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355 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 96562 31-Jan-2012 09:39
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I'm a total newb when it comes to disc imaging - never done it.

I'm about to take ownership of a new computer with Win7.

I'm reading that restoring an image is quicker than reinstalling Windows. But I'm presuming that re-installation of other software would still be required as the registry etc and Windows wouldn't be aware those other programmes exist as the image was taken before they were installed. But that's fine, I don't mind the re-installation, starting with a clean sheet and all that.

I don't think I want to image after other software is installed as I may upgrade said software and then the image is out of date and I'd end up installing the other software anyway.

So am I correct in my assumptions?

I just skimmed [url=http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-drive-imaging-program.htm]this[/url], and would go with their recommendation of using EaseUS Todo Backup Free.

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355 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 575179 31-Jan-2012 09:40
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PS. How to format urls?

8027 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 575598 31-Jan-2012 23:55
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My advice would be to take multiple disk images, eg: one right at the start before doing much, another after windows updates and driver updates, another after installing software.

Then schedule a weekly disk image.

A large external USB/eSata drive will come in handy for storing your disk images.



355 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 575723 1-Feb-2012 10:08
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You mean weekly of the whole lot, programmes, data etc? Hmmmm. Seems a lot.

I was just thinking of Windows itself.

Do the image makers compress the data?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 575803 1-Feb-2012 11:57
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There is little point in taking a backup of just windows without your program files folders, in the inbuilt system restore already does the job of protecting windows system files for you.

I can't stress enough that you want a multi pronged backup and disaster recovery plan, for example:

1: If your hard drive failed tomorrow you want to be able to go to a local computer store buy a new hard drive, install it and restore your complete disk image onto it and be back up and running in a couple of hours as if it was yesterday.

2: If your house burns down or collapses in an earth quake you want an off site backup of your treasured personal data eg: family photos/videos, documents so you don't lose them forever

If you don't have those covered yet you are simply gambling that your hardware won't fail or something won't happen to your house.. 

Hanselman has some great posts on this stuff

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/OnLosingDataAndAFamilyBackupStrategy.aspx

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/BACKUPYOURCRAPMissingOperatingSystemBackupsDiskImagesHomeServersBootRecBootMgrRebuildBCDFixBootAndProblemsPlural.aspx  

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ABasicNoncloudbasedPersonalBackupStrategy.aspx



355 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 575955 1-Feb-2012 16:05
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I already have all data backed up onto 3 extra HDDs on and off site, so that's no problem. I'm getting, today, a new computer with a bluray burner, I'll burn stuff and store it somewhere else again.

As I say I'm an imaging newb, so i just thought it was for reinstalling Windows without having to go through the whole reinstall and was therefore much quicker, is that right? So it's not for backup purposes as such.

Once you have the comp up and running and programmes installed is it possible to image just some of it, like say Windows and some programmes?

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