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How to image a Windows partition so I can browse the files later?

I have a 1 TB HDD with about 70 GB of data on it, all in its own partition. I want to perform a block level backup copy of this partition and store it in a file I can mount later, as I am backing up files from this disk to then sell the drive.

I thought about just copying all the files but I don't trust Windows Explorer is up to the task of keeping data exactly as it was left and I don't want to discover something is amiss after I've already nuked the old drive.

Is there a, preferably free, utility out there that will do a block level backup of a partition to a file which I can mount and explore later as if the partition was mounted once again? Sounds like the sort of thing one might use dd for in a nix environment but I'm on Windows 7.

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marked as duplicate by techie007, Simon Sheehan, HackToHell, Dennis, Canadian Luke Dec 29 '12 at 17:29

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
This is not a duplicate of that question, they ask for a solution from the Linux partition whereas I want to deal only with Windows based solutions. I think the answer below is an excellent one and does not appear on that either question either. –  deed02392 Dec 29 '12 at 2:30
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would highly recomend using Microsoft's free imaging tool imagex, it will grab all the files, and you can mount the image later and make changes if need be.

From WinPE:

imagex /capture d: d:\imaging\data.wim "Drive D" /verify

Then to mount:

imagex /mount d:\imaging\data.wim 2 c:\mounted_images

see below for more info and examples:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749447(v=ws.10).aspx

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