Am I Understanding This Correctly?

djfunzdjfunz Member Posts: 307
Hi everyone, I have a question regarding creating an image backup for the Operating System partition. I just finished re-installing EVERYTHING after acquiring a nasty virus that deleted some important registry files. So that entailed a fresh Windows 7 installation, software installation, and all the important updates that my software and OS needs. So this process took a whopping 6 hours to complete and safe to say if this were to happen again, I would like to have a quicker restoration method. I've done some reading and "Acronis True Image Home 2011" seems like a good inexpensive option. It takes a partition and makes a complete backup of it in it's current state. In my case currently, everything that I would like to have included without all the clutter.

So my question is after I've made this backup image, then what? I don't understand how it would work. What happens when I cant boot into my operating system? How would I get my perfect state restored from this image? The backup image is 13GB right now even though the partition I made the image of is 30GB. Can anyone help me out here? The idea of having a fully customized environment with everything already installed seems great if Windows were to suddenly crash with no option to recover. Thanks for reading everyone and I look forward to some clarity.
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Comments

  • lordylordy Member Posts: 632 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The imaging tools usually provide some bootable media (CD, DVD, USB-Stick) that you can use. To restore the image you need to boot of a different medium because otherwise the running OS will block some parts of the hard-disk from being overwritten (simply speaking).

    Regarding the size of the backup, the imaging tools usually leave out empty sectors and compress the data so 13 GB sounds perfectly reasonable if your partition is 30 GB big.
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  • Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    Windows 7 has this functionality built into it.
  • djfunzdjfunz Member Posts: 307
    Thanks for the info lordy. That makes sense that I would have to boot from a different medium. I found the area to create the bootable media in Acronis. A small image file that I can extract to a bootable flash drive. I'm looking forward to trying it. My bootable flash drive still has Windows 7 on it. ;)
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  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Acronis makes good products but if you are planning to do MS certs (especially 70-680 and 686) you should consider learning to use the (free) MS imaging tools. Download the WAIK and learn how to create a WinPE disk with IMAGEX. You can then use the /capture option of IMAGEX to create an image of your disk (for example, saved to a USB drive), and when/if you need to restore you would use the /apply option.

    You can go a step further and learn about DISM which has a lot of neat functionality. For example, you use it to install patches into your image so that when you restore the image you won't need to run Windows Update. You can also install drivers with DISM, and if you learn about SYSPREP you could make your image hardware independent (so for example, if you get a new PC you could use that same image even though it has different hardware).
    MentholMoose
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  • djfunzdjfunz Member Posts: 307
    Acronis makes good products but if you are planning to do MS certs (especially 70-680 and 686) you should consider learning to use the (free) MS imaging tools. Download the WAIK and learn how to create a WinPE disk with IMAGEX. You can then use the /capture option of IMAGEX to create an image of your disk (for example, saved to a USB drive), and when/if you need to restore you would use the /apply option.

    You can go a step further and learn about DISM which has a lot of neat functionality. For example, you use it to install patches into your image so that when you restore the image you won't need to run Windows Update. You can also install drivers with DISM, and if you learn about SYSPREP you could make your image hardware independent (so for example, if you get a new PC you could use that same image even though it has different hardware).

    Great idea! I'm currently working with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit for testing Win 7 deployments at work and having some complications. Is WAIK similar to MDT?
    Currently upon some further reading, MDT is more for network based installations and WAIK is more for personal deployments. Correct?
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  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Just one thing I would like someone to bring up. Does this even work for all Windows 7 edition? I am not sure if the WAIK feature exists in Home Basic or Premium edition.
  • djfunzdjfunz Member Posts: 307
    Just one thing I would like someone to bring up. Does this even work for all Windows 7 edition? I am not sure if the WAIK feature exists in Home Basic or Premium edition.

    I'm assuming it does. We use Professional at work and I use Ultimate at home. The download page lists "Windows 7 Family" under requirements.

    Download details: The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7
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  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■■□□□□
    djfunz wrote: »
    I'm assuming it does. We use Professional at work and I use Ultimate at home. The download page lists "Windows 7 Family" under requirements.

    Download details: The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7

    Thanks. It makes sense.
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