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  1. #1
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    Creating a Windows 7 System Image on a DVD

    Having successfully done a clean install of Windows 7 on my dad's laptop, we successfully created the System Repair Disk, so we then tried to create a System Image, and selected the DVD burner as the destination. It burnt a DVD-full, eventually, and then asked for another disk, but it became apparent that it was repeatedly trying to burn the first segment. Has anybody successfully done a Windows 7 System Image on a DVD? (I think, but I'm not sure, that it offered to format the DVD, which is a bit weird, because I'm sure one wants to burn an image, not UDF it.)

    I believe previous Windows only allowed you to create a System Image on an external harddisk or another partition of the internal harddisk, but the Win7 help and the Backup and Restore wizard's GUI both imply that the DVD burner is an option. I suspect that the simplest option is for him to buy an external harddrive, but it seems an unnecessary complication, if we can get the DVD route to work. We did manage to create a System Image on the second partition of the internal harddisk, so another option is to burn that humungous file to DVD as a backup, but it would take more than one, and I'm not confident that the repair options would work from the resulting DVDs.

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    I'm not clear why you consider an external hard drive a complication. In my view, using a DVD for an image is the complication. Even if you get it to work, its much slower, and is much less reliable than a hard drive. My suggestion would be to buy an external hard drive to make the image, then if you need to, make a copy of that image to DVD. You are right in that the repair options won't work with the DVDs. That's because its an image, not an install disk. The image is a bit by bit copy of the hard drive. All you can really do with it is to restore the entire drive, not pick components or individual files. You can buy a 2.5" drive that is powered by the USB port to make easier for your dad to use, i.e. no extra cords or power supply. I have one and it works beautifully.
    Chuck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Brown View Post
    I'm not clear why you consider an external hard drive a complication. In my view, using a DVD for an image is the complication.
    Well, an external hard drive is an extra bit of hardware that my dad doesn't want or need for any other purpose. Going out and buying one just to overcome what seems to be a glitch with Windows' System Image creation seems like overkill (and, given our track record, will probably only spawn another set of threads about why we can't get the external drive to work, etc. etc.). The laptop came with a DVD burner, and Windows 7 comes with a System Image tool that _claims_ to work with DVDs, so we were hoping we could simply burn a System Image while the system is fresh, stick the DVD(s) in the back of a cupboard/closet, and forget about them - except in the unlikely event of having to do a complete system restore.

    But you may well be right, and if no-one can identify an obvious reason why the DVD option isn't working, we'll just have to bite the bullet and buy a hard drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC-99 View Post

    so another option is to burn that humungous file to DVD as a backup, but it would take more than one, and I'm not confident that the repair options would work from the resulting DVDs.
    DavidC,
    Hello... There is another option http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp This free program will allow you (with compression of choice) to make a DVD Image, and also Image to a internal or external hard drive. I have used this many times and it is a good imaging program, just not as fast as the pay for ones. In my opinion a 2nd HD is the way to go... Too many opportunities for something to go wrong with the DVD route. Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC-99 View Post
    But you may well be right, and if no-one can identify an obvious reason why the DVD option isn't working, we'll just have to bite the bullet and buy a hard drive.
    I hope you can find a happy medium. I guess I would never have even considered burning an image to DVD simply because of the time involved. Using Macrium Reflect takes over an hour to make an image of my laptop to an external hard drive, and that's via a e-SATA connection (much fast than a USB connection). Burning to a DVD would be a painful experience to say the least. I can't imagine your dad would enjoy it very much. As Fred suggested, take a look at Macrium. My experiences with Windows backup have always been less than stellar.
    Chuck

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    Instead of using DVD-R media, ry using DVD-RW media. When I first tried Win 7 Backup this was a problem I encountered with Win 7 HP. I have since switched to a 3rd party app for this purpose and Image to an Ext USB HD. I use Acronis True Image Home 2010 and 2011 now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC-99 View Post
    Having successfully done a clean install of Windows 7 on my dad's laptop, we successfully created the System Repair Disk, so we then tried to create a System Image, and selected the DVD burner as the destination. It burnt a DVD-full, eventually, and then asked for another disk, but it became apparent that it was repeatedly trying to burn the first segment. Has anybody successfully done a Windows 7 System Image on a DVD? (I think, but I'm not sure, that it offered to format the DVD, which is a bit weird, because I'm sure one wants to burn an image, not UDF it.)

    I believe previous Windows only allowed you to create a System Image on an external harddisk or another partition of the internal harddisk, but the Win7 help and the Backup and Restore wizard's GUI both imply that the DVD burner is an option. I suspect that the simplest option is for him to buy an external harddrive, but it seems an unnecessary complication, if we can get the DVD route to work. We did manage to create a System Image on the second partition of the internal harddisk, so another option is to burn that humungous file to DVD as a backup, but it would take more than one, and I'm not confident that the repair options would work from the resulting DVDs.
    I tried burning backups directly to DVD many years ago, and they never worked properly. I did have success by creating a separate partition on my hard drive, and creating the image on that partition. Then I used Nero software to burn the image file to a DVD.

    My backup files eventually got so large that it took multiple DVDs to hold the image files. It took a VERY long time to create the DVDs - eventually I stopped doing that. Starting in 2009, I used an external hard drive to store my Acronis image files. I still create the backup image on a separate partition.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC-99 View Post
    ... Has anybody successfully done a Windows 7 System Image on a DVD?...
    Just to answer your question - Yes, I did an image to DVD-R (took 4 discs) in Win7 HP, in 12/09 when I first got my system in a new Dell desktop, and didn't yet have an external drive. It worked fine. I don't remember it asking to format the discs.

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