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Windows 7: backup windows os? and what is best resident anti malware for free?

11 Aug 2016   #1
sdowney717

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
backup windows os? and what is best resident anti malware for free?

I have windows running good now, it is activated and no weird malwares ruining the os.
I have been using the free Avast, but every so often, the system has gotten serious malware that only combofix can repair. Last one brought windows to a crawl and could hardly run anything with the harddrive slamming away. all the time. Combofix repaired it and it feels like a new install.

I am trying to think how can i backup the OS and what can I do to prevent malware. I do not use the browser much at all, mostly we use it to watch TV on WMC over the air antenna.

Must be something better than free Avast. I have been running Avast for several years and it has always eventually failed to prevent an infestation.

Is there a way to record a systems 'snapshot' that could simply be restored if something bad happens?
I also had to run SFC and it repaired some files, nice program, I think..


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Aug 2016   #2
sdowney717

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

This I found sounds ideal. But how to restore, what I really need is a boot disc that can restore a system image.

Maybe something else than a MS product. My windows boot disc is messed up, it got scratched or something and it can not boot anymore.

Maybe this would work, talks of making a system repair disc so you can boot from it and then restore a system partition backup. Curious how to do that if you only have one DVD drive in the PC?

System Repair Disc - Create

Looks like a bootable usb drive can be created manually for this.
Create a USB Memory Stick with System Recovery Tools in Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2016   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

You need to make an image of your OS partition that can later be restored whenever you want.

Search tutorials for "Macrium". It's a well known product used by many here. There's a free version and a paid version. Most just use the free version.

You will be able to make a recovery boot disk within the Macrium interface.

Other products do similar things--Aomei Backupper, Acronis, EaseUS, etc. They all can make images.

Windows can do it also, but the built in Windows tool is a bit fussy and inflexible. It's OK if you know how to use it, but it isn't easily understood.

You can get Macrium here:

Macrium Reflect Free

A common antivirus/antimalware combination is Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes; there's a paid and free version of Malwarebytes. The paid version prevents Malware from getting on your PC, the free version removes it when found.

There are others that work pretty well too. McAfee is the one that pretty consistently gets bad-mouthed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Aug 2016   #4
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

@ sdowney717. Having an image of your operating system is almost essential these days. As ignatzatsonic says Macrium Reflect is excellent for doing that. I use Macrium & make an image every week. I use an external USB 3 hard drive for this purpose & I keep that image for 3 weeks, so the oldest image is 3 weeks old & the newest is 1 week or less old.

However, it is most important that you make sure that your OS is free of viruses & malware before making the image, otherwise any infection will be incorporated in that image, which you certainly don't want if you have to use it to restore a damaged or already infected system.

ignatzatsonic's suggestions on MSE & Malwarebytes are as good as any advice for preventing infection.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2016   #5
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

You should use Windows Imaging AND Macrium Reflect.

You can create a system repair disc (1 blank cd is all you need) to use to restore windows with an image or an install dvd will do the same thing. Start>Control Panel>Backup and Restore, then create a system repair disc is over on the top left side.

As mentioned you create the Macrium Boot disc after you`ve installed Macrium.


Attached Thumbnails
backup windows os? and what is best resident anti malware for free?-capture.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2016   #6
sdowney717

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Great ideas, I will likely do this soon. I suppose I need another large SATA drive for the backup of the OS.

Is it possible to create a selective backup, leave off all the recorded TV shows? Actually I think so since I have them on a separate hard drive.
My OS was installed to a 1TB drive.
When the recorded TV shows filled the drive I then added another 1 TB drive and WMC is only using the second 1 TB for newly recorded TV shows, so really much of the first 1 TB drive is wasted space when I delete old shows from that first 1 TB drive..

Can I create a system image onto a smaller drive? Can I restore a system image to a larger drive?
My thinking is if the existing OS gets hosed, I will have a backup to simply write over onto the existing 1 TB drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2016   #7
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

A very good product that has both anti-virus and anti-malware real time protection shields, on-demand scans which can be scheduled, is not too assertive, has normally very good reviews: Emsisoft Anti-Malware, the pay-for version. Yes it's named EAM, however, recently it added a strong AV engine, so now it is both an AV and an AM.
Unless you used Avast Internet Security, if you only used Avast Anti-virus, free or pay-for, you did not have trueblue malware shielding or malware-scanning.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2016   #8
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
Great ideas, I will likely do this soon. I suppose I need another large SATA drive for the backup of the OS.

Probably not. A Macrium image is simply another file. It can be stored anywhere you have space. How much space?? An image takes up about half the size of the occupied space on the imaged partitions. So--if your C partition has 150 GB occupied, the image file will likely be between 60 and 90 GB. Store it wherever it will fit, in any folder you want.

Depending on your setup, you may need to image C only. More likely, you'll need to image both C and System Reserved partitions--either in separate image files or in one single image file. We can't tell without more details, so post a picture of Windows Disk Management.


Is it possible to create a selective backup, leave off all the recorded TV shows? Actually I think so since I have them on a separate hard drive.

Imaging is generally on a partition by partition basis--all of a partition or none of it. Each and every byte is included--installed applications, licensing info, configuration setup, pictures, videos, whatever is there, etc.

If your TV shows are not on C, they won't be part of the C image.

I think some versions of some imaging programs may let you be selective, but I'm not sure how well that works.

If your TV shows are on a separate drive or a separate partition, you could back them up via imaging, but the better move is to back them up with an ordinary file backup program, not imaging. Just make simple copies with the file backup program.



Can I create a system image onto a smaller drive? Can I restore a system image to a larger drive?
My thinking is if the existing OS gets hosed, I will have a backup to simply write over onto the existing 1 TB drive.

A system image is just a file. It's not particularly useful UNTIL and UNLESS it is formally "restored". It's not bootable until it's restored. Images can be restored to a larger drive.

I'm not entirely clear on what you run into when trying to restore to a smaller drive. If the imaged partition is 250 GB with 100 GB occupied, you'd clearly need a drive of at least 100 GB for the restore. I'd guess that a 200 GB drive would also work, but I'm not clear on those details. Others will likely have that knowledge.

My C drive is 120 GB with about 40 occupied and the images are about 18 GB. Takes about 5 minutes to make a new image file every month. I use only full images--not incrementals.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2016   #9
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Both Acronis True Image and Macrium Reflect Pro can do end-user' choice[s] of data folders/files image file. There are other free and pay-fors that can also do end-user's choice[s] of data folders/files. Some have told me even Macrium Reflect free version has a menu for data folder/files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2016   #10
sdowney717

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I installed malwarebytes free and Avira free.
Both have 'discovered' pup - malware.
These results are after I ran combofix.

Code:
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
www.malwarebytes.org

Scan Date: 8/14/2016
Scan Time: 3:32 PM
Logfile: malware.txt
Administrator: Yes

Version: 2.2.1.1043
Malware Database: v2016.08.14.08
Rootkit Database: v2016.08.09.01
License: Free
Malware Protection: Disabled
Malicious Website Protection: Disabled
Self-protection: Disabled

OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1
CPU: x64
File System: NTFS
User: lr

Scan Type: Threat Scan
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 296857
Time Elapsed: 14 min, 34 sec

Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Disabled
Heuristics: Enabled
PUP: Warn
PUM: Enabled

Processes: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Modules: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys: 6
Adware.1ClickDownload, HKLM\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\APPID\{C007DADD-132A-624C-088E-59EE6CF0711F}, , [6c941338b2e82c0acba0376034ce6f91], 
Adware.1ClickDownload, HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\CLASSES\APPID\{C007DADD-132A-624C-088E-59EE6CF0711F}, , [6c941338b2e82c0acba0376034ce6f91], 
Adware.1ClickDownload, HKLM\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\WOW6432NODE\APPID\{C007DADD-132A-624C-088E-59EE6CF0711F}, , [6c941338b2e82c0acba0376034ce6f91], 
PUP.Optional.SearchProtect, HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\MICROSOFT\TRACING\cltmng_RASAPI32, , [6d93202b7b1f142257fc22afcc367888], 
PUP.Optional.SearchProtect, HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\MICROSOFT\TRACING\cltmng_RASMANCS, , [f60a63e829714beb80d3e6eb60a28080], 
PUP.Optional.Spigot, HKU\S-1-5-21-3122017174-3441429465-50051793-1001\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\INTERNET EXPLORER\SEARCHSCOPES\{5B7D697F-43E7-407B-9331-0A7F18D5C599}, , [f907c08b8a109a9c530d7e3805fe5ca4], 

Registry Values: 2
PUP.Optional.Spigot, HKU\S-1-5-21-3122017174-3441429465-50051793-1001\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\INTERNET EXPLORER\SEARCHSCOPES\{5B7D697F-43E7-407B-9331-0A7F18D5C599}|URL, http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=chr-greentree_ie&ei=utf-8&ilc=12&type=888596&p={searchTerms}, , [f907c08b8a109a9c530d7e3805fe5ca4]
PUP.Optional.Spigot, HKU\S-1-5-21-3122017174-3441429465-50051793-1001\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\INTERNET EXPLORER\SEARCHSCOPES\{5B7D697F-43E7-407B-9331-0A7F18D5C599}|OSDFileURL, file:///C:/Program%20Files%20(x86)/Common%20Files/Spigot/Search%20Settings/yahoo_ie.xml, , [887813386238b284362b9e18a95a05fb]

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folders: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Files: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Physical Sectors: 0
(No malicious items detected)


(end)


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