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Top Windows 7 Backup Software You Can Get, for Free!


warning In the past months, more than 300,000 global systems have been attacked by the most threatening WannaCry ransomware, which is horrible. And the worse thing is that till now there is no effective way to decrypt the threatened files. MiniTool suggests users attach great importance to hard drive backup so as to protect files against ransomware.

What Is Your Backup Setup - Software of Choice?

When asking this question, we believe different users give different answers. For computer newbie, what they usually back up are some kinds of files like paper, pictures, films, etc. and the common solution they adopt is copy and paste.

For those average computer users, they know the importance of data backup as well as operating system backup, so they are likely to choose professional backup software to do this job. And in this post, we are going to explain 3 useful backup software for Windows 7 - the most popular operating system in the world.

MiniTool ShadowMaker

MiniTool ShadowMaker is a brand new backup solution for Windows 7/8/10 all editions put forward by MiniTool Software Ltd. Although it is a new emergence, it is still full featured. No matter you want to back up system or disk, it can handle the tasks very well. Besides, you can schedule the backup tasks to save time and effort. What's more, it offers an outstanding feature called "Remote Backup", which enables to control backup on another computer, provided that both computers are in the local area network (LAN) and are installed with MiniTool ShadowMaker. For more information, read user manual.

How can we back up Windows 7 with MiniTool ShadowMaker? Here we would like to explain how to back up and restore Windows 7 altogether by using this brand new software.

First of all, we need to download and install MiniTool ShadowMaker on our computer. Then we will immediately see a selection page asking to choose a computer to manage. Is that Local or Remote? Usually, we select Local (This Computer) unless we intend to back up another computer. Then we can see its Home tab as shown below.


To back up Windows 7, we need to do the followings:

Step 1. Navigate to Backup, and then choose what to back up and where to store the backup image file. MiniTool ShadowMaker automatically detects the system required partitions at Source, so we only need to select a location to store the backup image. It is worth mentioning that backing up to a hard drive partition is highly suggested.

set backup


There are 2 useful features listed at the bottom line, and they are Options and Schedule. By selecting Options, we can see the following features:

  • Comment: enables to add a comment to the backup file to help us distinguish each backup.
  • Email: enables to activate email notification when a backup task is finished.
  • Compression: lets us determine the compression level to save disk space.
  • File Size: enables to determine each file size of the image files.
  • Image Creation Mode: allows to choose whether to back up the used sectors only or to backup all sectors, no matter they are used or not.
  • Excluding: enables to exclude Windows page file and hibernation files from a backup.
  • Shutdown: enables to shut down computer when the backup is finished.
  • Password: allows adding password protection to a specific backup. Three data protection levels are provided: None, Normal, AES128.
  • Validation: helps to check the integrity of the backup immediately after backup completes. Note this may add a significant amount of time to the backup progress.

By selecting Schedule, we can set up how often we need a backup. Is that daily, weekly, monthly, or on events?

Step 2. After all settings, we can choose to let MiniTool ShadowMaker back up now or back up later. When choosing Back up Now we will see the operating process starts and will be finished quickly.

back up now

To those who have system partition and data partitions on the same drive, it is better to do disk backup instead of system backup. This is because you never know when a hard drive can fail and data recovery is expensive. Well then, how can we perform a disk backup in Windows 7? The operation is very simple. Just select all partitions at the Source part.

recommend You may also like: Here Is How to Back up Windows 7/8/10 Easily and Safely?

To restore Windows 7 system image, first of all we need to make use of a feature called Media Builder (which can be found under Tools) to do two things.

1. Create a bootable media of MiniTool ShadowMaker. To know the detailed steps, read How to Build Boot CD/DVD Discs and Boot Flash Drive with Bootable Media Builder? 2. Set computer to boot from the bootable media. To know the detailed steps, read How to Boot from Burned MiniTool Bootable CD/DVD Discs or USB Flash Drive?

Now let's come to the point.

Step 1. Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker in WinPE and navigate to Restore column. Then we should find the correct backup task to restore.


Step 2. Next, select a backup version to continue.

select backup version

Step 3. Choose the volumes to restore from the selected backup file. Then click Next to go on. Note that for a successful restoration, the first line MBR and Track 0 should be selected altogether.

select volumes

Step 4. Here we need to select a target disk to restore. Note that we cannot restore to a disk containing backup files, and MiniTool ShadowMaker will tell you which partition it will delete for the restoration. So be careful when selecting the target disk. Finally we can click Start button to begin.

select target disk

Step 5. MiniTool ShadowMaker will finish the restoration quickly and tell you the result.


Windows 7 Built-in Backup

When it comes to Windows 7 backup software, another good choice is to use Windows 7 built-in backup utility. To know more details, please read on.

What Is Windows Backup?

Backup and Restore (formerly named Windows Backup and Restore Center) is a component of Microsoft Windows introduced in Windows Vista and is included in all later versions that allow users to create backups and restore from backup files. It is a replacement of NTBackup, which was included in previous Windows versions.

How to Access This Free Windows Backup Software?

At Start icon, enter Control Panel where we can adjust computer's settings. Here we need to select Back up your computer under System and Security.

back up computer

How to back up Windows 7?

Step 1. At Backup and Restore, select Create a system image from the left menu to activate system backup.

create system image

Step 2. Windows 7 backup software will ask where do we want to save the backup, which means to choose the destination location. See we can choose a hard disk, a DVD drive, or a network location as the target location (we recommend backing up to another hard drive or external hard drive). After the selection, click Next to go on.

where to save backup

Step 3. Here we need to choose which drives to be included in the backup. We can see that the system related partitions are checked by default and cannot be excluded. Also, we can add some other partitions. After that, click Next to continue.

which drive to include

Step 4. Finally, we can confirm the backup settings and click Start backup button if everything is alright. Then Windows will create a system image quickly.

confirm backup setting

saving backup

When all is done, we can find the backup file on the appointed partition which names WindowsImageBackup.

Use MiniTool Partition Wizard

The third solution we can put forward is partition management software, which is able to clone operating system and hard disk drives - another way to back up Windows 7. Such kind of software is especially useful when you need the backup copy in a short time. Here we think MiniTool Partition Wizard is competent to do this job. To be brief, this is an all-in-one partition manager able to clone system, hard drive and partitions. To back up Windows 7, follow the tutorials below:

Step1. After downloading this disk cloning software, launch it to the main interface and select Migrate OS to SSD/HD.

Note: this feature only works for the running OS.

migrate OS

Step 2. Choose what to migrate: all partitions on the system disk OR the system required partitions only. Then click Next to go on.

Tip: If you need to clone all partitions on the system disk, you can also employ Clone Disk feature.

what to migrate

Step 3. Here we need to choose a target disk to store all data on the system disk and then hit Next. Note that all contents on the selected disk will be removed in order to finish the migration. So ensure that you are selecting the right disk.

select destination disk

Step 4. Now it's time to confirm how would you like to do the migration. Then click Next to continue.

  • Fit partitions to entire disk: the partitions to be cloned will occupy all the storage space of the target disk.
  • Copy partitions without resize: the partitions to be cloned will keep their original size. Hence this option is available only when the target disk is large enough.
  • Align partitions to 1MB: enhance the performance of the target disk if it is an SSD or advance format disk.
  • Use GUID partition table: the target disk will turn into GPT disk and is commonly used when the target disk is larger than 2TB. However, this option is available in the paid editions only (view edition comparison).

copy options

Step 5. Note MiniTool Partition Wizard tells how to boot form the destination disk. Keep this in mind and then hit Finish.


Step 6. Finally we can press the Apply button to start system migration. Since this operation is closely related to the booting OS, MiniTool Partition Wizard requires a reboot to finish this job. Now all is done and you can use the copy anytime even when your OS is affected by ransomware.


recommend You may also like: Migrate OS to SSD/HD VS. Copy Disk in Partition Wizard.

Why Back up Windows 7

Although Windows is aggressively pushing Windows 10, Windows 7 is still the most widely used operating system in the world. Besides, most of our files are saved on computer, and the daily business with our files all relies on a normally running OS. Hence it is rather important to back up Windows 7. However, Windows 7 can be damaged due to the following reasons:

Human errors: While data saved on hard drives are growing steadily, we may need to free up some disk space to cope with the red partition bar. However, if we do not know what files cannot be removed, Windows 7 gets damaged easily. Besides, in WinPE, when we intend to format a partition, we may select the system partition mistakenly. So back up before you proceed any important system change.

Hard disk failure: The problem is that you never know when a hard drive failure can occur. Regularly back up system and important data give you timely protection from unpredictable disk failures.

Virus invasion: Internet is full of information, and viruses. Once infected, they proceed to weaken your system, cause errors, and lead to data loss. A reliable back up can restore data lost through virus infection.

Nature disasters: natural disasters can happen without notice, such as fire, floods, and lightning. If such a misfortune occurs, how will your business survive? Back up systems and hard drives to external location protect your data against such calamity

Now that we know why backing up Windows 7 is so important, we need to do this consistently and reliably. Just try MiniTool ShadowMaker!


In this post, we list 3 tools to do Windows 7 backup. You can choose any Windows 7 backup software you like. In summary, Windows 7 backup is very important and we need to form the habit of data protection through various ways. If you have any questions towards using MiniTool product, leave us comments below, or you can contact [email protected].