Best Way to Image New Windows & Install?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by chinook9, Aug 11, 2010.

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  1. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

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    Best Way to Image New Windows 7 Install?

    I have installed and updated OEM version of Windows 7 Professional on one of my machines. I would like to activate it and then make one or two pristine images of the OS.

    I know I can use the portable version of DriveImageXML. I am not convinced that this is the best way to go. Are there other ways to do it without installing software on the pristine OS?

    Any recommendations would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  2. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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  3. korben

    korben Registered Member

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    Macrium Reflect Free - never failed me....
     
  4. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    100000% agreed on the macrium comments..
     
  5. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

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    I really like Macrium Free and use it but I would have to install it right?

    There is no portable version??
     
  6. Matthijs5nl

    Matthijs5nl Guest

    Can't agree more. Why should I install all kind of fancy thirdparty programs while Microsoft Windows includes a reasonable alternative? After setting up my pc in the way I wanted I created a system restore/repair disc. And after that Windows makes restore points and the important moments. Those restore points also never let me down and are also able to get rid of malware. Only some leftovers left which you can remove manually.

    Macrium however seems a decent program, just like Acronis. However that Comodo program really sucks big time.
     
  7. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    The Windows 7 imaging program does the job and is very easy to use, but it has drawbacks like these:

    Images are big, about 50% bigger than the images created with other programs (apparently, no compression is used). Considering this, the program is rather slow. In my case, a 15 GB image was created on a USB disk in 9:30 min.

    It is not possible to verify the image integrity.

    Images created on a hard disk cannot be copied to DVDs, because they are not splitted in several files. Sometimes is useful to have "another copy", just in case.
     
  8. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    Last time I used Macrium, it wouldn't write to multiple DVD's, just one large image.

    A portable imaging program would be nice.
     
  9. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Drive Snapshot satisfies those requirements (and much more), but it's not free! ;)
     
  10. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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  11. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    Have you used it to back up to CD/DVD's instead of another HDD?
    Does it run 100% in RAM? Can I remove the CD?

    I only have 1 CD/DVD drive.
     
  12. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    You can run in RAM; boot with the CD, then remove the CD after the program has loaded.
    I can access every program including the web browser (Firefox) but I have not attempted backup/recovery running totally in RAM.

    Actually, my primary backup applications are Paragon Drive Backup Professional and Macrium Reflect.

    I have played with Redo and have created backups to an external hard drive, then restored successfully but have not used it as a primary backup solution.

    I have not attempted backup to CD/DVD with Redo.
    In fact, I see no provision within the application for that option- only backup to another hard drive or to a folder on the HDD that is being backed up.

    The reason I posted was to make you aware of Redo in that you are seeking a free and portable backup application.
    If your choice for a backup location is DVD, then Redo doesn't appear to be the answer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  13. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

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    Thank for the Redo recommendation. I had not heard of it. I have already downloaded it and I will experiment with it.
     
  14. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I've tried many of them. I got hooked on macrium for a number of reasons:

    It is simple, well laid out and logical. Not much to learn really.
    It is fast and creates small images.
    It has a bartPE plugin that works well.
    It has a working linux boot cd that works well with most hardware.
    You can mount the image like an .iso to explore and extract from it.
    It is free.

    I have made more images on more computers with macrium than I ever thought I would. I use it on everyones computer now. It has not failed or created a bad image, it always satisfies me with the image size, and the restore process is pretty straight forward.

    Other imaging tools are just as good, but I really like the simple nature of the free version of macrium. It is probably the reason I still use it. Hardly a learning curve involved.

    Sul.
     
  15. layman

    layman Registered Member

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    That's the default, but file size in Macrium is configurable. You can specify the appropriate segment size for a particular file system or recording medium.
     
  16. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the input. I have downloaded Redo, burned an iso, and tested it and it seems to work well. I also like Macrium, which I use on the machine I am presently working on.

    I will get back to my new Windows 7 OEM this weekend. I expect I could use both Redo and Macrium. I haven't activated the Windows 7 install yet and I won't do the images until after that.

    Thanks again.
     
  17. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    If you are deciding on which imaging application to use, you might consider installing 7, then playing with imaging before activating. You have 30 days I believe in which to experiment. If it were me, I would run through all the different scenarios I could think of to determine which one I would use.

    You can also use Macrium with something like Win7RescuePe, which can become an option for your bootup process so that you don't have to use a cd etc for restoring under most circumstances. Any imaging software could do the same if it will run from a PE environment.

    Sul.
     
  18. trismegistos

    trismegistos Registered Member

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    From the comments section of Best Free Drive Imaging Program...

    http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-drive-imaging-program.htm#comment-53467
    http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-drive-imaging-program.htm#comment-53602
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  19. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    " Seagate Discwizard is by far the most reliable method for creating and restoring back-up images..."

    Discwizard is a version of an Acronis imaging program, usually is not a version of the last release. So it has the advantages and disadvantages of this software.
     
  20. trismegistos

    trismegistos Registered Member

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    I agree. Some people find Acronis buggy and unstable.

    But to have more features(differential/incremental back ups, offline imaging and cloning, etc.) in a free package. Why not?
     
  21. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

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    I ended up doing a clean install, getting all the Win 7 updates, activating Win 7 and making an image with DriveImageXML Portable. I then installed Macrium Free in Win 7 and made an image with only Macrium installed. If I need them I expect one of the two will work.
     
  22. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i use W7 built-in Imaging and it has never failed so far.
    why install yet another app when W7 does the job?

    it takes me the time to make a cup of coffee to image a freshly installed OS.
     
  23. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

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    I thought about using Win 7 imaging but I had read nothing about it I didn't want to have to do a lot of research on how good or bad it was. I also thought, for some reason, that it probably didn't compress as well as the two that I used.

    I may go ahead and do a a win 7 image because I still haven't loaded anything on that machine except Macrium, DW3 HIPS, and Panda Cloud.
     
  24. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    if you haven't loaded anything your image will be about 6 GB.
    6 GB is nothing.
     
  25. Jav

    Jav Guest

    Unfortunately due to poor compression :(

    And for some us it does matter.
     
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