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I have a Windows 7 installation on a separate HDD, since installing Windows takes at least half a day on my machine do to the fact that I have to install a big list of drivers, I would like to do an image of my final installation on HDD so I don't have to re-install everything and I can just format my HDD when I have to and re-put my HDD image on it in no time.

How to do I do an exact copy of my Windows Installation under Ubuntu ? The HDD is connected through an internal SATA connection and it's on its own, I only got Windows on it. It's possible to generate some kind of compressed image ? It's also possible to do this so any HDD of any size can be used ?

Thanks.

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    why not just use the built in and rather brilliant backup application, or one of the well proven windows based imaging software? – Journeyman Geek May 25 '13 at 1:59
  • @JourneymanGeek because my main OS is Ubuntu and I will use Ubuntu anyway when I'll need to reinstall Windows. By the way I don't know any good Windows based software that can meet such requirements. – user2384250 May 25 '13 at 2:04
  • A little research would point you at the built in backup tool - which is, unlike older versions, actually pretty good. I use macrium reflect free for full disk backups and that should do it too. Both run from windows, and requires either a windows install disk, for windows backup, or a livecd. – Journeyman Geek May 25 '13 at 2:19
  • @JourneymanGeek I don't really need to backup things, I need more an exact 1:1 copy of my HDD, nothing more, nothing less; I have always avoided that kind of apps because they are intrusive and often times they offer less than what it's advertised. I will try clonezilla that looks like a neat solution. that macrium app also looks like it's running under Windows and it's not a good thing doing a backup while the machine is running IMHO. – user2384250 May 25 '13 at 2:27
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Use a hard drive imaging program such as Clonezilla: http://clonezilla.org/ You can use it as a live cd or from a server.

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