Hardware Independent Image of Win7

I have a desktop that I setup all the software and settings the way I like it. I'd like to use this exact image for my laptop, so I don't have to set it all up over again. I also have an iMac and Macbook Pro. It was easy to transfer the software image between Macs, this is understandable as the hardware is more similar, but is there a good solution for Windows 7? What kind of 3rd party imaging software is available. I'm familiar with Acronis, Ghost and Comodo.

Does anyone have any ideas, recommendations and opinions?
Who is Participating?
rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The free edition has less features than the home version which isn't free. Also, the free version you are only allowed to use for personal use.

If you go the PartedMagic route you would need the Free Adaptive Restore utility of Paragon (a separate tool) if you restore the images to different hardware (this may not always be needed, but it normally makes things easier). The tool strips all drivers from the installation, so they get installed cleanly again. On older Windows like XP it also replaces the hal with the version that is needed for the new hardware. But on Windows 7 the hal is the same, so there that isn't an issue.
use acronis backup and recovery imaging solution
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First of all, if your system is using an OEM version of Windows, which most systems are that come with the OS pre-installed, you won't be able to use imaging to replicate your installation to other PC's.

If it isn't an OEM installation, and if you have the licenses available for your other PC's, then you can use paragon's tool's, they include adaptive restore (it is also available as a separate, free utility). Paragon is better and cheaper than the other commercial products. As they have a free Adaptive restore tool, you can also use free, OpenSource cloning or imaging tools, like PartedMagic which includes CloneZilla, or even Paragon's free backup utility:

risingedgeAuthor Commented:
Paragon seems like a reasonably priced option. However, what's the difference between these 2?
a) Paragon Backup & Recovery 2011 (Advanced) Free Edition
b) Backup & Recovery 11 Home

If I go the Paragon route which tool do I need? I'm a bit lost on if I need more than one sw or just one.

If I go the PartedMagic route, do I need Paragon?

here it is :  http://www.paragon-software.com/business/adaptiverestore/

btw - did you read noxcho's article yet?
Well there are two solutions for that

One is Paragon which is free

The other one is Acronis True Image. Its comes with a feature of "universal restore" which helps you to deploy the image of one machine on any other machine of different make and hardware
You can have a startup recovery console as well to create backup of windows during boot by pressing F11
Further you can reserve a space on your harddisk and permanently store image of your computer in that partition. Whenever anything goes wrong or you want to revert back you can run the restore process.

Anyway in imaging of windows 7 you will have to enter the activation key again, to activate windows. Further if there are any wireless settings , they are required to be configured again
go to device manager right click IDE upgrade device driver choose standard ide driver
now make an image
risingedgeAuthor Commented:
I ended up purchasing the Paragon Home Backup and Recovery 11.
Thanks for everyone's comment.
i hope it serves you well !
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