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Backing up "pre-installed" Windows operating system

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Backing up "pre-installed" Windows operating system

Postby organsRgreat » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:12 am

Windows PCs used to be supplied with a backup DVD containing the Windows operating system, so that if a fault required Windows to be re-installed from scratch one could use the DVD. There is now an increasing tendency for laptops to be supplied with Windows 10 pre-installed. I think there is a way to back up the operating system to, for instance, a USB memory stick.

Is this difficult to do? What steps are involved? The computer in question is an Acer Swift 1 with 8GB of RAM:

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing ... 011%20(PLA)%20Windows%20Laptops%20and%20Convertibles%20-%20Adaptive~1011%20(PLA)%20Windows%20Laptops%20And%20Convertibles%20ad%20group~Exact&mctag=gg_goog_7904&kwid=MICROSOFT&device=c&ds_kids=92700032331060839&tgtid=1011%20(PLA)%20Windows%20Laptops%20and%20Convertibles%20-%20Adaptive&msclkid=4c86dce8a95916e9c6e98154b785b6aa&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=1011%20(PLA)%20Windows%20Laptops%20and%20Convertibles%20-%20Adaptive&utm_term=4578435145799996&utm_content=1011%20(PLA)%20Windows%20Laptops%20And%20Convertibles%20ad%20group&gclid=CPfppPT7yOUCFc_hGwodxugIJw&gclsrc=ds
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Re: Backing up "pre-installed" Windows operating system

Postby stoverkid » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:05 am

Hi,
I recently "downgraded" my Dell PC from Win 10 to Win 7Pro, which was the preinstalled OS. Dell support allowed me an image of the OS on a USB device. This required the Dell Maintenance ID, but was allowed to be made from a different machine. That would enable a crashed hard drive recovery. It worked very well, but of course I needed to back up my software to recover. I still maintain that image, and could re install again.
I am not sure what Acer will provide
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Re: Backing up "pre-installed" Windows operating system

Postby murph » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:02 pm

With windows 10, insert a USB drive (make sure it's the ONLY one.....) of 8Gb or higher, then in the search bar, type recovery drive. That should take you to the relevant place. (control panel, create recovery drive)
Be prepared for a bit of a wait..... (I tend to let it do things overnight.)

It's a good Idea to re-do this every few months, or at least a couple of weeks after a major windows update.
There is also the option to back-up files etc to USB, but for a HW computer, it's probably better to let HW do this.
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Re: Backing up "pre-installed" Windows operating system

Postby IainStinson » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:02 am

There is also the option to back-up files etc to USB, but for a HW computer, it's probably better to let HW do this.

remembering that HW does not backup the sample sets you have installed. It backs up your settings and combination files (pg 25 and following in the manual).

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Re: Backing up "pre-installed" Windows operating system

Postby organsRgreat » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:24 am

Thanks for all the advice. Murph's suggestion looks like working - so far I've reached the point at which Windows tells me “Drive must be able to hold at least 16GB, and everything on it will be deleted”. I'll have to buy a drive (or two) specially for this purpose, and probably not today as its so wet and windy out. However it does look as if the job will be straightforward, and Murph's tip about making regular backups is a bonus. I hadn't thought of this, but it makes sense that if Windows updates, the new configuration needs to be backed up; otherwise the computer would spend ages updating if an older version of Windows 10 was put onto it.

I do use Hauptwerk's own backup facility regularly, as I play mainly theatre organs, and registrations tend to be more complicated than on a church organ - especially with the number of stops on the Paramount 450!
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Re: Backing up "pre-installed" Windows operating system

Postby rayjcar » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:01 pm

One other approach would be to create an entire image of the disc using a somewhat hidden feature.

Go to settings, choose "update and security", then choose "backup".
In the backup screen, under "Looking for an older backup", click on |Go to Backup and Restore Windows 7)"

On the left hand side click on "create system image". If you plug an external hard drive into a USB port, it will then create an image of your entire hard drive, including the complete operating system. If you have multiple partitions it will give you the option of selecting which ones you want to image.

This could take some hours depending on the quantity of data, the speed of the external hard drive, and the speed of the USB interface. When complete, it will ask if you want to create a system repair disc. Normally this is done using a CD writer. If you don't have an internal drive, then you would have to connect an external CD writer. Failing this, there are other web articles that show how to create a system repair disc equivalent on a USB stick.

The system repair disc is only necessary if your computer won't boot into Windows at all.

The advantage of this approach is that absolutely everything would be imaged, so restoring the image should bring back all applications with their associated settings and registry entries, and all data files. It's brute force, but complete. As noted previously, you should create a new image whenever there have been significant windows updates.

Note that if you just reinstall an operating system from scratch, you will lose all installed applications. While you could restore data files from a backup, you would still have to re-install the applications. This is why a complete system image is so attractive.

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Re: Backing up "pre-installed" Windows operating system

Postby organsRgreat » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:31 pm

Thank you Ray - that's really helpful to know. In the past, when something major has gone wrong with a computer, it's taken me ages to get all the software re-installed. I need to get Windows itself backed up first; after that I'll try the approach you recommend.
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Re: Backing up "pre-installed" Windows operating system

Postby csw900 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:45 am

Some useful tips here for windows users.

Don't forget that a backed up image must be bootable or there will be no easy way to restore it on to a blank or corrupted disk. It is a good idea to check and prove that you know how to restore your backed up system before the worst happens and the backup is needed.

If the faulty disc really is corrupted it will need to be re-formatted before restoring an image.

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