Slipstreaming could create a DVD with your basic OS plus SP3, then you use another CD/DVD with all of your saved 3rd party software installation files to reinstall that software.
Whenever I download software to install it, I save the installation file to a backup folder, then burn the lot to a CD. That way I have everything handy.
I know this question has been asked before, but I have yet to find the answer I am looking for.
I want to create my own restore DVDs. Why? Well, we have all been there. You build a new system, install a fresh copy of Win XP Pro and install all of the updates and your favorite programs. The system starts in 30 seconds and runs like a charm. As time goes on you install and uninstall a few programs and games, and your system slows to a crawl and crashes all the time. You know that the solution is to reformat your hard rive and start fresh, but you hesitate because you know that it will take you several days to reinstall and update all of your programs. You now wish you had a restore disk that would take you back to that point in time when your system was running like a charm with all of your favorite software installed, registered, activated and updated. That's why I want to create my own restore DVDs.
Most brand name computers have programs that allow you to create your own restore disk that will restore your system back to the state when you created the restore disk, including all the programs and updates you installed. Acer for example has a program called eRecovery that comes up when you turn the computer on for the first time. It ask you to create a restore disk. But Acer's eRecovery also allows you to create a complete restore disk after you have installed all of the updates and the programs you want. That's all fine and dandy if you buy an Acer computer, but what options exist if you build your own system likes I do? I have seen a lot of people suggest Acronis true image software to do this. Well, I just built a new system and got it all updated with all the software I want on it. It runs perfect right now. I downloaded a 15 day trial of Acronis True Image 11 to see if it would do what I want it to. But I have yet to find a way to create a set restore DVDs with it. Before I go any further, let me clarify right here what I want to do.
Okay, I have my Win XP pro installation installed on a 126 GB primary partition. After I have installed all of the updates and initial programs I want, I have used only 5 GB of space on the primary partition. Acronis wants to create a full 126 GB partition image. I don't want to waste 121 GB of HD space when I all I need is the information stored on 5 GB. Now if this where an Acer system the Acer eRecovery program could do what I want and burn the image to multiple bootable DVD-R disk. So I know it is possible to do what I want, but I need a program that can do it on a home built system. eRecovery only works on Acer built machines.
So now that you understand what it is that I want to do. Maybe you could tell me if there is a program out there that can do it. I have also tried creating a slipstreamed disk with everything I want on it, but all attempts have failed.
So I guess what I am asking is this; is there a third party program out there, like Acer's eRecovery, that can gather all of the current data on your HD (OS, Programs, Updates, Drivers) to create a set of restore disk that will bring your system back to the exact state that it was when you created the disk? Maybe Acronis true image can do this and I just don't know how yet. If so can you please give me the directions. Thanks.