Shrink system image?

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  1. paul1149's Avatar
    Posts : 61
    MX Linux 17.1
       #1

    Shrink system image?


    Is there any way to shrink a system backup image? I usually use the built-in "Win 7" backup function, but it creates an image about the same size as the working install, which is usually about 21GB. This is a problem on eMMCs, which typically run 64 or even just 32GB of total room.

    I was looking at a factory Win7 recovery partition, and they manage to get it down to 8GB. Presumably that includes copies of their manifold bloatware installers as well. So shrinking should be possible, I would think, but how?
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  2. Phone Man's Avatar
    Posts : 1,315
    Windows 10 Pro 1909 64 bit
       #2

    I use Macrium Reflex Free to do images. It has a choice for compression of the image.

    I use the Intelligent Sector Copy and Medium compression.

    My C: drive is 126Gb used and the image is 87 Gb

    Shrink system image?-macrium-compression.jpg

    Jim
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  3. paul1149's Avatar
    Posts : 61
    MX Linux 17.1
    Thread Starter
       #3

    That's 69%, which is pretty good. I could perhaps get the image down to 14GB or so. I like the inbuilt backup, though, because end users can easily access the image from the onboard WinRE.

    Thanks.
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  4. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 2,423
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #4

    Macrium images are usually about half the size of the occupied space on the partition being imaged. So a 21 GB system image would be somewhere near 10 GB, using medium compression.

    The high compression setting in Macrium will squish the image a bit more, but not much, in my experience. It depends on the type of files in the partition.

    There are apps that will supposedly let you omit certain folders from an image, but I have no experience with them.

    Be sure to clean up the partition with the built in Windows tool or an equivalent before making the image. That helps a bit.
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  5. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 1,678
    trying to install win10
       #5

    paul1149 said:
    I like the inbuilt backup, though, because end users can easily access the image from the onboard WinRE.
    Thanks.
    Yes, there are advantages. Unfortunately vhd files do not support compression.

    I was looking at a factory Win7 recovery partition, and they manage to get it down to 8GB.
    Probably wim or split wim format. You can backup to wim format with good compression, but it is not quick.
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  6. paul1149's Avatar
    Posts : 61
    MX Linux 17.1
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Thanks. I guess I'm stuck with the standard backup then.
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  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,818
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    paul1149 said:
    Thanks. I guess I'm stuck with the standard backup then.
    I have used the built-in system imaging extensively until recently, though now use Macrium in preference. There is no user control over compression in the MS system imaging. If the image is being saved to to an HDD then minimal (if any) compression is used. Annoyingly, the MS imaging does have compression capabilities, but will only use it when saving images to a DVD drive.

    In lieu of compression, these are the steps I take before using the built in system imaging in order to minimize its size.

    First use Disk Clean Up's clean up system files option. Windows update backups in particular can occupy several GB. Remember, cleaning temporary internet files only clears the caches for Edge and IE. If you use other browsers you'll also need to clear their caches yourself, or use a cleaner like CCleaner to do the job.

    Next look at the space occupied by restore points. Left unchecked these can occupy many GB. I generally delete all restore point before making an image.

    Turn off hibernation using the command powercfg /hibernate off in a command prompt (admin). Even if you think you don't use hibernation there will generally be a hiberfil.sys about half the size of your installed RAM for the use of Fast Start up. Hiberfil.sys is included in the system image by the built in imaging.

    Turn off virtual memory (will require a restart). If you let Windows manage virtual memory you will have a pagefile.sys about the same size as your installed RAM. This too will be included in the MS system image.
    Manage Virtual Memory Pagefile in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials

    I like to put a READ-ME.TXT in the center of the desktop before masking the image, this tells me to turn both back on again after restoring the image

    Macrium (at least, when run from within windows) will not include hiberfil.sys or pagefile.sys in it's images, rather it includes a small stub as a place-marker.
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  8. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,018
    Windows10
       #8

    SIW2 said:
    Yes, there are advantages. Unfortunately vhd files do not support compression.



    Probably wim or split wim format. You can backup to wim format with good compression, but it is not quick.
    Actually, you can compress vhds quite a lot but trick is to defrag vhd before using compression - I have written a tutorial for submission but only VIPs can see it at the moment.

    You can only compress vhd back to size of contents though.
      My Computer

  9. paul1149's Avatar
    Posts : 61
    MX Linux 17.1
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Bree said:
    I have used the built-in system imaging extensively until recently, though now use Macrium in preference. There is no user control over compression in the MS system imaging. If the image is being saved to to an HDD then minimal (if any) compression is used. Annoyingly, the MS imaging does have compression capabilities, but will only use it when saving images to a DVD drive.
    In lieu of compression, these are the steps I take before using the built in system imaging in order to minimize its size.
    First use Disk Clean Up's clean up system files option. Windows update backups in particular can occupy several GB. Remember, cleaning temporary internet files only clears the caches for Edge and IE. If you use other browsers you'll also need to clear their caches yourself, or use a cleaner like CCleaner to do the job.
    Next look at the space occupied by restore points. Left unchecked these can occupy many GB. I generally delete all restore point before making an image.
    Turn off hibernation using the command powercfg /hibernate off in a command prompt (admin). Even if you think you don't use hibernation there will generally be a hiberfil.sys about half the size of your installed RAM for the use of Fast Start up. Hiberfil.sys is included in the system image by the built in imaging.
    Turn off virtual memory (will require a restart). If you let Windows manage virtual memory you will have a pagefile.sys about the same size as your installed RAM. This too will be included in the MS system image.
    Manage Virtual Memory Pagefile in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials
    I like to put a READ-ME.TXT in the center of the desktop before masking the image, this tells me to turn both back on again after restoring the image
    Macrium (at least, when run from within windows) will not include hiberfil.sys or pagefile.sys in it's images, rather it includes a small stub as a place-marker.
    Thanks much. That was a great tutorial! I already attend to Disk Cleanup and the Restore Points, but the rest I don't deal with. And I think it's too labor intensive for my purposes. I'll just send the units out, and in the READ ME file I leave on the desktop, tell the new owner to back up to a USB stick. Now if there were a batch file that would do that prep, and another to return settings to normal, that would be ideal.

    I wonder why MS is backing up the pagefile and hyberfil, though. Seems like a big waste of space and time, especially considering how many eMMC devices are extent.
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  10. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,018
    Windows10
       #10

    paul1149 said:
    Is there any way to shrink a system backup image? I usually use the built-in "Win 7" backup function, but it creates an image about the same size as the working install, which is usually about 21GB. This is a problem on eMMCs, which typically run 64 or even just 32GB of total room.

    I was looking at a factory Win7 recovery partition, and they manage to get it down to 8GB. Presumably that includes copies of their manifold bloatware installers as well. So shrinking should be possible, I would think, but how?
    The MS image tool is a deprecated feature and has not been developed for years (Win7 is a clue).

    MS advise you should use 3rd party tools.

    In the end, follow this advice and use a tool like Macrium Reflect Free - you will not regret it.
      My Computer


 
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