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Create duplicate of existing pc


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#1 cheez

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:47 AM

Hello,

I hope I am posting in the correct forum.
 
I don't have any problems, I just have a question.
 
I had windows 7 and I took  the free upgrade to windows 10.  Since this was a download I do not have a installation disk
for windows 10 should I have to reinstall it.
 
Is it possible to backup or create an image of my entire computer with everything that is installed now, including the operating system onto a external hard drive?
 
If this is possible, would someone please direct me to some where that explains how to do it, and most important how to make the external drive bootable.  Any help would be very much appreciated.


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#2 Allan

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:09 AM

Sure. Disk Imaging software is the way to go. Windows 10 has a built in utility (https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-10/). Personally, I'm a fan of Acronis True Image. It's not free, but in my opinion it is the best 3rd party imaging software available. A good, free 3rd party alternative is Macrium Reflect.

 

You should create images on a regular basis. It's a virtually foolproof method of insuring a safe haven if anything untoward happens (malware, hd crash, registry corruption, unintended deletions, etc).



#3 Toits

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:12 AM

Why not:

1.Right click on Start

2.Select Control Panel

3.Select System and Security

4.Select Backup and Restore

5.There on left side select Create a system image

6.There select One or more DVDs and click Next

7.There select your disk you want to backup and Next

Then go ahead! :hello:



#4 dc3

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:43 AM

You can use the Media Creation Tool to create Windows 10 installation media for a disc or flash drive.

There are three options, use the second option Using the tool to create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) to install Windows 10 on different PC.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#5 cheez

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 01:14 PM

I thank each of you for your kind and speedy reply.

 

I did not expect a reply so quickly.

 

Thanks again.



#6 Goddess_Bastet

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 02:19 PM

You could create a clone or image of your hard drive with Macrium reflect free. I use this & it has helped me out of a sticky situation many times.

#7 cheez

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 03:01 PM

Thank you Goddess_Bastet for your help.

 

I pretty much understand how to get everything onto the external drive, what I am trying to find and learn is how to make the drive bootable incase my computer won't start up normal.



#8 Allan

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 04:26 PM

You're not going to make the external drive bootable just by imaging - you'd have to change the bios setting for boot device order. But with Acronis or Macrium you would create a boot CD that would allow you to get to their "DOS" level app (not really dos, but no matter) and restore the image to the original HD.



#9 cheez

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 09:07 AM

Allan thank you.
 
I apologize for not replying sooner, but my wife put me to work.
 
I am a complete novice at all of this, so I am learning as I go along.  I am not exactly sure what you mean in regards to
the BIOS settings.
 
When I first start the computer, if I hit the F12 key I have a boot menu or options.  I can boot from a CD/DVD, or it lists 4 USB options.
 
Is this what you mean about the BIOS?


#10 Allan

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 09:50 AM

 
 

Okay. If your goal is to create an exact image of the system disk on a second drive and make that drive bootable, you'll have to CLONE the original drive rather than image it (cloning creates an exact, one for one copy of the drive in a second location of your choice). An image is a compressed "snapshot" of the drive in its entirety, but your options with an image are (in a nutshell):

 

1) To restore it to the original location, overwriting everything on that drive and replacing it with the image or

2) Restore it to a different location or drive, overwriting everything at that location and replacing it with the image you created or

3) Extracting certain files or folders. You can overwrite damaged data, replace missing data, or duplicate the files or folders

 

If you choose option 2 and restore the image of a system drive or partition to a new drive or partition, when you go to the boot options in the bios you have to select the device to which you copied the image and move it to the top of the boot order, then save the change and exit bios. This will then cause the system to boot to/from that new device or drive.

 

But this is not the best way to use disk imaging software. The best way is to create images of your drive(s) on a regular basis to another drive. If and when you need to restore an image, you would boot to the software cd (which you will have created) and that will take you to a console from which you can choose the image you want to restore, decide whether to restore the entire image or only certain files / folders, and choose where you want the restored info written (normally you'd choose to overwrite the corrupted drive).

 

 



#11 cheez

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 01:57 PM

Allan thank you again.
 
After reading your information, I now understand the difference between clone and image. It seems cloning is the way to go.  I also understand now how to use my external drive to boot.
 
I am quite sure I will make a few mistakes attempting to do this for the first time, but this is how you learn. 


#12 Allan

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 02:11 PM

You're welcome. Google searches will help you with both cloning a hd and imaging a drive.






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