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Windows 7: Create a "Default" System Image?


03 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 
Create a "Default" System Image?

Hi Forum,

I have read over a couple of the tutorials on creating a system image. The process is very straight forward and I understand how to go about creating a complete system image, windows 7 walks you right through it and it seems rather simple. However, I keep all my files double backed up on separate HDDs (I have about 3tbs of files), so all my data is safe. Therefore I just want to backup the basics; OS, Drivers, etc... Just the stuff I would need to get my system up and running again if something were to happen, like an intense virus or something.

I might have overlooked it when reading through the tutorials, but I do not see it. Could someone explain to me if it's possible to just create an image of the basics? Just Operating System and all necessary software and drivers to get me up and running. Is this possible?

Brandon

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Jul 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Brandon,

Sorry, but you will not be able to unselect anything on system drives from being included in system images.

However, you could store your 3 TB of files in say a folder or multiple folders on a non system drive, then include the folder(s) in a library or libraries of your choice. This way you can also access the files from the library, and not have them included in a system image.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Brandon,

Sorry, but you will not be able to unselect anything on system drives from being included in system images.

However, you could store your 3 TB of files in say a folder or multiple folders on a non system drive, then include the folder(s) in a library or libraries of your choice. This way you can also access the files from the library, and not have them included in a system image.

Hope this helps,
Shawn

Yes that's what I was thinking as well. I have two 5tb externals, both of which have 3tbs of matching data. The logic being that if one of them fails, the other is still safe, hence I say double backed up.

So what I was thinking is to delete all the files on my computer, (which I have twice backed up) except for the OS and necessary software, drivers, ect., just the stuff to keep the computer running normally, because thats the only stuff I need backed up in my image. At that point, I create the system image, which should be fairly small in size because I will just have the basics on it. (I would like it small enough to fit on under 10 disks) After that I could just load any of the files I want on my computer from one of my externals. 99% of the files I have on these externals are movies, music, pictures, stuff I do not need on my PC unless I choose to have it there.

Do you understand what I am saying? I basically just want an image of my PC that existed when I first took it out of the box and turned it on for the first time. Do you think that would be a reasonable way to go about it achieving this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jul 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

You can use this method to create a pristine Windows 7 install then image it. Just set it up the way you want, with updates, drivers, etc.
An Old School Geek’s approach to Installing & Setting Up a Windows PC
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
You can use this method to create a pristine Windows 7 install then image it. Just set it up the way you want, with updates, drivers, etc.
An Old School Geek’s approach to Installing & Setting Up a Windows PC
That's a great idea. The issue I have there is that when I ordered this computer, I got it direct from the Toshiba warehouse in the mail. Got a fantastic price on it for it's specs. However, it was just the computer in the box, no software or anything, so I do not have the driver software and things I would need with a clean install, which is mainly why I just want to create this basic image, it's my version of the clean install.

Right now my PC shows 648gbs free of 683gbs. So that would be a reasonable why to go, right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Windows 7 will have many of the drivers you need. After getting it up and running then you can troll the Toshiba site for model specific drivers. Yup you have plenty of room.
Normally laptops will need special graphics, key pad, touch pad drivers etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
Windows 7 will have many of the drivers you need. After getting it up and running then you can troll the Toshiba site for model specific drivers. Yup you have plenty of room.
Normally laptops will need special graphics, key pad, touch pad drivers etc.
I see what you mean, and I think I will pursue that route. I think that will get me as close to a basic or "default" system image as you can get. I'm actually a bit surprised that windows 7 does not give you the option for a basic or default image, I think it would be rather practical.

Anyway, you guys pretty much answered my question and I appreciate all the attention that was paid to my inquiry. Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 

Just a quick closing, I removed all non essential files from my pc, and was able to create a complete system image with just 4 DVD-Rs (4.38gbs a piece). So I have the basic OS and drivers, plus all my installed programs. I created recovery disks and a system repair disk afterwards as well.

Thank you for all the good ideas.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Good to know Brandon. At least you by-passed the bloat new PCs come with too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Create a "Default" System Image?




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