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Windows 7: reinstallation with no optical drive


14 Jan 2011   #1

window 7
 
 
reinstallation with no optical drive

I presently have a 6 year old Dell X300 running XP, it has been a good machine but is getting 'tired' and I am looking at getting something new.

The type of machines I am looking at like a HP Pavilion dm1 or a Lenovo Thinkpad X100/ 120 (new) running windows 7 of course. They do not come up a optical drive.

So my question is what happens in the case of a HD failure?
With the X300 I have reloaded windows on to the new HD using the CD drive and recovery disks provided.


But in 2011 what is the way of being prepared for a HD failure with machines that have no optical drive and no windows 7 supplied reinstallation cds/dvds?

Is there way of doing it thru a USB flask drive? is that the answer?

Does something need to be done after purchase of the new computer to make preparation for the possibility of needing to reinstall on to a new HD in the event of HD failure?

thanks
John

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

14 Jan 2011   #2

 

You could setup a ghost server and boot to NIC if you wanted. Flash or NIC in this situation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #3

window 7
 
 

Brady thanks for your reply and help! I'm computer literate but no 'expert'! So another question or two!

So is this how I would go about making preparation for the possibility of a HD failure once I get the new machine-

Get some cloning or ghost software and make a copy/clone on to a Flash Drive.

Then in the BIOS of the new machine do some change so that it would boot from the USB drive if a new HD is installed.

Do I have it right?

What about a NIC, that is a cable to connect with another computer, is that right? So with that I would put the clone/ghost image on another computer thru the NIC and then in event of HD failure, thru the cable/network reinstall, do I have that right?

What ghost server software is avail? any recommendations?
thanks
John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


14 Jan 2011   #4
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

There are 2 things you might want to budget for:
(1) An external USB connected HDD (even a small 500GB is ok). ~$80?
This is almost essential.
(2) Consider a cheap USB DVD rewriter. You can get by without one but it can make life simpler.

For imaging I use the inbuilt Windows Imaging and the highly regarded free Macrium Reflect as insurance. Many people only use Macrium as their main imaging tool. This is where your external USB HDD is used - to store the images and recover.

Become familiar with your BIOS and its default settings but I wouldn't alter the setting initially.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #5

window 7
 
 

Thanks for your help.
I have an external HDD

So is this how my needs could be met?

1)Take an image using macrium and store it on my external HD
2)Change the bios in the computer so that it boots from USB

then in the event of a hd failure I would fit the new HD and then switch the computer on and it would boot from the external HD and I would follow thru with the reinstallation from there. is that how it would be?

Can you tell me more about your suggestion of getting a cheap external dvd drive?

Why/ why benefits from that?

thanks!
John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #6
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jawkiwi View Post
then in the event of a hd failure I would fit the new HD and then switch the computer on and it would boot from the external HD and I would follow thru with the reinstallation from there. is that how it would be?
It doesn't really work that way.
Say your HDD failed and you had an image on your external HDD. What you would do is.
1) Replace the HDD
2) You may need format the new HDD depending on the imaging software.
3) For a Macrium image you would boot from the Macrium rescue DVD. You can use a USB flash drive but you need to make one. Restore the image to the new HDD.
4) For a Windows image you boot from a System Repair DVD which windows can make for you or get from elsewhere if necessary. If you want to boot from a USB flash drive you will need to make one. Restore the image to the new HDD.
5) You may then need to run the System repair disk/usb a few times to fix up loose ends.

No matter what imaging program you use you always need to have a Windows system repair DVD/USB. For this and other repair jobs. Don't wait until you get into trouble.

This may appear complicated but I'm afraid this is the process. You can see having a DVD drive can be handy. It's also handy when software comes on DVDs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #7

window 7
 
 

Thanks!
It the ‘good old days’? of mostly all lap tops having optical drives it was a straight forward exercise to reinstall windows from vendor supplied cds/dvds or from a macrium or similar recovery disk and then the disk image.

Well with the ‘move’ away from optical drives with many/some laptops and mostly all netbook type machines not having them I’d have thought there would now be something ‘equally straight forward whereby you could stick a USB flash drive (big capacity) or external hd in which would do the job that the ‘old’ recovery cd/dvds used to do? But it seems that is not the case?

Is it that vendors don’t consider it necessary to prepare users of their non optical drive supplied machines for the possibility of hd failure? Is it they don’t want to go to the trouble and expense it may involve to do so?

I can buy a external dvd drive but I see little use for it?...except for a reinstallation in case of hd failure .I hardly use it on this present machine I have.



You wrote-
2) You may need format the new HDD depending on the imaging software.

Would the computer recognise the new hd and give you the facility to format without windows being loaded…doing it thru some bios loaded thing?

3) For a Macrium image you would boot from the Macrium rescue DVD. You can use a USB flash drive but you need to make one. Restore the image to the new HDD.


How difficult to make a USB Macrium rescue instead of a dvd?


4) For a Windows image you boot from a System Repair DVD which windows can make for you or get from elsewhere if necessary. If you want to boot from a USB flash drive you will need to make one.

How difficult to make a USB Macrium rescue instead of a dvd?

Restore the image to the new HDD.
5) You may then need to run the System repair disk/usb a few times to fix up loose ends.

Would this be after the restoration of image?

Thanks
John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Reinstalling the OS is optional and becoming a thing of the past with built-in Windows 7 drive imaging. You simply boot the Windows 7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD (written to USB stick using Win2Flash if you wish) and reimage from a stored image.

I keep a baseline image made shortly after install and setup when the computer is running best. Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

I move my User folders off of Windows 7 partition to a Data partition so that the OS/Programs partition image is lean since it doesn't contain data. User Folders - Change Default Location

Then if Windows 7 becomes irreparable I simply reimage the OS/Programs partition from the baseline image in 20 minutes and the data is all current and waiting in its own partition "vault." System Image Recovery

Some users like free Macrium Reflect better since it has more options: http://www.sevenforums.com/software/...e-macrium.html

You can write the Macrium boot disk to a USB stick easily using this method: Macrium Reflect - Blogs and News

An easy way to write Windows 7 Install DVD or Repair CD to USB stick is Win2Flash: YouTube - How to install Windows 7 from USB (WinToFlash)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #9
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jawkiwi View Post
I can buy a external dvd drive but I see little use for it?...except for a reinstallation in case of hd failure .I hardly use it on this present machine I have.

You wrote-
2) You may need format the new HDD depending on the imaging software.

Would the computer recognise the new hd and give you the facility to format without windows being loaded…doing it thru some bios loaded thing?

5) You may then need to run the System repair disk/usb a few times to fix up loose ends.

Would this be after the restoration of image?

Thanks
John
I'll only address questions outstanding.
Purchase of a DVD rewriter is a personal choice. I think they cost ~$50 so for me I don't mind if it lies around most of the time.

When I restored a Windows image to a brand new HDD I did absolutely nothing to it just reimage. I'll leave for a more experienced Macrium user to comment on what is needed for a Macrium image.

Here is a tutorial specifically for making a System repair DVD/USB
System Repair Disc - Create

If after restoring to a new HDD, it refuses to boot then you try the automatic repair facility that comes with the Windows System Repair DVD/USB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2011   #10

window 7
 
 

Wow thank you all for the very helpful and useful information you have shared with me! I am all 'set to go' now!
THANKS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 reinstallation with no optical drive




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