Thanks to both of you!
Louis, if I understand correctly, a system restore could require a Windows 7 disk (or similar), wheres a third party cloning software would not?
So just so I am describing what I want to accomplish correctly (because I know people have different goals in mind when setting things up):
Let's say right now I get the machine to where everything is set the way I like...the browsers are all working well, all desired extensions are instaled and humming, all Windows options are configured in a preferred way, the system is optimized for speed based on some tweaks, all desired software programs are on the machine.
And what I want to do is save this exact state of the machine particularly all the settings of the stuff I just described. I don't really care about any documents (word docs, excel, photos, etc) because I will save that to an external drive and disconnect it daily.
The main idea is that since over time, there's little (or big) malware programs that slow the machine down gradually without me noticing the speed decrease, and then hour glasses from time to time in browsers, I'd prefer to just run a cloning software to get it back to this exact state it's in right now, and to perform this at least once each week.
And the way I want to use it, I'm not interested in setting a cloning schedule (like a scheduled backup, or a scheduled auto system restore where old restore points get bumped out as new ones are added). The reason for this is because the moment it were to save a new cloned snapshot after the first one where settings are perfect, is that it could be saving malware, so I want to cut that possibility out as much as possible. Am I describing this clearly?
Secondly, is there a solid free one that you like to third party tool that you like to use for this?
Lastly, if the computer is running Windows on one of the partitioned drives, assuming I should install the cloning software on the other drive maybe and safe the cloned copy on the same drive as the cloning software?
Then again maybe the system restore described at above link has the same option I don't know. I read through the process and it does let you choose where to save the backup and system image it seems.
Edited by confoosedguy, 08 August 2015 - 01:09 AM.