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Windows 7: Imaging strategies

03 Feb 2016   #141

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

Could someone stop by and help this member? Is it possible to add files to a system image? I did leave a simple response so he? wouldn't be left hanging.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2016   #142

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
Not sure what's up with that link you posted :/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2016   #143

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

I was afraid of that TZ, the original poster started his thread in General Discussion and it has since been moved to Backup and Restore, this is the link now: Is it possible to add files to a system image?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Dec 2018   #144

Windows 7 Pro x64

I've been reading this thread and like many here am a huge proponent of drive imaging. Started with a DOS 5/Norton Ghost boot disk decades ago, same strategy. OS/Apps on one partition, user data on another. I prefer using bootable media for backup and restoring since in my experience with XP and 7 it is much faster and doesn't require installing anything on the system you are imaging. My preferred imaging software is Acronis 2019 from bootable ISO. I have used it to backup AND restore XP, Windows 7, 8.1 and Ubuntu 12.04. We all have our favorites that get the job done for us.

I used to carry a CD case with all my bootable CDs/DVDs for Acronis, Hirens, BartPE etc. That CD case is now collecting dust since I discovered Grub4DOS.

I now have most of my bootable CD/DVD images (ISO) on a bootable USB pen drive.

You can download the software and use it to format and create the grub4dos bootable menu for your pen drive. Then you merely copy your ISO images to the _ISO/MAINMENU subdirectory on your pen drive and presto! Multi-boot USB pen drive.

A few caveats; the file system is FAT32 so max file size is 4GB (most bootable imaging software is far below this range so it shouldn't be a problem). While this worked flawlessly for me on computers using legacy BIOS I couldn't get it to boot fully on UEFI machines. There appears to be a method to convert the pen drive so it works with UEFI but I haven't tried it yet - If I get it working I'll post a follow-up.

For UEFI I had to use RUFUS which, like easy2boot, formats the pen drive, makes it bootable and copies the appropriate files from your bootable ISO to the pen drive - I had to use this method to successfully boot Acronis 2017 and backup a Dell UEFI laptop. I have also used RUFUS in the past to create a Windows 7 installation pen drive from an ISO. The only drawback is no multi-boot with Rufus - only 1 bootable image per pen drive.

I'm going to play around with other software and see if I can create a multi-boot UEFI for modern systems but I find it's much easier to carry a pen drive in my pocket with all my bootable utilities than a CD case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2019   #145

Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x86

For years, I've enjoyed reading these threads on the topic of doing backups.

Over the years, there have been many so called Backup Programs. All the way back to the DOS days, there were companies, like Central Point Software, that wrote PC Tools, and that put out very good backup programs.

In MS Windows, the first really GOOD backup program that I was introduced to was written by a little known software company in New Zealand, called simply "Ghost". I began using Ghost 2.0 while working in a small computer shop. We mainly used it to CLONE small hard drives to larger hard drives.

So cutting to the chase, so to speak, I still use the last DOS version of Ghost, ver 11.5, to clone my own SSD to a 1TB backup drive, once a week. Even more often, I use Ghost 11.5 to make a compressed backup of my C:\ partition to an external HD.
I run Ghost from two different media. One is a CD that can boot my PC to a DOS Menu on the CD, from which I can run Ghost in several different modes, and also perform different DOS utilities. It's a nice disk to have around.
I've duplicated my Ghost boot CD to an 8GB Flash Drive. I have the same files on a bootable SD Memory Card.
Using the same backup program since 1997, keeps it simple. And every Backup can be verified, making it flawless.
Ghost runs in DOS, and could not care less what it's backing up. It will back up all versions of Windows, and even Linux, or a pure data disk with no OS on it at all.

I've also used it for backing up Windows 10/Pro/64.

In all these years, I've had countless HD failures, * but with good backups "In the Can" , I've never lost the first bit of data.

* I've had almost NO HD failures since I stopped using WD drives.

Cheers Mates, and Happy Computing!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Imaging strategies

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