Backup & restore in Windows 7 in Windows 7 Posted August 30, 2009 I've actually had a full experience with Windows 7's backup and restore feature, and really it's quite amazing I've got to say. I used the default backup settings to back up my lappy to an external 500 GB HDD. I had a 160 GB SATA drive inside the laptop, divided into two partitions. C: had windows, programs and user profiles; E: had all of my files essentially. Libraries were set up to correspond to folders on E:, so all of the data on that drive was in a library. The older versions feature of windows backup is super nifty. If you right-click on a file which has been backed up, you can see older versions of that file and restore the file to its previous versions if you want. This is great if a file gets corrupted or you make some change and save before you click undo. The number of previous versions retained varies depending on how big your hard drive and backup location are relative to eachother. For reference in terms of how long backing up took, it took overnight for it to do the full backup the first time, and the 160 GB drive wasn't even full. It took less time for subsequent backups, but still quite a while - everything gets compressed quite a bit, which I imagine slows things down.The full restore feature is what's totally awesome. Sadly, my internal HDD died (RIP), so I had to get a new one. The new one was a different manufacturer, different speed and different size - 320 GB. All I had to do was plug in the external drive, boot of the the Win 7 installation disk, and choose the restore option. It found the image backup easily, and asked me how long ago I wanted to restore it to. I restored it to the most recent version. When I booted up - again, a completely new hdd, never before touched - everything was back almost exactly as I had left it. It recreated both partitions, gave them the same drive letters as before, etc. The partitions were kept at the same size and put at the front of the disk, so there were about 160 GB of unused, unpartitoned space, but it was easy enough to expand the data partition to fill that using the disk manager (diskmgmt.msc). Libraries did get slightly confused after the restore, and I had to tell them again where all their components were, but that was all I had to do, and it was all working fine!