DVD Recovery Discs & hard drive System images for Vista Home

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Doc.AElstein
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DVD Recovery Discs & hard drive System images for Vista Home

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DVD Recovery Discs and System images on hard drives for Vista Home
Hi
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..

Thanks

Alan

P.S.
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.
Last edited by Doc.AElstein on 12 Dec 2017, 12:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DVD Recovery Discs & System images on hard drives Vista

Post by HansV »

If you really want to start with a clean slate, it's best to completely reinstall Windows Vista (or 7) from the install disk.

Some info here: Restore Windows Vista to factory settings
Regards,
Hans

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Re: DVD Recovery Discs & System images on hard drives Vista

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Hi Hans,
Yes, I am still thinking myself that re installing is the better option. I am just trying out the “less severe” options before I take that plunge. One problem discussed in that previous thread was that one rarely nowadays gets the Install disk with a computer, and producing one turned out to be a bit difficult, but I am collecting a few in preparation to try a full re instillation.
Thanks for the link. Interesting that they are using the term “Factory Settings” . that was the very first word I used, but had not seen it written like that anywhere. I will read through all that info.
Thanks
Alan
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Re: DVD Recovery Discs & hard drive System images for Vista

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Hi,
Just some feedback on that link, from Hans. It is mostly talking about a different type of option to those which I have been looking at. , that different type of option being that of a sort of “Repairing” of a computer. One version of that Repairing option is the included in windows “ System Restore / Startup Repair”, which is something that is sometimes offered automatically in Vista and Windows 7, for example in the case of an attempt to restart the computer after it has not been run down properly or in the event that the computer will not start properly. You can also manually force that option to be made available, and that is one thing explained well in that link. In the link, they also talk about there own software Easy Recovery Essentials , which is also aimed primarily at repairing stuff. ( This “Repairing” option seems to be talked about a lot in conjunction with Windows Vista.)

They do also on that link, from NeoSmart Technologies, they talk about the re instillation of the Operating system option, which remains my ultimate goal.
As I expect that instillation of the Operating system will end up not being as simple as it should be, then I am trying to get a bit more clued up on the system things generally to do with the operating system , hence me looking at the less severe ways of resetting a system first. But that reinstallation option remains my final goal.
( Incidentally I expect the author writing that NeoSmart article has been using one of the advanced versions of Vista such as Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise which come I expect with the more advanced backup and restore utilities for a Complete PC Backup and Restore, similar to those which as I have been using in Windows 7. So actually he can probably do all and more then he is doing with Vistas direct, provided he has previously done things such as required for my option B), )


_._____

“Drive Image”
Just some feedback incidentally on that Drive Image software I mentioned …..it was still going on many, many hours later.

It then said after about 5 Hours ‘C:\Users\Elston\Documents\Drive_C3.10’ is too large for “Drive_C” and asked me if I wanted to select another drive ( C-Users-Elston-DocumentsDrive_C3-10.jpg https://imgur.com/H2xrM9X" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) . It said I could ignore this warning. I did not think that was a good idea to ignore it, so I told it to go on doing what ever it was doing on the external hard drive ( Save Drive_C somewhere else like a Hard drive.JPG https://imgur.com/0wJqxsj" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) , as that was where I had been saving successfully System Images of Windows 7 machines. So I had wanted to save all the back up stuff on an external hard drive anyway… but I could not figure out initially how to get the “Drive Image” software to do that . ….
Along the way my Acer Acspire 7535G (Vista) laptop started complaining that its C:Drive was dangerously full, giving the usual warnings and other stuff that pops up then happens ( WarningCTooFull.JPG https://imgur.com/UA0c1ox" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; CheckingToFindStuffToDelete.JPG https://imgur.com/JOhOxZi" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) I expect the “Drive Image” software is almost certainly responsible for that with what ever it is that it is doing. In the end I never really knew what it has done other than made a mess of the lap top. One of the reasons for me doing all this is to be able to wipe the “slate clean” when a C drive gets too full , which seems to happen with never being able to find out exactly why. So the experiment with the “Drive Image” has not been too successful. It has added to my problem!! I do not feel like trying to do anything with the data that it has produced. This is what it produced : DriveImage Drive_C Stuff.jpg https://imgur.com/YPjP2q2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; . This is a typical System Image produced on a Windows 7 Computer using the internal tools:
https://app.box.com/s/0x45327q9710qyacak1lifq77y5t0l6e" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
KlausMrAlanMISTERALANSystemImage2015.jpg https://imgur.com/0Rg7vfV" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://app.box.com/s/a3h6x7gzwc25ywyq01ruepxjwihuxaj2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
KlausMrAlanMISTERALANSystemImage2015 AllFiles.jpg https://imgur.com/t6CvMws" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I expect that the “Drive Image” is not really a System Image, - rather it may be used specifically by the “Drive Image” software to do some sort of back up. ( It also allowed stuff to be stored on a FAT32 thing and the last Win 7 System Image I did could only be stored on a NTFS .. ) Anyway I need to trash it or my Laptop is probably going to die due to its now overfilled overload C: hard drive.



Regarding my experiments with Vista systems: As well as for learning purposes, trying to do something similar in Vista as I did in Windows 7 was to fill in time as the main machine I was doing the experiments in Windows 7 on has died, possibly the power supply is dead. So I may be better to leave this subject for a while that gets fixed and collect some more Operating System discs to try out a full re install in a week or two… I have a couple of Windows 7, maybe I should look at a possible Vista alternative such as an instillation disk of Vista Professional or Premium or whatever has the extra stuff comparable with the System image and recovery disk making stuff available in Windows 7) and I will try to understand a bit more of what I am doing in the meantime. If anyone has any other info, or can add any clarity to those three things in my first post that I mentioned ( A) B) and C) ) then I would be very interested. Also if anyone has any info on the way of doing the B) option on Vistas Home, such as it is apparently possible on the more advanced versions then I would be very grateful.

The big stumbling block remains that ( at least in Germany ) that as far as I can tell Operating system discs have no longer been used for well over 10 years, and in the meantime, no one, even computer experts seem to know anything about what to do with them. And/ Or they have forgotten about or get as mixed up as me with all the different restore and recovery and Back up options!!. Some tried at my suggestion, and even when I paid them to try, they gave up and gave me my money back!!,. which was the point at which I left that other thread last January…

Oh well, maybe I will get there one day… there where no computer expert has ever been…. or least can remember how… lol… :)

One other last question here, on this Vista Sub Forum: has anyone ever installed a fresh version of Windows Vistas successfully and can they tell me please which version they have and if it has the extra stuff that Windows 7 has ( and Vista Home does not have ) for
_ creating a system Image
and
_ creating a system repair data carrier (system repair disk, Recovery Disk), which amongst other things can boot the computer and use that created system Image to restore a computer , ( I think that particular System Repair Disc ( Recovery DVD ) just provides access to the Win 7 system recovery options to recover the computer which you can also access directly if the computer is still “alive” )
in other words these two things = my option B)

Thanks
Alan
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Re: DVD Recovery Discs & hard drive System images for Vista

Post by HansV »

I skipped Windows Vista - I went from Windows XP to Windows 7, so I have no experience with restoring Vista.
Regards,
Hans

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Re: DVD Recovery Discs & hard drive System images for Vista

Post by Doc.AElstein »

Hi Hans,
I expect I may end up mostly upgrading to Windows 7.
Recently I bought cheap an old ACER Vista computer and a Windows 7 Professional Instillation Disc was included . ( The seller had installed / upgraded to Windows 7 with that)
ebayAuctionSucess.JPG https://imgur.com/bWK3Wc3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; http://www.ebay.de/itm/Acer-Aspire-M120 ... 7675.l2557" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; http://www.ebay.de/itm/302452464637?ul_noapp=true" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Me and the chap that sold me the computer, also not a computer professional, have got our heads together, experimented a bit, read a lot, and I was making good progress with my experiments in the last couple of days on the various different restore and recovery and Back up options
I was getting ready to take the plunge to re install the Operating system when the computer died. :(
So I am continuing my experiments in Vista on my current machines for a while, and I am ordering some Windows 7 and Vista Ultimate instillation DVDs.
Then I will carry on with my experiments.

I am doing a little more on the Vista experiments today before I break of it for a while…

….. I may have just found some downloads for a Vista Recovery disk that I can boot from.
It may be one of those .iso file things. Luckily you explained all about burning and Image burning stuff to me last January, so I should not have any problems with that. Otherwise I would have a few days of headaches if you had not explained that all to me back then. :) http://www.eileenslounge.com/viewtopic. ... 35#p200025" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

( I think a lot of people get caught out on that… possibly because I think that when you create a disc with Windows 7, then often it is done as a “image burn” thingy rather than a normal burn, and a lot of people overlook that.)
Alan
\ -_- /
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DVD Recovery discs for Vista.

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DVD Recovery discs for Vista.
Hi,
I may have answered one of my main questions, in so much as I may have made a couple of Vista Recovery disks, that is to say, I think I am talking about a repair data carrier/ system repair disk from which the computer can be restarted, and which uses Windows System Recovery Tools, which help you recover Windows from a fatal error or restore your computer using a system Image, ( or somehow in other ways to recover the computer to some earlier state in which it once was…)

I have not finished and answered all my questions, but I have, I think some useful Vista Info. Related to “DVD Recovery Discs & hard drive System images for Vista”, at least the first part… so I think it is worth sharing in this Thread at this point..

DVD Recovery discs for Vista.
So, I stumbled on this article
http://www.giga.de/downloads/windows-vi ... so-geht-s/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
which gave a couple of links to iso files for making two discs:
a “Recovery disk” for
Vista 32Bit
and
another “Recovery disk” for 64Bit Vista.

Some of the pictures / screen shots at that link reminded me of some screen shots in notes I made from a successful couple of attempts at my option B) for Windows 7 ( Ref _1) . So that is ( was ) encouraging.


Iso Files for use in making a “Vista Recovery disc” :
Here are a few links for the iso Files that I used in conjunction with ImgBurn to make the “Vista Recovery Discs”. ( I do not know what links are the most safe, so here are a few to choose from.. )
32Bit:
https://files.giga-downloads.de/securit ... 32-Bit.iso" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BGII3u ... EHPjq/view" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://app.box.com/s/o1yospnlbwhtkj1v8o0rzayfppti1uaq" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
32 and 64 Bit at a weird German File sharing site:
https://www.magentacloud.de/share/r3ytfrljtr#$/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
64Bit:
https://files.giga-downloads.de/securit ... 64-Bit.iso" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://drive.google.com/file/d/11JWVDb ... iKiS1/view" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://app.box.com/s/2e3sb1kfhj55j7k026uo54g089rvxozl" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Making ( Image burning ) the disks from the above iso files
So I followed the notes here: http://www.eileenslounge.com/viewtopic. ... 35#p200065" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ,
and made a couple of discs… ( one small oddity I noticed in passing .. I can’t download and run the instillation of ImgBurn anymore in Vistas as I could last January.. I tried on a few Vista Computers and Laptops, but it always crashed at the instillations start. It was OK on a Windows 7 computer .. )
Here a few screen shots from the making of a “Vista Recovery disc” using ImgBurn and the downloaded iso files
https://app.box.com/s/5zdp5bpeqqc6ks2voxlush2l8qdgxdlm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://app.box.com/s/remyo16fvs35nqvidgkmoyq0w1e23kq6" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://app.box.com/s/2e3sb1kfhj55j7k026uo54g089rvxozl" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

How the final discs look in Windows explorer Windows
There seem to be similarities in the Files that are in the finished Vista “Recovery disc / DVD “ , and the Windows 7 “Recovery discs” ( of which I made a few – Ref 2) ) , so that is ( was ) encouraging also.
Here , for comparison are Typical Win 7 “Recovery Discs” made on two different Win 7 computers , ( On 700MB DVD ) :
https://app.box.com/s/5i7086ccio828z905mincm7wkx9q2w7g" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; https://imgur.com/phXAf0x" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://app.box.com/s/t86xn4fbf6jlbeco2mpuehizp0r8y4i7" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; https://imgur.com/IYWnNin" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The files look identical as expected:

And now, the Vista Discs I made 12.12.2017 , ( On 700MB DVD ) :
32Bit : https://app.box.com/s/6c98ola882empi3b35ebxplog3bylo2l" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; https://imgur.com/SG6pP3d" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Vista32BitRecoveryDVD.jpg

64Bit : https://app.box.com/s/o1zm7jjmiqj8jukljb9rjf5a3m1zwqdi" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; https://imgur.com/pPc0xfc" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
VistaRecoveryDVD 64Bit.jpg

_.....
_.______________________________

So I was a bit encouraged..
I tried to make a start on at least booting up an old ACER Aspire 7535G with one of the Vista recovery discs. I got as far as getting into BIOS. But I did not recognise any of the Boot priority options. I Exited without making any changes. ( or so I thought ). After that it kept crashing on starting. Eventually it settled down and started after I had tried to start with and without going into BIOS a lot of times… I am scared to turn the damn thing off now, in case it never starts again !!
So I thought I would leave this project alone now.. for a while…
I hope to get a bit better clued up in the meantime.
If I think I have anything more useful to share then I will possibly post again.

I would still welcome in the meantime any info from anyone else who has ever had any experience in playing around with Vista machines with recovery discs and or that and Reinstalling operating systems etc…. etc…

Alan


References:
_1) Some notes on my option B) for Windows 7, that is to say…
…Boot Win7 Computer with “Recovery disk” and restore with a previously made SystemImage on an external hard drive
English: https://app.box.com/s/6fl8a03jsxky4177ny5cngrx61ij4kr3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
German: https://app.box.com/s/mz0nkhzkzavufbq3vcci82i635dgrvzv" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; https://app.box.com/s/26c02gsxotz3i2z09sti46gmhdcilupk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
_ 2) Making a Windows 7 „Recovery disc“ using the built in Windows 7 Tool
https://app.box.com/s/455h3p7yfe51d28rpesleqy8xuaepjwi" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://app.box.com/s/9qblmkyau5rp9gn1cd5ofhx6bzzmnxta" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
( _2b) Making a System Image (Windows 7) using the built in Windows 7 Tool
https://app.box.com/s/cnjbnt51n47l8sa03hhj57alumt5va8i" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; )
\ -_- /
I have had my fill of hearing about death recently. I have decide to live for ever, or at least to die in the attempt :heavy: