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Windows 7: Very Very confused

20 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Very Very confused

Hey All ( thanks in advance for advice )

Im kinda confused? After reading some of the forums i though i would ask the specific questions I had.

Which process is the best for having a back up if my hard drive crashes or i want to upgrade to a new one. I dont get the difference between backup/restore and cloning and how do these processes for windows 7 re-use my key code or do i have to buy a new one?

I guess im more confused on how my copy of Windows 7 will still be genuine if i did a restore from a new hard drive?

Or do i have it all wrong?

Any help would be much appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Apr 2011   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

If you image your system (e.g. with Macrium), you can restore it to the same partition or a partition on a new disk as often as you want. There is no product key issue as long as you stay on the same system (same motherboard).

Note though, in case of a new disk drive, you have to image/restore at least the C partition and the 100MB active partition (if present).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by serpent12345 View Post
Hey All ( thanks in advance for advice )

I dont get the difference between backup/restore and cloning and how do these processes for windows 7 re-use my key code or do i have to buy a new one?

I guess im more confused on how my copy of Windows 7 will still be genuine if i did a restore from a new hard drive?

Or do i have it all wrong?

Any help would be much appreciated.
If you restored a genuine Windows 7, it will still be valid.

You should try to distinguish these terms:

Backup and restore: this is Windows 7 term for its capabilities, which includes file by file backup and imaging. I don't think Windows can clone.

Imaging: an image is a file that contains everything on a partition or partitions, including licenses, customization, installed applications, personal data, etc. To image, you use an application to make an image file and then use the same application to "restore" that file. The image file cannot be stored on the partition that it images (i.e., you cannot store an image of the C partition on C).

Cloning: a method of moving a Windows installation from one disk to another, WITHOUT using an image. It is a MOVE, not a restore from an image file. It is not normally used for personal data, but it will move everything on a partition. Normally used when buying a new hard drive for your C partition. Imaging can accomplish the same thing as cloning, but imaging requires that you make an image file and then restore it. Some imaging applications can also clone. Some cannot.

File by file backup: this is normally the best method for backing up your personal data, NOT Windows. No image is involved. No cloning is involved. There are many programs that can do this--free and paid. Think of it as pretty much the same as making a copy of your personal data by dragging stuff to another drive with your mouse.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

2 Questions :

- So if I use the macirum program and make an ISO it has all my licensing info, so i could make the ISO and go get a new hard drive and then put the disk in and follow the prompts and be back were i was before the disk swap?

- if i need to use the same application to image and restore, how can i do the restore from the program if the drive is new qand has not been loaded with anything other then the ISO i have?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by serpent12345 View Post
2 Questions :

- So if I use the macirum program and make an ISO it has all my licensing info, so i could make the ISO and go get a new hard drive and then put the disk in and follow the prompts and be back were i was before the disk swap?

- if i need to use the same application to image and restore, how can i do the restore from the program if the drive is new qand has not been loaded with anything other then the ISO i have?
It is not an ISO, but yes, you have the general idea right.

The free edition of Macrium requires you to make a Linux boot disc and boot from it to restore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2011   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Why don't you follow my tutorial I linked. That should make it clear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2011   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Cloning a drive is not moving the data. All data is still on the original drive.
To Clone a drive means to make an exact copy of the drive, bit by bit, and putting all that data in the exact same place on the new drive as it was on the old drive.
Cloning can only be done with 2 drive that still work. So if the drive in your system dies you can NOT clone it at that point. It takes two working drives to clone one to the other.

I image is a compressed file, some call it a Snapshot of the drive but it really isn't, containing all the data on the drive and a layout of where that data is on the drive. Including the number of partitions and there sizes.
The image file can be stored on a secondary physical hard drive internal to your system or to a external drive like a USB external hard drive.
As long as the drive the image is stored on still works it can be restored to the original drive it was created from or a new drive at any time, 1 day/month/year later.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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