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Windows 7: Newb Backup & Recovery advice

11 Aug 2014   #1
cedar

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Newb Backup & Recovery advice

Hello all.

I am a newbie to Windows 7 (and backup software). Just bought a HP refurb desktop from a certified Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher with Windows 7 pro 64-bit on it. No os disks came with it though. The tech there said that it comes with recovery partition on hd, and as such I didn't need to back up on my own but I'm not sure. Just want to protect my OS against catastrophe since I don't have reinstall disks.

Would you recommend just using the built-in windows program, or if not something like AOMEI Backupper or Macrium Reflect. Or just nothing like the tech said. I've read a few of the older threads here on the subject but wanted to ask for the most up to date opinions.


Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Aug 2014   #2
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Use AOMEI Backupper or Macrium Reflect Free. don't forget to make a recovery CD!
They are more flexible than the win7 built-in backup program. Win7 built-in for example can't restore to smaller disk. On restore it creates the partition layout as it was at time of backup.

Reinstall DVD can be found on Windows 7 Direct Download Links, Official Disk Images from Digital River

Do you have a valid product key ? (needed in case of reinstall).

The technician is not telling the truth. What in case the physical drive is corrupt?? Then even the recovery won't work. And of course nobody want to revert to factory settings. And don't want to lose personal stuff.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2014   #3
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cedar View Post
The tech there said that it comes with recovery partition on hd, ....
In addition to the advice above I'd find out a little more about exactly how your system was reburbished. For example was it refurbished with HP partitions? The tech should have also told you how to use the recovery partition.

As mentioned you should use system imaging and not just rely on a recovery partition. You can see how your HDD is partitioned using say
Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Aug 2014   #4
cedar

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Kaktussoft, mjf, thanks for replying.

I probably miscast the person I spoke to who was just a CSR (customer service rep) at the toll-free CS number. And I had called once prior and the 1st CSR did recommend backing up with the win7 built-in rec. software, but the 2nd one didn't.

It's funny because I did ask the CSR if it was them who had partitioned the hard drive because it had C and E partitions and I had never seen that on all my previous XP machines before. He said he wasn't sure but could ask the factory/tech guys if I wanted.


Anyway here's the screenshot:

Newb Backup & Recovery advice-capture-disk-management.png


And this is my unit.

Another question. I have a 1.5tb external usb HD that I use for storage. If I backed up onto that would AOMEI or Macrium reformat the entire drive and destroy all the files on it or is that not necessary.

Thanks.

Oh and I do have a product key sticker on machine.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2014   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

That picture is about what you'd expect. The 14.65 GB partition is the recovery partition and should restore you to what you see in that picture, less any changes you have made to the PC since you bought it.

You can also make a set of recovery disks that would accomplish the same thing as that recovery partition. You'd do that through a menu found on the PC. Look in your list of HP programs for anything related to recovery or backup. The disks wouldn't be foolproof, but I'd probably make them regardless.

A Macrium backup would typically be stored on your external. You'd need to make images of the System and C partitions--either in one image file or separately. You'd need to restore both to have a bootable PC. You'd also need to make a "recovery" disk from within Macrium, preferably a WinPE recovery disk. You'd boot from that disk if you had to restore. Check to make sure that recovery disk is in fact bootable.

Storing image files on your backup drive would NOT destroy anything on it. An unrestored image file is just another harmless file file UNTIL it's restored, making the drive to which its restored bootable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2014   #6
cedar

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Thanks for replying ignatzatsonic.

This computer is brand new with nothing done. Haven't even ran Windows Update yet. I'm on a different computer here on the forum. And there's no HP software I can find, just the Backup & Restore of Windows 7. It's good to know that I won't have to reformat my external drive to store the recovery image(s). I had read that with a usb flash drive you had to reformat so I wasn't sure.


Any opinion on AOMEI or Macrium? I've read that AOMEI is newb-friendly and that it auto detects/adds the system files folder but I know a lot of people like Macrium as well.


thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2014   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cedar View Post

This computer is brand new with nothing done. Haven't even ran Windows Update yet...................there's no HP software I can find, just the Backup & Restore of Windows 7.


Any opinion on AOMEI or Macrium? I've read that AOMEI is newb-friendly and that it auto detects/adds the system files folder but I know a lot of people like Macrium as well.
I'd certainly get the thing updated before I made an image.

I've never owned an HP or HP refurb and it may be that the refurb doesn't have the ability to make those recovery disks. I'd pound on the HP support site and/or whatever documentation you got to confirm what it supposedly has. As far as I know, any machine with a recovery partition has the capability to also make the separate recovery disks, but this could be an exception.

I use Macrium without issues. Good intuitive interface, well-designed, quick. Takes me about 6 minutes to make an image of my C, which has 35 GB occupied. That image file is about 15 GB in size. I make one a month and keep the most recent two. If my hard drive were to drop dead tomorrow, I'd expect I could be back up and running in under an hour--half of that to get the new drive installed and half to do the actual restoration.

I hear good things about Aomei from respected posters here. As far as I know, you'd be fine with both. Just understand that they any backup app is short of foolproof---you need to have Plan B for when they disappoint you and you have to do a clean install. If you have a 25 character Product Key on a sticker somewhere on that PC, you can download a legit Windows 7 ISO from Digital River, burn it to DVD, install from it, and activate with that Product Key. You should burn such a DVD pronto if you have the Product Key. I'm assuming you have no ordinary install disk at this time. Such a clean install would of course leave you without that HP recovery partition or any HP programs that are now on the PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2014   #8
cedar

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Okay, I used the link that Kaktussoft gave earkier in this thread:
Windows 7 Direct Download Links, Official Disk Images from Digital River


I wasn't sure which one was correct as I came up with these 2:

Windows 7 Professional N x64 SP1 U (media refresh)
X17-59337.iso

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 (old)
X17-24281.iso


Not sure what "media refresh" is but that's the one I d/l'ed. Maybe someone could tell me the difference.

Anyway do I need to convert/rename this to anything before burning to dvd?
Can I add a text file with my product # to dvd or would that screw it up?
I have no experience burning isos or recovery/os disks.


thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2014   #9
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

media refresh is most recent, so you have the right one.

You can just burn the iso image direct to dvd, and/or put it on usb using Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way

I use Aomei backupper.

Not sure what kind of key you have. Might be oem (system builder), in which case you can back it up and use like a normal key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2014   #10
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cedar View Post
Okay, I used the link that Kaktussoft gave earkier in this thread:
Windows 7 Direct Download Links, Official Disk Images from Digital River


I wasn't sure which one was correct as I came up with these 2:

Windows 7 Professional N x64 SP1 U (media refresh)
X17-59337.iso

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 (old)
X17-24281.iso


Not sure what "media refresh" is but that's the one I d/l'ed. Maybe someone could tell me the difference.

Anyway do I need to convert/rename this to anything before burning to dvd?
Can I add a text file with my product # to dvd or would that screw it up?
I have no experience burning isos or recovery/os disks.


thanks in advance.
Either would work, but you got the right one---media refresh. It's the newer one. Can't recall the exact difference.

Your existing license and Product Key must be for Professional version of Windows 7.

You downloaded an ISO. You burn that directly to a DVD, with any common burner. There's one built into Windows. Other good programs to do it are CD Burner XP and ImgBurn, both free and downloadable. Any burning app should work fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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