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The text at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows7/what-is-a-system-image seems to indicate that everything is backed up in a system image, however I am running a backup right now that was supposedly explicitly told not to backup everything. The backup process window says the following:

Contents: Files in selected folders and system image.

I basically specified only to backup my user folder (minus a couple of unwanted large folders). Is this backing up my whole drive despite what I told it?

  • You might add a screen shot of what exact option(s) you selected before you started the backup process for the most accurate answer. A system image in this context is (an exact copy of a drive. By default, a system image includes the drives required for Windows to run. It also includes Windows and your system settings, programs, and files.) essentially and not explicit files and folders. Perhaps you selected for BOTH to occur? Provide a screen shot of what to selected before running this process and that may give some clue. The link you provided in the question answers your question BTW. – GambleNerd Dec 24 '15 at 15:19
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From MS:

If you're using Windows Backup to back up your files, you can have a system image created each time your files are backed up.

My guess would be that you probably forgot to uncheck the "Include a system image of drives:" checkbox on the "What do you want to backup" screen while configuring the backup:

Windows Backup Screen

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