creating a windows recovery disk

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Michael_aust, Mar 30, 2005.

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  1. Michael_aust

    Michael_aust Registered Member

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    When I bought my pc it didnt come with a windows recorvery disk. I rang up the manufacturer to check it wasnt a mistake and they told me none of there pc's do, that you have to use the procudure in the manual to restore my windows ack to its shipped state. I just wanted to know is there anyway I can make my own recovery disk, or will I have to go out and buy an OEM copy of windows?

    It's just im going to universaty soon and I was advised by a lecturer there to instsall a version of linux, so I chose SUSE and got hold of it. Its just afraid of messing my windows up and not being to reinstall it.

    Any ideas how I can make a recovery cd. Or any other way to reinstall windows. I am running windows xp and I only have one hard drive so.

    Thanks

    Michael :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2005
  2. nick s

    nick s Registered Member

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    Hi Michael_aust,

    When I installed SUSE (in a dual-boot config) on my IBM Windows XP desktop (no recovery disk provided as well), I lost the ability to use the IBM recovery program.

    A good disk imaging application would be a wiser use of your money. Knowing what I know now, I should have imaged the system as it was, then run the manufacturer's recovery application to create a clean (as it was when I purchased it) system, image that, and then restore the first image. Following this procedure, you would then have a recovery image at your disposal.

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2005
  3. Michael_aust

    Michael_aust Registered Member

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    So if I create an image of my drive that will essentialy be the same as creating a recovery disk. To install it would I just have it in the cd drive when booting up and the image programe would install the image for me? Just im a bit confused how I would put it on to the hard drive again agin if i lost windows from the hard drive.

    I was looking at the majorgeeks site and I found a program called acronis true image or something. Would this be suitible to do what you suggested? I also found another thing Windows XP Home Startup Disk SP1a made by micorsoft. It says this allows you to make a new isntalation of the operating system.

    If I made an image of my hard drive like you suggested would this include all of my drivers i need for my graphics cards, modem etc?

    Could you explain the procudure of how i would install the image briefly for me please because im not sure I understand how it would work.

    Thanks

    Michael :)
     
  4. nick s

    nick s Registered Member

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    Hi Michael,

    An image is byte-for-byte snapshot of a partition on your hard drive (such as your Windows partition). You can store images on a second (internal or external) drive or burn them to CD/DVD. I use BootIt NG and Image for Windows. With Image for Windows, you have the ability to burn a self-booting recovery CD/DVD that requires no intervention to restore. You can burn this image within Windows. To restore the image, drop the CD/DVD in, reboot, and let it run. When the restore process finishes, you can reboot into Windows (drivers, My Documents, etc.) as it was when you created the image.

    I switched from True Image 7.* because the restore process was, for me, not reliable and it failed when I needed it most. I cannot speak for the current version of True Image and it may be worth trying. I have done about 100 restores with images created by BootIt NG and Image for Windows, with 100% reliability. The XP startup disk you mentioned requires, I believe, a Windows XP CD (which you don't have).

    This is only a very basic description of imaging. This forum has many threads on the subject and are well worth reading. Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

    Nick
     
  5. Don Pelotas

    Don Pelotas Registered Member

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    I'm looking for this kind of software too, Michael. So far i have tried three different ones Acronis True Image, Image for Windows and NTI DriveBackup (see screenshot).

    Of the three, the easiest is DriveBackup & IFM, Acronis TI is the one with the most features, but whether you would need them is for you to decide and you need startup diskettes, something you don't need with DriveBackup & IFM. Do as Nick suggested and look in some threads around here, maybe theres something which suits you even better. :)
     

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  6. Michael_aust

    Michael_aust Registered Member

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    Thanks for the help il check those programs out. I dont need anything fancy just something so i can create a recovery cd shud that windows partition become corrupted so I can reinstall my windows. Even though the manufacturer said it cannot be altered or anything I dont really believe them so it would be nice to have something as a precation. Nick you said imag for windows allows you to create self booting recovery cd, so would this be essentialy like a recovery cd i would have gotten from my pc manufacturer if they actualy gave them?

    Aother thing if i burnt it to cd would it allow me to burn the restoration image to a cd-r or would i ahve to do it to dvd, or do I have the choice of either?

    Thanks

    Michael :)
     
  7. nick s

    nick s Registered Member

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    The only real difference is that the images you restore will return your system to the time you created the images. The recovery CD from the manufacturer always returns your system to the original factory contents (as it was when you first purchased it).

    You can burn to either CDR or DVD. The only drawback to CDRs is that you will need many more of them, since their capacity is much less.

    Nick
     
  8. Michael_aust

    Michael_aust Registered Member

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    Ok i will just create an image when I have reformated my machine so its the smalest size because i havent got a dvd writer so i dont want to be using alot of cd-r's.

    Oh another thing i have only just thought of, the partition with windows on is hidden right? the only partition that appears when i go to my computer is partition_1( C: ). Would these image creating programs be able to detect the partition with the windows recovery on?

    Michael
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2005
  9. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    The Windows install files are almost certainly on your harddrive, which means you may be able to still create a restore disk with the utility you found, you may just need to talk to support if you can't find the folder.

    That said, disk imaging software is very much worth it. I resisted it for a long time, but just sprang for Acronis True Image this weekend and am very happy with it. The biggest thing that got me with TI8 is that you can make an image while you are running in Windows (without having to reboot.) So if you had it right now you could make an image while you browse through Wilders, then if you had to restore an image it would put it back EXACTLY how it is right now, without having to install any programs or anything, and it only takes 4 mins for my machine. Then you can schedule it to do incremental backups however often you want, which just saves the changes since the last image.

    So my vote (obviously) goes to True Image, it's very easy to use and fast. But if you can create a regular Windows restore disk, as well, it would still be good to have around.
     
  10. Michael_aust

    Michael_aust Registered Member

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    Ok i understand whats been said so far. If the partition with my windows restore stuff on say become corrupted and unusable. If i had created a rescue disk for my c: as labeled above would it matter that I didnt have the hidden partition with the windows recovery stuff on? Would I still be able to restore my computer to the state it was in when I created the image?

    Another thing I have and 80gb hard drive does that mean that the image software would copy all 80gb or just the used 10gb. This is not including the part of the partition that is hidden and contains the stuff for the recovery procedure.

    I hope you get what i'm on about I havent explained it very well.

    Michael
     
  11. Don Pelotas

    Don Pelotas Registered Member

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    If all you want is a program that will make a bootable recovery cd that will return your computer to the state it was in when you burned the cd's, then i would take a look at the DriveBackup-trial or the Image for Windows-trial, it doesn't get any easier that this IMO.

    From the DriveBackup helpfile:

     
  12. nick s

    nick s Registered Member

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    Based on my experience with IBMs, you should be able to restore the image and use your system with or without the hidden partition. If you lose the hidden partition, you only lose the ability to use the manufacturer's recovery process (as happened to me with my IBM desktop).

    Only the used space is imaged. If you use normal compression when imaging, the size of the image is usually one-half the size of the used disk space.

    Nick
     
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