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Windows 7: ISO. Newbie question

16 Nov 2014   #1
RM33

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 Bit
 
 
ISO. Newbie question

I was thinking of using a disk image. I wanted to create an image of my current disk and put it on a bigger hard drive. Currently I only have Windows 7 and all the software I intend to use like Microsoft Office.

My question to you all is just how good is this option. If I ISO it will be my first time using it and I am wondering if this is a good option or hokum.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Nov 2014   #2
cmmtch

Windows 10 Home x64
 
 

I upgraded my SSD from 64G to a 128G, the easiest way for me turned out to be to boot from Win 7 cd and restore to put an image/backup on the new SSD. I set my comp to do an image/backup once a week to a 2nd HDD I have used only for that purpose, not much changes from week to week on my box so imaging the SSD worked with no problems. Took maybe 20 minutes and I was back up and running on the new SSD.

I did have to run startup repair twice before it booted from the new SSD though, that was the only problem and turned out to be minor and easily resolved.

If you choose to do it this way unplug all HDD's/SSD's except the one with your image and the new one until you've got it setup and booting off the new drive. No ISO required.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2014   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I think there is some confusion here. An image creates a VHD file (Windows imaging) or a .MRIMG file in case of Macrium imaging. An ISO is an installation file for an initial installation.

If you want to venture into imaging which I highly recommend, you should use the free Macrium program. Here you find all the instructions:

Imaging with free Macrium

Quote:

I did have to run startup repair twice before it booted from the new SSD
though, that was the only problem and turned out to be minor and easily
resolved.
This is a classic mistake a beginner can make. This member apparently forgot to image and restore the 100MB system partition that contains the bootmgr. Running startup/repair fixes that and places a bootmgr on the C partition.

If you want to avoid this trap, copy the bootmgr to C before you make the image. Then you don't need the 100MB system partition.

Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Nov 2014   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RM33 View Post
I was thinking of using a disk image. I wanted to create an image of my current disk and put it on a bigger hard drive. Currently I only have Windows 7 and all the software I intend to use like Microsoft Office.

My question to you all is just how good is this option. If I ISO it will be my first time using it and I am wondering if this is a good option or hokum.
Not quite clear on your intent.

Do you intend to have this other "bigger hard drive" as a bootable, working, ready-to-go spare in case your current C drive fails? That's not how images are normally used. That sounds more like a clone--which has its own problems.

The standard way to use images is to make an image file of certain partitions and store that image file on some other drive. Leave it there unused as long as things are working well. This image file is not bootable. The other drive on which it is stored is just a storage spot--the other drive likely isn't a bootable drive either.

As WHS says, imaging doesn't create an ISO file. Macrium is an excellent tool for the job.

The other drive doesn't have to be a "bigger hard drive". It can be smaller or any size at all, as long as it's large enough to hold the image files---which are considerably smaller than the partition that they represent.

It works pretty well, not foolproof. You should make new image files periodically, depending on how much your system changes from week to week or month to month.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2014   #5
cmmtch

Windows 10 Home x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote:

I did have to run startup repair twice before it booted from the new SSD
though, that was the only problem and turned out to be minor and easily
resolved.
This is a classic mistake a beginner can make. This member apparently forgot to image and restore the 100MB system partition that contains the bootmgr. Running startup/repair fixes that and places a bootmgr on the C partition.

If you want to avoid this trap, copy the bootmgr to C before you make the image. Then you don't need the 100MB system partition.

Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD
whs, this member doesn't have a 100MB system partition (that I'm aware of, thought those are only on OEM installs), I have a retail install on a self built machine. I guess you would consider most users beginners since we have neither the time nor the need to become experts on a computer OS. For myself that why read this forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2014   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Steve, The 100MB system partition is always present if you install on a blank disk - regardless whether it is OEM or Retail. You can install without the 100MB partition if you predefine a primary active partition and install into that.

If you built your own PC, you must not be a real novice. I have never done that - but that's because I have only 40% vision and cannot see the little black screws nor any other tight places.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2014   #7
cmmtch

Windows 10 Home x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Steve, The 100MB system partition is always present if you install on a blank disk - regardless whether it is OEM or Retail.
Thanks whs, learn something new every day, Other than the first box I had I have always built my computers (although since I built this one I've moved to having lines in my glasses so it will be a little tougher next time, haha)

This was an XP Pro box and I bought the Win7 Home Premium upgrade cd to put 7 on the computer and went the upgrade path instead of clean install. (I didn't know about such things until I found sevenforums) Bought an SSD when I did that, when I upgraded to a bigger SSD the migration software was crap, ended up using my cd to boot from, then restored from an image on a 500G spinner I use for backups. That worked out great for me, might not work for everybody but it worked for me.

Enough of me highjacking the thread, thanks for the schooling whs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2014   #8
RM33

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RM33 View Post
I was thinking of using a disk image. I wanted to create an image of my current disk and put it on a bigger hard drive. Currently I only have Windows 7 and all the software I intend to use like Microsoft Office.

My question to you all is just how good is this option. If I ISO it will be my first time using it and I am wondering if this is a good option or hokum.
Not quite clear on your intent.

Do you intend to have this other "bigger hard drive" as a bootable, working, ready-to-go spare in case your current C drive fails? That's not how images are normally used. That sounds more like a clone--which has its own problems.

The standard way to use images is to make an image file of certain partitions and store that image file on some other drive. Leave it there unused as long as things are working well. This image file is not bootable. The other drive on which it is stored is just a storage spot--the other drive likely isn't a bootable drive either.

As WHS says, imaging doesn't create an ISO file. Macrium is an excellent tool for the job.

The other drive doesn't have to be a "bigger hard drive". It can be smaller or any size at all, as long as it's large enough to hold the image files---which are considerably smaller than the partition that they represent.

It works pretty well, not foolproof. You should make new image files periodically, depending on how much your system changes from week to week or month to month.
Thanks for the reply.

So this is where I am. I have a new computer. The smaller C Drive has Windows and all the programs I intend to use. Then I have a secondary hard drive. It is 2 TB. Since I have the C Drive like I wanted, I was wondering if I can make a "snap shot" of the C Drive. Then make the larger hard drive the main drive and put the "snap shot" on that drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2014   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RM33 View Post

I have a new computer. The smaller C Drive has Windows and all the programs I intend to use. Then I have a secondary hard drive. It is 2 TB. Since I have the C Drive like I wanted, I was wondering if I can make a "snap shot" of the C Drive. Then make the larger hard drive the main drive and put the "snap shot" on that drive.
Still not clear on your intent.

Sure, you could put your Windows installation and programs on the large drive. But why? Then what would be the purpose of the small drive?

On what drive are you storing data and personal files?

On the little drive? On the big drive? What's the supposed purpose of the big drive as things stand now?

To confirm, are these 2 discrete hard drives? Or 2 partitions on one drive?

If someone has two discrete drives (one small and one large), the standard procedure would be to put Windows and programs on the smaller drive. That would be C. Then put personal data on the larger drive. That would be D or E or whatever.

Then if you want to make a "snapshot" of the smaller drive C (the Windows/programs drive), you make an image file of it and store the image file on the larger drive. If the small drive drops dead, you buy another drive and "restore" your snapshot (image) from the big drive to the replacement drive.

More clarification needed as to what you have and what you want.

A screen shot of Windows Disk Management would be a big help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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