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Recovery disc/disk vs system image?

Hi. Recently my hard drive ran into some problems and I had to replace it with a new one. I just finished installing the massive amounts of windows updates, drivers, and office programs that I need. In other words, my computer is basically bare bones right now. I would like to make some sort of backup so that if this current hard drive ever dies, I can just restore the backup to this point where I have all the drivers, most of the windows updates, and the necessary office programs already installed. Preferably, I'd like to be able to save it to a USB drive.

What kind of backup should I make for this? Windows 7 professional on an HP DM1
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about recovery disc disk system image
  1. Hey there, Whib96!

    Here's a tutorial how to create a system repair disc (a.k.a. Recovery disc):
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/create-a-system-repair-disc
    This will help you in case a serious error occurs. Nowadays most of the computer manufacturers provide you with such an option (already installed) or you can simply use the recovery options from your Windows installation disc. But if you don't have any of those, then you definitely need to create a Recovery disc for your system's safety.

    However, what you want to do now is create a system image backup.
    Click on Start > type Backup > Click Backup and Restore (this will open the Win 7 File Recovery app)
    There you will find the Create a system image option. (Then you will need to select the backup device you wish to use for storage of the System Image)
    Click Next after selecting the device > Click Start backup
    The time will be estimated by the amount of data you will be backing up in the system image.

    Hope this helped! :)
    SuperSoph_WD
  2. SuperSoph_WD said:
    Hey there, Whib96!

    Here's a tutorial how to create a system repair disc (a.k.a. Recovery disc):
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/create-a-system-repair-disc
    This will help you in case a serious error occurs. Nowadays most of the computer manufacturers provide you with such an option (already installed) or you can simply use the recovery options from your Windows installation disc. But if you don't have any of those, then you definitely need to create a Recovery disc for your system's safety.

    However, what you want to do now is create a system image backup.
    Click on Start > type Backup > Click Backup and Restore (this will open the Win 7 File Recovery app)
    There you will find the Create a system image option. (Then you will need to select the backup device you wish to use for storage of the System Image)
    Click Next after selecting the device > Click Start backup
    The time will be estimated by the amount of data you will be backing up in the system image.

    Hope this helped! :)
    SuperSoph_WD


    A recovery disc is just making a partition on the HD to create a factory condition backup, right? I'm looking for something for in case my hard drive dies again and I have to thrown in a new one, so I'm not sure that's what I'm looking for or even really have any use for.

    As for the system image, it seems that Windows says that you can't backup to a USB drive, which is odd. Any way around this? It's not like my image backup is going to be too large. I'd like to be able to just make an image backup on a USB drive and put that drive in a drawer for whenever I need it, if ever.

    Thanks for your help so far!
  3. Whib96 said:

    A recovery disc is just making a partition on the HD to create a factory condition backup, right? I'm looking for something for in case my hard drive dies again and I have to thrown in a new one, so I'm not sure that's what I'm looking for or even really have any use for.

    As for the system image, it seems that Windows says that you can't backup to a USB drive, which is odd. Any way around this? It's not like my image backup is going to be too large. I'd like to be able to just make an image backup on a USB drive and put that drive in a drawer for whenever I need it, if ever.

    Thanks for your help so far!

    Hi again,

    Yes, the "System Recovery" can have reserved partition on the disk, you also have this option in the Windows Installation disk. In most cases, this will restore the PC to factory defaults but it won't install programs or data, which is what you want.

    The "System Image" can be created by Windows Backup or you can use a third party backup software like Acronis True Image. This is what I personally use for cloning, but it also gives you the option to backup your entire hard drive with its partitions even to another location (off-site preferably). This way if your HDD fails, you will have this system image of your HDD which you can restore on your new HDD back to how it was when the backup was created. This can include even software apps, data as well as the OS.
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-7/
    http://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/pc-backup/

    Hope this answers your questions! ;)
    SuperSoph_WD
  4. SuperSoph_WD said:
    Whib96 said:

    A recovery disc is just making a partition on the HD to create a factory condition backup, right? I'm looking for something for in case my hard drive dies again and I have to thrown in a new one, so I'm not sure that's what I'm looking for or even really have any use for.

    As for the system image, it seems that Windows says that you can't backup to a USB drive, which is odd. Any way around this? It's not like my image backup is going to be too large. I'd like to be able to just make an image backup on a USB drive and put that drive in a drawer for whenever I need it, if ever.

    Thanks for your help so far!

    Hi again,

    Yes, the "System Recovery" can have reserved partition on the disk, you also have this option in the Windows Installation disk. In most cases, this will restore the PC to factory defaults but it won't install programs or data, which is what you want.

    The "System Image" can be created by Windows Backup or you can use a third party backup software like Acronis True Image. This is what I personally use for cloning, but it also gives you the option to backup your entire hard drive with its partitions even to another location (off-site preferably). This way if your HDD fails, you will have this system image of your HDD which you can restore on your new HDD back to how it was when the backup was created. This can include even software apps, data as well as the OS.
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-7/
    http://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/pc-backup/

    Hope this answers your questions! ;)
    SuperSoph_WD


    Okay, well a system image backup sounds like what I want to do, since what I want to do is be able to come back to this barebones state of my computer if I ever needed to. However, since I can't put that on a USB drive and only on an HDD (no idea why that is), I'll probably look for an alternative. Do you know of any free image backup programs that will allow you to put your image backup onto a USB drive?

    Also, where can I make a system recovery? Do you think that is an appropriate backup for what I want to do, or is a system image more what I'm looking for? Still not quite sure what exactly a recovery disc/disk is and what it does and how it differs from an image backup.

    Thanks for your help so far!
  5. Best answer
    Whib96 said:

    Okay, well a system image backup sounds like what I want to do, since what I want to do is be able to come back to this barebones state of my computer if I ever needed to. However, since I can't put that on a USB drive and only on an HDD (no idea why that is), I'll probably look for an alternative. Do you know of any free image backup programs that will allow you to put your image backup onto a USB drive?

    Also, where can I make a system recovery? Do you think that is an appropriate backup for what I want to do, or is a system image more what I'm looking for? Still not quite sure what exactly a recovery disc/disk is and what it does and how it differs from an image backup.

    Thanks for your help so far!

    Unfortunately, Windows 7 Backup and Restore simply doesn't allow USB flash drives to be used for System Image back up. :( Since you are not in a possession of another HDD, I could recommend you to create the system Image on a separate partition in the internal hard disk until you do or use DVD disks for that purpose.

    Actually since you are using Windows 7 Pro, there's something you could try:
    - create a directory on your USB drive
    - right-click the directory and choose "Share with", "Specific people"
    - choose yourself from the list of users and click Share and Done
    - in the "Create System Image" menu choose "On a network location"
    - now enter the URL for your share (\\your-computer\sharename)
    - enter your username and password and click OK

    I'm not sure it's going to work, but hey, it won't hurt to try it. :)
    I also found that you could create this using your laptop's manufacturer software utility as well.
    Check it out:
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&dlc=en&docname=c03481733&lc=en&jumpid=reg_r1002_usen_c-001_title_r0002#N492

    I hope that giving the USB drive a full network share will work though.
    Keep me posted! :)
    SuperSoph_WD
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