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Windows 7: Restoring Windows 7 to previous point in time

06 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Restoring Windows 7 to previous point in time

I need a help with problem concerning restoration of windows to a previous point in time. At wok (teaching computers) I need to create some sort of backup that would allow me to restore computers to state they were before each class started (because people are capable of making terrible mess in folders that I did not even know existed).

Simply put, I need something that will give me clean system with software I installed and delete everything else.
I was hoping to use restore point, but sadly it does not work as I think it did in XP and it does not delete anything users created

Thanks for any tips

If anyone cares, this is the list of installed software
  • Windows 7 Pro x86
  • Office 2010 Standard
  • avast! Antivirus
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Accounting software
  • iTALC (software for teachers to see what are student doing, locking them out, etc)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Sep 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Hello Aries, and welcome to Seven Forums.

You could create a system image to where you like to be able to do a system image recovery as needed.

Another option would be to use the free Macrium Reflect to do the same as above using the program instead.

You might also consider turning on the Guest account and having the students use that account. This way they will be unable to make changes to the system, and when logged out, all changes made are undone.

Hope this helps some,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks for reply,
I was thinking about using system image, but I was just wondering if there was another way that would not take up 5 DVDs. Something like a program that would keep a "change list" and then it would revert everything on it.
As for the guest account, I still need to keep data people create there for the duration of their class (Excel spreadsheets for example), so I guess I will do the System Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Sep 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit

DVDs are definitely not the method of choice for storing images. Best to use another hard drive. I'm guessing these machines have no other hard drive, in which case you would need to use a separate partition on the existing hard drive, since images cannot be stored on any partition contained in the image.

Stored images typically require roughly half of the occupied space on the partitions in the image---an image of C with 30 GB occupied might take up 15 GB, so that separate partition would have to be at least 15 GB in size.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

You're welcome.

I suppose that you could use an external HDD (if available) or another internal HDD to save the image on. If you have more than one computer, then you might consider using Macrium Reflect to make it easier to save multiple images on the same external HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64

Yes, the computers have only one HDD with single partition. And I was thinking either DVDs (which I though are stable enough) or some smaller external HDD or flash disks for it.

I may look like a total ignorant (I will admit it, I do not reinstall or restore Windows that much, maybe once in 2 years), but couldn't I use single system image to restore all computers and then just change names and product key? Student computers in class are basically all clones of each other, just with different name and product key
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Not at all. We are all rusty about something or another.

Unless, they were all the exact same computers with the same motherboard and such, it may present issues doing it like that. If they are, then yeah you could just change the computer name and key number after the system image recovery. The users accounts and folders would only be from the computer the image was created from though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64

Every single computer in classroom is exactly the same, down to every single piece of hardware
User accounts are the same (Teacher (admin, PW locked) and Student (regular, no PW)), anti-virus is using group license file, and iTALC is also using only one key file identical to all computers.
And deleting all different files and setting was the original idea
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Sounds like a plan then.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64

Well I tried to run the system restore on computers in classroom today, and I hit a problem.

After booting to Windows setup, I selected the system image, but before the restore begun, it stopped with error saying something like "Restore failed, no image could be found" (I am using Czech version of Windows, so I do not know what exactly it says in English).

During setup on other computers, the "Format and repartition drives" checkbox was grayed out, but from this article (System Image Recovery) I understood that should not a be problem and it is something completely normal when using a image on different HDD.

Image is saved on freshly formatted external HDD, and work fine on the original computer, but not on any other

Any thoughts on why this keeps happening?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Restoring Windows 7 to previous point in time

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