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Windows 7: Imaging strategies

19 Dec 2010   #11
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

My point is, you do not have to restore the whole system only because a few files are mucked up. With Shadow Explorer you can get them back individually. Long time ago I made a video tutorial how to do that. You find it here: http://www.vimeo.com/17987647


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Dec 2010   #12

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Thanks for that. I tried to view the tutorial but the video stopped at 3 min 16 seconds. I have however looked at the How-To Geek's explanation and as a result I have downloaded it and given it a quick try. It looks like a very useful addition to my recovery options. Once again many thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2010   #13
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Yeah, you are right. It got all ruined. It used to be very crisp and now it is all fuzzy. I wonder what those Vimeo people did to it. I have to upload it again. Will post the new link later.
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19 Dec 2010   #14
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Here is the new tutorial link: Recover lost files with Shadow Explorer on Vimeo I also updated the original posting.
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20 Dec 2010   #15

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Thanks whs. That's really good now if a little outdated.
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20 Dec 2010   #16
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The outdated part is only that it was done on Vista. Else the Shadow Explorer has not really changed. In fact, yesterday night I put the tutorial into our tutorial section. I thought that would be handier to refer to.
ShadowExplorer - Recover Lost Files and Folders
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2011   #17

Windows 7 64bit Home Premium Enhanced
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
.
Hardware requirements

For any serious imaging you should have two additional physical disk drives additional to the drive on which the OS resides. They can be 2 external disks or one external and one internal disk. An internal disk will obviously yield a faster speed when you image.
One external disk should be easily detachable (set off-line) and should be only on-line when in use. This will give you 100% certainty that nothing and nobody can access that disk and the images on it.
The space you need on the disks depends on the number of images you want to retain at any given time. The typical size of an image is approximately 50% of the data (not the partition) that is being imaged. If you have a 100GB OS partition but only 20GBs are occupied with data and 80GBs are free, your image of that partition would be 10GBs.
The 2 disks need not be dedicated to imaging especially the internal disk (or the external disk that stays on-line). All you need is a defined folder on those disks and sufficient free space to hold the images you want to keep.
A couple of points here that may help those with Home Premium. Win 7's built in Imaging tool does Not allow you to create and restore from a network and does not always work well with external drives. I have found this out the hard way. I use dvd's to backup and restore my Images. I find they are just as solid and reliable as an external hard drive, as long as you keep them safe and in good condition. Windows 7 Professional and higher has support for networks and also has much better support for external hard drives. Windows 7 Home Premium can always work with your built in cd/dvd rom drive if you have one.

Quote:
Software requirements
Quote:

You do, of course, need an imaging program. There is a vast choice of free and paid programs. I like to break the available options into 4 categories:

1. The imaging facility that is built into Windows7. You access it through Control Panel\System and Security\Backup and Restore
2. Free programs which are usually versions of paid programs with reduced functionality. Free Macrium and free Paragon are examples.
3. Free programs that come with external disks of certain manufacturers. The Maxtor Manager is an example.
4. Paid programs are available from many providers. You can find a little selection on this link.
I recently had an issue where many of the popular free and paid for imaging programs would not work for one reason or another. Acronis True Image Home, Paragon Backup and Restore Advanced 2011, EaseUS ToDo Backup 2011, Macrium Reflect Free Edition, DriveImage XML, all of them failed where as the built in imaging tool of Windows 7 Home Premium worked flawlessly for creating the Image and restoring it. I encourage everyone to try the built in Windows 7 Imaging tool before spending time and or money downloading 3rd party apps. All of the above apps use Windows VSS technology to create their images anyway, the same as Win 7's built in Imaging tool so when you use those programs you are really using Windows 7 built in imaging tool anyway those apps just add some extra functionality that you really may not need.
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05 Aug 2011   #18

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I would agree with most of that. The problem with external disks is usually related to the restore CD not being able to find them or not having the correct drivers. The Linux based disks are problematic for me. I have never had a problem with WinPE based disks finding external USB hard drives.

While it is true that all third party backup solutions use VSS to create the image as far as I am aware Windows Backup is the only one that uses shadow storage to hold incremental backups. It is that many of us don't like. I suggest that using more than one backup product is a good idea and I use Windows Backup (Single Images) for that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #19

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ElectricRider View Post
I recently had an issue where many of the popular free and paid for imaging programs would not work for one reason or another. Acronis True Image Home, Paragon Backup and Restore Advanced 2011, EaseUS ToDo Backup 2011, Macrium Reflect Free Edition, DriveImage XML, all of them failed
Not intending any offense (and I did see your other thread), but if every single one of these 3rd party apps all failed on your system, it sounds like something is wrong with your system. In the other thread, you mentioned a number of services you disabled and tweak programs that you had run. I suspect something went afoul along the way with some of these "tweeks". I use Acronis True Image Home 2010 at home, I use Macrium and EaseUs at work and I haven't really experienced problems with any of them....except for a mouse problem with a Macrium Reflect free restore disk on one particular system.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ElectricRider View Post
I encourage everyone to try the built in Windows 7 Imaging tool before spending time and or money downloading 3rd party apps.
That's the one that I started with myself. It did the job and did it alright, but I wanted some more flexibility with storing multiple images, password protecting my images, etc. This is why I turned to third party apps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #20

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Third party tools are good, but don't forget Microsoft's tools either. For most non-enterprises (SCCM), this will be MDT.
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