I need some help / advice from someone who is familiar with making system back ups and recovering or “re starting a computer back in a state it once was”….. I apologise if I am using imprecise terms, but at this stage I am not too sure what it is that I am actually doing !!
I have been having another look recently at an old unsolved problem of mine.. ( http://www.eileenslounge.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=25735" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; )
As part of that I have been trying to learn about and understand a bit about the different ways of backing up and recovering computer stuff , in particular the system side of things.
( I am not too concerned with my data and files as I try to keep that predominantly on external storing sources and I am careful to do a few copies thereof and keep data back ups etc.. So I am not too concerned with backing up personal data. I am happy with how I do that.
I am mostly interested in ways of routinely “wiping things clean” , getting back to a clean start point to clear out junk and possible viruses etc… from my computer.
I have been doing a lot experiments ( without really at this stage knowing what exactly it is that I am doing ) on computers which have Windows Vista Home or Windows 7 ( 64 Bit Pro ).
One thing that I have done a few times on Windows 7 computers is to
(i) make a recovery disk which I use to boot a computer from ( having messed around with BIOS so that it looks at that disc first ) and then as it does that I get it to use a System Image to put the computer back to a state it was in , that is to say as it was as I
(ii) made a System Image on an external hard drive.
I basically looked a lot in internet and checked out what people seem to have been doing and tried to do something similar. It seems quite easy in Windows 7 as it appears that as standard you can find a way to do all that stuff in Windows 7. Apparently similar things can be done in the better versions of Vista, but I only have Vista Home which does not make it easy to do that stuff..
So my main question here, is
Does anyone know how I would go about in Windows Vista Home to make a system Image, and then make a recovery disk which I would use to then “Reset” the computer using that System Image.
( I have downloaded and tried a software called “Drive Image”. It would not start on one Vista machine, and on another Vista machine, it has been doing some sort of “Back up of C” for a few hours now, and I expect it will be doing that all night if I do not stop it before it is finished. )
One other question. Can anyone explain to me in simple terms that I might be able to understand, what exactly is going on in these three ways of “wiping things clean”. What is the difference and any pros and cons of them
_A) Resetting the system to an earlier point. This is available in all Windows Vista and Windows 7. It works very quickly and I have done it a few times myself in the past in Vista to get rid of some viruses I had. I did it a few times in Win 7 as well recently as part of my recent experiments. ( usually different time points are available to choose from, and also as part of my experiments I was able to set a point myself manually )
_B) Making a system image on an external hard drive, and booting the computer with a recovery disk and using that to use the System image to do some other sort of Resetting the system to an earlier point. I have dome this a few times now on Windows 7, but have not figured out how to do that yet on Vista. ( I have no idea what I will do with what the “Drive Image” software is going to produce, if it ever finishes )
Clearly B) must be doing a lot more than A) because it takes longer, but I have no idea what the difference is
_C) Re-installing the Operating system with an Operating system disc. I do realise that this will remove all programs whereas A) and B) only remove programs installed after the point at which either the System image is made, or the time at which whatever it is that is made in order for A) to work. I still have not been brave enough to try this last option, C) yet. I am collecting a few Operating System discs and trying to understand as much as possible of all the different “system resetting” options before I do that. I am still thinking that that is probably the best way to “wipe the slate clean”. ( I do not have a lot of programs on my computer, and those that I do have I am fairly confident that I can re install with no problem..
At the end of the day, my goal remains to be able to confidently “wipe the slate clean” on my computers every 6 months or earlier if I get some strange problem with my computer , as a few Computer experts have said they think this is the best ways to avoid problems that can build up over time.