I need to backup Windows 7 for my uncle to an external HDD because he does not have a physical copy of Windows 7. Is this possible?
yes, windows has a built-in backup tool, but i'm not sure how good it is....
The windows backup tool sucks. If you need to move to another HDD make a full backup with a bootable disk. RedoBackup is free and doesn't have any OS requirements.
It seems you can make a disc image with a bootable disk with Windows 7.
You say it sucks but it looks like it would work so why did you say it sucks? I'm curious is all because I like to know what the pros and cons of things are :)
Backing up anything while the OS is running will take a long time because there is already load on the drive. I cannot say I trust the Windows backup tool either, though it may be decent. I haven't read anything good about it though. I've been using RedoBackup for over a year without any issues, and backing up and restoring takes less than 30 minutes.
You still haven't given any reason for why the built-in tool apparently sucks.
I don't mind waiting a little longer for it to be backed up. It won't take too long because it is a fresh install of Windows.
ZombieKohhi has the right idea, theres nothing wrong with backing it up that way for the general user. People say it sucks but I've never had an issue with it with my customers.