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Recommended solution to create an image of Windows 7 Installation

Posted on 2012-09-08
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Hi,

I intend to re-install Windows 7 Ultimate on my Dell Vostro 3500 laptop and have the installed image on an external HDD so that it's easier to go back to it.

Unfortunately, System Restore isn't reliable (at least to me) and even though I manually create a few "Restore Points", System Restore displays "No Restore Points" available, when I badly need to go back.

I read about Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image and the reviews for both those products are lackluster to say the least.

I'm planning to create an image as specified below:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-7/

Is this good enough or are there better options out there. I'd greatly appreciate any help.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:gam8
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Accepted Solution

by:
Spongiggle earned 252 total points
ID: 38379991
Hi,

I would recommend you read the below article its a bit of read but its the best route to go in creating a windows image. This way you will be able to inject new drivers into the WIM file when you have them and keep your image up to date.

Building a Standard Image of Windows 7: Step-by-Step Guide

Regards
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 38380023
Actually Symantec Ghost works very well (at least the current version) and my colleague and I use it create images for client machines. The images always restore properly. I have such an image of my own machine.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:*** Hopeleonie ***
*** Hopeleonie *** earned 504 total points
ID: 38380024
I intend to re-install Windows 7 Ultimate on my Dell Vostro 3500 laptop and have the installed image on an external HDD so that it's easier to go back to it.

Is this image from Dell (Dell Recovery)? And the Image is only a clean install or with all Software?

No need to do a Sysprep here as told before. This option is only for OEM Partners or large Companies.

We use Acronis 2013 and it works fine. For home I use PARAGON Backup & Recovery 2012 Free.
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Author Comment

by:gam8
ID: 38380040
@Thinkpad: So, you're using this one? seems to be latest to me..

http://www.amazon.com/Symantec-Norton-Ghost-15-0-Single/dp/B002SRNS7A

@hope: I intend to create an image of my Windows installation after installing the drivers..

Thanks again for your time..
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 38380047
Actually we have Ghost Version 11 at this point and it works fine. Anything newer should also work. Be sure in Options to select "bootable image" so that the image boots when restored.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:*** Hopeleonie ***
*** Hopeleonie *** earned 504 total points
ID: 38380055
If you only have an Image with drivers, I would download all drivers from Dell again and reinstall. Because I bet with you that they are outdated...

How to test:
http://driveragent.com/0/scan?fn=plugin
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38380058
I always update everything and add/update packages. This will save time if the image is required. .... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:joinaunion
joinaunion earned 248 total points
ID: 38380089
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Author Comment

by:gam8
ID: 38380435
@Thinkp: I've got Ghost 14 which seems to have better reviews than 15. Hopefully it works out for me. In your next post, if I'm right, you're talking about creating the image file in Ghost after updating the drivers, isn't it? I'm sorry but I'm not sure about "I always update everything and add/update packages." Could you please explain if possible? Thanks again.

@hope: Thanks for the link. I'd check it out.

@join: Thanks so much for addressing that issue. I'll look into those links.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 248 total points
ID: 38380438
i have used ghost, and Acronis, but use now the free Paragount B@R :
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/db-express/
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38380702
I'm sorry but I'm not sure about "I always update everything and add/update packages." Could you please explain if possible?

What I meant was that I update all the drivers, update Windows, and then install all the software I want. After it is complete, I make an image at that point.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:wajeeh_r
wajeeh_r earned 248 total points
ID: 38380935
Dear,

I advise to use Norton Ghost, I am using Ghost 11.5 and it really works very well, restore the images in perfect way.

It also recognize USB Flash drive or HDD during booting from norton ghost CD, so that directly you can pick image stored on a Flash drive or HDD.

Any other questions for the same let me know.

Thanks,
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38381096
>>    I advise to use Norton Ghost   <<   and i advise to use Paragon, it works faster, an dvery easy to use, and very reliable
also it has many softwares free, like backup & Restore
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Author Comment

by:gam8
ID: 38381985
I'll try creating an image with Ghost and see if it does a good job when I need it.
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