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Windows 7: Imaging strategies

21 Aug 2011   #21
drevilwebmaster

 
 

curious on re imaging, how oftern do you find you need new sn# for products or to reactivate them since alot of programs the activation codes are hard wired to the hardware


My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2011   #22
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

You shouldn't need to re-licence any software following an image restore unless of course you happen to be unlucky with new versions of paid software which is one reason to take a new image following such an upgrade.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2012   #23
keith99

windows 7 ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Do NOT use Windows imaging for what you are trying to do. It is so restrictive and touchy that you will not be happy with it.

I suggest you use free Macrium or free Paragon.
Thanks for that interesting suggestion. I have tried Paragon Free - it took a very long time to produce a backup. (i've also given up on Axcronis as their tech support is awful)
On the other hand the experience so far with Windows 7 Ultimate has ben quite good in so far as production of backup and doing a restore. I'm not sure what you meant in this context by "touchy" but apart from the multiple version problem of having to nama and rename it seems to work well
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2012   #24
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

'Touchy' means that if you touch the image, it does not work any more. Yes Paragon is a bit longer, but after the initial image you can make differentials.

I actually use free Macrium all the time because it does the best job, has a lot of options and is very robust.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2012   #25
keith99

windows 7 ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Thanks - I'll give Macrium a try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2012   #26
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by keith99 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Do NOT use Windows imaging for what you are trying to do. It is so restrictive and touchy that you will not be happy with it.

I suggest you use free Macrium or free Paragon.
Thanks for that interesting suggestion. I have tried Paragon Free - it took a very long time to produce a backup. (i've also given up on Axcronis as their tech support is awful)
On the other hand the experience so far with Windows 7 Ultimate has ben quite good in so far as production of backup and doing a restore. I'm not sure what you meant in this context by "touchy" but apart from the multiple version problem of having to nama and rename it seems to work well
I had difficulties finding the reference to the specific situation Windows imaging was unsuitable.
I use Windows imaging as my primary tool and Macrium Reflect as
1) a reliable secondary imaging tool in case Windows own fails
2) at times a more flexible tool.

In over 30 full system restores (2 PCs) including to new HDDs with a host of paid, licensed software, Windows imaging has never let me done. I do use Macrium from time to time for partition specific imaging that Windows imaging was not designed for. I may still need Macrium for item (1)....but I'm still waiting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #27
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

The difficulty I have had with it (apart from the total inflexibility ) - is there have been a number of times when the image cannot be found.

It has not been moved or renamed.

Windows Restore GUI and wbadmin refuse to acknowledge it is there.

Panic situation for the average punter

Of course , I could work around that - but why should I?

I have never had that issue with any other imaging software - over hundreds of restore operations.

The second major issue ( tho I have not experienced this myself ) is there are numerous reports of the restore process refusing the drive - even tho. it is exactly the same drive that was imaged in the first place.

You have been lucky so far.

I have had some success with imaging and restoring individual partitions using the command line - but given the occasions when the image was invisible to the restore process ( yet perfectly visible to me ) I would be foolish to rely on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #28
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I already mentioned the restrictions in Windows imaging but I believe they meet most user requirements including mine.

I have stored images on numerous external HDDs and performed numerous full restores. Admittedly only on 2 totally different PCs. When you get to the stage of 30 successes (at least...I've lost count) and no problems I think it is more than luck.

What do I do:
1) Only ever make a single image via "Create a system image". No differecing images. Rename the image, moving with the same partition is fine.
2) On the rare occasion an image is not located I physically remove and reattach the external HDD and refresh.

I think Windows imaging has been a built in success story for many users. I also think some of the third party products are excellent and in some ways superior - I use them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #29
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

I have been trying to like it - in many ways it is very ingenious.

Can't put with something that cannot find the image that is needed to restore from .

MS need to incorporate some kind of browse function - you browse to the vhd , select it , then point at where you want to restore it to.

Of course that would only restore the most recent image - but that's ok in most situations.

It can't be that hard to implement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #30
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post

MS need to incorporate some kind of browse function - you browse to the vhd , select it , then point at where you want to restore it to.

Of course that would only restore the most recent image - but that's ok in most situations.

It can't be that hard to implement.
I totally agree.
As I'm sure you know Acronis seem to be able to do the job for Windows images.
Although I'm a nobody, MS should realize that images and image recovery is a key recovery tool. It's not just a nice thing to have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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