Windows 7 forum

General discussion

anyone know

by itsdigger / April 1, 2013 2:27 AM PDT

if there's gonna be a large amount of Windows updates coming out soon? I want to create new set of Win 7 Image disc's but want them to be as up to date as possible. Thanks...Digger

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Only Microsoft
by Jimmy Greystone / April 1, 2013 3:19 AM PDT
In reply to: anyone know

Only Microsoft knows, and they only release info on upcoming patches about a week in advance. So after tomorrow you should probably know what will be coming next week, if anything.

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And Microsoft Released The Info For April Updates
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 4, 2013 4:39 AM PDT
In reply to: anyone know
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(NT) Thanks Grif
by itsdigger / April 4, 2013 4:50 AM PDT
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Alternative
by Steven Haninger / April 5, 2013 7:29 AM PDT
In reply to: anyone know

If you have a utility such as Acronis, Ghost, etc., create the images on a separate hard drive. I use Acronis and it compresses these by about 50%. I'll copy that image to an external drive as well. It's much faster than feeding DVDs into a burner and you don't end up tossing a lot of plastic. I will make a new image weekly and delete the older ones as space is needed. It's possible to set up some software to do this at scheduled intervals but I don't do that. I'll always make an image before installing some new piece of software as it's the best way to get rid of it if things go sour. I gave up using removable media a long time ago. Too slow and too much waste. Good luck.

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Windows 7 System Discs Will Do The Same Thing...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 5, 2013 1:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Alternative

If the user chooses, the System Disc "image" can be placed on an external hard drive.. I've used Ghost and Acronis and I see little difference between them and the Windows 7 System Disk procedures..

Just my views here, but I've experienced a few situations where the external USB drive had failed, or wouldn't boot when the new installation was required.. On the other hand, I've almost never seen, and I've never had it happen to me, where a good set of DVD images discs didn't work unless the DVD drive had failed.... Just my situation though.. You may have different experiences.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Have done but not tested that method thoroughly
by Steven Haninger / April 6, 2013 1:03 AM PDT

I found that the Windows image files were almost 50% larger than the Acronis files. That might not be as much of an issue if kept on large hard drives. For a laptop, I'll use both the manufacturer's recovery disk utility to make DVDs for a "factory restore" process but still do full images using Acronis and place them on a hard drive. It's possible to make a bootable USB stick with the needed Acronis files. I've found it to be much faster and use less space than the free Linux based utilities I've found.

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I agree with Steven re backup
by wpgwpg / April 6, 2013 1:28 AM PDT
In reply to: anyone know

I've been using Ghost since 2004 and never had the first problem with it. I set it to automatically back up to a 1 TB external hard drive on a USB 3 port, and it will back up 90 GB of data to make a complete system image in about 10 minutes. I used to use eSATA before I got USB 3, and it works well too. The Windows 7 backup program is a disk space hog and subject to many problems that I've seen personally and in other forums as well.
Another great backup program is the free Easeus Todo Backup Free, which you can download from http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/free-backup-software.htm . <span id="INSERTION_MARKER"> The March 2012 issue of PC World was very high on the FREE program from Easeus and so is CNET. In my experience with a variety of configurations I have to say I'm very impressed. Like Ghost it will back up to a networked drive, and it will create a boot CD for when your PC won't boot. See CNET's review of it at http://download.cnet.com/Easeus-Todo-Backup-Free/3000-2242_4-10964460.html?tag=mncol;1#editorsreview .

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Not Windows 7 "Backup Program"...System Disc Is Different
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 6, 2013 5:02 AM PDT

...and although I've not compared the size of the image of Acronis vs Ghost vs Easeus vs Windows 7, it's still an image of the disc and they work much the same. (Yep, putting it all on a DVD takes longer than to an external drive.) I've used both Acronis and Ghost with earlier operating systems (I haven't tried Easeus Todo), but I simply see no reason to advise a Windows 7 client to obtain Easeus or purchase the other programs when the onboard system disc application works similarly..

Each to his own and thanks for the posts.

Grif

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I'm familiar w/Install, repair, & restore to factory discs
by wpgwpg / April 6, 2013 5:50 AM PDT

Grif, are you referring to one of these or something else? The restore to factory settings discs work fine, but you lose data and any programs you've installed. Same with the Windows 7 install DVD. The repair disc has some good options, but if you want it to do a restore, it requires either System Restore or a Windows 7 backup to an external device. As Bob says, you only lose what you don't back up. I prefer to create a complete system backup periodically so when Murphy strikes, I can be back in business in under 30 min. with minimal loss of data or programs.
I think we're in agreement on the need for backups but maybe differ on the method? You guys at CNET do a great job although I wonder if Bob ever sleeps. Laugh

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Wll I dunno why you say
by itsdigger / April 7, 2013 1:10 AM PDT

it requires an external device. I did as Grif suggested and created Sys Image Disc'c and Repair Disc and have used them probably 6 times just playing with different Linux distro's this past week and every time my system was restored perfectly without a hitch....I have to agree with you on one thing though, I don't think Bob Ever Sleeps!....Digger

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meant to say
by itsdigger / April 7, 2013 1:17 AM PDT

removing Linux distro's and restoring windows

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If you burn discs, you can substitute for external
by wpgwpg / April 7, 2013 2:14 AM PDT

If you burn discs, you can substitute for external hard drive, but in my opinion FWIW that's a slow, cumbersome, and not very practical way of backing up. If I were to back up my main 90 GB hard drive to DVDs with Ghost, it would take 10 DVDs (my Ghost backups come to 47 GB). At best that would take 4 min. each for 40 min. total (and that's probably a low estimate) and it would require manual intervention 10 times. Then I'd have to be very careful not to scratch one of them or the whole effort would go down the drain. How often are you going to do that? Most people don't do manual backups even to hard drives, let alone discs, so I always use and recommend external hard drives. With about $70 you can buy a 1 TB external hard drive and set it up to back up as often as you like totally automatically whenever you wish. I make a complete system backup weekly with incremental updates every 4 hours because I keep my financial transactions on my main desktop. If I had to restore from 4 weeks old DVDs, I'd be in deep doo doo.

So bottom line yes it is possible to make backups to DVDs, but for my needs it's not at all practical. And after all DVDs are an external media. Since most folks don't back up even when it's totally automatic, it's a fantasy to think they'd do it if they had to do it regularly with DVDs in the real world. If you look through the forums here, you'll see a whole lot of posts where people lost valuable data because they had no backup.

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Slight clarification
by wpgwpg / April 7, 2013 2:21 AM PDT

Just to clarify, my main hard drive is 1 TB, but I only back up 90 GB. That covers Windows 7 Professional, XP Mode, and my primary data (that data I'd really not want to lose).

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I see
by itsdigger / April 7, 2013 2:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Slight clarification

But I only have the basic Win7 on here and I'm just going to keep it that way. I have a Linux Partition also and use that most of the time . The back up is 2 disc's

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I'm Referring To Window 7 "System Image Disk"... Maybe ....
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 7, 2013 4:21 AM PDT

...you've not tried it yet?

It's not the factory recovery discs, or the "backup" on Windows 7 ("backup" is different from creating a System Repair Disc and a System Image Disc within the Win7 utility), or a Windows 7 full install DVD by Microsoft, but instead, the System Disk creation is done by using the instructions in the link below. It's a complete system backup which includes all partitions that are currently set up, the operating system, plus all drivers, software, files and programs currently on the computer.. Recovering with the System Image Disc is much the same as using Acronis, etc.:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-7/

And here's more...

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2399046,00.asp

Once the System Image disc and System Repair disc are made, they can be used just like the images created in Acronis or Ghost, or any of the others.. As mentioned earlier, I've not tested the amount of time used in each of the various image programs, but Windows 7 version works in the same manner. Although I prefer using a DVD hard copy instead of an external drive, if you choose, it can be done on an external drive, just like the other image software you've mentioned.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Yes I tried that. It was not a good experience :-(
by wpgwpg / April 7, 2013 4:53 AM PDT

I tried that. I guess we're talking about the same thing with different terms. When I tried it, it took forever, produced a lot of flakey error messages, and used several times more disk space than the 3rd party utilities I've used. I've seen a lot of reports in the answers.microsoft.com forums from other folks having problems with that too. Some get the "system image" made but can't restore from them when needed. You have to have the Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate versions of Windows 7 to get this too. Another problem I've seen with this kind of software from MS is that in every release of Windows they come out with they have a new way of doing this that is incompatible with prior versions. I've seen Bob say this is one reason he doesn't use it. It IS free, but then so is Easeus Todo Backup Free, and it works flawlessly and better in every case I've seen. It works with Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Windows 8 too.
I have to add that backing up your system and data to discs, while possible, isn't really practical for the vast majority of folks because of the manual nature of it. It's hard enough to get folks to use automatic backup, and if they have to do it manually, I can't say I've ever met anyone in the last 5 years who does it that way. I saw Itsdigger post that he did that, but he says he never updates anything on his Windows 7 system and he has no user data on it. That's very different from the vast majority of computer users.

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Just A Note: Win7 Home Premium Also Has...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 7, 2013 5:32 AM PDT

...the ability to create the System Image Discs.. And yes, this method is generally for those that don't need to use the recovery very often.. In each of the situations where I've used the tool, (only a handful), the user made small small backups of their personal files routinely, but only created the System Image at some original point shortly after system startup.. They didn't make a large number of changes to programs so they didn't need to frequently recreate a new system image.. (Most of my experience using the tool is in an office situation where the computer is left mainly in its original state and only data and files change frequently.)

Hope this helps.

Grif

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I do have
by itsdigger / April 7, 2013 6:06 AM PDT

the Sys. Image disc's for my other computer (A Toshiba Qosmio) that I recently tore down to replace the cooling fan and new thermal paste,now that set is 7 disc's even though I put all of the family photo's on separate dvd's. I have a couple of games on there also. I decided to use those sys.disc's after reassembling the laptop because it was a little buggy for some reason and it went smoothly and Everything is perfect . I can't say anything but good stuff about System Image Disc's. They're a Keeper....P.S .. The re-install took maybe 15 minutes for the seven disc's....Digger

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