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Windows 7: Imaging strategies


17 Jun 2012   #81

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

It has carried over into my private life since I retired.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jun 2012   #82
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The problem is not so much with the system, but with the user data. Many folks do not bother to create a seperate user data partition (except the SSD people) and that's when it becomes iffy.

I agree that the system can always be recovered one way or the other. But I am with Keith and rather make a system image more often. In my case it takes less than 5 minutes and I rather be safe than sorry.

But if you have user data in the C partition, I would highly recommend frequent images. It is, of course, a matter of how often things are updated in the system and the files - and don't forget the Favorites.

PS: reinstalling the system with an older installation disc is a real pain. I just did that last week with my pre-SP1 installation disc. Main reason was that my winsxs was approaching 20GBs and that really hurt on a 60GB SSD.

Just processing all the updates (including those of my 2007 Office Home and Student) took me 3 days. Making the system settings and reinstalling the many programs I use was a lot less of a pain because I did that as I went. But the updates took most of the time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #83

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

I have not kept the User Data in the System Volume Drive for over 6 years. It is all kept on an external Drive including my e-Mail messages, e-Mail Addresses and Bookmarks (Favorites). The more important User Data is also burnt on a re-recordable DVD at least quarterly if not more frequently.

For me making a System Image and its verification takes over 40 minutes, and since there are no changes from the last time except updates and upgrades, I consider anything more frequent than once a month as a waste of time. But yours and Keith's points of view are equally valid.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jun 2012   #84

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

I think someone said it earlier. Each case is different. What works for one will not be suitable for another. The best question one can ask oneself is. What would happen if...

Second thoughts: The question should be how do I get back to where I am now if...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
PS: reinstalling the system with an older installation disc is a real pain. I just did that last week with my pre-SP1 installation disc. Main reason was that my winsxs was approaching 20GBs and that really hurt on a 60GB SSD.

Just processing all the updates (including those of my 2007 Office Home and Student) took me 3 days. Making the system settings and reinstalling the many programs I use was a lot less of a pain because I did that as I went. But the updates took most of the time.
Seems to run against the very reason I image.
My winsxs is 7gb, with all updates, after running this reduced it by 4gb.
Cleanup Winsxs after Windows 7 SP1 install Alan's sysadmin Blog
Of course I made an image before I did it, but have encountered no problems.
Why was your winsxs so large? I'm especially interested because I've treated myself for father's day.
I've ordered a 64gb Crucial M4 - thanks for the tut. That has me ready to go!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #86

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I'm the same I haven't kept my user data on the same partition as Windows for years (although they are on the same internal drive). I will be separating them soon though as I'm going to buy an SSD for Windows and keep my data on my spinners. I only image my system drive too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #87
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victor S View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
PS: reinstalling the system with an older installation disc is a real pain. I just did that last week with my pre-SP1 installation disc. Main reason was that my winsxs was approaching 20GBs and that really hurt on a 60GB SSD.

Just processing all the updates (including those of my 2007 Office Home and Student) took me 3 days. Making the system settings and reinstalling the many programs I use was a lot less of a pain because I did that as I went. But the updates took most of the time.
Seems to run against the very reason I image.
My winsxs is 7gb, with all updates, after running this reduced it by 4gb.
Cleanup Winsxs after Windows 7 SP1 install Alan's sysadmin Blog
Of course I made an image before I did it, but have encountered no problems.
Why was your winsxs so large? I'm especially interested because I've treated myself for father's day.
I've ordered a 64gb Crucial M4 - thanks for the tut. That has me ready to go!
The reason my winsxs was so large (I believe) because my installation was from the first days of Windows 7 - thus very old. And over the years I had installed and uninstalled a lot of programs that all left their .dlls behind (despite using Revo).

I am leary of cleaning up the .dlls because you never know which program might be using them, but removing the SP1 backup files may be a good idea. Plus there were a few other nits and lice that had crept into my system over time which suggested that a reinstall was a good choice. It was not a big deal - just boring.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #88
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I will image after a significant update like a new (particularly paid) software install. I like to have an image which isn't more than 2 weeks old at hand. Large fairly static data I definitely put on another partition and back these up separately. For example I have a fairly large collection of download software and info which I keep on its own partition.
This way an image of my OS + installed programs + little active data files takes ~ 10 minutes. I don't bother with system restores.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #89

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

Neither do I. I have kept System Restore switched off almost ever since it appeared. However many are of the opinion that Imaging and System Restore are mutually exclusive functions and therefore System Restore should not be switched off.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
I don't bother with system restores.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #90
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wanchoo View Post
Neither do I. I have kept System Restore switched off almost ever since it appeared. However many are of the opinion that Imaging and System Restore are mutually exclusive functions and therefore System Restore should not be switched off.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
I don't bother with system restores.
I don't want to rabbit on but I have considered a reimage to be superset of System Restore and not mutually exclusive. Maybe I miss something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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