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Image or Clone HDD to reinstall later ???

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Oct 11, 2010
Hi everyone, HAPPY NEW YEAR
I'm in the process of reloading my computer AGAIN!!!
Windows 7 Pro 64bit is already reloaded which was easy and fast enough, but downloading and installing all the windows updates takes my slow wireless connection a very long time.
When it's done and maybe after i install MS Office and its updates, i would like to save it all at that point.
That way, if i need to reload again, it would be alot faster to use the image file or clone file.
I would be putting the image or cloned file on my WD external drive.
I have the True Image program, not installed yet, but i have it. I was thinking of using that.
If i need to reload again using these methods, just how do i go about that ???

Any thoughts or sugestions would be greatly appreciated.
Win 7 and Win 10 have image backups built in. (8 might have it as well but I have no experience with it) I've used it several times when swapping HDDs and never had any problems. You can create a bootable disk to do the restore but I have always used the win7/10 install disk to boot and restore.

The only thing I have ran into is it won't restore to a smaller disk. If you think that might be something you would do you can shrink the partition, create the backup image, then expand the partition.
I created a Windows Repair Disk on a CD, then I used win 7's create an image tool and put the image on my external drive.
I'm gonna make another image after I install office 2010.
thanks for your suggestion.
do you see any downside to the way I did it ???
respond if you do.
thanks again for your help.