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Solved: Can I make a backup copy of my Windows 7 OS using copy/paste?

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by hhannam, Jun 8, 2013.

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  1. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    I just purchased a pre-owned Lenovo T420 laptop with Windows 7, but amazingly, over these many years, I've never had to back up my OS before because someone (my tech guy mostly) had always done it for me. Anyhow, while I do intend to make a full system backup copy, which I have no doubt will include the Windows 7 OS, I would also like to create a backup (disk) copy of my OS only since no install disks came with the computer. I can load the Windows 7 OS onto an 80Mb CD, but the entire hard disk backup will take many gigabytes and I intend to use a 32 Gb flash drive for that purpose.

    My first and essential question is, can I create a Windows 7 Pro "restore" disk by just copying and pasting the entire "Windows" file on my hard drive to a CD or Flash drive...or is there more to it than that?

    When I started to create a backup copy of the entire disk using the Windows backup program, I took particular notice to the
    fact that (after I selected the custom selection option rather than the automatic selection for which files to copy) that the Windows file was no longer listed on the "C" drive menu provided in the backup program. It is certainly listed on my "C" drive when I bring it up directly, so can anyone explain to me quickly what that's all about?
     
  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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  3. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    Wayne~

    I think what you are saying is that, no, I cannot copy and paste the Windows file to create an OS restore disk. Are you also saying that I have to make a backup copy of the entire hard disk in order to be able to restore the Windows 7 operating system......if the system allows it?
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    If no one has yet created a set of Recovery DVDs (or CDs) from the Recovery partition then you can create a set now.

    Or you can create an image of the partition(s) needed to "restore" the system to the way it is now. For that I use Macrium Reflect Free, many members here like Acronis, there are many more both free and for-pay, and there is even something built in to Windows 7.
     
  5. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    .....................................................................................................................................................................

    Obviously there's a difference between a "recovery" backup and a restore/image backup. I certainly need to do some more reading to clarify my comprehension of the differences between them. I also hope I'll be able to use a 32 Gb flash drive rather than a bunch of CDs.. Thanks for your help and recommendations for programs.
     
  6. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    Consider DVDs instead of CDs.

    I use Acronis True Image 11 to clone my HDD.

    If you decide to use Acronis, be sure to read hte FAQs & Knowledge Base. When cloning a laptop HDD, you need to connect the original HDD as an external and the destination to the laptop's internal connections.

    The advantage of using Acronis for cloning is that even if the computer dies [ motherboard failure for example ] you can access your data files from the destination clone.

    RF123

    RF123
     
  7. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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  8. captainron276

    captainron276

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    I see you have marked this solved, what did you decide on?
     
  9. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    Dear DicK:

    I haven't tried a flash drive.

    Let us know how that goes.

    RF123
     
  10. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    you will need to create a bootable flash drive to use as a factory reset.
    the flash drives can become corrupt quite easily
    the PC would also need to have a USB boot option in the bios to support a bootable USB device

    I would suggest you create the DVDs from the recovery partition as I and TerryNet suggested - you may only need 3 or 4 DVDs - I always suggest having at least 6 available to use

    you could also do the image copy

    The Recovery Media you make via the DVDs will enable you to take the laptop back to the condition it was in when it first came out the box new
    There will be no data (although you often get an option to save your data) none of the programs you installed will be on the PC
    The advantage of an image copy is that it will save all the programs and settings you have put on the PC since opening the box (or in your case the previous owner)
    As i said - some manufacturers only allow for one copy of the recovery DVDs to be made HP do that , so if the previous owner created them and did not give them to you, you may not be able to make them.

    i have used Recovery DVDs numerous times on peoples PCs when the machine will not start or other software issue - so would never be without a copy , and first thing I do with any clients , is make sure they have a startup CD and a recovery set of cds
     
  11. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    In addition to what Wayne described it is doubtful that the OEM's utility to create Recovery disks supports USB flash drives, and not all imaging programs support USB flash drives. I, for one, do not know which ones do.
     
  12. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    I'll probably get some DVDs to do my backups, and do both recovery and restore copies. As for which program I'm going to use for the process I have some homework to do yet.
     
  13. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your input. I've decided to go with DVDs instead of the flash drive.
     
  14. hhannam

    hhannam Thread Starter

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    I truly appreciate your thorough reply. I will definitely get some DVDs and make both types of backup copies instead of just one or the other. Once again, you folks have come to my rescue and I'm very grateful.


     
  15. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    your welcome
     
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