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Windows 7: Windows system imaging

16 Aug 2010   #1
xxxdannyxxx

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 
Windows system imaging

Hi All
I created a sytem image on a 120gig externel hard drive which represents a clean install of windows with mse and updates only installed.Now i have added all my regular programs to my pc id like to create a second FULL image on the same drive however ive heard horror stories that windows will over write my first image every time i do this just adding small increments for changes to the pc.
Now ive read that if i change the name of the folder from windowsimagebackup a FULL new image would be created but the first image would not be found in WINre unless i name it back.Can anyone verify this and if i had 2 files named windowsimage backup would WINre find both of them.
Thankyou in advance danny


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Aug 2010   #2
noumen arete

Windows 7 x86 Home Basic*
 
 

That is actually the exact thing I do to install windows, I have a disk image of a windows clean install. So it only takes about 5 minutes to reinstall windows when there is need to.

Why don't you try Acronis True Image? It lets you do exactly what you want, it is very user friendly and you can save all individual images as files, so you can store them in the same hard drive, and even folder.

And, on your question, I don't have eny expierience with Winre, but common sense tells me the same thing you thought, changing the name would mean that a new image will be made and that the other won't be found, but you can change the name anytime, as long as you can connect the drive to another computer.

Why don't you try it? if in doubt, save a copy of the clean install image on the internal hard drive, you are just checking what image will winre find/update, not actually doing it.

Optionally, you can partition the external hard drive and save different images on different partitions.

Hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #3
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Make it easy on yourself and install a third party tool like Macrium reflect free. You can then image with that and each image just has a filename like vanilla_install.img and after activation_and_windows_update_Aug2010.img etc. Then you can create as many images as you need.

Based on what you have now, you could use the built-in tool to get back to plain vanilla or Macrium Reflect to get back to something that you image now.
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16 Aug 2010   #4
Grinch80

Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

There's nothing to worry about using Win 7's built in image restore, and it's a heck of a lot easier than dealing with buggy 3rd party apps like Acronis (which still has issues with Win 7 64 apparently). And you certainly don't need another computer to take advantage of the built in imaging functionality.

That being said, I agree that Win 7's functionality could be a little more user friendly. But it has never let me down.

To your question, simply rename your "fresh" windowsimagebackup folder to something else. I use "windowsimagebackup_2010-0816" b/c I like date stamps. The next time you create an image, it will not overwrite the one with a new name. You can do this for how many images you want, your only contraint will be disk space.

When you need to restore, it does get a little tricky but it's actually quite easy. When you load system image recovery console from your repair disk or Win 7 install disk, it won't find the images that have been renamed. Click through the process until you have the ability to "Install Drivers." At this point, a typical Windows 'load document' window will open, and you can easily navigate to all of your folders and drives. Navigate to the image you want to restore, and right click to rename back to the standard "windowsimagebackup". Exit out of the process (because you are not actually installing drivers) and you should be back at the system image recovery menu. Click on system image restore and it will find your image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #5
Greg S

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit (6.1, Build 7600)
 
 

Thanks for the detailed info Grinch!
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16 Aug 2010   #6
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Grinch80,
Nice trick to get at renamed images - one to keep up your sleeve!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2010   #7
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

The renaming method is also my favorite and this is now also documented in Brink's fine tutorial: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2010   #8
xxxdannyxxx

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Thanx guys great advise as always
I renamed my origional image with a time stamp as advised and re-imaged.As expected it didnt show in WINre only the second image was available.Out of curiosity i installed afew more programs and re-imaged again changing all the file names to a date stamp format.Ientered WINre again and it found no images but pressing install drivers enabled me to browse through folders and i could find all three images no problem and just re named the one i wanated.Does exactly what i wanted and no need for 3rd party sorftware.SUPER
Thanks for all the advise
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2010   #9
Grinch80

Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

danny, glad it worked out
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2010   #10
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Grinch80 View Post
There's nothing to worry about using Win 7's built in image restore, and it's a heck of a lot easier than dealing with buggy 3rd party apps like Acronis (which still has issues with Win 7 64 apparently).
I use Acronis True Image Home 2010 on my Win7 64-bit Ultimate machine at home and it's always worked well for me. The Try and Decide feature was worth the $23.99 that I paid for it. I use Macrium on a few test boxes at work and EaseUsToDo on some lab boxes running server based OS's since it works with those products.
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