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Windows 7: System Repair Disk + Image + Backing up files : is it enough?

26 May 2014   #1
sunsetlover

Win 7 Ultimate 32-bit
 
 
System Repair Disk + Image + Backing up files : is it enough?

Hi all,

I used the Win 7 Back up & Restore to create a system repair disk plus a system image on an external HD. I'm also backing up my files/documents. Is that enough to do a complete clean re-install of everything in case of a worst-case scenario?

Another question for perhaps another thread: do you make those Rescue disks offered by AV software?


Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 May 2014   #2
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Just my personal opinion FWIW.
Some people have reported less than perfect results using the native Windows 7 backup and restore tool. For that reason another free product called Macrium Reflect is often recommended instead of (or in addition to) the Windows 7 tool. I use them both and make full system images once a week.

Imaging with free Macrium

How often one should make a new system image really depends on how much data is changed on the drive being imaged. For some folks once a month may be enough. For others, a new system image every night may be required. So I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer.

Again, just my personal opinion about rescue disks. They can come in handy for some folks. Usually those people who don't have a system image and backed up files. Assuming a computer goes belly up because of software issues (a badly corrupted operating system, malware, etc) then a recent system image should be all you need to get up and running again. But if a computer stops working because of hardware issues, then I don't think a system image or a rescue disk will do you any good until the failed hardware is repaired or replaced.

As far as a system repair disk goes, it can be used use to boot your computer to the system recovery options to help recover 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 is not able to install Windows 7. In other words, you can use the system repair disk to boot your computer and then access your system image to restore your computer.

Others may disagree with my opinions and will hopefully jump in with some other thoughts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2014   #3
sunsetlover

Win 7 Ultimate 32-bit
 
 

Thanks so much marsmimar. Good info.

I'm now using an old laptop that I bought used till I get a new one. The previous owner didn't have the Win install disk. So I take it that with the system repair disk, plus the image, I'd be able to re-install if I need to.

Btw, in my case at least, the hardware always goes belly up before any software glitches
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 May 2014   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sunsetlover View Post
The previous owner didn't have the Win install disk. So I take it that with the system repair disk, plus the image, I'd be able to re-install if I need to.
I wouldn't count on that.

Those 2 things may work and may not.

I'd want to make an install disk. You can do that by downloading an ISO from Digital River and burning it to a disk. Reinstall if and when necessary. Activate with your Product Key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2014   #5
sunsetlover

Win 7 Ultimate 32-bit
 
 

Sorry to bump up this thread but I want to be prepared. If I use the windows own system repair disk + system image (windows plus third party one), and I have the product key, I can re-install fully to where I was before?

btw, I read there is a limit to how many times the windows product key can be used?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2014   #6
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sunsetlover View Post
So I take it that with the system repair disk, plus the image, I'd be able to re-install if I need to.
In principle yes. I have had no problems performing Windows system image restores to existing and brand new HDDs. But I always recommend more than one imaging program and I support the recommendation for Macrium (I use it as well). If you only want to pick one imaging program I would choose Macrium over Windows inbuilt. Macrium is more flexible than Windows inbuilt imaging and fewer people report issues.

Also, I would definitely have more than a single image. Having 5+ images staggered over time to fall back on is not extravagant.

The product key is not required to perform a system image restore. Provided you are doing a system restore to the same hardware you just do them and your system bounces back into the state it was in when you made the image. The product key is only required when you do a clean install (an install from scratch).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2014   #7
sunsetlover

Win 7 Ultimate 32-bit
 
 

Thank you MJF.

Yes a clean re-install I was talking about. Sorry about my apprehensions, I never had to use the system repair disk and image before.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #8
BetsyRogers

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (+SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sunsetlover View Post

btw, I read there is a limit to how many times the windows product key can be used?
Just fyi, typically the Windows product key can be used no more than 3 times (possibly fewer times depending on what type of license you purchased).

Hope that helps for future reference
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #9
BetsyRogers

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (+SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sunsetlover View Post

btw, I read there is a limit to how many times the windows product key can be used?
Just fyi, typically the Windows product key can be used no more than 3 times (possibly fewer times depending on what type of license you purchased).

Hope that helps for future reference
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2014   #10
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

@Betsy,

Click the Go Advanced button.

System Repair Disk + Image + Backing up files : is it enough?-goadvanced.jpg

No limit on reactivating windows that I am aware of.


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 System Repair Disk + Image + Backing up files : is it enough?




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