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Creating a windows 7 Backup

Posted on 2012-03-17
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Last Modified: 2012-04-13
I have a 32bit windows 7 laptop which I have dedicated a partition for a backup. I have setup windows system image recovery backup to be directed to this spare partition.

The backup is completed and I reboot the PC and am able to recover fully the C partition via the F8 boot menu and repair my computer.

Now that I know this works, I have a fleet of the same laptops which I have tried to ghost the original machine including the backup partition.

The annoying part is that once the machine is ghosted, I am unable to run the system image recovery as it is asking me to create a boot CD - because I cant boot off the main drive and recover the same drive.

This is rubbish as I know this works and still works on the template laptop.

If I take one of the image dlaptops and boot to windows and manually create the backup, then reboot, go to F8 and recover - this works!

So there is a problem when I am ghosting which causes something to go outof whack but manually doing this backup seems to work.

Any ideas how I can get around this issue?
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Question by:Jamesm007
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 37734130
I *think* problem is that your methodology is flawed because you are pretty much asking the computer to read your mind.

It is behaving the way one would expect it to behave.  Remember, you aren't backing up, you are RESTORING.

YOu are backing up C, and restoring onto D, but the software doesn't know that.   If C was the boot disk before the restore, but you are restoring onto D, then would it be a correct backup if it moved the active partition?  If it did do this, then the restore would not match the backup.

The solution would be to get a program that can manually edit the disk image or you could run after the fact that tells the HD what partition should be active & bootable.
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Author Comment

by:Jamesm007
ID: 37734591
ok let me clarify and apologies I didnt do this initially.

We have C: (OS) D: (Data) and E: (Restore partition)

I am creating a windows system image recovery on E to restore C ONLY.

When I create this from the original laptop I use the recovery works perfectly, every time!!

BUT

When I decide to image the whole DISK from laptop 1 to a batch of new laptops - same type model etc etc, I can boot wo windows, but when I try and do a system recovery using the same process, it wont allow me to restore the C from E suing the same image backup on E drive.

I will try and get an image of the message to clarify but only problem is when I try and ghost the disk to a new machine. I have hundreds of machines so i cant afford to do this manually on each one.
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Author Comment

by:Jamesm007
ID: 37734593
so just to clarify with a typed up message: it goes through the process of selecting the image to recover when you first boot, press F8 and select repair your computer.

I then get to the point where it can’t go any further. The prompt is:

Choose additional restore points

To restore this computer, windows needs to format the drive that the windows recovery environment is currently running on. TO continue with the restore, shutdown this computer and boot it from a windows installation disc or a system repair disc and try the restore again.

It then gives me the option to create a system repair disc.

On the original laptop I created this on, I dont get this, I can press next and begin the recovery process.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37736024
That is because the boot o/s is detecting something different in this case it is a different pc with different hard drive. i.e. the hard drive serial number is different.  Your are acting like a carpenter using a slot screwdriver to insert/remove a phillips screw.
(1) I have a fleet of the same laptops which I have tried to ghost the original machine including the backup partition.

If these laptops have OEM version of the Operating system then you are in violation of the Terms of Service as the OS is directly tied to the specific hardware it is first installed on.

You are trying to get around the imaging limitation that OEM software does not have, only VL licensed O/S don't have this restriction. Yes this is an additional cost to get this benefit.

Any discussion on how to get around this limitation is against the terms of service of Experts Exchange.
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Author Comment

by:Jamesm007
ID: 37737287
OK let me clarify the situation. The OS licenses are NOT OEM, this is for a large corporation with KMS Server and NO there is no violation of any licensing agreement.

now that we have this clear, I am unable to find a document that talks about the backup being tied to a specific serial number of the HDD on the actual machine, and surely there is a legit way to do this considering we have the OS licenses required in this comercial environment.
thank you
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Accepted Solution

by:
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 37740719
Then use the deployment toolkit or wds .. capture the image of the computer you wish to clone after using sysprep and then deploy the image using these tools to deploy the image that you wish to deploy.  Use the right tool for the job.

Not syspreping the machine before you deploy it will cause you untold problems later on down the road and keeps you in compliance with the operating system terms of service.
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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:Jamesm007
ID: 37845092
Thanks, so I am presently configuring WDS to do this. Unfortunately WDS is complicated to setup multiple partiitons but Im close to having this configured for testing. thanks
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