Windows 7 - Why is backup so slow?

I have a brand new Dell PC (Intel i7 processor) running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.  (OEM)
I have about 350gb of data that I have transfered onto the new PC.
I have tried running Windows 7 backup to two different external drives.
It seems to take 24 or more hours to run a backup with Windows 7.

On my old PC with Vista it took 3-4 hours to backup the same data to the same drives
I can drag and copy files to a portable drive in about 3 hours

Here is what I did:
External drive shows 99% free space.
Ran error check on both PC and external drive.
Used settings for automatic fix file system error as well as attempt recover of bad sector.

PC is running normally.
Power state is normal.
No other programs running.
Logged in as administrator  (I have no other uses.  Just me as administrator)
Opened Windows 7 Backup.
Select "let me choose" what to back up.
Chose Local Disk "C" and "Include a System Image" box
Executed backup

This process should take a few hours, not a day.

What else can I try to speed up the Windows 7 backup process?


Hi ColoradoHi,

I would suggest you to temporarily disable the anti-virus and firewall, check if the problem still persist.

Note: Make sure you enable the anti-virus and firewall once the process is complete.

If yes, then I would suggest you to perform backup process in Clean boot.

To help troubleshoot error messages and other issues, you can start Windows 7 by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This kind of startup is known as a "clean boot." A clean boot helps eliminate software conflicts.

1.      Log on to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.

2.      Click Start Collapse this imageExpand this im, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER to start the System Configuration Utility.

a.      Collapse this imageExpand thisIf you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.

3.      On the General tab, click Selective Startup, and then click to clear the Load startup items check box. (The Use Original Boot.ini check box is unavailable.)

4.      On the Services tab, click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then click Disable all.

Note Following this step lets Microsoft services continue to run. These services include Networking, Plug and Play, Event Logging, Error Reporting, and other services. If you disable these services, you may permanently delete all restore points. Do not do this if you want to use the System Restore utility together with existing restore points.

5.      Click OK, and then click Restart.


For further information, visit the below mentioned link:


Steps for Normal startup:

1.      Click Start, and then click Run.

2.      Type msconfig, and then click OK.
The System Configuration Utility dialog box is displayed.

3.      Click the General tab, click Normal Startup - load all device drivers and services, and then click OK.

4.      When you are prompted, click Restart to restart the computer.


You may also refer the below mentioned links.

Hope this information helped!


 Thanks and regards,

 Fouzan – Microsoft support.

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Question Info

Last updated July 28, 2021 Views 18,464 Applies to: