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Windows 7: A System Image V Clean Install

25 Mar 2012   #11
Microsoft MVP



A reimage is no more likely to cause problems than a reinstall.

What's important is to get a good install to begin with. Then the captured image is worth preserving indefinitely. The fundamentals are here and apply to retail as well: Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #12

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit

Once an image is in place it is best to restore it from there. Most good imaging programs do a sector by sector imaging. At least Acronis TrueImage does. Therefore you exactly restore what you had backed. and the restoration is done in less than half the time.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
I think most members will agree that a Clean install is the best way to go, but now I have a question.
About 2 weeks ago, I was forced replace my clean install with an image from Macrium Reflect. First time I had such a problem and was both very surprised and concered as I tried to replace my OS with an image; to my surprise everything went without any sort of problem.

My question, Is an image of a clean install as good as an actual clean install? It seems to me that an image, at best is the same as an upgrade. The image goes on top of the prior OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #13

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post

My question, Is an image of a clean install as good as an actual clean install
........An image is utterly useless if you can't restore it successfully.

Who is to say you can restore it successfully? There are dozens of posts on this forum from people who cannot.......
After creating an image, I immediately do a restore and check that it works.

All images are saved to an external drive which is not moved even an mm on my desk. ( a little exaggeration here but the fact is it is never moved unnecessarily - only when I clean my desk, which I never do.:))

The external drive is connected only when backing up and restoring thus ensuring its longevity. ( It never keeps spinning constantly)

I always take and restore my images with the WinPE recovery modules run from my multiboot pendrive and never from within the running Windows. ( As a policy and practice I do not install the imaging software on my machines)

In more than 10 years of my imaging practice, no restore failed todate - Acronis,ShadowProtect Desktop, Paragon,MacriumReflect ( yep, for a longtime I was always imaging wih two different software - redundancy :) but with the confidence gained over the years, now I use Paragon exclusively.)

A copy of the latest image is always kept in one partition of the internal drive apart from the external drive. ( If the external drive fails for any reason, I will still have the latest image)

Practice makes one perfect.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Mar 2012   #14
Microsoft MVP


With reference to your question about having a cleaner slate:

The disk is not at all like recording tape, so applying an image or reinstalling onto the code which is already there has no effect on performance. There will always be a 1 or 0 being overwritten and the code being laid down has no cognizance of which it is replacing.

Awhile back we had a roiling debate about whether writing the HD with zeros gave a cleaner slate. It was agreed by most that Diskpart Clean All (writing all zeroes) was useful for nothing more than making data unrecoverable by most methods. The only "wiping" that can affect performance is when old code in the boot sector has somehow corrupted the install as seen often with GRUB. Then Diskpart Clean Command is sufficient to clean the boot sector.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2012   #15

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install

I want to thank all the members who have posted, for their time and efforts, they are truly appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 A System Image V Clean Install

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