Understanding Windows 7 Full Back Up, System Image and scheduled Back Up

I have just created a System Image that appears to have been saved in a folder on my external HD called WindowsImageBackup.

I have also just created a Full Back onto an external HD. This apparently saved a System Image and all Data Files.

Apparently Win 7 periodically creates a System Image as well. I have set the Manage Space feature to keep only the most recent System Image.

I have set up a back up schedule for weekly back ups.

So I need to get some things clear in my mind. Questions:

1) Does the weekly back up schedule, mentioned above,  just back up changed data files?

2) Is the System Image that was created along with my Full Back up also updated during the weekly back up schedule?

3) Will the periodic System Image be saved in the folder WindowsImageBackup?

4) Are Backups in Win 7 differential or incremental?


Question Info

Last updated February 1, 2019 Views 221 Applies to:

Hello John,


Welcome to Microsoft community and thanks for posting the question. I will definitely try and help you perform the backup.


Answering to your respective questions:


1. Yes, Windows Backup backs up all selected folders the first time it's run and then it only backs up files that are new or have been modified since the last backup was made. Periodically, Windows creates a new, full back up. Each full backup is known as a backup period. When you view your file backups, you see all of the backup periods labeled with date ranges.


2. No, System Image that was created along with my Full Back up does not get updated with weekly backup schedule. However, by default Windows automatically saves as many system images as it has space for without taking up more than 30 percent of space on the backup disk. Once the disk starts running out of room, Windows deletes older system images. You can set Windows to retain as many system images as it has space for on the backup disk or to only keep the most recent system image.


3. Yes, the periodic System Image will be saved in the folder WindowsImageBackup (labeled with date ranges).


4. Backups in Windows 7 are incremental.


Refer the links given below:

What backup settings should I use to maximize my disk space?



Back up your programs, system settings, and files



Backup and Restore


How does Windows choose which files to back up?



Hope the information is helpful. Let us know if you need further assistance with Windows related issues. We will be happy to help.


Thank you 

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