Using Backup & Recovery: back up OS only


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OK, ran a search and not finding this: I finally made a recovery disc for my windows 7 Pro 64b. (The pc didn't come with an install disc from MS and has no recovery partition.) I've copied all my personal data to an external drive.

As I understand it, a recovery disc/restore disc is a 'copy' of just your OS files. But it can only be used to 'restore' your OS drive if problems but the drive is still good. The Windows Backup & Restore can only create that disc and/or a system Image: a clone of everything on your C: drive.

I'd like to backup the OS and my program files, dll's and all files besides my true 'data' (docs, pics, videos, music files, favs, things I created) w/o imaging the whole drive. Is there a way to do this using the built-in Backup & Restore? If not can I copy my Program Files and Program Files (86) folders from C: in order to backup programs? And can I just copy these back to a good drive in case of catastrophe?

Otherwise, can someone recommend a solution? I've read extensively re: Acronis, Macrium, etc. and there is simply always someone who can't restore due to issues w/the software. I want to test the BU routine on a formatted drive: using restore disc (assuming that can recreate my OS on an blank NTFS drive), then something to recreate my programs, program dlls. Finally I can copy my personal files from my external drive.

Otherwise I'm back into the whole image vs. clone deal again and I simply have to lean clone: to a big drive I don't yet have.



Thank you,

Mac

P.S. I do have a Windows 7 install disc I haven't yet used. I believe I could boot to that instead of the recovery disc and chose Recovery Console or something. Was also wondering if SP3 can be saved to download folder or if it just integrates itself into your OS.
 
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