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Creating Backup (recovery) images...


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#1 MakeItBetter

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:17 AM

I get lost in trying to figure out how creating the system image works...

...especially since there are multiple disk partitions which need to be backed up (or so it appears)...

 

I've also seen it said where if you recover a system image, it will re-write your entire drive...

 

Hmmmm....

 

What I really would like is to create an image with all the applications I want (with their associated configurations) that I could use in a system refresh...

 

However, it sounds more like it can only be done as something more akin to a system reset.

 

Clearly, system builders (OEMs and the like) are able to create preconfigured images...

 

I'm still exploring all this...but thought I would ask, in hopes of avoiding bad detours...and also to speed up my learning...

 

I did create a system image and stored it on DVDs (took many fewer than it said it would...said it would be around 39G, but in fact took a little over 2 DVDs.)

 

(for bonus points, I also discovered that there's a way of creating a system image via the recimg command, and storing it on a usb key.)

 

I have seen that there are also "images" with a .wim extension (but I don't recall seeing those on my backup DVDs.)

 

Can anyone help?

 

Thanks much!

 

Jann



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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:34 AM

I'm not a fan of system imaging.  How often have you had to restore your machine in the past?

 

The problem with images, and back ups, is that you can only go back to the time of your last image or back up.  Initially you may create a new image every time you install a new program and once a week or month to back up data, but over time most people fail to keep their backups up to date.  Then you run into the software updates.  Software is constantly being updated.  Most of us just stick with a version that works for us and update when we are having issues or if a new feature we want is released.  Very few people install every update.  So, when you do your restore, your software is out of date.  Another problem with ongoing images is that you have to keep versions, in case your last image contains the same problems that you are having.

 

I'd recommend keeping your initial restore and find an online backup solution that fits your needs and your costs.  Unless you restore frequently the time and effort to maintain a full system back up is not worth the effort.



#3 MakeItBetter

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 03:38 PM

RKilroy, thanks for responding...

 

Until the last year...I'd NEVER done a refresh or restore.

I've now done enough of them to make it very worth my time to invest the comparatively small amount of time needed to keep them up-to-date...(I've already got extra hardware to support all this, although I may also be adding to it, as well.)  As for why, you can read my introduction thread...

 

Just re-installing the over 100M of Windows 8 updates should I need to refresh or restore again, alone, like I say, would make this worthwhile.

 

Finding, downloading, installing (and avoiding "dark pattern" tricks) takes QUITE considerable time...even when using something like ninite....

 

Many years ago I started my journey in Silicon Valley's high tech industry as a computer operator -- which included doing a lot of backups...so I am familiar with the discipline required, the idiosyncrasies and more...and I have taken all of that into consideration in my quest...

 

I already use some backup solutions for my personal data and files...that is handled, has been tested, works reliably...

 

However, I want to have the ability to rapidly go from have a destroyed windows environment to back up and running as quickly as possible -- for multiple reasons...

 

Why should I spend (more) money on backup software which primarily back ups my personal data (which I'm already doing)...and generally doesn't backup Windows...

 

...and the question isn't backing up windows...after all, I ALREADY can (and have) done that...

 

With all of the variety of choices...and with not inconsiderable research, these are the questions I have at this point...

 

since Microsoft already provides solutions related to what I want to do...all I want to do is know more about them and how they work (or don't work)...

 

If you want to point me to information that you think would help clarify my questions, that would be awesome...

 

Thanks again for your thoughtful reply...

 

Cheers!

 

Jann



#4 iikkakki

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:35 PM

Hi, I think you can try third-party backup software, such as aomei backupper.

Backup only the system partition, backup the whole disk. Backup to DVD, backup to USB



#5 MakeItBetter

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:51 PM

iikkakki --

 

Are these things that you have, yourself, done?

 

Ultimately, I am not looking for a 3rd party solution.  I'm looking for deeper understanding in the options available to me that Microsoft makes available.

 

Thanks!

 

Jann



#6 iikkakki

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 08:56 PM

iikkakki --

 

Are these things that you have, yourself, done?

 

Ultimately, I am not looking for a 3rd party solution.  I'm looking for deeper understanding in the options available to me that Microsoft makes available.

 

Thanks!

 

Jann

 

 

Yes, I've done it before.

Good luck.



#7 MakeItBetter

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 09:16 PM

on Windows 8?  Because there's at least 2 disk partitions which Windows requires be backed up...

 

Remember, I've already done the "backup to CD"...so I've seen what Windows FORCES me to backup.

 

If it were just one partition, then it would make sense, but it isn't, and so I'm trying to get a deeper understanding.

 

Thanks again,

 

Jann






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