwares as required. Frankly speaking i have been searching something for 8 years that i get backup of whole system in good state so that if something happens then i restore that but could not find it. Every time i have to fresh format the drive and do it.

Basically i want

  1. Something like i create restore point that this state is good
  2. I have 80GB drive full with everything instaleed , so i need to do it on External USB drive
  3. Something bad happened and computer is not booting. I just be able to boot from CD then select the external USB Drive and i restore backup from there

Guys please help me. If there is some free software that will be good. i can't spend too much money.

Will window backup be able to do that??

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I started off using the free version of Macrium Reflect, and more recently purchased it (to get the differential backup function). The free version should do exactly what you want though; it works beautifully for me. I use it to regularly back my entire HDD up across the network to a shared drive, but you could use a USB drive just as easily.

As a nice side benefit, you can also mount the backups as a drive, so that you can browse the files / folders and copy items back out to your live system if you need to restore just one file (this is in addition to being able to do a bare metal restore).

You can also mount the backup as a virtual machine, which allows you to use your backup as if it was a live PC, but without restoring it.

They offer a CD that you can boot from to do a restore.

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The windows 7 backup tool has grown up since the days of Windows 3.1, and it actually works. Because it's built in to Windows, it's not extra software, and can remind you when you need new backups done. Restoring doesn't even need a CD (depending on the issue), and it backs up to a VHD, readable by Windows 7 natively

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Download and burn a copy of Clonezilla Live. From this you can boot the machine, store an image of the main hard drive to your external hard drive or a network share, and then later if the main hard drive fails and you have to replace it - boot off the clonezilla live cd again and restore from your saved image. Yes, its linux but no, you don't need to be fluent in any obscure command syntax - it wraps all that business for you.

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The problem with creating images of 80GB HDDs is that it takes a while. Probably up to an hour for a fast system, more if your computer is not super fast.

But as you note, creating a full image is the most secure way to backup ensuring the restored image will be completely functional.

I use an older version of Norton Ghost for creating these images. It can run on a bootable CD or thumb drive and so should be pretty much what you're looking for.

I believe it's version 8 of the Ghost program.

But there are other, more recent, applications that may have certain advantages over Norton Ghost 8. And perhaps some of the other answers here will give good recommendations of alternative software.

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I have used partimage from a linux boot CD before, but this is probably only suitable if you are happy booting and using linux.

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