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Windows 7: Imaging, cloning...need advice

08 Sep 2012   #1
paulobao

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
Imaging, cloning...need advice

Hi again,

I'm confusing with this terminology (imaging, cloning,..). Anyway I need a big advice, please!
I got my first BSOD in my 6 month Toshiba laptop (Tecra R840-16J) that I could not recover from (I'm sure the experts could but I don't ). I tried safe mode, go to a previous good state,..nothing worked! I hade sveral dozens of GB of applications installed (and all those settings too) that are gone! Of course I have all the SW in an external USB3.0 HDD and I will reinstall everything...!!!

Please, give me a strategie they I will follow (not for avoyding BSOD) but in the case this happens again I could, in a simple maner, have my laptop functional again with all the software and settings I had before the crash!

I have Ghost 15.0 but I unistalled all my Norton sw and I want to keep far from that!
I tried the built in Win7 restore with no sucess since at the end an error occured saying that the image was not created sucessefully!

Please let me know what steps should I follow to:
- create an image (clone ?) of my entire machine
- restore my machine to the exact state before the crash

Thanks a lot,

paulo


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Sep 2012   #2
richnrockville

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Paulo,
1. Cloning is copying the whole disk to another disk. If don't properly, it should be a complete mirror image of the source disk and bootable, just like the original disk.
2. Imageing is creating a single file in some program that is everything on your source drive in one file and requires a program to restore the image to another drive.

Norton ghost is an imaging/clone commercial program similar to Acronis. There is a couple of free ones that are available.

Rich
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2012   #3
paulobao

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Thanks again!
You know what...afterall the win7 works great for imaging and restoring if I use a partition in my main HDD! If I try to use an external Iomega USB3.0 Prestige HDD it will not end properly!
I just made an image of my system via the win7 built in image and restore, then removed some sw and then restore it via the same built in application! all went smooth and my system is as it was before! Shame it not work with my external drive!

paulo

Thanks,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Sep 2012   #4
richnrockville

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Paulobao, There has to be something wrong someplace for your windows 7 internal image to not write the image to an external drive. If the drive is not formatted NTFS, that would do it as well as not enough space.

I have successfully used the windows 7 imaging software to an external USB hard disk and restored it to a replacement hard disk. Must be of the same size or larger though.

I mostly use and trust Acronis home imaging sofware and it just works the way I want it to.
One problem that I have seen is that people buy the small backup devices and run the software that is included which will prevent the Imaging software from working. I normally just buy the SATA external cases and pick up small large hard drives to put in them. I format from the windows 7 options and have been successful all of the time.


Rich
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2012   #5
paulobao

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Maybe! I use an Iomega Prestige USB 3.0 external drive! No sucess until now!

paulo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2012   #6
richnrockville

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by paulobao View Post
Maybe! I use an Iomega Prestige USB 3.0 external drive! No sucess until now!

paulo
Paulo, something tells me that you installed the Iomega backup software????

Rich
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2012   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Have a look at this. It will do what you want. I recommend to image at least once per week (or more).

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2012   #8
paulobao

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

No Rich, I've not installed Iomega backup!
Thanks for the Macrium link :-). Do you think Paragon suite will be fine too?
Now I can image right away via win7 to the new parition but nor for my external disk!

paulo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2012   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Paolo:

Cloning is not a backup strategy. It's normally used when things are going well and you just want to move to a new hard drive.

Imaging is a backup strategy and is normally used when things are NOT going well and you need to recover to an earlier state.

It sounds like imaging is what you need.

Macrium and Acronis are the most commonly used imaging programs. Macrium can also clone. I'm not sure about Acronis. Either of those is easier to understand and use than the built-in Windows program (which doesn't clone as far as I know).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2012   #10
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Macrium and Paragon both do good free versions.

The drawback with Macrium free is that it doesn't support gpt style drives.

Acronis is a popular program - but they don't really do a free version (there is a sort of limited free version available - but only if you have at least one Seagate, or WD drive )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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