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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Regular updating of recovery disks when using Windows 10?

    Backup software (such as Acronis True Image and Macrium Reflect) recommend that users make a Recovery Disk to enable use of the software when (inter alia) booting into one's OS is not possible. Here's my Question:

    With Windows 10 still regularly pushing out large updates (in some cases amounting to "new builds") is it not advisable to replace backup software Recovery Disks with freshly made ones to ensure compatibility with the latest "version" of Windows 10?

    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Pete,

    The only time you HAVE to update your recovery disks is when the software (TI or MR) is updated. I can still boot my Win 10 Machines with Win 7 recovery media. Since this type of software is working directly with the disks (backup media and internal disk) it is really OS agnostic, as is evidenced by the fact that you can also make Linux recovery media at least in MR.

    My regime is to redo my Win PE recovery media when MR comes out with an update so I have the best recovery media/software available. Granted, this also gets done with the latest Windows updates is just a side benefit.

    Note: You should also update your recovery media if you change any hardware that would be necessary for the recovery so the appropriate drivers can be loaded with the recovery media, e.g. Network Cards, USB controllers, etc.

    In summary IMHO you don't need to update your recovery media every time Windows pushes out an update.

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  4. #3
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    @RG: Thanks a ton!
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

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    I agree with RG but I'll elaborate a little more.

    - if you tried to keep your recovery media current with every patch and update you'd go mad. It's too much work and most updates don't affect the core windows executables anyway;
    - on the other hand, every time the major windows version changes, I'd make the effort. It's a much less demanding task;
    - Recovery media can be used in 2 distinct ways. If all they do is to boot up the machine so you can run a repair routine, or access backups so you can do a restore, you probably have a lot of leeway in what version of the OS the media boots with;
    - However it's possible to use the recovery media as a source for the core Windows executables. If a repair routine actually copies those binaries to the damaged system's hard drive, you want those executables to be as close to the hard drive's original copies as possible. Unless a flawed Microsoft patch was what killed the system. In that case you want the one version immediately prior to the patch! That may not be easy or possible but it's the ideal repair sequence.

    Now suppose you've got a repair disk/key, and it matches the Windows major version but it's months or even a few years old. This is actually the most common live scenario. Odds are your windows binaries on that repair media are a little outdated. Further suppose the repair sequence copies those binaries back to the damaged system and gives you a complete set (no picking and choosing based upon detected damage). Again, I suggest this is the most likely scenario.

    Likely the repair will work (unless it's hardware of course. In that case you have to fix the hardware first). You've got an integrated set of boot executables, all at compatible version levels. Your hard drive is now downgraded several patch levels. The Windows auto patching systems will detect the older binaries. Based upon their scheduling algorithms and your patching options, the latest binaries will be installed and your system is up to date again.

  6. #5
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    In summary IMHO you don't need to update your recovery media every time Windows pushes out an update.
    Pete & BH,

    Me thinks I stopped a little short. You should, however, update your Image Backups every time Windows pushes out an update and you've tested that it works (at least for the C drive). That way all the stuff B mentioned in his post is covered by the new Image of the C or entire Disk. Personally, I would never use MR recovery media as a source of windows system files, after all that's why I take Images in the first place. Of course all the above is predicated on a consistent rigorous backup/imaging routine.

    HTH
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    RG

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    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    I will add one more caveat, there could well be a situation where backups are done from within windows and the imaging program gets updated, an image is made and the un-updated recovery media is not compatible with the newer image format. You might want to turn off autoupdates on the imaging software and check the recovery medias compatibility when you allow an update.


    IIRC (which may not be) I ran into that situation several years ago w/ Macrium Reflect.

    David

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  8. #7
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Thanks. I back up my full system weekly. I am under the impression that recovery disks should be replaced/updated if a major driver change occurs, such as when a new graphics card or external device is installed.

    I am also of the opinion that in Windows 10, installation of a New Build might constitute a reason to make a new recovery disk.

    Am I wrong?
    Last edited by petesmst; 2015-08-30 at 07:03. Reason: Corrected typos
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  9. #8
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    I would not say you are wrong.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Pete,

    Major Driver Change: Once drivers are loaded on your Recovery Media (RM) if they operate properly you really don't need to worry unless you add a new device. RM uses very basic features of your hardware.

    New Hardware: If the hardware is used in the Recovery process (Video, Network if Images are stored there, etc. Printers,Scanners, etc. not so much!) then the RM needs to be recreated.

    Operating System: The recovery media uses Win PE. This changes very infrequently and again once it works it works it doesn't matter what version of Windows is on the target device. (The one caveat here is if the OS adds a new file system, e.g. Fat, Fat32, ExFat, NTFS) and you are using that file system you need to get an update from the Backup Software Vendor that supports that file system, again doesn't happen very often).

    All that said it never hurts to regenerate your recovery media as long as you REMEMBER to test it!

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  11. #10
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    @RetiredGeek: I concur; and the challenge will be to "interpret" in future which Windows 10 updates will necessitate making a new recovery disk.
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

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