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Creating a Windows 7 backup


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I am trying to make a Windows 7 Backup Disc using Acronis Backup and recovery 2010 from a VMWare workstation Virtual machine which I intend to restore to a Physical Machine.About 8 years back I did this with Windows XP using Microsoft virtual PC and Acronis.And that disc has served me well over the years restoring my completely customised XP setup to alot of Physical Machines with varying hardware configurations without any issue.Since a lot has changed and with so many different options , can someone Guide me with the best options so that i can save time by not trying everything out available.Main issues being as follows:

Virtualisation Softwares: Microsoft virtual PC - too old will it still work??

VMware - the hard disks types available are only IDE or SCSI , No SATA . Will that be a problem if a restore a SCSI virtual disk to Physical SATA disk

VirtualBox - lacks aero support, any other issues i should take into account??

I have a Dual boot setup with XP32bit and Windows 7 64bit and I really dont know how to go about it.What I want is individual backups of both operating system which I can restore when anyone of the OS has any problem.

What I have thought so far is as follows:

On the virtual machine Install Windows XP first on partition C and then Windows 7 on Partion D

Make Individual backups of both partitions

Now the issue here is will those backups work in all the scenarios like restoring Virtual Partition C to Partition C of Physical machine wont affect Windows 7 on Partition D of Physical machine and Vice Versa, in terms of the boot files(**** thats confusing)

Another issue being the System Reserved hidden Partition created by Windows 7.How will that be handled??

I know alot things can be found by trial and error but I am short on time these days.Anyone tried any of this stuff who can give me some suggestions


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Well for 7 you need to sysprep the OS before capturing it. This way, after you deploy to physical hardware, it will run "mini-setup" and redetect your hardware, including SATA or whatever else. As far as the System Reserved partition, you do not need to capture it, but you DO need to create a partition on the physical disk that is the same size and formatting. The System Reserved partition does not get a drive letter.

Not sure how you'd use Arconis for this, but after you deploy the OS partition, you need to run BCDBOOT on it so Windows knows where the OS is, otherwise your system won't boot because the BIOS will attempt to boot off of the System Reserved partition.

As far as actual backups go, Windows 7 has a built-in backup program where you can back up the entire disk, or just data or whichever (it gives you options) to another drive. I never got around to testing to see if you could restore this data to a different Windows 7 install. Its going to be a "probably not" but you never know!

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