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New HP laptop, Windows7 installed, but no cd included. How do I make b


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#1
adifrank

adifrank

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Hi. I just purchased a new laptop. It's an HP Pavillion g4-1117dx. I bought it from Best Buy with Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed. I understand that the way laptops are sold these days, you don't get the actual Windows installation CD unless you pay an extra $100. So basically, you get a computer with an installed os, but if something goes wrong and you need to either make a installation repair or clean installation of Windows on your system... you'll end up having to purchasing a brand new copy of Windows.

I waived the option of paying the extra $100 at the store and figured there's probably a simple way around it. So now I'm googling the issue and trying to figure out the best and most reliable way of creating a bootable backup of the system drive on my new HP Pavillion in case I get infected with malware, or some files become corrupt - I can use this backup and replace the system gone bad with my backup - essentially bringing it back to it's out-of-the-box state again.

I'm not super knowledgeable about these things and I ran into several posts on the subject and with varying information. Some mentioned certain methods failing. There are also several different terms being used and I'm not absolutely sure if they are different terms for the same thing, or just different things. For example: System Restore Disks, System Image, Image Clone, etc.

Some mentioned the option of doing the task directly through Windows 7 (control panel > system and security > backup and restore), yet I also know of 3rd party applications that are recommended for such jobs.

Then there are options of burning cds, copying to usb, or to a hard drive partition...

Normally, I'd just try and learn as I go. But this is a delicate issue, meaning that I probably won't be testing my system backups until something goes wrong, and if they don't work... I'm screwed :)

I'd really appreciate it if someone could please clear things up for me and explain how to do this.

Thanks!
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#2
SRX660

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I bought a new H-P laptop for my wife last year.I read on the H-P website that you could create a restore DVD with a program called H-P recovery CD-DVD creator. So i looked and there was such a program in the H-P folder in the start menu. So i created a recovery DVD for the H-P laptop. Months later she downloaded a game that really messed up the computer so i used the recovery DVD to bring it back. It worked like a charm and she had her computer back. The only problem was that some of her games disappeared even tho they were in the program files. The problem was reinstalling windows did not include the files needed to run the games. I got around this by using the original downloaded files to reinstall the games(i am a detail freak about backing up everything). The only thing i could not predict was the laptop getting stolen, so now she has a new i5 Toshiba laptop that i just made a recovery DVD with the included software on the laptop.

You should have that program on your computer simply because H-P includes it so they save a lot of work fixing the computers while they are still under warranty. When people make mistakes with their computers H-P can tell them to use the recovery disk to fix the computer.

From H-P
HP Notebook PCs - Order Recovery Discs for Windows 7, Vista, or XP
For computers manufactured and sold in 2006 or later, based on the Microsoft licensing agreement, you can create a personal recovery disc to restore the computer to its original operating system.
If you cannot create a set of recovery discs, you might be able to order a set of replacement discs from HP. HP maintains an inventory of replacement recovery discs for several years after the product has been released. However, because of licensing restrictions, HP is only able to provide these recovery discs for a limited time. If the computer is several years past its warranty period, HP might not be able to supply replacement discs for your computer. If this is the case, you can install a new operating system that meets the minimum system requirements of your computer, or, alternatively, upgrade your computer hardware.
Do I have to purchase a replacement recovery disc?
You do not need to purchase a replacement recovery disc to return your computer to proper operating condition unless the drive is corrupted. The HP Recovery Manager, installed on your PC, allows you to recover the original operating system, or create a set of recovery discs from the special recovery partition on the hard drive.
To determine if the HP Recovery Manager is operational, press the power switch to turn on the computer, and then repeatedly press f11 during the startup. If the Recovery Manager is operational, the computer will display a prompt to either (1) recover the operating system from files stored on the recovery partition, or (2) create a set of recovery discs which does not require the purchase of a replacement recovery disc.

HP Notebook PCs - Recover Windows 7 Operating System Using HP Recovery


http://h20000.www2.h...ectID=c01895783


SRX660
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#3
adifrank

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hi srx660. thanks for your detailed response. so i just did as you suggested and made a set of recovery disks (3 x dvd-r) using the hp recovery manager. it seems to have burned okay, although there was one incident during the burning of the 1st dvd - in which the computer suddenly went into stand-by and when i clicked the touch pad in order to bring it out of stand-by, for some reason windows 7 thought i had just inserted a new dvd (although the dvd was in the drive and having the data burned on it). Basically what happened is that the little window came up asking what to do with the new media in the dvd drive. I just clicked the x in the corner to close the window, but then in the HP recovery manager I suddenly had two active progress bars - both in "burning to cd" and "varifying data". It looked kind of wierd too, like the graphics of one progress bar was overlapping the other. Ultimately the process was complete and I got a message saying that it was successful, but that progress bar stuff kind of worries me.
In any case, as I understand you only have one chance to create the HP recovery disks, so I guess I'll have to hope it went well.

I was reading in the HP website and I came across another method of creating a restore disk - through Windows 7 (not the HP recovery manager). If you go to START > CONTROL PANEL > SYSTEM AND SECURITY > BACKUP AND RESTORE...
Then you get two options:
1. Create a system image
2. Create a system repair disk

I can't quite figure out what is the difference between the three (HP recovery disks, Windows system image & Windows system repair disk). In what situation would I prefer to use the HP restore disks, or when would I use the Windows options?

Thanks (... and sorry to hear about your laptop getting stolen) :)
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#4
SRX660

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I could be mistaken, but i think the windows system image is just that. A image is an ISO that will completely replace the OS on the drive.When you make the ISO and use it to restore the OS anything you added to the computer after making the ISO will not be there. Again it will probably take 1 to 3 DVD's to make the ISO.

When you create a system repair disk what it usually does is copy the windows folders necessary to fix any drivers, etc of the system. What this means is the windows folder, the users folder and some other folders are copied, but the whole OS on the hard drive is not copied. This lets you repair the OS that is on the drive. Personally i would do both just for the experience. Then i would test them simply because even if they worked what are they going to change on a good working system?

SRX660
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#5
adifrank

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Ok. So if I understand what you're saying the HP recovery disks and the option of making a system restore image through Windows 7 is actually the same thing. Right?
It just strikes me as weird why Microsoft would make a policy that restricts creating recovery disks with HP recovery manager to only one time! after using it once, you can't create those disks again. But then on other hand they enable you to create system images through Windows.... I just don't get it. :)
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