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Windows 7 and Imaging Software Suggestion.


arik3k
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ok lemme start by saying Hey to everyone in the board,

in the past few days i've been Reading, almost every Post i found about Imaging in the Forum, but all that left me in the End is confused.

I have a windows 7 64 bit Machine (Bare Minimum Office, AV, Drivers And Custom Settings, Reg fixes)

I want to make an Image of this Install so i can later Restore it if i choose to.

Until now i've been very Happy with Hiren boot cd

and been using Acronis True Image and Ghost For the past years through Windows XP And Vista.

and been very Happy with it and it worked flawlessly for all my Images.

I Didn't Mind Maintaining several Images for my 2 Laptops and 2 Pcs that's the way I want it.

After that I moved to Working with WinPE and Imagex in vista 32 bit and everything was fine.

Year ago I decided to move to Win 7 64 bit, made all the adjustments with my software and drivers and installed a Basic and a Complete PC with 2 images, using hiren boot cd and acronis and ghost,

Been painfull to find out that it didn't work, perhaps because of the System reserved partition that wasn't backed up.

My System works in AHCI Mode now.

I Refuse installing a Software on my PC I don't want it to do Weekly Backups, all I wanna do is A boot cd that Images my drive to a single file, that I can restore it from the boot cd later on.

I Tried working with:

Macrium reflect,

Windows Backup and restore center

Acronis true Image Home

CloneZilla (Which doesn't make a single file but alot of files in folders)

WinPE Imagex 64 bit, which copied all to a Single Wim File but restore was Painful and didn't Restore it well.

From Hiren boot CD i tried.

Acronis True image 8.1 server.

Ghost 11.5.1 + in the WinPE installed the ghost 64 bit version to see if that works, not so much no...

This is a Cry out for help

Any 1 tried Hiren, find the Method to work like i want to ?

Any help will be Greatly Appreciated,

thanks for the patience.

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Well, my first and strongest suggestion would be to avoid using Hiren's, as that's technically a warez distribution of software (and thus, talking about it here is frowned on as per forum rules) - further discussion of Hiren's will result in what it always results in for it's users here - a ban.

Moving on, if you're looking at distribution of Windows 7, it would be best to use the (free and legal) tools that come with it - WinPE and the WAIK (wsim, dsim, and imagex). Since you've stated you had some issues with it, I would then suggest that you look into another (free and legal) tool, MDT 2010 (and USB key deployment of Windows with it).

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hiren is technically warez that's true, but i have purchased with my company both acronis and ghost as products for my buisness and tried using them in my home pc as i own the software, as the technical people at symantec IL informed me that as long as i hold the license i am able to use the software,

that's true for acronis as well.

but you are correct i should have state i own the software,

all the other software are free for use,

should i edit the post ?

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I've been using Acronis True Image to backup laptops I provide service to and they restoring works every time.

The version you mention on the Hiren Boot CD is old, use the latest one from Acronis.

I recommend to make a bootable CD/DVD/USB to make the images to avoid problems.

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What i have been using was Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition. I created an image of my Win7 partition and saved it on another drive then created a rescue disk with it and whenever i need to restore my system i just boot from the DVD and choose the image file that will be used to restore the system.

You could also create an image from the Win7 small partition it creates and have them both restored if needed in the same way.

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hiren is technically warez that's true, but i have purchased with my company both acronis and ghost as products for my buisness and tried using them in my home pc as i own the software, as the technical people at symantec IL informed me that as long as i hold the license i am able to use the software,

that's true for acronis as well.

but you are correct i should have state i own the software,

all the other software are free for use,

should i edit the post ?

Well, unless you also own licenses to Drive SnapShot, ImageCenter 5.6 (PowerQuest - NOT the version that was rolled into Symantec Ghost, but the old PQ version from 2002), Windows 98, Windows XP, The Winternals edition of NTFSDOS Pro, Paragon's Mount Everything (now Paragon Manager 11) and Paragon Partition Manager, HDD Regenerator, the old PartitionMagic Pro package (again, before Symantec), Avanquest (then VCOM) Partition Commander, Active Password Changer, ...etc. I could go on - there's another 10 non-free packages on the disk, not to mention a whole host of DOS command-line apps (like pkzip) that are non-free. Unless you also have licenses for all 24 non-free software packages (plus each non-free DOS command-line utility), you're downloading and using warez. I find it hard to believe you have licenses for each and every non-free package on that disk above and beyond Symantec Ghost and Acronis TrueImage or DiskDirector, and probably a Windows XP license.

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WinPE Imagex 64 bit, which copied all to a Single Wim File but restore was Painful and didn't Restore it well.

In order to store an image for Windows 7, you need to sysprep and generalize it, and this should be done from Audit Mode. Then you can save it as a WIM. When you save the image, you only capture the OS volume, do not capture the System volume. When you restore, you create the system volume but do nothing with it. Then create the OS volume and drop the WIM on it. When the system boots, Sysprep will configure the system volume. I recommend you make the system volume the same size as it was when you captured the image originally.

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