Categories Windows 7

Create a system image (ghost) with Windows Seven

Creating a disk image of the operating system — making a “ghost” in the English-speaking world, means performing a complete backup of the partition hosting Windows. Previously, it was necessary to use paid software such as Norton Ghost. This era is now over with the arrival of Windows Seven.

N.B. : this article is valid for Ultimate and Business editions of Windows Seven. As stated in the comments, the Ultimate version of Seven is available for free, in English and in Ultimate version, which allows you to use these advanced backup functions. There is no link between Norton Ghost software and the process of creating Windows disk image. However, it is common to hear or read this expression of ‘doing a ghost’ in the computer world, for the essential reason that this commercial software remains a reference in this field.

Open the Control Panel then click on Save and restore. Beforehand, switch to display mode Icons via the drop-down list, located at the top right of the window.

Capture d'écran - Module Sauvegarder et restaurer du Panneau de configuration
Capture of #39; Screen — Backup and Restore Control Panel Module

In the left side column, click on Create a system image then wait a few moments, while the backup assistant appears.

Capture décran - Module de sauvegarde et de restauration système
Capture of #39; Screen — System Backup and Restore Module

Let’s now determine the destination location of your system backup. Several choices exist:

  • On a hard drive : use another partition or external hard drive of sufficient size;
  • On one or more DVDs : I advise against this method as it requires at least a dozen DVDs;
  • On a network sharing : convenient to make a backup to a network server or other local computer;

Prefer solutions 1 and 3 but avoid the second one, very inconvenient unless you use Blu-ray discs. That said, I don't know if such technology is supported...

Capture décran - Assistant de création de limage système, choix de lemplacement de la sauvegarde
Capture d' screen — Create wizard for the system image, choice of the\#39; backup location

So check the appropriate box depending on your case, then click on Next.

We will now indicate the partitions to save. Since this is a system backup, the partition C:, which hosts Windows by default, is preselected. Free for you to add more partitions... provided your destination medium is sufficient in terms of storage space.

Capture décran - Assistant de création de l'image système,
Capture d' screen — Create wizard for the system image, choice of partitions to save

When you are ready, click on Next then, on the next screen, on Start Backup.

Capture d'screen — Create wizard for the system image, process confirmation

From there, take your pain in patience as a system backup takes several hours. It all depends on the size of the partitions to be saved as well as the media used. In a next tutorial, we'll see several ways to restore your PC from a ghost.


Leave a Reply

    • M. AKHRRAZ

      In fact in computer jargon we say to make a ghost image from the moment we talk about duplicating a hard drive.
      This does not mean using the ghost commercial program.
      It would be like when you buy a refrigerator and you often say a fridge (trademark in the same title as ghost).
      So it’s just a projection of language.
      Hoping to have been explicit.

  • @Mr Xhark & Neo : I have included the term ghost in the title of the article to the extent that it is much more evocative for many users than the expression ‘Creating a system image’.

    Question compatibility with Norton Ghost, no chance!

    It is true that these advanced tools will only appear under the Ultimate and Business Edition of Seven. However, since the current version is available for free, in French and Ultimate version, this is no problem.

    Anyway, thank you both for your comments, which allow me to provide further explanations on these various points.

  • I also admit that sometimes I use haughty ticket titles... but the title being essential I think it is better for you to explain in the post than to lie in the title.

    This is of course only a suggestion, not to be taken as a negative remark.

    • VP

      if there had not been “ghost” in the title, I would not have found the information I was looking for, and which is very interesting... So thank you...

    • M. AKHRRAZ

      There is no lie in its title in the sense that the term ghost is indeed between parentheses. This gives the second meaning of the term (use in language) and not the ‘mark’.

    • Darkspirit13

      I actually searched and found this information by entering the word ‘ghost’ in my Google search.
      I didn't search for 3 hours, I have an immediate Google response.
      I would like to point out that, as an IT scientist, the term ‘ghost’ is more commonly used for a disk image than the term ‘backup’, which applies rather to data backup (directories and files).
      So thank you to the author.

  • @Mr xhark : rest assured, we never take the reactions of readers in negative. Discussions via the Internet must always be observed in hindsight.

    I fully understand your point of view: I think it is necessary that I add a note to avoid this confusion with Norton Ghost.

  • I'm reassured The tone is not present in writing, we can sometimes misinterpret some messages, so before I pass for an annoyance or an oilman I prefer to warn

  • Axiol

    If not in the same genre, there is Acronis True Image (a thing like that) and there it also makes system images, but which are re-instalable via a boot-cd provided with, no need to reinstall Windows and then put back image, all this fact alone.

    No, it’s not a sponsored comment, I promise

  • Maxy

    Yes, I also use Acronis, under vista, but even the version is not compatible with 64-bit Windows. It’s the same problem for Ghost 14, and for Paragon Drive Backup too, I'm afraid. The only usable specialised software is actually in Linux because they copy bit to bit. But it also has drawbacks.
    So the solution proposed by Maigret is welcome, especially since it is free.
    PS does not bother me, on the contrary, that it speaks of ‘ghost’ to clarify the notion of a system image: it has become a common and clear name, therefore useful. A turn on google/disc image- allows you to convince yourself of it.

  • cleddouze

    Hello Maigret,

    There is a problem with this manipulation if the disk has multiple O.S.
    My disc has XP and 7 RC in multiboot and systemically included the 2 O.S. in the window ‘confirm the backup settings’.
    I haven't found the parade yet.

  • Another solution (free for personal use) called DriveImage XML also exists. The fact that the disk images made with this software are in.XML format is a point not to be neglected.

  • Michel

    Good morning
    I just acquired from Micro application pc professional cloner 2010 I installed it on my 3 pc which are under W7 and I had no problem to create the image system, I add that we can install it in 32 or 64 bit, a cd of rebboot is provided, this is not a advertising message I specify.Cordialement.Michel
    PS: creation of C:/30 giga viron 25 Mn!

  • Cyr

    good morning
    I am a little novice in computer science and I just did it with windows 7 family but I wanted to know if I understood correctly, the manipes that we just performed are good for if you ever needed to format, just use this image created without needing to reinstall windows and the drivers of the devices?

  • Bert

    Hi guys, thank you for this very nice tutorial, and for the ignorant little ones who won't know in a few moments, “Ghost” is indeed a Symantec brand but means “ General Hardware Olaughed System Transfer», and is a denominative commonly used now to talk about disk image. The title of the tutorial is therefore well chosen and very evocative

  • Alain

    Hello everyone,

    And thank you for the quality of the tutorial. I confirm that ex-user of Norton Ghost 12 VF, the title of the ticket is well chosen as Bert specifies.

    I have a simple question. I just bought a new laptop with Seven, this is the Windows 7 Premium Family Edition installed factory. I have finished installing all my personal programs and settings, the PC runs very well, the system is clean. If I understood the beginning of the tutorial, the procedure indicated by Maigret, I can create a “Ghost” system + my programs + my personal settings etc..., but Bert says that it is not possible to restore, option reserved only for versions, I quote Bert: In addition, the restore only works under the Ultimate and Enterprise versions if I remember correctly! ”. Maigret confirms by, I quote: It is true that these advanced tools will only appear under Seven’s Ultimate and Business Edition. However, since the current version is available for free, in French and Ultimate version, this is not a problem. »

    I have to be a little “simple” because with my Seven Premium Family Edition, I can make the system backup. Will I be able to restore if needed? someone has a more precise idea or answer?

    Very friendly,

    • Stone

      Good morning

      Like Alain, I have a Seven Family Edition that serves as a reference. I need to make a copy, in order to install this image on other PCs (exactly even the same hardware configuration). I made the famous system image. And the question of Alain asks me: will I be able to use it on my reference computer? will I be able to use it on other PCs (which I have on the license for each one: in my mind, once the installation is completed, I modify the Serial for each machine)
      I also tried to make a sysprep (but it shows me “Serious Error”...)
      In short, I despair to find the right solution, and finally discover a place where we talk about it...
      Thank you for your feedback, which will be valuable to me

    • Hello Alain and sorry for the late answer!

      In the Family version, you can backup and restore from a backup made to an external hard drive for example.

      On the other hand, you can't do a ghost.

      The difference is that the ghost performs a full restore while the backup is reduced to the files you select (usually your data).

      Here’s for more info.

  • Alain

    Hello especially to Pierre and Maigret, and of course to the other readers of this forum.

    1- to Maigret: I have saved my complete system with custom configuration etc..., (I specify that the REPs My Docs, Videos and so on are empty, I have a lot to read and reappear to WITH USERS DISK C:\ IS DISK SYSTEM, DO NOT METTE NOTHING PERSO DESSUS..., in short), so backup with the process included in Windows 7, size of my image = 27.3 GB.

    I bought Norton v15 english, for free download on Symantec’s website:


    free trial version, image size 33 GB, I would have thought Ghost would have compressed more than the Windows utility.

    In summary, I tried at risk of completely crashing my system, and I restored using DVDs (3) that I created with Windows 7, and I recovered my image, which is my complete and custom install.

    I repeated, crash the system, and restore from the Ghost image, no problem.

    To Pierre now, on the other hand, I have only one PC available, I could not make sure that my (or my) images can be restored on another machine.

    I would answer no to this possibility, because I had tried last year when I was on XP Familial, I had a perfect Ghost (Symantec) image on a TARGA laptop. I wanted to restore this image to a Laptop Fuji Siemens as well as an Acer. The restoration was done without problem, only at the restart, beautiful blue screen, everyone knows what it means... I think the problem many different drivers, graphics card etc... If you have an opinion on it, I am listening.

    Excuse me for responding late and being a little long.

    Very friendly to all,

    • Marius

      Yes it is to the drivers because if you make an image of your mobile, and you want to install it on another it will not work because you have to have the same motherboard for the drivers is less worse but the ghost supports the mother card so two lap top identical = it’s good, two lap top different = blue screen

      plus and ghost is actually a computer therma meaning image creation of your installation

  • Stone

    Thank you Alain for taking the time to look at my questions: I row to find the solution to my need, yet not so complicated as it...
    Unlike the case mentioned above, it will be exactly the same machine on which the image will be carried (so even config): remains to manage the Windows license...
    I'm still digging the question.

  • Alain

    Good evening, Peter,

    If you are looking for the solution to reinstall your Windows 7 configuration ON THE SAME MACHINE for any reason, don't worry, the Windows license number is automatically integrated into the Ghost image as well as the Windows 7 restore utility. I did the test again tonight.

    On the other hand, an additional clarification:

    1- go to start program + right mouse on computer, selects GERER

    2- the computer management window opens, then go to MANAGEMENT OF DISQUES

    3- you will see two System partitions appear. One specifying C:\ = main partition, start, exchange file, and a second that does not appear in the Windows Explorer: System (System, active, main partition).

    4- at the time of restoration with Ghost v15, these two scores are checked green, so healthy for restoration. You have to restore, no matter the order, one and the other, but by no means both, because Ghost can't read both scores simultaneously, that’s the problem I encountered in the afternoon.

    I don‘t know if I’m clear. Windows 7 installs differently than Win XP.

    Did I answer your question more precisely?


  • Alain

    Hello Pierre,

    I'm picking up your post this morning, and just ran a search on Gogole by typing: ‘Windows 7 how to change the license key’.

    I find among the results this link about Vista, but where are the differences between Vista and Seven...

    For try, if you type in: start > run > slmgr -ipk + input, a window opens under Seven, path:

    Computer > System Windows 7 (C:) [I have the name I personally give to HD C:\] Winwosz > System 32 > simgr and I have a last directory called 040C in which is a text file titled: slmgr date 20/08/2009

    This great debate just to say that I think that by following the trick of: (NB link above) it must be possible to change your license keys for each machine after restoration by the Seven utility or Ghost image.

    I hope I helped you,

    Very friendly,

    PS: search link on Google:

  • Alain

    Thank you Maigret for the compliment, I specify that I have a lot of time to do this research, and I don't learn a little + every day.

  • Alain

    Great your Maigret confirmation, so we solved Peter’s problem, especially since he has his original keys. Pierre will be able to install all its stations from the same image via the RESTORE function.

    As a user of Tab Mix Plus, I confirm that the cross is present on the last tab of FF 3.5. By clicking on this cross the tab becomes a white page. Personally, I use Tab Mix Plus for many other tab features.

  • Stone

    I‘m going to test this fasto (as soon as possible because unfortunately I’m crumbling under urgent files). And I salute very low your pugnacity to seek the answer to my question (I am sure it serves many other people in doing so)...
    It only motivates me to remain at the disposal of the community of Internet users who want to push the limits of the machine: for me, I‘m more of a tuto contributor usually, and I’m going to see if this manip deserves a tuto (or a complement, seen from the top)...
    You grill a few MVPs on the finish line, both by clarity and speed,^)
    I keep you informed of course about the results of my next computer expedition...
    Very cordially

    • Thank you for your comment!

      Indeed, it would deserve an additional tutorial about the restoration part.

      Some clarifications could also be made with regard to the latter in line with previous comments.

      I myself have a busy schedule right now... so if you're leaving to write something about it, the door is wide open!

      • Alain

        In Maigret,

        Good evening, Friend,

        That’s all right, I'm going to try to ‘lay’ something simple but precise about it. I'll try to attach screenshots, BUT IS POSSIBLE OF THE JOINDRE ON THIS FORUM? well yes, you know, I still have gaps...

        Very friendly,

  • Stone

    Good morning
    as for the deployment, I am about to pass via the restore cd. On the other hand, I'm not understanding what this Restore function is...
    I keep you informed of the rest (by crossing your fingers)

    • Alain

      Message to Peter,

      To restore the backup (backup) made with the Windows 7 utility, you need the three CDs that were created during your first backup, these CDs could only be made ONE FOIS.

      CD 1, then on request, CD 2 and finally 3. Then, two options are offered to you for the types of restoration:

      1- Reinstallation of the System Exit Factory

      or else

      2- restore according to backup image that you took care to put on an external disk.

      I hope to be clear.

      If you have any doubts, download the version of Norton Ghost v15 in FR on Symantec’s website, I sent you the link yesterday, created a bootable disk to restore the backup, that’s extra security.


      On your PCs where you want to restore Windows7, is there currently an operating system? XP? Vista? If you have XP, you can make a Norton Ghost with version 12, it works very well, for Vista, only from the v14.

      As far as I am concerned, I have tested both restore modes, and by Norton Ghost v15 and by the Windows 7 utility, result: NO PROBLEM.

      Let us know,

      • SERGE152

        Why do you say that CDs can only be created once? not with the Windows utility anyway!
        Don't you get confused with HP/Acer style recovery systems that create a factory restoration image?

  • Stone

    Alain and Maigret
    I am very pleased to announce that the manip has worked nickel: I'll detail this soon. And thank you again for your precious clarifications!
    To everything
    now it’s Champagne,-)

    • Alain


      It’s great news, like computer support is good. We all learn to defeat the computer, learn every day a little + and instill in others our little knowledge, our combinations.

      As far as I am concerned, I am assimilated to a ‘tester’, much like in a pharmaceutical lab, because sure of my system and my backups, I do not hesitate for a moment to plant everything to do tests. Too bad I only have one machine available.

      I enjoyed this exchange very much, because it was, it is very cordial, not in SMS language as on other forums or “lol” constantly, even in French difficult to interpret for the common mortals... smile.

      As Maigret suggested, I will try to look at a detailed but simple tutorial on the subject mentioned, hoping that it will serve other Internet users.

      Good to you, looking forward to reading you on the canvas,

  • Excellent that this exchange indeed!

    A tutorial would be welcome and don't hesitate to collaborate together to produce it. If you are leaving I can communicate your respective e-mails.

  • Stone

    At the end of this folder, and thus in summary (rather than tuto, because there is no bcp of manips to do), I just wanted to say that the system image capture tool of Windows Seven with the above manip works very well on the Premium Family version. That this image can be propagated to another computer if that computer (or those computers) are exactly the same (same hardware configuration => the same drivers).
    Once the disk image of the system is made (on an external hard drive), it’s just a matter of burning the famous System Repair CD (Open Control Panel and then click Backup and Restore.). If it does not work (which was the case for me), it is possible to find the image (.iso) on the net (.iso).
    Then, on the target computer, you have to force the boot of the machine via the CD first. Then plug in the external hard drive. During the reboot, the Windows repair app loads, allows you to choose which system image you want to apply (point to that of the external hard drive). And the trick is played.
    If, like me, you apply this image of Seven to other machines (I remind you: even hardware configuration only), the handle below allows you to enter the correct serial number:
    — Launch the Start menu.
    — Launch the command prompt in Administrator mode (using the right mouse button).
    — Enter the slmgr -ipk command followed by your new product code key.
    — To activate Seven with this new key, enter the command slmgr -ato

  • Mavsk

    Hello everyone and thank you for all your tests, however I have a question about the destination: can one use a network location rather than an external hard drive, notably when booting on the CD for restoration? (basically is network drivers included in the CD and can you target a network location rather than an external hard drive?)

  • Stone

    Good morning to all
    I have the great regret (in fact, I am a little disgusted) to announce that the manip I summarised does not actually work. What doesn't work is the Windows serial number change, with the manip above:
    1- under seven, command lines are made with/instead of — announced (cad slmgr/ipk and slmgr/ato), and something blocks the serial change...
    2- advice from a computer scientist directs me to the manip to apply a sysprep/generalise/oobe, the only method he tells me to remove computer-specific info from the image (including machine ID, serial and other specific parameters). It’s a track I started exploring, without succeeding in it: when launching sysprep (found in Windows/win32/sysprep), I have a crash!
    But well, this method, stronger and wider, moves away from the original object of this post...
    Let Maigret tell me if I continue to post the results of my research here,^)
    PS: I saw a little bunch of tutos on the famous sysprep, but none clear
    PPS: perhaps it would be better to delete my laius this morning, so as not to suggest that it works 8°

    • Hello Pierre,

      sorry for you that it didn't work out. A lot of questions have been raised here and that deserves me to look at it one of these days.

      Indeed, it is not useful to go further because the subject is not this one (even if it is interesting in itself).

      I have never tested “sysprep” and I need to conduct some research on the subject to do life-size tests.

  • Mavsk

    Good morning,
    in fact for sysprep once launched and executed correctly it restarts the machine and in general this is when we boot on another system (e.g. Windows PE) to make it an image so we get an image that during its restoration requires a license key. But here it seems impossible since the image has to be done under seven, so I think we have to execute sysprep by hand on each machine and finally make an image of each machine once the sysprep is completed.

    Apart from that, is the network function usable when booting on CD and also is what (not to mention another machine) the machine once restored belongs to the domain the machine was missed when creating the ghost?

    • Unfortunately, I‘ve never tried what you ask me and I haven’t had any echoes on that.

      I‘m sorry I can’t tell you more...

      As mentioned in my previous commentary for Pierre, many of the questions were raised in this tutorial that require answers — which themselves require in-depth research and testing.

  • Stone

    Good morning

    According to the latest information collected, the sysprep can only launch on a computer that has just been turned on, so with its default installation...
    Before installing apps, a sysprep/audit must be triggered, which would “save” the changes. Then create a sysprep/generalise that will generate an image by removing personal information (license key + computer SID + personal files (hence the importance of not installing anything there)...
    The computer will stop and it is then a matter of booting on a CD Win PE, in order to capture the famous image...
    All this remains a bit theoretical, and the compilation of large docs rather oriented inge network level 3...
    I take any addition, infirmation or confirmation, to carry out this deployment of an image on several ordis (similar configuration) with input of the Serial windows at the start of said computers...
    In the family of questions still pending:
    — how do we make this CD Win PE? Wouldn't the Win RE contain the right tools?
    — the reply file is regularly mentioned: does the manip that I describe make it possible to do without it (because according to the doc, then we go into a very complicated one)

    • I posted the answer to your comment at the same time as yours.

      There is a tutorial learning to create a System Repair Disk with Windows 7. Perhaps this one allowed you to implement the desired manipulations.

      But once again, I don‘t confirm anything because I haven’t had the opportunity to try everything you mention.

      And it’s not usually home to answer without knowing.

  • Chechelo

    Good evening, everyone.
    After some research on Google, I arrived on site and decided to post here my question(s).

    I'm currently running Windows vista 64-bit Premium Family Edition on my HP Touchsmart IQ820.
    I have a score C: for vista
    A party F: for my files.
    And a score D: (Factory_image) This last partition exists from factory and has already been used to restore my PC. (I also burned 3 DVDs of this same score)

    So here’s my question..., if I am this tutorial after installing Windows 7 pro 64bits on my PC, will I be able to restore Windows 7 on my PC in the same way as with my D:(Factory_image) partition?

    Thank you in advance.

    I'm going to switch to Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

    • To restore your PC from a system image, there are 3 methods:

      1/Via the Control Panel (so requires the installation of another system or reformat to reinstall the image... a little twisted anyway.

      2/Using Windows 7 DVD or a system repair disk. The simplest assisted method in my opinion.

      3/Via the pre-installed recovery options accessible by pressing F8 at startup.

      Windows help will tell you more about it (just press F1).

  • Chechelo

    Thank you Maigret for your answer.

    If I understood correctly, the easiest solution for me would be to restore with the Windows 7 CD! But I just have a doubt about this procedure...
    When installing Windows 7, I had to activate the latter with the activation key. So that’s where I have a doubt. If one day my pc plants because of a virus or simply if I want to find a clean configuration and I reinstal windows with the cd, will he not ask me again to return the activation key? If so, can I reuse the same key? Because I thought this activation key only worked once! That’s why I wanted to make a ghost of my newly installed configuration.

  • camerone00

    Hello everyone,
    I made a backup with win 7, my 500 gigas external disk is saturated, and obviously the backup is not complete. I don't know how to restore at a later date and I only have one system image. I don‘t know how to solve this problem and I’m afraid that my data will be lost if I have a problem with my pc.Y is anyone who understands me and who can help me? Thank you

    • Sorry for the delay of the response but the activation key may be reused several times (to a certain limit still).

      What we can't do is have several positions activated at the same time.

      • Good morning,
        for testing it once under xp, the activation key may be used about twenty times. When my key was no longer valid, I phoned Microsoft who sent me a new, clean key. This option was not with an oem but with a total OS.

  • Alex

    Good morning,

    For the Pierre procedure it wouldn't work to change the license key via right click on the computer > property > change license key windows (a title in the genre) at the bottom of the window?

  • Astarot

    Ben here’s my problem... I have ghost 15 and windows 7 ultimat 64, I want to change disk windows 7 for a faster, so I made an image of my c on the new disc and when I start on this new disc paf a beautiful message of microsoft..copy illegal and light blue screen, refuses to open my seccion..... while my windows is recording and legal.... I had to forget a parametre in ghost but what......
    thank you in advance for your answers....

  • Astarot

    It is indeed a windows oem... but when have created a disc image, this problem should not appear... more after when I start on this drive it offers me a dual boot, vista or seven.... while I did not vista the top...
    I have tried to do a system restore from a backup and it is my peripheric that is absent.....I'm precise to you that the disk or I want to realise my migration is a Lsilogic DE 234 GB disk.

  • Eric

    I had a problem last week due to an error on my part (I marked the C drive as active partition) and had to reinstall Windows using a Norton Ghost backup. Everything has returned to order except that now I can no longer make a backup using the functionality of Windows 7 ‘Save an image of the system’. I can back up folders and files but not the system.

    From the start (the first seconds of preparing the backup), I have the message: ‘Failure of a VSS service operation. See the event logs application ‘VSS’ and ‘SPP’ for more information. (0x807800A1). Information: the recorder encountered a non-temporary error. If the backup process is restarted, the error is likely to happen again. (0x800423F4). »

    I looked at the event logs and, if I understood correctly, it is due to the System Reserved drive because it is hidden (yet, it has always been) or because it contains files not recognised by the backup (but I never entered the System Reserved drive). On the other hand, I noticed that when I look at my drives in the Disk Manager, the System Reserved disk appears but no longer bears a name and the size occupied by the files is 0 % while it should be 24 %. Similarly for the Recovery disc, but apparently it is not the one that is targeted in the event logs. I also noticed, through Avanquest’s Partition Manager 10 Pro software, that the System Reserved disk is well referred to by its name ‘System Reserved’ and that it is 24 % occupied by files. In any case, it cannot be empty since the booting of the system depends on its files (the BOOTMGR that I missed when I had marked the C partition as active).

    I wonder if my Windows backup problem comes from that. In any case, Norton Ghost recovery changed the presentation of the two disks ‘Recovery’ and ‘System Reserved’ in Disk Manager: they no longer have a name and would be theoretically empty.

    I watched in the Services that the provider of snapshots was well started. Moreover, I typed ‘vssadmin list writers’ in the start bar just after a backup failure to have more information, but the screen appears fugitively, I don't have time to read anything. I don‘t know if I’m going to save a system image again with Windows. Thank you for your advice.

  • Blanchard

    I have a Windows seven premium family edition version, however, if I understood this article correctly has no value for this version. So, does that mean that the system image I created isn't valid?
    Thank you in advance for your answers.

    • Aurélien Denis Post author

      You may be limited in restoration options. From memory, the Help menu via Windows F1 key is very complete about it.

      So I invite you to refer to it to learn more about the different issues related to backup/restoration options on Windows 7 family edition.

      • Blanchard

        Thank you very much for your answer, because indeed, I almost did “machinally” backup of the system image on DVDs, and so I did not take the time to check everything that was saved, I just saw backup of hard drive C: (was logical! ) but for the rest no certainty!
        I will consult the help and hope to have my answers.

  • will

    Hey, hey,

    does anyone know how to start the process of creating an image on win7 in silent mode and as a planned task?

    thank you for your answers

  • Neo

    Greetings to all,


    I have Windows 7 Premium Family Edition. I had a crash last week and I restored the image I had saved the previous week and it all happened without problems (system, documents, drivers, activation, etc.)...

    ++ Neo

  • Hello and congratulations for this cordial and quality forum.

    I despair to find an explanation for my backup problem. I acquired a recent computer with W7 64bits Premium Family Edition.
    I managed to create the 3 DVDs with the option “create a system repair disc” but, on the other hand, no way to create a system image with the option appearing on the same window. For this I use a blank and formatted external disk of 1T in E-sata recognised as F disk:
    In the “what drives you want to use” window, he checks me by default WINDOWS (C:) (System) (42.23 GO) and SYSTEM (System) 212.95 MO. I'm valid.
    After 1 min 30 of work “preparation of the backup” + “system analysis” where everything seems to be going well, I have an error message “The backup failed” “Access refused”. (0x80070005) and my external drive is disconnected. I have to turn it off and then turn it back on. Every time you try it, it’s the same. I'm a little stubborn, but you never know...

    Thank you for helping an old computer scientist who picked up the system a little bit from the DOS. Don't laugh.....

  • Sylvain

    Problem solved. I did the manip on my netbook by necessarily plugging the disc into the USB port and it works. I then tried to plug the USB disc into the ‘big’ and it worked too. Was it the E-sata that he didn‘t like? I’ll try to do the manip again.

  • probe

    good morning

    I just bought a cell phone with seven.

    I have browsed your site with great interest (thank you for all these tips)

    like everyone else, tired of reformating and reinstalating everything.

    I discover the option “” save the system“and I followed not your advice”

    I made my backup on an external DD

    my question how do we do to restore this image

    no option allows me to access the external DD to find the image

    thank you for your response

  • Neo

    Hi probe,

    It’s super easy.. You connect your external DD.. and in the control panel you select your external hard drive.. .. your backup will appear you make a recovery.. it takes 10 minutes

  • Johanie

    Good morning,

    2 small questions to remove a doubt:

    I have a RAID0 on my PC with a prenium family windows 7 to install. If I make a system image in case my RAID becomes unstable... Do I have to have a new RAID to install it or a simple hard drive will suffice?(even if I think a new RAID0 is the answer is to be on)

    In addition, during this backup, only the system + driver + software is backup? in no case a single file (my docs, backup outlook, image,...) will be taken in the backup?

    Thank you in advance for your answers!

  • Madweo

    I'd just like to point out that it’s not really like a ghost image... it still takes a system installed beforehand to restore the backup image using the built-in Win7 utility. Unlike a real ghost image or if you have a totally new hard drive, you can directly redeploy the image, without a manual OS installation beforehand...

  • Neo

    Hello everyone,

    I confirm Aurélien’s statements above. You don't need an installed system but just the Windows 7 installation DVD.

    I had a disc crash a few years ago and that’s how I recovered the image.

    ++ Neo

  • Larissa

    My problem: I did a backup once on a hard drive by USB. Now it is IMPOSSIBLE to bring up the network disk on which I want to do the following (Win 7 64).
    Is there a manip in the registry to make him “forget” this destination? Of course, when ordering change of backup destination, it is impossible to make any window of choice appear, and yes, network disks are detected. So who can help me?

  • Serge152

    Well, I had trouble with this option! so I don‘t know what happened but it didn’t work so well!
    I have a DD with a FACTORY_IMAGE partition (HP Restore) and a DATA partition and when I reinstalled the system with my system image created with utility seven the content of my partitions was deleted! not their name but their content!
    At the backup I saved well that C
    When reinstalling the formatted option the CD was greyed out so inaccessible!
    Back to GHOST direct with which I never had any worries....
    I'm crossing my fingers.

  • Philjee

    Good morning,
    I join Serge 152 for his setbacks, I think that even though Seven offers this super utility, Norton Ghost is still useful.
    Personally, unlike some urban legends, with Ghost 14.0 I performed trouble-free backups and restorations of Seven Home Family on laptops, (advised an external hard drive) and on number of desktop, Pro and Ultimate PCs. There’s better 15.0, finally it seems.. Why? Already the image, and here I do not understand the author, is much less heavy (more compressed) than that of Seven. No head plug with a system CD or DVD, Norton’s one is Bootable, and then the recovery, as backup for that matter is much faster than it is from a USB, SATA or CD or networked and no unpleasant surprises.
    Some use the 12.0, to conclude, for laptops and time saving, I prefer Norton and I don't work at home, but their tool is Top, I also think mistakes are mostly bad manipulations. Finally, free for everyone to choose, you have to test several configurations to appreciate.
    Cordially. (Very interesting subject and nice thread over two years, it’s rare.)

  • Martinezr

    I am creating my ghost image or system image if you prefer. Then I'd make the system repair disc. I hope that I will have no worries and that it will work especially since I am on my internship. But thank you for your collaboration


    Good morning,

    the deployment of the realised image, function very well on other identical machines
    (except in my case, where the size of the hard drive is not the same)
    and I didn't find the solution

  • Ben

    Sorry to dig up this topic.
    Good explanation for a backup but there are two very important things that do not know how to do windows by creating a backup compared to a ghost.With a real ‘ghost’, when creating the image, it is possible to compress the image thus created and to reinstall the system without an operating system... we can save a lot of space, almost 50 % by creating a ghost image compared to the backup of windows which compresses nothing at all.