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Add ability to restore PC like Dell or HP does with their PC's

Would like to add a startup choice when hit F8 on bootup with Windows 7 so that user has option to restore PC to factory defaults.  I have a .wim file that contains the image I want already since I use Windows Deployment to image the PC's.

Want to include this image with the PC, so if users screw up their computer they can always revert back to factory image by choosing menu option after hitting F8.  Have seen Dell and HP do this with their PC's that they ship out.
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kevandju
Asked:
kevandju
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2 Solutions
 
cbmmCommented:
Look into pc angel by softthinks
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kevandjuAuthor Commented:
Not really looking to buy software to do this, can't really tell if their software is free or what as their website is pretty bad and some products are beta, the download link is "coming soon", etc..
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kevandjuAuthor Commented:
Just to add to that, i'm not looking for any type of backup solution as data loss is not a big deal to me, i'm strictly looking to use an system image i have to restore to.
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Firmin FrederickSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
you can download and use a utility disk or a pre-installed environment - these aren't strictly the best way but it is for your purposes free and in particular you get "Dive Image" and partition commander and partiotion magic and all sorts that will allow you to manipulate your boot environment and create restore images etc.

Now you say no money spending and whilst this is achievable there is comfort in a paid solution like http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/ 

which is user friendly and offers multiple boot time options, boot time recovery console, and image backup partition tools.  Well worth the money and less guess work!
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myost10Commented:
I think Windows Recovery Enviroment already built into Windows 7 will do this with your WIMs. Windows RE overview

They just hit F8 on startup, select Repair My Computer, then System Image Recovery.  It will give them access to WIMs you loaded up on the system partition. Deploy a System Recovery Image
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Firmin FrederickSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
ultimatebootcd

and for windows

ubcdwin
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Firmin FrederickSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
myost10 i looked at the Windows RE and even as a professional I find it long winded! I can boot a boot cd/dvd into a DOS screen, launch drive image and have an image in a matter of clicks, store that image onto a spare drive or partition and have it restored in pretty much no time at all :)
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kevandjuAuthor Commented:
SHEILD1 you have to understand the reason I'm not looking for paid software is that I don't want to buy 1,000's of licenses.  This isn't something I'm looking to roll out for a couple PC's.  

myost10 I'm going to read more on this, as I've used the recovery environment but never tried the system image option.
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Firmin FrederickSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
Understood Kevandju
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Jackie ManCommented:
Techically speaking, it is possible to make a hidden recovery partition like those offered by DELL or LENOVO. But, it is just too complicated and time-consumung to do the skills transfer as iit is diffcult to combine many different areas of expertise into an actual working procedure. Besides, DELL or LENOVO makes use of some proprietary software to do the factory restore process.

So, I will suggest the route which every user can do the task by themselves and I am an advocate of Acronis Disk Imaging software.

From googling, I've found the information which might be meaningful for you.

"Acronis Recovery Manager enables you to restart your computer by hitting the F11 key when you see the "press F11 for acronis recovery manager" message, in case you computer does not boot correctly, even if your operating system has been deleted. Before activating Acronis Recovery Manger, you need to create Acronis Secure Zone first. ( Note: If Acronis Secure Zone can not be found in hard disc, this function will not be available )


Acronis true image is an excellent data backup tool, which allows you to create Acronis secure zone. The secure zone is very safe and inaccessible by ordinary windows program and can not be corrupted by computer virus and system crash etc. when you encounter system crash. If your computer can not be started normally, you can start with acronis true image while Acronis secure zone must be created before.

Then how to create acronis secure zone? Follow steps list below, you can easily create acronis secure zone.
1. Download acronis true image by visiting http://www.downloada...e/download.html
2. Install acronis true image to your PC.
3. Run acronis true image by click start => program =>acronis => acronis true image
4. Click manage secure zone in the key function zone. Then acronis secure zone wizard will pop up.
5. In acronis secure zone wizard window, click “next” to other step.
6. Then choose a disc to create acronis secure zone. And specify the size of secure zone. Then click next
7. Then another window will pop up, click “proceed” to create acronis secure zone.
After finishing creating, you need to restart your PC to make acronis secure zone effect."

Source: http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/108515-create-my-own-recovery-partition/page__st__40
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kevandjuAuthor Commented:
jackieman, I am very familiar with Acronis products, Norton Ghost, Symantec Backup Exec, Altiris Recovery Solution and whole host of other imaging solutions.

All of them have per PC license fees.  I deploy roughly 1,500 PC's a year.  At even $20 a license that is 30k a year to spend.  I have no interest in committing 30k a year to do a factory restore when every PC manufacturer I see makes a second partition on your hard drive and has a .wim image on it for restore.  What separates them is that they add some options in the F8 startup menu.  

My image is already made, it's just a matter of starting the install.

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Jackie ManCommented:
If you can read Chinese, I found a link which suits your needs.

http://songtaol.blog.hexun.com/19348247_d.html
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Jackie ManCommented:
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kevandjuAuthor Commented:
Reading it now with Google Translate
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Firmin FrederickSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
there are two ways to go about this opt to learn the win RE procedure or opt to use norton ghost or drive image in DOS mode by creating a batch file that the end user can run from floppy/CD/ or whatever that will restore an image saved to a partion on their HDD.

I know that technically using those products in MSDOS mode and then distributing it is a licensing technical loophole but you wouldn't be the first to abuse it like winzip and winrar etc. and you sure won't be the last.

By the way I'm only suggesting an easier solution not saying the Win RE isn't the way to go!  

I am sure someone out there has thought to create a freeware version of Acronis True Image it may just be a case of trial and error :)
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Firmin FrederickSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
so saying I found this:

http://www.winvistaclub.com/d75.html

and now I think we both have found alternative solutions...hmmm interesting...clonezilla?
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kevandjuAuthor Commented:
Going to go the first route and use what's built into Windows, but the link to free imaging software by SHIELD1 is definitely helpful.
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Firmin FrederickSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
glad i could help my friend :)
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