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Windows 7: Full system image restore & testing

04 Mar 2012   #11
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I don't disagree with earlier advice but still believe pulling cables was the way for me:
1) Image OS to an external HDD. I used Windows imaging but Macrium Reflect is fine. Acronis if you want.
2) Unplug existing OS HDD & plug in new.
3) Reimage and confirm it boots ok. Then unplug.
4) Return existing OS HDD.

My logic is why have a backup HDD spinning and wearing out for no good reason. If your main OS HDD dies it takes 5 min to plug in the backup and a little longer if you want to reimage to your most current image.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Mar 2012   #12
RavenNight

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
I don't disagree with earlier advice but still believe pulling cables was the way for me:
1) Image OS to an external HDD. I used Windows imaging but Macrium Reflect is fine. Acronis if you want.
2) Unplug existing OS HDD & plug in new.
3) Reimage and confirm it boots ok. Then unplug.
4) Return existing OS HDD.

My logic is why have a backup HDD spinning and wearing out for no good reason. If your main OS HDD dies it takes 5 min to plug in the backup and a little longer if you want to reimage to your most current image.
Hi thanks for the response. I do have a full time internal 1Tb HDD but not purely for backups its my storage drive for pics,docs,videos etc whilst my 120gb SATA drive handles my Win 7 Pro installation. I just tried my first backup, backing up from my other 1Tb external USB2 HDD. It worked but upon restart and then pressing F11 to temporarily change the boot sequence to this 2nd HDD it said ' Boot Manager is missing'. I knew I clicked the entire C drive to restore including System Partition 100mb system restore Partition , MBR and ticked the ' Recover Disk Signature' box some googling found I had probably not ticked 'Active' against the System Reserved Partition. I assume if I only had this one drive i was restoring to I might have been stuffed? but I restarted let it load its normal sequence which is Optical Drive (nothing in it) SDD 120GB (normal drive for W7) HDD 1Tb and it loaded to windows normally, I then use Disk Management to choose the System reserved partition on the HDD and right clicked 'make active' rebooted, hit F11 choose the HDD to boot from and then it loaded with no problems. Does all this seem right? So it appears my initial concerns over a full test of a backup (ie the restore not just validating it from the bootable rescue media environment) adversly affecting my current SSD c drive Win 7 Pro installation have not come to bear. My question now is, it seems like I have 2 perfectly working Win 7 Pro installations on each drive that I can choose depending on the boot sequence. I dont really want the 2nd one to stay so should I just delete the restored partitions via disk management or CMD ' CLEAN' ? Whilst I have only 100mb on a ' huge' 1tb storage drive and I could leave this restored installation on there, it was only a test and I would always intend to have my system restored to a new SSD if the current one broke. ** sorry for no paragraph breaks but thats how the post is coming out even if I hit enter
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2012   #13
RavenNight

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Hi MJF or others

just wondering what your opinion on the above is? What should I do with my TEST restore on the 2nd HDD? can I simply delete the partition containing it?

I think i might go and make a Windows 7 backup and a Macrium one too
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Full system image restore & testing




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