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Recommended solution to create an image of Windows 7 Installation

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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gam8
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gam8
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8 Solutions
 
SpongiggleCommented:
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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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
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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*** Hopeleonie ***IT ManagerCommented:
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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gam8Author Commented:
@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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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
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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*** Hopeleonie ***IT ManagerCommented:
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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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I always update everything and add/update packages. This will save time if the image is required. .... Thinkpads_User
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gam8Author Commented:
@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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nobusCommented:
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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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
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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wajeeh_rCommented:
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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nobusCommented:
>>    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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gam8Author Commented:
I'll try creating an image with Ghost and see if it does a good job when I need it.
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