is there a guide for ghosting/clone/imaging a new win7 install
I've heard all about this process, I think I understand what it means, and I've downloaded and burnt .img files before, but never cloned a fresh windows install (assuming it really is easier when your computer needs a fixup?). My PC is nearing the point for a format, so I will have to do it the old fashioned way at least once more.
Found this on a quick search, How to Create a System Image in Windows 7 but does it create a bootable disk or is it used when the system still boots and you start the refresh process from within windows?
I guess first of all, is it worth setting up a clone? I don't change hardware that often, and I have a fairly modern motherboard now so I think booting from a usb stick or external drive shouldn't be a problem. I've always formatted and used the dvd to reinstall.
Now assuming I go ahead with this, what do I need to know from the start, and don't be shy to dumb it way down, I'm not pretending to be an expert. I have a 120gb SSD for windows, but most of my data is on a separate HDD. Do I need to buy any 3rd party software?
Windows 7 built in system image software is fine, though you will need to either create a System Restore disc (it will prompt you to burn one after creating the image), or use a Windows 7 install CD to initiate the System Restore.
It might be worth creating a system image after running Windows Updates, since that is usually the longest part of a fresh install. I would recommend updating and creating the image BEFORE installing any video card or sound card or whatever other special drivers you may require, simply because they will be out of date by the time you will need to do another restore.
Alternatively to zoobs idea you can get an aftermarket program like Acronis to do images and back ups. I store my images on a couple different hdd (redundancy never hurts!) and one base W7 install with SP1. Same idea as zoob. But acronis has more options. It is also free if you have a WD hdd!
if you download the latest Windows Kit from MS, winpe 4.0 that's included has the ability to capture images built into the update dism tool that's part of the base winpe as well
you can use dism to capture and restore
i made batch files in my winpe build to use diskpart to repartition the drive, then run dism to apply the image
to capture, you just run something like the following, or make a batch file to keep it short on typing
Dism /Capture-Image /ImageFile:"Y:myimage.wim" /CaptureDir:D:\
capturedir being the drive that has windows, for win 7 and 8 systems with the additional boot partition, it will be D: most likely, for all else, C:
trick with the above, is when my WinPe boots, it will scan the drives it can find for a windows folder and reassign the drive letter so there's little room for error, unless i'm missing a controller driver
here's my batch file for restoring
ECHO. Partitioning disk 0
DISKPART /S diskpart.txt
ECHO. Applying Image
Dism /apply-image /imagefile:install.wim /index:1 /ApplyDir:W:\
ECHO. Installing Bootloader
bcdboot W:\Windows /s s:
ECHO. Installation complete. Returning to main menu
select disk 0
create partition primary size=300
format fs=ntfs quick label="System"
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick label="Windows"
no need to 3rd party anything whatsoever
I like the idea of a built in tool into windows, that sounds idiot proof, I find I have less and less patience for tinkering these days. Maybe I'll give that a try, never really knew that tool existed!
After I posted this thread I found the Guides section of the forum, mods feel free to move this thread if you want.
well, the imaging functionality is new with windows 8, cough.
dism was in windows 7, but it didn't have the imaging capability. that used to be a seperate tool, imagex which was part of the automated installer kit for oems and system buildings, admins, etc.
the functionality merge is one thing i very much like from win8
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