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Windows 7: How do I backup entire pc to external HD then Reinstall

05 May 2010   #21

Windows 7 home

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
The Active User is your named User account.

Did you try to save a Windows System Image to external and it errored saying it needs NTFS formatting?Yes. If you want to use Win7 imaging then you'll need to move your data off temporarily to forma/t NTFS If I do that will I still be able to connect the mybook external
, or try using free Macrium Reflect to capture the image.

If you have decided to do a clean reinstall, then follow the tutorial I posted earlier. I do want but I want an image backup also. You can wait until after all of your programs are reinstalled and files in place and it is running as you like before capturing your backup image. Then you never have to reinstall again, just reimage the HD or a replacement.

Backup image is different than your folders which should be backed up separately. The image is an image file which is only able to reimage your HD in the exact image that was captured when u ran it. All of your files will be only current to that point in time, hich is why you should back them up more often so you have a current set

Also, sometimes the backup image does not work so you need your files and program installers (kept IN Downloads folder) backed up in case you must reinstall your OS from scratch.

HD Diagnostic
see above and below.

I am now confused. I want to back up the entire system first then do a clean reinstall. I only want the backup until I make sure I can get all my programs and such on the new system. From what I understand I need an image and I need to back up the program, library, appdata, downloads etc. Is this correct?

Sorry if I didn't have so much data I would just do a clean reinstall and forget about the rest. I need that data and the certain programs that are on my pc backed up just in case things don't work out with the clean reinstall.

Edit: How do I zero out my HD?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2010   #22
Microsoft MVP


If you want to back up a System Image as well as files, and the imaging app has told you it needs NTFS formatting on your external, then you'll need to move your files from the external onto your HD or elsewhere so you can format the external NTFS and then move the files back on. Why wouldn't you be able to still connect your external if you do this?

Once you have your image and files backed up, test you image by booting DVD Repair console/Repair CD, select "Restore using a System Image" to see if it autodetects the image and cues it up correctly to reimage the HD.

Once you know it will work, doublecheck your files to see they are all there, gather your program installers, Boot DVD>Repair console>Recovery tools, open Command Line, type:
SELECT DISK # (for Windows 7 disk)
create partition primary
select partition 1
assign letter=c:

This will preformat your HD so you wont' be assigned the 100mb System Reserved boot partition, which also places the Repair Console on the Advanced Boot Tools menu accessed by tapping F8 at bootup. So if you want the 100mb boot partition, exit DISKPART after Clean all (zeroing) and use the installers Custom>Drive Tools to create and format your partitions so it will make the 100mb boot partition, too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2010   #23

Windows 7 home

Finally got around to the above. I'm at the formatting portion. Is possible to go back in the menu and do an install without the image? Or maybe there is a command I can do? Remember I've already cleaned my HDD so I'm assuming if I restrt it won't boot up.

It would be a total waste to have gone through all this and have to install an image of the same thing I just got rid of.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 May 2010   #24

Windows 7 home

Oh I forgot I didn't write down te windows key so if I do manage to install from command line will I need the key to install windows or can that be done once it is installed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2010   #25

Windows 7 home

So Im restoring using the image I created.

I do however have another question:
is it possible to use a program like dban on my hdd and then reinstall w7 from install disk?
Would the computer recognize it since it would be wiped?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2010   #26

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

A really good backup compression software and restore is Norton Ghost.

If you dont have many files and you dont want to compress them, you could just copy the files over directory by directory

It is not free but its good!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2010   #27
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by se7ensins View Post
Oh I forgot I didn't write down te windows key so if I do manage to install from command line will I need the key to install windows or can that be done once it is installed?
Where did you get Windows 7? Your key is either on the box or from your legit downloaded site and in your email.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #28

Windows 8 X64 M3 8102 / Windows 7 Ultimate X64

i use the the old school (Copy and past) and once i have windows installed i install synctools from micro soft its backs up folders your choose and puts it where you say i have a server for all the pcs in the house wich have it installed on windows 2k XP Vista and 7 and every time a file gets added its goes to server for backup and u can set it up on a external HDD.

PS its free also
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #29

Windows 7 home

Alright I got my pc back to what it was when I created the image.

gonna write down the windows key and do the other stuff I forgot to do.

The issue is still the same. I want to zero out my hdd then do a clean reinstall. How do I that without using the image?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #30
Microsoft MVP


I posted in #22 exactly how to do a clean reinstall using the Win7 DVD.

If you want to zero the HD, use "clean all" in place of the "Clean" command.

If you want the 100mb System Reserved partition (which places the "Repair My Computer" console on Advanced Boot Tools list accessed by tapping F8 at bootup) then exit DISKPART after the clean or clean all commands, then use the booted DVD to create and format your partition(s) by choosing "Drive Options" link during Custom install.

Before you do the install, back up your files to copy over into folders after clean reinstall. Also, run the Belarc Advisor to get a full audit of your current system including Product keys for OS and other software.

Clean Install Windows 7
Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I backup entire pc to external HD then Reinstall

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