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Old 12-14-2013, 12:34 PM   #1
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Default Back up and restore

I want to create a image copy of my hard drive, wipe the hard drive, and then reinstall the back up. This should put my PC back to the way it was. Right?

The reason I am doing this it to get hands on doing back ups. I'm using a PC that it does not matter if I blow it up. Basically, I want to back up, work on PCs, and have this in case I crash the sucker.

I am backing one up to an external hard drive that has other stuff on it. I'm thinking this will not work. The reason I say this is when I boot from the external drive, which has other back ups and stuff, it won't know what to load. Right? I'm thinking that I need to use an external with nothing on it but the back up.

Do I need software outside of Windows to do this?


Need your input. First time.
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Back up and restore

It depends on the version of Windows you're using. If you're running 7, you can use the native Windows backup to backup to an external drive. You will need to create a bootable disk that you can use in the event of a failure. It'll give you the ability to do a bare metal recovery.
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Back up and restore

Not sure if I fully understand what you are saying. Someone suggested using Clonezilla or Acronis to do it. Do you think these will work? Right now I am using a PC with XP to experiment with. I was going to back entire drive to an external dive, make a few changes on the PC, wipe the drive and reload. Then go in and look to see if changes were reversed. I need to be able to do this for XP, Vista, 7, and 8. But I'm taking one step at a time.

One thing that confuses me is when the PCs drive has been wiped, how do you get the back up back on. I have used recovery disks, and iso operating systems disk to load onto the PC before. I just boot from them. Not sure exactly how the restore works. I will do some more googling and see what I can find. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for responding to my post.
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Old 12-14-2013, 10:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Back up and restore

well first off, it seems like you want to do a fresh install of windows correct? cloning or creating an image from your hard drive right now will not give you a fresh install. what i would do is just back up your files that you want using any back up software then get your self a copy of windows. also what do you mean by. "This should put my PC back to the way it was. Right?"
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Back up and restore

Creating an image of your computer won't restore it to factory defaults if that's what you mean. If it that case then most computers have a recovery feature that will allow just that or like others have said you can wipe the hard drive and reinstall Windows 7..
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: Back up and restore

Here is what I'm trying to do.

I am a student learning about computers. I have a few PCs that were given to me by friend and family to experiment on. I also do general clean up on friends PCs. What I,m afraid of is causing a problem that makes it worst than when I started. So I thought if I could do a complete back up before I started, I would have that to fall back on when I screw up. I want to be able to put the PC back to the state when I received it. This would include the OS, applications, files, everything.

The other thing is once I have accomplished the back up, and I crash the system, which at this time in my ability is possible, how do you get the back up onto the PC? I'm thinking that I change the boot order to first boot from the external drive where the back up is, but not sure. Or if I had to replace or wipe a hard drive, how to do get the back up onto the PC.

Sorry for being long winded, Just want to make sure I am communicating the right information. Thank you for your help.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Back up and restore

well like i said if you want a complete IMAGE for if you screw up, just create a clone on a seperate hard drive using what you said like clonezilla. then all you have to do is swap that hard drive with the one you screwed up and it will work like nothing happened. sooo for this to be successful i would have 2 hard drives for each computer, one for a cloned image and one for just the backed up files, ie music, movies, doc's, etc. does that make sense?
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Back up and restore

As has been mentioned, imaging a hard drive does just that, when restored puts it back to the exact condition it is in when you take the image. The best practice is to image a computer right after a new install or when is new. Having multiple images is not a bad idea in case a new install of software makes things go weird or some adware/malware/virus wreaks havoc.

The one that I use and recommend to others is Macrium Reflect Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download it is free for home use and does an excellent job.

You can also use Windows internal one in more recent versions, I still depend on Macrium though In a nice world you will have restore points in Windows that will take you back to a good point a favorite way for many to reverse malware and viruses to a useable point but unfortunately the world is usually not that nice
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Back up and restore

Thanks mastertech. I will check it out. Need all the tools I can get.
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