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  1. #1
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    Questions about Fred Langa's "Safety Net" instructions

    I really think creating a system image is a good idea, but every time I try to do it, I am confused by the instructions. Recently, my Dell Windows 7 system hiccuped, and apparently recovered, but that has stimulated me to try again.

    I have read Fred Langa’s “Build a complete Windows 7 safety net” posted at:
    http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/...-7-safety-net/
    and have even tried it a couple of times, but I’m still confused both by the instructions and the results. My questions are listed below. If they have already been answered, please direct me to the correct location.

    1. Fred’s article says, “A system image is...an exact digital copy...of your hard drive.” But then Fred describes a three step process where the first step is to make a DATA backup, NOT a system image. Why is that? If I want a system image, can I just make that immediately without having to make the data backup first? And doesn’t the system image INCLUDE the data? If so, why spend time making an initial data backup at all?

    2. The third step in Fred’s process describes creating a bootable System Recovery Disk. But this process does not work on any of the three Dell Windows 7 PC’s that I have. On each PC, Windows 7 reports the successful creation of the System Recovery Disk, but the created disk will not boot, failing with an error code of
    4001100200001012. I have tried this many times. This problem is widely reported on many websites with various solutions proposed, but no real explanation of why this problem exists.

    3. The situation described in the previous paragraph obviously shakes my confidence that these procedures actually work. Since this is a backup procedure, it has to work the first time it is needed if it is to be effective. Consequently, a related question is: is it possible to test the system image created (hopefully) in step 1 to see if it works, without doing a destructive reload of the entire original disk ? If this is NOT possible, then how do I know that the system image is correctly made and usable?

    Thanks in advance for any comments and direction.

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Hi Rfarmer,
    Fred's suggestion to do a DATA backup first, is to me a waste of time. All my files are copied to 2 external drives so I can find them individually without having to do a recovery to find anything. This also overwrites the files on the drive your recovering to.
    All my backups are made using Acronis 2010's 'one click backup' method, System Image.
    I suggest you install 2 backup programs, do a backup with them, to separate named folders. Try a recovery with one, if it fails, try the other one. If both fail, I'll tell you how to do a clean install.
    p.s. my recovery's, when required, are done without a recovery disk. I have one and tested it, and it works.
    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

  3. #3
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    HI, Roderunner, and thanks for your response.
    I also have copies of my data files by other means, so I'm not focused on data recovery at the moment. Instead my goal is to have an image backup that I can use in case the disk crashes, or Windows 7 becomes so corrupted that it won't load (this happened to me a couple of times with Windows XP).

    When you said that your recoveries are done WITHOUT a recovery disk, did you mean a DATA recovery, which would just be copying files from elsewhere? I assume that you would need a recovery disk of some sort if the system wouldn't boot and you actually had to load a system image from elsewhere. Is that correct?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    The only reason to be using Fred's Safety Net is to anticipate a problem in the future. You want an Image when your PC is working properly. You do not necessarily have to create the System Image just before following Fred's instructions. In fact if you are following Fred's instructions to restore your PC, you probably have a problem and using an Image you create then will just restore the same problem. Fred assumes you have created a System Image when your system was working properly. In this case you would want to back up your data so that your data is current.

    Therefore, Create an Image when the PC is working properly, and recreate the Image when you make changes to your PC so the Image is kept up to date. These changes may only take place once per month when the Windows Updates take place, or when you add/remove apps. If your data never changes then fine, the Image will have up to date data as well, but for most people the data changes daily so creating Images once per month will NOT keep the data up to date.

    You definitely need a Boot Media CD made with what ever Imaging app you use to create your Images. This is the CD that you will boot to that allows you to restore your Image should disaster strike. It loads the Imaging app and allows the restoration. Use one of the many 3rd party apps for your Imaging. @ free choices are Macrium Reflect or EaseUS ToDo v4. Make the Bootable media from these apps. An excellent paid app (This is what I use) is Acronis True Image Home. You can often find very good sales on this app.


    If I'm not mistaken RR generally uses Cloning rather than Imaging.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-03-01 at 17:16.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  5. #5
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    When you said that your recoveries are done WITHOUT a recovery disk, did you mean a DATA recovery, which would just be copying files from elsewhere? I assume that you would need a recovery disk of some sort if the system wouldn't boot and you actually had to load a system image from elsewhere. Is that correct?
    NO, its a system image recovery done within Windows as recommended by Acronis. I use it as a removal method of uninstalling programs that I have tested and don't like. (backup before installing it).
    To test my recovery disk, I made a full disk backup, totally wiped my one and only harddrive, and did a recovery using the disk successfully.
    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    Another very good paid app is Macrium Reflect. Acronis works fine for Ted, which is why he recommends it.
    Acronis failed to recover my setup, so that's why I use Macrium.

    Dick

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Dick, I mentioned Macrium and Easeus ToDo first my friend, before Acronis.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  8. #8
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    Well, OK, thanks for all the comments about other backup programs. But I was trying to use Fred Langa's system because it used the Windows 7 programs which were already there on my system, and I wouldn't have to obtain and figure out a third party program. So my questions are still:
    1. Does the Windows 7 system image include a current version of the user data? I assume yes, but it wasn't quite clear to me.
    2. Is there any way to test this system image besides a complete (destructive) reinstall?
    Of course, if the Windows 7 system image programs aren't used very much, then maybe nobody knows, but I assumed that they WERE used quite a bit, even though there are lots of other options.

    Thanks for any further comments.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    1. Does the Windows 7 system image include a current version of the user data? I assume yes, but it wasn't quite clear to me.
    Yes, the imaging component of the Windows 7 based backup and restore app will image the entire drive/partition Windows resides on.

    There are two forms of backup in the Windows 7 backup and restore application. One is the image based backup and the other is the user locations based backup. These tend to be highly integrated, you may be limited to the specifics of how the W7 app works.

    2. Is there any way to test this system image besides a complete (destructive) reinstall?
    Yes, any image you create irregardless of whatever program you use to create it should be used to test it's integrity.
    TESTING:
    1 First and foremost you will need to be able to create and boot to a CD/DVD ROM disk of whatever application does the imaging.
    BIOS should be set up to boot from CD/DVD drive or an F key upon boot should be enabled to alow booting to DC/DVD disk.
    2 With the above disk you should be able to boot to the imaging program and locate the image to be restored.
    The image can be stored on an external drive, an internal drive, or a partition on the same drive.
    3 Run a complete restore job immediately upon creating your first image. (this is the test)
    Doing this is the only way to be sure the application actually works.

    On each PC, Windows 7 reports the successful creation of the System Recovery Disk, but the created disk will not boot, failing with an error code of 4001100200001012. I have tried this many times. This problem is widely reported on many websites with various solutions proposed, but no real explanation of why this problem exists.
    If this is something that is common to Dell, or other specific brand makers, it should be taken up with them.
    They may have instillations that are specifically configured with their own forms of backup that may interfere with the W7 default.


    Using Windows’ built-in disk-imaging utility
    How To Use Backup and Restore in Windows 7
    Windows 7 Feature Focus: Backup and Restore
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-03-01 at 19:27.

  10. #10
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    Ted:
    Sorry if I offended you. I mentioned the paid version of Macrium, because it has more features than the free
    version of Macrium (which you mentioned.)
    Dick

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