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Windows 7: System Image Backup Strategies/Thoughts

11 Jun 2012   #61
Victor S

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
I guess that like all other electronic equipment it gradually degrades until something goes wrong with the hardware. I would have thought that a mechanical component such as the disk drive would go first.
Maybe. My own experience has been MB's failing. Two.
And unless you replace it with an identical MB, your normal images are worth dirt.
By the time they fail, you're almost certainly due for an upgrade, yours can't be found new any more, and you might not want to go on eBay to buy an identical one. That's why I do the occasional sysprepped image.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jun 2012   #62
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

I've never done a sysprepped image. Perhaps I should.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #63
Brds7t7

Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit, Windows 8.1 Pro 64-Bit
 
 

Me neither, I wouldn't even know how to!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jun 2012   #64
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #65
Brds7t7

Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit, Windows 8.1 Pro 64-Bit
 
 

Thanks for that Kado, I'll take a proper look at that later. Doesn't seem too painful, I was expecting there to be a lot of commands involved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #66
Victor S

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
That's how I found this forum, and the process that I used.
Might be overkill to keep a system image that can be used on a different computer, but I REALLY HATE REINSTALLING.
I don't recommend or discourage making a sysprepped image. Just depends on what level of insurance you want. Since I always restore before making a new image, restoring is second nature, and it goes like this, all restores and imaging done cold from the Ghost recovery CD, similar to the Win 7 recovery CD:
1. Restore my last image and boot to Win 7.
2. Update what I want updated for the new Win 7 image.
3. Shut down and make new "normal" image.
4. Boot to Win 7 and run sysprep with shutdown option.
5. Make image of sysprepped Win 7.
6. Restore "normal" Win 7 image.

Steps 4, 5,and 6 are added costs for doing the sysprep. Since an image or restore takes about 4 minutes (~20gb) and I always make 2 images to different HD's, it costs me about 15-20 minutes total, counting booting and running sysprep. Sysprep runs in a minute or two on my PC, but I never timed it exactly.
There's a small learning curve, but it's all in the tutorial.
For example I had to turn off network services before running sysprep successfully.
And I had a second PC with different MB to test the sysprepped image.
I don't recommend it unless you're comfortable restoring your image, because you're stripping drivers from the Win 7 on your HD.
There are alternatives, like cloning your Win 7 to a different HD, then sysprepping
that drive and imaging it, etc, etc. I just keep it simple by using the method I outlined.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #67
Brds7t7

Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit, Windows 8.1 Pro 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victor S View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
That's how I found this forum, and the process that I used.
Might be overkill to keep a system image that can be used on a different computer, but I REALLY HATE REINSTALLING.
I don't recommend or discourage making a sysprepped image. Just depends on what level of insurance you want. Since I always restore before making a new image, restoring is second nature, and it goes like this, all restores and imaging done cold from the Ghost recovery CD, similar to the Win 7 recovery CD:
1. Restore my last image and boot to Win 7.
2. Update what I want updated for the new Win 7 image.
3. Shut down and make new "normal" image.
4. Boot to Win 7 and run sysprep with shutdown option.
5. Make image of sysprepped Win 7.
6. Restore "normal" Win 7 image.

Steps 4, 5,and 6 are added costs for doing the sysprep. Since an image or restore takes about 4 minutes (~20gb) and I always make 2 images to different HD's, it costs me about 15-20 minutes total, counting booting and running sysprep. Sysprep runs in a minute or two on my PC, but I never timed it exactly.
There's a small learning curve, but it's all in the tutorial.
For example I had to turn off network services before running sysprep successfully.
And I had a second PC with different MB to test the sysprepped image.
I don't recommend it unless you're comfortable restoring your image, because you're stripping drivers from the Win 7 on your HD.
There are alternatives, like cloning your Win 7 to a different HD, then sysprepping
that drive and imaging it, etc, etc. I just keep it simple by using the method I outlined.
How big are your Sysprepped images usually then Victor? I'm getting a bit low on space lately and going to have to add another external HDD soon. Worth it though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #68
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
The company I worked for before I retired had a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy which involved several teams and I was a member of one of them. One of the things we had to do was a complete recovery of our IT systems from bare metal once per year using an offsite facility. We had to assume that the head office which contained our IT systems had been destroyed in an accidental or terrorist related event.
I was in the chemical/refining manufacturing business and involved from time to time in a similar situation. We didn't have offsite facilities which we could use to restore plant control networks. Instead we had hot running spares of all critical equipment where we could test.

The control networks were always air-gapped from the standard business network for obvious reasons and I wasn't involved with that side. But I was well aware of the machinations they went through as well.

Guess that's part of why I'm always re-analyzing my own strategy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #69
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by F5ing View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
The company I worked for before I retired had a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy which involved several teams and I was a member of one of them. One of the things we had to do was a complete recovery of our IT systems from bare metal once per year using an offsite facility. We had to assume that the head office which contained our IT systems had been destroyed in an accidental or terrorist related event.
I was in the chemical/refining manufacturing business and involved from time to time in a similar situation. We didn't have offsite facilities which we could use to restore plant control networks. Instead we had hot running spares of all critical equipment where we could test.

The control networks were always air-gapped from the standard business network for obvious reasons and I wasn't involved with that side. But I was well aware of the machinations they went through as well.

Guess that's part of why I'm always re-analyzing my own strategy.
It does tend to stick with you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #70
Victor S

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Burdus77 View Post
How big are your Sysprepped images usually then Victor? I'm getting a bit low on space lately and going to have to add another external HDD soon. Worth it though.
I can't tell, because I wasn't paying attention to size when I did it, but looking now at what I have the sysprepped image is about 2gb smaller than the closest image timewise. But I've deleted the "normal" images done close to that time, about 6 weeks ago. I have 5 "normal" images since then, so I was relatively busy with images.
I'm going to do another sysprepped image next time I restore, and I'll look for the actual size difference.
I expect it to be only some mb smaller, since it's only removing drivers. So that 2gb diff isn't right.
My images range from 17-21gb each, and I see I now have 14.
Only really need maybe 5, because only once have I used anything but the most recent.
But I always want to keep one a few months old - just in case there's a time bomb in there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Image Backup Strategies/Thoughts




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