How to ghost your drive using a free tool included with Windows Seven

Ghost and image your hard drive using Windows Sevens free built in toolIn our earlier articles we discussed about a free alternative to Symantec Ghost. Today we are going to show how you can use the built in tool included with Windows Seven to create a System Image just like Ghosting your C: drive. You do not need any third party applications to image or restore a machine, the built in scheduler will also let you schedule the imaging process. Unlike Norton Ghost, you can run the tool from within Windows Seven and can do hot backups of files that are in use, Windows Seven's built in Volume Shadow Copy service lets you backup files that are in use. If you are performing a full restore operation, then yes you will have to shutdown Windows. The robust tool gives you the option to backup to a Network share, removable USB sticks or even to write it to a DVD if you have a DVD writer built in

Lets start, in order to do the backup and restore operation, it is necessary that you have admin and read / write privileges on the machine you are imaging and the network share where you are storing the image.

 Step1: Click on the Start Button

Click on the Start button to start the imaging process in Windows Seven

Step2: In the Menu type "Backup" and then click on "Backup and Restore" in the results provided

In the Windows Start Menu type Backup and choose Backup and Restore

Step3: In Backup and Restore Windows, click on "Setup Backup"

Click on Setup Backup

Step4: On the Set Backup Windows, click on the button that says "Save on Network". If you had other partitions available on the hard drive, or a USB stick you can click that too. Note that this will let you choose your DVD drive if you have a DVD writer installed on your drive

Choose Network as the destination for the image backup

Step5: In the "Set Network Location" window provide the details about the Network share you need to backup to and also the credentials required to write the data to that share. Once you do this, Windows will check if you can write to this location

Provide the details for the network share that will store the image backup