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Windows 7: Do I need to format HDD before loading system image for best results?

04 Oct 2011   #1
axel66

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Do I need to format HDD before loading system image for best results?

Hi Guys

I've seen your posts about creating an system image and restoring one.

But do I have to format my HDD first then load the image for best results.

E.g:
I want to re-install Windows 7 and I have a system image that I created just after a fresh install and installing my main apps.

Do I need to format the HDD then load the image or is it just a good to load the image without formating.

Basically what I'm trying to do is make re-installing Windows 7 quicker, not by swipping the format proccess, but by having all my main apps / settings there after loading the image.

Hope this makes send

Many thanks

Axel


My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2011   #2
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

I personally would always clean the HD Drive first.
SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2011   #3
richnrockville

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Welcome to the windows 7 forums Axel66

Most imaging programs have to re-write the partition information when they do the restore.
so, my opinion is that you are wasting your time formatting.

Rich
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

What imaging program do you use??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2011   #5
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

@axel66

Generally there is no need to reformat unless you happen to use some imaging app which requires it.

Windows imaging will force a reformat if you are reimaging to a HDD whose partition structure has changed since the image was made. In this case Windows will reformat and repartition automatically. This will cause data to be lost in partitions not reimaged.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2011   #6
axel66

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hi Guys

Thanks for your responces and link to the 'Optimize for Windows Reinstallation' tutorial, just what I was lookinng for all in one place



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
What imaging program do you use??
I've not used one yet, was thinking of using Windows 7 to make the image, or is that not a good idea?

Many thanks

Clive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2011   #7
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

The tutorial referred to has more to do with preparing a HDD for a clean install of the Windows operating system not a reimage. Reimaging to a new SSD is a different matter and also dealt with in other tutorials.

When you format you create a file system. When you reimage you overwrite that file system anyway.
Windows imaging will force a format when a repartition is required. This is generally not required when recovering your system from some disaster using an image made earlier. This is the great advantage of imaging - just reimage. I've reimaged my PCs many times this way even to straight out of the bag HDDs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2011   #8
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
The tutorial referred to has more to do with preparing a HDD for a clean install of the Windows operating system not a reimage. Reimaging to a new SSD is a different matter and also dealt with in other tutorials.
The tutorial is about cleaning the HD Drive for reusing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2011   #9
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
The tutorial referred to has more to do with preparing a HDD for a clean install of the Windows operating system not a reimage. Reimaging to a new SSD is a different matter and also dealt with in other tutorials.
The tutorial is about cleaning the HD Drive for reusing.
I have restored well over 20 systems and would not consider going through this procedure unless absolutely necessary. A rare exception may be the removal of GRUB after a linux install.

Maybe you could list the advantages to be gained by undertaking this time consuming procedure so people don't blindly do it simply because they think it is required.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2011   #10
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Virus & Linux.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Do I need to format HDD before loading system image for best results?




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