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Need Advice on Disaster Recovery Plan


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#1 Randle McMurphy

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 05:01 PM

Friends,

 

I need some advice on a strategy for planning for disaster recovery in the event things on my laptop go south. Here is my situation. I have a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 which is a few years old. When I purchased it new I burned the recommended system recovery discs and diligently stored them away in a spot that I though was safe. Recently I discovered that these discs were tossed in the trash as part of a house cleaning effort. I was upset because of two reasons: a) I know that Lenovo only allows one copy of these discs to be created, and B) last year my internal disc drive/burner died so unless I purchase a new burner (which would be useless to me other than burning recovery discs), I am SOL. 

 

Just on a fancy, even though I know I would be stopped, I did try to burn another set of recovery discs to a USB flash drive, but as expected, I got the message that only one copy is allowed. So no go there. 

 

So here is what I have to work with: a 16 gb flash drive, a 300 gb external hard drive (that is empty and not being used at this time) and a 4 tb external hard drive (Western Digital). I use Genie Timeline to back up my important files (documents, photos, videos) to the 4tb external drive, but I do not use it back up system files. I should note that Lenovo does have the internal hard drive partitioned and labeled as a Lenovo_Recovery, but I'm not sure in what circumstances that will help me. Perhaps someone could explain when that would be useful (I'm sure it has to do with restoring to factory install). However, surely if I have a complete internal hard drive failure this will be useless if the hard drive itself is inaccessible.  

 

Based on these tools available to me, is there any strategy I can take to:

 

1) Prepare for a OS crash in which the hard drive is good, but Windows just needs to be "reloaded" and

2) Prepare for a total hard drive crash in which I need to install a new blank hard drive and the get Windows up and running? I do not have the Windows install disc and Lenovo did not supply them when I purchased the machine.

 

I've read a lot about creating a system image so that I can restore the laptop to its state at the time the image was taken, but I'm not sure how to go about creating one and then using it to address #1 and #2 above. 

 

I appreciate any advice you knowledgeable folks could render.

 

Thank you.


Edited by Randle McMurphy, 14 February 2015 - 05:21 PM.


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#2 buddy215

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 05:22 PM

I think you have Windows 7. In that case you have all you need to create an image of the hdd. That is what you should do. Your OS comes

with a version of Acronis.

 

If you have a Seagate or WD hdd then you can download their versions of Acronis. I use the Seagate version....Disk Wizard....to image the

entire drive which has Win 7 and a Linux OS installed.

 

Macrium Reflect is another often recommended backup/ image creating program....free. Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

 

Be sure to create a repair disk, too.

Create a system repair disc

How to Use a System Repair Disc to Restore Windows 7 - For Dummies

 

EDIT: Create a Windows 7 System Image for Full Backup and Restoration • Raymond.CC

QUOTE: Creating a Windows System Image

Here we’ll show you how to create Windows 7 backup system image, the steps for Vista and Win 8 compatible versions are broadly the same. You can only do this from within Windows itself. There are a few ways of running the Windows Backup and Restore Tool which will also allow you to create a repair disc or backup files and folders, choose 1 from any of the following:


Edited by buddy215, 14 February 2015 - 05:31 PM.

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss

A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”


#3 Randle McMurphy

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 06:19 PM

buddy215, thank you for the helpful links. A few more questions if I may.

 

So now I understand that I can make a system image using one of the software programs that you list and I can create a system restore and between these two I should, theoretically be prepared for a OS or total hardware failure.

 

Additional question 1: The link provided above refers only to creating a system restore disc, but since I do not have the ability to burn a disc, can I use a USB flash drive to accomplish the same thing? Are the instructions the same for burning a bootable USB flash drive the same?

 

Additional question 2: Something I don't understand: if my hard drive fails completely, not accessible, a complete turd, how will I be able to use the system image created by software that is on the turd hard drive and now completely inaccessible? In other words, at this point I expect to have removed the failed hard drive and installed a clean, empty replacement, but the software that created the image, say Macrium, will not, of course yet be installed on the new hard drive. How does this work?


Edited by Randle McMurphy, 14 February 2015 - 06:19 PM.


#4 buddy215

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 06:31 PM

How to create a Windows rescue USB stick | Operating Systems News | TechRadar

 

To answer your second question....that is why you need the system repair disc. You would have the backup image on one drive and the repair disc on another drive.

The repair disc would be responsible for locating the backup image and copying that image onto the new hdd.


“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss

A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”


#5 Randle McMurphy

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 12:07 AM

buddy215, thanks for your support. It is much appreciated. I feel I have benefited greatly from your responses. 



#6 buddy215

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 01:47 PM

You're welcome...happy surfin'


“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss

A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”





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