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Windows 7: Creating a System Image backup

24 Sep 2010   #11
gregrocker

 

Anytime you reimage you run a risk that the System MBR (boot-critical files) doesn't get reimaged correctly. This is why some fancier imaging programs have you tick a box to take extra steps so the MBR gets copied.

If you reimage and Win7 won't start up, simply boot the Win7 DVD repair console or Repair CD - which you should have handy for repairs anyway. Click through to Recovery Tools list to Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times to repair or rewrite the System MBR and start Win7.

In rare cases in a Dual Boot or OEM factory installation where another partition which is not being reimaged was System partition, in order to get Startup Repair to write the MBR you may need to mark Win7 partition Active first: Partition - Mark as Active


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Sep 2010   #12
Xisuma

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Can anyone answer my question please? i understand all about imaging i just want to know why win7 didnt have it in the first place and when it came about
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2010   #13
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Have a look at the publish dates on these 2 tutorials for your answer.


Backup User and System Files

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Sep 2010   #14
wcbrownhound

MacBook Snow Leopard 10.6.4
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wishmaster View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
I strongly recommend that when you buy a new PC with the OEM OS installed you make the recovery disks (2 DVDs should do it). Use good quality DVDs. Also I think you need to do it before you install any software.
If your HDD dies, put the new one in and use the recovery disks to put the system back into factory supplied state. I believe some will replace the hidden recovery partition giving back its capability and a partition layout the same as the dead disk.
Not all the OEM is bloat, eg drivers (to at least get you started) and things like ACER's eRecovery.

I use 2 imaging programs on a regular basis (Windows & Macrium) and I'm guessing that it may be safer to restore my latest image to a new disk after doing a factory restore. My recovery/hidden partition is 17.5GB at the front of the HDD and if it isn't there I'm not sure how the image recovery would work on a new HDD.
Having the factory Restore discs is certainly a good idea. never know when you may want them.

But, why would you want to do a factory restore, and then restore a current Image?

You need only do 1 or the other.
Even if you buy a brand new HD, the current sytsem Image will copy over and boot right up without issue.

Unless, of course, you simply want to go back to factory Preset.

But it is by no means a pre-requisite for restoring a System Image.
So what you are saying is: right out of the box you use the "System Restore" app, and it will take 2 DVD-R disk and it will walk you through it and when it crashes for whatever reason you can bring it back to the beginning similar to the way you do the XP OS in older PCs. When it crashes you generally lose everything. I learned a long time ago to back up all you can on something. Thanks again
Mr. Xisuma. I did not mean to hijack your thread. I am only trying to learn.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2010   #15
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wcbrownhound View Post
So what you are saying is: right out of the box you use the "System Restore" app, and it will take 2 DVD-R disk and it will walk you through it and when it crashes for whatever reason you can bring it back to the beginning similar to the way you do the XP OS in older PCs. When it crashes you generally lose everything. I learned a long time ago to back up all you can on something. Thanks again
Mr. Xisuma. I did not mean to hijack your thread. I am only trying to learn.
Just some personal experiences. Creating a system image (not a restore) on DVDs is not a guaranteed success. Seems that 7 is picky as to what DVDs are used (R, RW, +, -), whether the DVDs are formatted separately prior to use (as opposed to formatting during the imaging process), and even to some extent the brand and speed of the burner being used. A Microsoft forum goes into the problems some people have had.

Windows 7 "Create a System Image" problems

I would strongly recommend imaging to an external hard drive. Much fewer problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2010   #16
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wcbrownhound View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wishmaster View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
I strongly recommend that when you buy a new PC with the OEM OS installed you make the recovery disks (2 DVDs should do it). Use good quality DVDs. Also I think you need to do it before you install any software.
If your HDD dies, put the new one in and use the recovery disks to put the system back into factory supplied state. I believe some will replace the hidden recovery partition giving back its capability and a partition layout the same as the dead disk.
Not all the OEM is bloat, eg drivers (to at least get you started) and things like ACER's eRecovery.

I use 2 imaging programs on a regular basis (Windows & Macrium) and I'm guessing that it may be safer to restore my latest image to a new disk after doing a factory restore. My recovery/hidden partition is 17.5GB at the front of the HDD and if it isn't there I'm not sure how the image recovery would work on a new HDD.
Having the factory Restore discs is certainly a good idea. never know when you may want them.

But, why would you want to do a factory restore, and then restore a current Image?

You need only do 1 or the other.
Even if you buy a brand new HD, the current sytsem Image will copy over and boot right up without issue.

Unless, of course, you simply want to go back to factory Preset.

But it is by no means a pre-requisite for restoring a System Image.
So what you are saying is: right out of the box you use the "System Restore" app, and it will take 2 DVD-R disk and it will walk you through it and when it crashes for whatever reason you can bring it back to the beginning similar to the way you do the XP OS in older PCs. When it crashes you generally lose everything. I learned a long time ago to back up all you can on something. Thanks again
Mr. Xisuma. I did not mean to hijack your thread. I am only trying to learn.
NO
The "2 disk" factory recovery disks comes as part of or soon after you complete the computer manufacturers (guided) steps in setting up your computer. Before you install your own software or activate any trials (eg. Office) that have come with the computer. As part of the setup procedure you should be offered the opportunity to make factory recovery disks. As far as I am aware this is part of the computer OEMs setup software. The computer manufacturer (ACER in my case - not that I'm recommending them) should give you instructions on how to recover your PC using these disks should your hidden recovery partition be unaccessible (eg. your disk dies). It may be that not all computer manufacturers give you the recovery disk option - I don't know. You generally only get one opportunity to make your own factory recovery disks.

The Windows imaging comes later and it is a Windows 7 utility not the computer manufacturers utility. You can use this imaging capability as often as you like. Generally you make the image after you install your applications and have what you would consider a "minimally effective" working system that you can simply reimage back to should you get a virus or your operating system breaks beyond repair. It will take a lot more than 2 disks and a cheap external HDD is recommended. Finally some people have problems with the windows imaging (I don't) and use third party imaging. Just do a search of this forum on the topic (examples include Macrium Reflect).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2010   #17
wcbrownhound

MacBook Snow Leopard 10.6.4
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wcbrownhound View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wishmaster View Post

Having the factory Restore discs is certainly a good idea. never know when you may want them.

But, why would you want to do a factory restore, and then restore a current Image?

You need only do 1 or the other.
Even if you buy a brand new HD, the current sytsem Image will copy over and boot right up without issue.

Unless, of course, you simply want to go back to factory Preset.

But it is by no means a pre-requisite for restoring a System Image.
So what you are saying is: right out of the box you use the "System Restore" app, and it will take 2 DVD-R disk and it will walk you through it and when it crashes for whatever reason you can bring it back to the beginning similar to the way you do the XP OS in older PCs. When it crashes you generally lose everything. I learned a long time ago to back up all you can on something. Thanks again
Mr. Xisuma. I did not mean to hijack your thread. I am only trying to learn.
NO
The "2 disk" factory recovery disks comes as part of or soon after you complete the computer manufacturers (guided) steps in setting up your computer. Before you install your own software or activate any trials (eg. Office) that have come with the computer. As part of the setup procedure you should be offered the opportunity to make factory recovery disks. As far as I am aware this is part of the computer OEMs setup software. The computer manufacturer (ACER in my case - not that I'm recommending them) should give you instructions on how to recover your PC using these disks should your hidden recovery partition be unaccessible (eg. your disk dies). It may be that not all computer manufacturers give you the recovery disk option - I don't know. You generally only get one opportunity to make your own factory recovery disks.

The Windows imaging comes later and it is a Windows 7 utility not the computer manufacturers utility. You can use this imaging capability as often as you like. Generally you make the image after you install your applications and have what you would consider a "minimally effective" working system that you can simply reimage back to should you get a virus or your operating system breaks beyond repair. It will take a lot more than 2 disks and a cheap external HDD is recommended. Finally some people have problems with the windows imaging (I don't) and use third party imaging. Just do a search of this forum on the topic (examples include Macrium Reflect).
Thank you. What you are saying is mostly what I have heard locally. (you know how confusing that can be) You said you only get one chance???? There is a App called Restore something???? that you can accesse and it seems to be the one that you would use. All I want is the disks I would need to bring the PC back to the way it was when I took it out of the box. I learned a long time to back up your stuff on something. I still cant find out on here why the PC ( Toshiba) I bought for my Grandson came with 4 DVD-R disk?????Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2010   #18
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wcbrownhound View Post
All I want is the disks I would need to bring the PC back to the way it was when I took it out of the box. I learned a long time to back up your stuff on something. I still cant find out on here why the PC ( Toshiba) I bought for my Grandson came with 4 DVD-R disk?????Thanks


If you are looking for a way take a PC back to "factory" there may be a hidden, built-in recovery partition that can be used for that purpose, if so, what company manufactured the PC?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2010   #19
wcbrownhound

MacBook Snow Leopard 10.6.4
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wcbrownhound View Post
All I want is the disks I would need to bring the PC back to the way it was when I took it out of the box. I learned a long time to back up your stuff on something. I still cant find out on here why the PC ( Toshiba) I bought for my Grandson came with 4 DVD-R disk?????Thanks


If you are looking for a way take a PC back to "factory" there may be a hidden, built-in recovery partition that can be used for that purpose, if so, what company manufactured the PC?
I havent got the pc yet. It will probally be a Toshiba or a Asus. These 2 both have a restore app in them. I understand when you take them out of the box they promp you to make one of these. If you have a crash of any kind or a bug how are you going to re boot the pc to do anything? I have loaded several XP disk on pcs that run XP and after the disk runs and 2 hours of updates the pcs run ok.Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2010   #20
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Co-incidence - same brands I looking for a notebook for my son.
Anyway. Some points answering your question.
(1) The maufacturer (eg. Toshiba) should give recovery info. If your hard disk (HDD) is ok you can generally recover the factory state from within windows (a last resort though).
(2) If the HDD is ok but windows is broken and won't boot there will be a key sequence to press when booting is attempted eg F8 or alt F10 or something (see manufacturer info).
(3) options (1) and (2) fail. then boot from your "factory recovery" DVDs, generally by having disk 1 of the set in the DVD drive. Just follow the instructions. You may need to first go into the BIOS and tell it that you want to boot from the DVD. You may need to do a little homework. Sounds involved? - it's really easy.
(4) Option (3) can often work after replacing the HDD if it breaks.

After you start using imaging backups (Windows or other - see earlier comments) you may never need to do a factory restore. Factory restore is generally easy but a last resort. This forum can help with Windows issues often before you get to that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Creating a System Image backup




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