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Windows 7: Recovery Disks with new OS Version?

13 Mar 2010   #1
EvilOzzmess

7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 
Recovery Disks with new OS Version?

There isnít a category for Backup/Restore and this seemed like the most logical place for this and if it isnít then please accept my sincerest apologies.

So basically, I upgraded Windows 7 to Ultimate x64bit and I want to make a recovery disk of the entire system, much like Acerís ďFactory DefaultĒ in their Acer eRecovery Management program to disks, but I donít think if I simply made one of those out of that program that it would carry over the 7 Ultimate upgrade and all relevant information (e.g. activation key and applicable registry entries) as that isnít the same OS version it came preloaded with. So, how can I achieve this by alternative means?

What I really want this for, is in case I ever needed to restore the system for whatever reason, that the 7 Ultimate will be there already and not need to be reactivated. I donít want to have to do this more than once, and itís not required to have to reactivate off of a ďFactory DefaultĒ disk restore.

As always, any help and information is greatly appreciated!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Mar 2010   #2
Saltgrass

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Windows Backup and Restore is capable of backing up an image that can be restored the way you seem to want. It will need another internal drive, or an external one, or even network.

If you have an image backup, you can use the Recovery CD or Install DVD to restore from image.

Many folks like to make an image just after the system is completely installed and activated, then if they want to start with a clean system, they wipe the hard drive and restore the image. Be aware that you may need to move the image or use different destinations to keep it from being overwritten.

Other software will do the same type of thing, like Acronis, but it does cost money.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2010   #3
EvilOzzmess

7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Excellent, so if I did make an Image to disks through Windows it would retain the Ultimate activation key and all relevant/necessary registry values so that I won't ever have to activate windows again provided I use that same set of image disks to restore from, correct?

I would love to be able to do this using my external HDD to be extra safe in addition to the disks, but am unsure weather or not this would require a wipe-out of what I have on there first, or even for the drive to be reformatted and partitioned first too. Could you tell me?

Thank you so much! +Rep
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Mar 2010   #4
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

No it wouldnt require a reformat, its effectively just another file, see the tutorial here:Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup for more details

and also this one: System Image Recovery
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2010   #5
EvilOzzmess

7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Thank you, I'm actually going to have to use the external only right now as I'm afraid I don't have 20 spare disks for the 81GB required at the moment. So, if I did this using the external HD I would loose all of the files on there unless I moved them to another computer before commencing the backup, correct? I use this drive for other backup purposes as well and wish to continue to do so. So, should I perhaps partition it first to house ONLY the Image Backup on, leaving the other partition free for the other documents ect. backup data?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2010   #6
gregrocker

 

Plug in the external, select Create a System Image in Backup center. It will tell you if there is enough space to save the WindowsImageBackup file to external. If not, make space for it.

After you save the image, test it by booting from Win7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD with external plugged in. Select "Recover using System Image" to see if it autodetects the image file and cues it up correctly to reimage. You can even try the reimage to see for yourself.

The image file must remain named WindowsImageBackup and be in the root of the external to be detected.

Normally reimaging will save activation but you should always safeguard your Product key as you would any other valuable., along with the qualifying XP/Vista key if you used Win7 upgrade version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2010   #7
EvilOzzmess

7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I decided to Clean Install, and then use the Factory Image (to get my OEM programs back e.g. Touch Pack) and I've just now backed up a new Image to disks from Windows containing the activated Ultimate edition. I have not, on the other hand, backed up to the external drive as I am going to set up the system exactly how I want it first, with all the programs and what have you, and then do that.

HOWEVER, before I do this, I want and need to know if performing a System Image on the External HDD will DELETE ANYTHING that I currently have stored on it. I'm unclear of this, as on the disks media it says it will reformat and everything will be lost - so I just wanted to know if that is true also of performing the System Image on an External HDD and if I should first move all of those contents elsewhere.

Thank you guys again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2010   #8
severedsolo

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

no it shouldnt delete anything (do a backup anyway, thats just good practise) i use an external HDD as my "Storage" drive to hold all my documents and such, and there is also a system image on there which gets backed up weekly, to date it hasnt deleted anything (assuming there is enough space on the HDD of course)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2010   #9
EvilOzzmess

7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

OK, I'm going to try this in a while (after I make room to transfer the External HDD contents to another HDD).

Before that, I have a question. When I made the first image on DVD's, I noticed it DID NOT copy the OEM partition, containing all of those special things that comes pre-loaded with the system (such as, I suppose, a program or file that permits the system to use Acer's applications and programs). Is there any feasible way to get this copied over to the Image as well as the OS partition?

I don't know if that partition houses my Windows 7 Touchpack, which is exactly what I DON'T want to loose if I ever did have to use the Image recovery.

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2010   #10
gregrocker

 

Check to see if the Acer Recovery partition is still even working, since it is often disabled when a clean install is done, and is normally useful only to recover the factory image. Hopefully you made the Recovery disks. If not, try making them now, triggering the partition from Windows, or tapping the key(s) given on first bootup screen or in manual to run Recovery from boot.

It is still possible to find a bootable image file within the recovery partition contents to preserve, however most Acer e-apps are disabled when a clean reinstall is done as you may have found out already., I am not sure if this applies if you did an Anytime Upgrade - maybe not- but I would check to see if you have anything useful left in those Acer partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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