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recover, create recovery disc or hard drive


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#1 Boat Doctur

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Posted 01 January 2015 - 11:46 PM

Not that computer savvy but can get some help to do it.
Would like to create a restore drive, cd, dvd, etc .in case this machine gets corrupted severely and would need the drive wiped clean.

How to find out how large of a hard drive , or thumb drive to get,

How to do it.

Does it save all the files and favorites places.



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#2 Didier Stevens

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 08:21 AM

I think what you are looking for is a full backup of your computer in case something goes wrong.

Is this what you want to do?


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#3 rp88

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 11:14 AM

I think you want to make a system image, that would be the best solution. It can let you get a ruined (on the software and operating system side) machine back running in a good state within an hour. A system image effectively lets you reinstall windows, but rather than reinstalling it totally new with bloatware pre-installed and your programs not installed yet a system image lets you reinstall from the state the computer was in when you made the image. It will usually save SOME personal files and problely sva eyour internet favourites (whichever browser you use) but for the purpose of backing up files and bookmarks you are better to just write those files to a cd disc or USB drive. System images do backup files, but that is not thwir real purpose, they are designed to allow you to backup the system itself for quickly recovering it after a disaster.

You have not said which operating system you are using, if it is windows 8 (or in some cases windows 7 or windows 8.1) then the following guides will help you.

Windows 8 also has features called "refresh" and "reset" and "system restore" built in but these are not very reliable or particularly helpful, and although system repair discs can also be made they are not as helpful as system images.

If your operating system can't do the stuff detailed in the following guides you will need to use a third party imaging program, like Macrium (i think they do a free version and a paid one).

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/create-system-image-in-windows-7-8/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/system-image-recovery-in-windows-7-8/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/advanced-startup-options-menu-in-windows-8/

Edited by rp88, 02 January 2015 - 11:14 AM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#4 quietman7

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 04:07 PM

If the computer manufacturer was HP, Dell, Gateway, or another major vendor, they should have included a set of recovery disks which will restore your computer to the state it was when you first purchased it. If not, you can contact the vendor and ask them to send a set of recovery disks.

You can also make a full back up of your computer as noted by Didier Stevens or use Disk Imaging which allows you to take a complete snapshot (image) of your hard disk. The image is an exact, byte-by-byte copy of an entire hard drive (partition or logical disk) which can be used to restore your system at a later time to the exact same state the system was when you imaged the disk or partition. Essentially, it will restore the computer to the state it was in when the image was made. You will then have to reinstall all programs that you added afterwards. This includes all security updates and patches from Microsoft. Disk imaging is useful for system recovery in case of a hard disk disaster or malware resistent to disinfection.

Disk Imaging & Backup Software:

Free alternatives include:

Note: If you have Western Digital hard disks, then you can download Acronis True Image WD Edition Software for free.

Other Options:


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