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Software to backup data and files on a Windows computer

How can I back up the entire Windows 7 installation to be used on another drive as if it were a new operating system?

For example, I'd like to use both Ubuntu and Windows 7, yet have an entire Ubuntu partition on the computer and Windows on a separate drive. But the OS backup would absolutely need to be like exactly the same version as before when first used.

Is there some way to do this?

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Use the Windows backup tool and back it up to some other drive. –  ekaj Aug 7 '12 at 18:36
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marked as duplicate by soandos, Mokubai, Canadian Luke, Renan, 8088 Aug 8 '12 at 0:24

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2 Answers

You need to make an image of your operating system, which can be done from the backup center within windows. This will save an exact copy of your OS which can then be re-installed back onto a different drive or another partition. The reinstall is done via the Windows 7 installation disc under the repair section when you boot into it.

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I believe the OP wants a "fresh" installation on their external drive rather than a normal backup. –  slhck Aug 7 '12 at 19:28
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The "as if it were a new operating system" requirement is confusing - any backup you do of an existing Win 7 installation would restore as that same exact installation.

You can use the Windows Backup Tool as others have described, or an imaging tool such as Ghost, to make a clone of your Windows installation and restore it on a new drive all by itself... but it'll be a clone of the existing install, with all the same programs and garbage, rather than a fresh new operating system installation.

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