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How to get a regularly updated System Image for my new laptop

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#1 macstudenthouses


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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:13 AM

16 Dec 2013

Hi Folks :-)
Please excuse my dumb questions & their length --- am not a computer professional nor a geek --- simply a heavy user of my laptop for web & e mail access.
Looking for simple advice on properly operating & backing up my new laptop --- Issues below & thereafter the conflicting 'expert' advice from Lenovo Tech Support & Microsoft --- led me to the bleeping computer site.
My New Lenovo W530 came 6 Dec 2013 --- with Win7 Home pre-installed which could not address 32 GB DDR3 memory installed. Has a hard drive 250 GB SSD. Laptop always sits on my desk & is not used in typical mobile situations.

THUS --- due to the Win 7 Home v 32 GB DDR3 issue --- Had Microsoft remotely upgrade the Home 7 OS to Win 7 Pro 64. Works Great Now.

HOWEVER --- the updated Pro 7 OS/Lenovo SW --- wont let me create a set of Recovery Discs (which I now learn is the least desirable recovery option).

Thus (fortuitously) I will NOW bypass the Recovery Disc Option --- and go to 1) a Repair DVD, and then 2) System Image ---  on external WD USB hard Drive.

Q.  What is the procedure for above & is it something I can do easily --- or must I go to a computer shop.

Q. Is the SYSTEM IMAGE a copy of the entire software & settings in the laptop --- as at a given date & time. Will this SYSTEM IMAGE recover my laptop 100%.
Q. Is RECOVERY from a hard drive failure ---  simply to plug the western digital external storage USB cord into the laptop & hit the laptop power button?
Q. If I wish to have the System Image updated automatically --- what is the best way to do so?. Will Win 7 help me SET UP for this. PS --- All I wish to retain is the latest System Image. My personal data files of significance sit elsewhere. However IF the personal  data files can also be retained - great.

Q. Can the System Image Creation utility be instructed --- to only make NEW System Images and NOT RETAIN prior ones.

Q. Given the ever lower prices for external storage (USB 3.0 hard drives 1-2 TB) --- should I simply not care & just let the System Images be stored --- using the latest IF-AS needed? Do I just leave the external hard drive hooked up or only connect it --- when the update is scheduled for (automatically)?

Thank You --- For Simple Guidance.


Edit: Moved topic from Introductions to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

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#2 haycg


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Posted 17 December 2013 - 01:17 AM

I use an External hard drive and Acronis True Image Home. It will backup everyting on your computer. 

It has a non stop backup but I don't use that feature.

#3 Kilroy


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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:00 AM

1.  There are a ton of products that can be used to do this.  It really comes down to personal choice on what solution you decide to use.  Since I don't make actual back ups, nothing I have is that important that I don't already have a copy in the cloud, I don't have a solution to suggest to you.


2.  A system image is a copy of the entire drive it a specific state.  An image will contain the operating system, programs, and data files.


3.  Recovery is a little bit more than just plugging in the drive, and this will have a big impact on the solution that you choose.  For example if you use Windows Backup you have three options and the preferred one requires that you install Windows before you can restore others allow you to create a bootable CD or USB device to restore.


4.  Having this done automatically will depend on the solution you select.  Most backup solutions can be scheduled in one way or another.


5.  I would recommend having different versions, for your own safety, if nothing else.  That way if you need to restore then you have a couple of options that might have what you're looking for, rather than being an all or nothing.  For example you accidentally delete a file and need it back, but you've already done another back up since the file was deleted.

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