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I have a drive which has 2 partitions. One is where the OS is installed, the other is a data (but not libraries) drive. When I try and create a backup using the built in tool, it wants to include both partitions in the system image. Why does it do this? If I move the os to a separate drive will I be able to back up just this data?

Edit: To be more clear.

I have 4 disks in the machine. 1 disc has 2 partitions. These are c: and e:, the other disks are d: f: and h:. The OS is installed on c: and libraries are stored on h:. The libraries are already backed up using crashplan, but I want to create a system image so I can easily restore the machine, if it either dies or if I get a SSD drive. When I choose backup (either through the wizard or if I open it through control panel) and check (or click) create a system image it automatically adds both c: and e: to the list of drives that will be backed up, and I cannot change this, the checkboxes to unselect are greyed out.

I would like to know why it automatically adds e: to the list (but not h:, where the libraries are) and if I can change some setting so whatever files it has on e: that it thinks need to be backed up as part of the system image are moved to c:. How can I determine what they are? Is it because c: and e: are partitions of the same disk? If I move c: tro a different disk will that mean I only have to back up c:?


Edit 2: I have viewed all files including hidden and system ones on both drives and it seems that I have a suspicous hidden e:\boot\ folder. I think that I might have installed the OS as a VHD at first then installed a seperate version straight on the disk, having dual boot for a while, then used EasyBCD to remove the VHD boot and file. Might this be what is causing my issue? How might I go about removing this? is it safe to just delete the boot folder?

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as it goes with onboard Windows programs, they only offer basic functionality, if you're serious about drive/partition cloning, use a decent dedicated tool. there are some fine free solutions are available that are running circles around Windows Backup: [CloneZilla][1], [DriveImage XML][2] and [EASEUS ToDo Backup & Disk Copy][3] (to name but a few very popular programs) [1]: [2]: [3]: – Molly7244 Jan 13 '10 at 19:50
@Molly, thanks. Having found these issues with the boot being spread over 2 partitions I now want to fix this. I'll see what the situation is when that is fixed and may investigate those other options then – Sam Holder Jan 13 '10 at 20:25

In Windows 7 your choices for what's backed up are "Let Windows Choose", or "Let Me Choose" (third page in the "Configure Backup" wizard)

If you pick the default of letting Windows choose, it will pick various system files and and also create images for system recovery, which will probably include ALL the partitions on the system, especially if they hold parts of the OS (pagefile, etc). when you get to that selection page, there is a link that is entitled "How does Windows choose what files to backup?" that may help clarify why it's doing what it's doing. :)

If you pick "Let me choose" then you can pick specific files and folders.

A good tutorial on it is available here.

Hope that helps.

share|improve this answer
I have done the let me choose option, but the minimum I can back up is c: and e:. I have several other drives, but none of them have to be included. – Sam Holder Jan 13 '10 at 18:11
Ok I'm kind of confused now. Do you want all your partitions or not? If not, then when you pick Let Me Choose, ensure you uncheck "Include a system image". You should also be able to click the little arrow beside where C: (or which ever drive) is listed and it will expand the folder structure so you can pick sub-folders and such. (…). HTH. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 13 '10 at 18:51
I want to create a system image. I'll edit the question to be more clear. – Sam Holder Jan 13 '10 at 19:11

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