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Windows 7: windows 7 restore question

12 Oct 2010   #11

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by trent3111 View Post
How do you know if u have a OEM computer
If it came with Windows 7 preinstalled and preactivated, with a rainbow colored COA sticker at the back or below the battery, its OEM. Such computers are preloaded with an OEM specific recovery manager (Different OEMs have different names for it- HP calls it recovery manager, Dell has datasafe and so on). When you run this tool, it lets you make a recovery disk. If you boot from this disk and follow instructions, you can return the machine to the factory default state.

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12 Oct 2010   #12
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Have a look here: Control Panel\System and Security\System - then under Windows Activation the Procuct ID should contain "OEM"

But you should note that a system restore disk is not the same as an image.
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12 Oct 2010   #13

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
its not..?

system restore disk is not the same as an image? I am talking about a full system restore ( not system restore points) ( full system restore, as in deleting everything from the computer and just reinstalling windows 7 back to factory settings)
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12 Oct 2010   #14
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by trent3111 View Post
system restore disk is not the same as an image? I am talking about a full system restore ( not system restore points) ( full system restore, as in deleting everything from the computer and just reinstalling windows 7 back to factory settings)
I understand. But then you really start from the very beginning. You then have to deal with all the updates, reinstall all the programs, redo all the program and system settings, etc. Last time I did that for a Vista system that was from 2/2007, it took me 3 days before everything was back to normal.
With a system image you go back to the last good configuration and in 20 minutes you are back in business. Besides, if you have your user data in your OS partition, that is being saved in the image too. I do, however, always recommend to keep the user data in a seperate partition. But few people do that.
I do an automatic image each morning when I fire up my system. Thus, if anything happens during the day (not only viruses but any kind of malfunction), I lose very little going back to the image of that morning. I dedicate 640GB external disks for the images. So there is plenty of room before I have to do a cleanup.
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12 Oct 2010   #15

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
I do an automatic image each morning when I fire up my system. Thus, if anything happens during the day (not only viruses but any kind of malfunction), I lose very little going back to the image of that morning. I dedicate 640GB external disks for the images. So there is plenty of room before I have to do a cleanup.
I have not made a System Image since I backup my files to an online site. What you say about saving time getting back to operating shape makes sense. You have a 640 GB disk for backing up. How big is your drive that you back up each day? == I have my OS and data files on one partition. Would it do me any good to put my image on a different partition on the same HD or do I need to get a different HD for them? Thanks,
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12 Oct 2010   #16

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigmck View Post
I have not made a System Image since I backup my files to an online site. What you say about saving time getting back to operating shape makes sense. You have a 640 GB disk for backing up. How big is your drive that you back up each day? == I have my OS and data files on one partition. Would it do me any good to put my image on a different partition on the same HD or do I need to get a different HD for them? Thanks,
One of the main benefits of having an image of your system is that in the event that you had a hard drive failure you could buy a new hard drive and restore the image to it and be back up and running in no time.

By keeping the image on the same hard drive the OS is on it would only be good for restoring the system for events like a virus trashing. Good enough, but not the best practice.
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12 Oct 2010   #17
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I image my system partition which is about 18GBs. That makes an image of less than 10GBs. My data partition is about 15GBs and is shared between my Windows 7 and Vista system on the same box. I image both partitions, but the data partition I image only occasionally. I do, however, write system recovery points on the data partition. This is to protect against my own forgetfulness because I occasionally delete a file that I should have kept. Then I can always easily recover it from the restore points (shadows) with Shadow Explorer.

Imaging on the same HD is not such a smart idea. Just think of the case where the HD goes south. One should always use a different physical disk - internal or external. My external 640GB disk is usually disconnected. That provides for additional safety. I use that disk to park the very initial image that I made right after the installation was completed, to store one image per month and one image per week. Occasionally I weed out the weekly images. For the daily images I use an internal 250GB HDD that I erase every Sunday after writing the weekly image to the external. The reason for the internal HDD is convenience and speed. A system image takes about 3.5. minutes.

I also recommend to seperate the data from the OS. Recovery strategies and backup frequencies for system and data are different. I play around a lot with the system, so it changes all the time. My data, however, changes very little. Other people may have just the opposite situation. For the creation of a data partition you may have a look at this: Data Partition
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12 Oct 2010   #18
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

My 2 cents worth (maybe 1 cent)

DVDs are out: Takes too many, takes too long, too unreliable-only takes one problem disk. Passive optical storage you'd think would be the ultimate archive. Practice doesn't show it to be the case.
Ext. HDD: Stores many images, fast, relatively cheap (500GB less than $100), relatively reliable. They do fail and I use two. One I keep offline/spundown most of the time.
Same drive, separate partition: Lower reliability when your main disk fails. But if you travel with work and your OS gets corrupted when away but the HDD is fine, then just recover from the other partition and your back in business.

BUT with a new computer with an OEM OS make your factory recovery DVDs (generally only 2 needed) as soon as possible and store away.
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12 Oct 2010   #19

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Here you caught we without my external USB. Otherwise, I'd give you some real world numbers.

First, forget backing up to DVDs. Theoretically possible and practically undesirable.

Following comments are based upon Win 7 Backup and Restore:
How much space do you need?
If you only make a system image, then - just roughly- take the actually occupied space on the partition(s) you want to image. You will not need that much space.

A system image will not backup your page file, hibernate file, your system restore points, your temp files. Let's say you were to use CleanMgr.exe before making a system image, then all of that spaces your saved won't be backed up.

Now all of this said, you might have panicked because hundreds of gigabytes of videos, music, even pictures.

Then using any backup software, a true image is going to be large. However, what happens is you make a system image of the partition where you installed Win 7 and all of your programs. That is normally C:

Win 7 and most backup programs will allow you to make compressed (Win 7 uses zip files) files for all of your videos, music, pics, etc.

Most backup programs also will make "incremental backups" for you so that only once have you zipped it all up and ever thereafter, only the new files/ changed files and the changes from having deleted files are involved. Thus, "backup" number 2 is very small compared to backup # 1.

Tomorrow, when I have my external usb with me, I'll give you some actual numbers.

General advice is to create one or more separate partitions for your data.

Thus, you end up making a system image backup once very blue moon but make regular backups of your data. Also most backup programs will let you specify which folders you want to backup.

I hope I have not confused. Please ask any questions and we will try to answer them.

Oh yes, an excellent tutorial on using Win 7 Backup and Restore is:
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
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12 Oct 2010   #20

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

My HD is only 160 GB. It is getting full and I have been considering getting a bigger one for my data files and put my OS on the 160 GB. Say I got a 500 GB with two partitions, one for data and one for Image, how big should I make the Image partition? == One other question. Since my OS and data files are on the same partition, is it possible to move only the data files to my new HD without doing a Clean Install? Thanks,
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