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Windows 7: System Recovery, questions


01 Sep 2013   #1

XP/7x32-x64/8x64
 
 
System Recovery, questions

For the first time in almost 20 years I have decided to create some "System Restore" discs.
One each for Win-XP x32, Win-7 x32 and Win-7 x64.
The number of times my (Win95/98/XP/7) PCs have spat the dummy and I shelled out $$ for somebody else to fix them.
Time for me to get with the program !
Using two of Brinks tutorials ...
How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc
How to Boot to the System Recovery Options in Windows 7

I have two questions ...
1. Are CD-RW discs suitable as system-restore-discs or must they be CD-R only?
. . . .I appreciate "W" discs can be overwritten.
2. Am I right in assuming that OEM PCs cannot use "System Restore Discs" ?

Thank you


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Sep 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GrayGhost2 View Post
I have two questions ...
1. Are CD-RW discs suitable as system-restore-discs or must they be CD-R only?
. . . .I appreciate "W" discs can be overwritten.
Yes they are, although a DVD-R may be better for the size.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GrayGhost2 View Post
2. Am I right in assuming that OEM PCs cannot use "System Restore Discs" ?

Thank you
No, you may use them on any Windows OS. The disks in question here are "System Recovery" disks which allow you to boot an unbootable system but do not help you save any data.
You might have a look at this for back up info, I use it all the time.

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Do not create a system image on DVDs. It will require lots and will be unreliable. You really need an external HDD for the image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Sep 2013   #4

windows 7 ultimate 64 bit
 
 
extracting my windows 7 product key from windows.old files

I recently had a crash on my pc and was unable to get to have access to extract my product key however i did manage to find the disc to re install windows I was reading your forums and tom982 mentioned about using Produ Key to extract my product key I followed the steps but I still can not extract the key CAN SOMEONE HELP PLEASE????
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2013   #5

XP/7x32-x64/8x64
 
 
Solved

@ "Britton30" +1
Thank you for your clear and concise feedback.
Wife has a stack of RW's -- I never use CDs/DVDs -- I use NAS for data + backup HDDs
Considering the risk of overwriting I will use CD-R only
I am not familiar with CD capacity. Is there any size I should shoot for ?

Macrium keeps popping up on various threads
I have 6 PCs all for work and when they falter (so far) I have paid a PC tech to repair them.
To often their advice has been wrong and/or dishonest. I have spent hours repairing their repairs. They mostly just clean install which leaves me with about 2 days of installing engineering programs, updates, autocad, addons ... and tweaking Win-7 to Classic Shell, and tweaking WinExplorer to our preferences ... etc.
Once I master "System Recovery" (I have a spare PC to play with) I want to look into "Macrium".
Thank you for the link
----------

@ "kado897" +1
I did not know that about system image on DVD.
I was slightly tempted, but thanks to your info .. I will use CD-R
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2013   #6

XP/7x32-x64/8x64
 
 
More questions, I am learning

1. At what "time in the life" of a PC is best to create a "System Recovery" disc. ?
2. If the OS is a little wobbly (after 13 months of exposure to the internet) -- is that too late ?
. . . Or should the System-restore disc be created immediately after a clean OS install ?
3. Does SR "detect" service packs that are already on the PC ?
4. I assume SR is exclusively the OS ?

Would appreciate any help, thank you

-----------
Win-7 x32, Win-7 x64, Win-XP x32
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2013   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Just some random thoughts and I'm not responding to any particular poster. But I think there's some confusion between "recovery" disks, "restore" disks, "repair" disks and what they actually accomplish.

Recovery and restore disks are basically the same. These disks are either provided by the computer manufacturer or the manufacturer provides instructions on how the user can create his/her own disks. The disks can be used to wipe the hard drive clean and return the computer to its original factory specifications, just like it was on the day the computer left the factory when it was brand new.

Without getting too deep into the subject, if a manufacturer provides instructions on how to create recovery/restore disks, the hard drive usually has a hidden recovery partition. It's this partition that has the original computer configuration and the disks are a copy of that partition.

Recovery disc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Restore disk

A repair disk allows you to boot your computer to access system recovery options. These options can help repair your Windows 7 installation if you don't have a Windows installation disc, can't find your Windows installation disc, or can't access the recovery options provided by your computer manufacturer. A system repair disc by itself is not able to install Windows 7.

System Repair Disc - Create
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2013   #8
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GrayGhost2 View Post
1. At what "time in the life" of a PC is best to create a "System Recovery" disc. ?
2. If the OS is a little wobbly (after 13 months of exposure to the internet) -- is that too late ?
. . . Or should the System-restore disc be created immediately after a clean OS install ?
3. Does SR "detect" service packs that are already on the PC ?
4. I assume SR is exclusively the OS ?

Would appreciate any help, thank you

-----------
Win-7 x32, Win-7 x64, Win-XP x32
1. As soon as you have a system setup with your user accounts, Windows updates and program installed. Then weekly or more often.
2. It would depend on what make it wobbly, An image would copy it and restore it to the drive.
3. As I said before, System Recovery disk is to boot an unbootable installation, it wild not reinstall windows.
4, See above. Windows 7 has a built-in System restore, see this. System Restore

If you go the Macrium method, use some external drives or a drive in the PC that does NOT have Windows on it. One 500-750GB drive can store multiple images for different machines.

All CD/R-RW are 700MB, DVD/R-RW are 4.7GB. An image at the minimum will be on the order of 15-20GB, more with a lot of installed programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2013   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

My point was that you should not use any optical media to hold an image. It is just too unreliable. You should invest in an external HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Recovery, questions




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