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