Windows 7 Complete system image


Mar 29, 2012
The company I work for gets the same computers in and would like to create an image from a machine that has all the software loaded on it prior to creating the image.

I was reading up on the windows Backup and Restore does the following:

Windows Backup won't back up the following items:
Program files (files that define themselves as part of a program in the registry when the program is installed).
Files stored on hard disks that are formatted using the FAT file system.
Files that are in the Recycle Bin.
Temporary files on drives smaller than 1 GB.
The Program Files part of it is what I'm worried about. We install apps that we need on the image so it looks like it would exclude those.

Is that the case? Would this be a clean install if I did it through Windows? If that is the case, is there another option in creating a complete system image that I can restore on other computers to cut down our install time?

I need to add, the image will be a 32 bit version of Windows 7. The machines that are sent to us are Windows 10 64 bit. Will restoring the image reinstall it as 32 bit or will there be a conflict.

Thanks for the help!


If SCCM is a bit to much for your organization, then the Workstation version of Macrium Reflect will do this:

Solution highlights:

Ultra-fast Live imaging of windows systems, physical and virtual
Restore images to dissimilar hardware using Macrium ReDeploy
Greatly simplified administration including pre-defined Backup Plans for popular backup strategies
Fully featured file and folder level backup and recovery
Updated support for all the latest Windows Operating Systems and disk formats


Dec 30, 2009
I have used Acronis True Image to make and restore images that have always worked, including installed applications. Unless you have a Microsoft OS site license I would do the image before the OS was authorized over the web. There are utilities available that will allow you to change the authorization key after restoring an image and authorizing over the web.


Oct 13, 2004
an image is like a snapshot of your computer system as it is currently setup as. you can do a clean install of windows, do all the current updates, install all the programs you need and then set all your settings to connect it to your network and then you can create an image of that complete setup and when you restore it everything will be there with no reinstalls of programs. maybe need to get some later updates installed and modify something like netwoprk settings but it will save you a lot of time

as long as you use the 32-bit version of windows you will not need to worry about it changing to the 64-bit version


Dec 8, 2016
I don't understand the question. The whole idea of system imaging is to include applications you need to use, so you don't have to manually install them on each machine. These applications are contained in the program files folder which are necessary. If you are talking about user data, you should be presented with the option of unchecking specific folders so they aren't included in the image (during the backup process). If you are in a domain environment, make sure the computer is not joined to the domain before creating the image.



How large an organization is this?
SCCM from Microsoft is designed for exactly this


Apr 17, 2006
leoscott option is great, with Acronis True Image you'll be able to clone your HDD from one pc to another with all the software and settings you put on it, you'll do in 10-15min of cloning all the installation process that took you the first time 1hr+.
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