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Windows 7 Restore CDs - Question 1 of 3

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#1 Az.mak

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 17:28

Good morning.

I come here because I know many of you are experienced enough and would have the correct information I need. I have three questions I am hoping to get help with and I will put each question in it's own thread post.

My first question is about Windows 7 Restore cds. I have a Hewlett-Packard desktop that I bought in February of this year. It came pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Premium and like many retail systems you buy these days it did not come with Restore cds pre-packaged with the computer. I have the option to create Restore cds that will require four dvd's to make.

My question is this - The HP Window used to create the Restore cds says we can only make one set of discs. Why do they only allow us one chance to make a set of Restore cds? What's the reasoning behind it? I live in Arizona and where I live we have a lot of severe electrical storms and many power outages. What happens if I have a power outage in the middle of making my Resore cds, like if I was on disc 2 of 4 and the power went out, or what if I got some sort of computer error? Is that the end of it? No additional chance to try and make them again? Is my only option then to call HP and pay to have a set of discs mailed to me?

I don't understand the "one chance" limitation that's imposed. What's the big deal if I would prefer to make a backup set of discs, or that I want to try again after the first attempt fails?

Thanks in advance for your answers and opinions.


#2 +Phouchg

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 19:43

It's just another annoyance of so many laptop manufacturers have been doing for a long time and should be banned from doing so by some kind of law.
There is a way to bypass this limit so that it prompts to create these discs again - you need to delete a system file hpcd.sys on both the recovery partition and your installation.

More robust way (and one I recommend) would be backing up the whole recovery partition to an external hard disk.

As for power going out and such - do invest in a respectable UPS, surge arrestors (preferably with network ports, too) and see to proper wiring in your house. It's quite a chore, definitely seek advice if only to confirm your choices, but might one day save you every single electronic thing you have there.

#3 Dashel

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 20:01

1) You only get one copy (due to licensing I think). It also doesn't count until it completes a verification pass so if it fails in the middle for any reason, simply start over.
2) You can make as many image based system backups as you like using the built in Windows utility.

#4 +warwagon

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 20:04

Yep, while this is a totally retarded rules, i'd recommend just buying an external hard drive and creating a system image. it's faster to restore from anyway.

#5 cropcircles

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 20:45

Yep, while this is a totally retarded rules, i'd recommend just buying an external hard drive and creating a system image. it's faster to restore from anyway.


I've used Acronis True Image for several years and always back up my OS with a disk image about once a month. I've had to use it numerous times when my OS went belly up or I'd get a BSOD. And like warwaggon said place the disk image on another drive.

#6 Gotenks98

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 21:00

It says only once but I have never seen it complain if I make another copy. I had to do this with my sister's machine because she loses dvds. I lam pretty sure you can make it burn again.

#7 skilithead

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 21:08

I'm not sure if this is allowed (posting links) , but here is a link for Win 7 with SP1 , 32 or 64 . Could come in handy in your situation . Just use the code on your machine to activate . :rolleyes: The built -in windows back-up tool will create an image of your entire hard drive , if you just have a good place to put it . Personally , I use separate usb hard drives for back-ups and imaging . I have never tried using discs .Linky: <snipped>

Edited by John S., 06 October 2012 - 18:57. Reason: please don't link to full disc images


#8 MillionVoltss

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 21:10

If you were so inclined, you used to be able to extract the Windows Key and use that to install a clean copy ( Need confirmation ), Not sure if this works on Win7. I also remember hearing something about companies having to send out rescue disks in certain situations, not sure of details. 4 Dvds of basically rubbish will take a while to reinstall too, A Win7 install from image on USB drive takes under 10mins and another 20 tops for essential programmes, then you can let Windows runs its updates.
Also good idea to have regular backups of Bookmarks, Pics, Itunes etc.

#9 OP Az.mak

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 22:56

Thank you all very much for your replies.

I only have one harddrive on my system and I have no external harddrive. I've been out of work for a very long time, so buying an external device isn't possible for me any time soon. Unfortuneately the built in Windows Backup tool doesn't let me use DVD's it always asked for an external harddrive (if I recall correctly). Come to think of it now, I do have an 8gig USB thumb drive though. I'm not sure if that would be accepted by the Windows Backup tool or not I guess it never occured to me to try it; I suppose I didn't think it would be large enough only being 8gig in capacity.

To +skilithead and MillionVoltss -

You both mention USB drive or USB Harddrive - do you refer specifically to a USB external harddrive or would a USB thumb drive/flash drive be acceptible to?

To +skilithead - thank you very much for that link. I am downloading the Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit with SP1 as we speak. I read the comments on that page and several people mentioned the files getting corrupted and VG said it was most likely because they had a slow internet connection. Hopefully my download will work when the time comes since I too have a slow connection 1.5mb dsl. I guess I won't know if it works or not until the day comes I attempt this fresh re-install using that ISO from the link you gave me.

I will assume since you gave me that link, you have used those downloads yourself? When VG said to use your product key from the back of the computer that should be the same product key I see on the Microsoft sticker? Or does he mean a CD key from a retail box of a Windows 7 Operating System? Again my computer is a store bought Hewlett-Packard box with Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed, so all I have is that Microsoft sticker on the back of the computer.

To Dashel - thank you for pointing out that "It also doesn't count until it completes a verification pass". That's reassuring to know that.

and lastly to Gotenks98 - thank you for sharing that fact. It's good to hear that you yourself have reburned the Restore cds multiple times.

Again, thanks to everyone for your replies, I read them all and have bookmarked this page for future reference and I also pressed the "Like" button for your replies.

~Az.mak

#10 skilithead

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 23:12

Yes sir , I have used them ,32 and 64 ,Home Premium and Pro . I have had no problems . As a matter of fact , I used the Home Premium to set up one of my sisters new HP laptop . Yes the key is on the Microsoft COA sticker that is on either the case (desktop), or the bottom of a laptop . Of course I scan anything I download , but you can never tell what someone else's connections , etc. is like . In my case I was referring to a separate hard drive in a usb enclosure , but flash , or thumbdrives would work , providing you have enough space/drives . A single DVD disc will only hold right at 4GB of data , and may or may not be re-writable . A 4 , 8 , or 16 (larger if you can afford them ) thumb drive will work . I am in the habit of re-partitioning and installing an un-adulterated copy on my machines , and those I work on . Saves time un-installing the OEM junk that they are set on adding to there machines , but that's another story .LOL . Good luck mate !

#11 Detection

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 23:23

Yep just use the key on the sticker on the PC

#12 1WayJonny

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 23:36

Microsoft lets users download the image (ISO) for Windows 7 version legally through digital river. Just download the one that the sticker on your PC says such as Premium or Ultimate.

Also it does not matter is you download 32 or 64 bit as you key is also compatible. I would install the vanilla version of windows with a clean format and then manually install the drivers for you hard its very easy and all drivers are on HP's site.

You will be left with a clean install with no bloatware and will never have to use recovery disc again. Windows 7 keys can be used with vanilla ISO of retail Windows 7 but this was not possible with XP but was relaxed with Vista and 7.

You will now never have to use that horrid tool again. Do a google search for the "digital river windows 7 iso" and it will come right up.


P.S. Also in the future if you buy a new PC this is also what you should do "DAY ONE", PC manufactures are the main reason people PC's run like crap.

#13 1WayJonny

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 23:43

If you were so inclined, you used to be able to extract the Windows Key and use that to install a clean copy ( Need confirmation ), Not sure if this works on Win7. I also remember hearing something about companies having to send out rescue disks in certain situations, not sure of details. 4 Dvds of basically rubbish will take a while to reinstall too, A Win7 install from image on USB drive takes under 10mins and another 20 tops for essential programmes, then you can let Windows runs its updates.
Also good idea to have regular backups of Bookmarks, Pics, Itunes etc.


Also if you can not find your sticker you can extract your key as mentioned here, the tool is called MagicalJellyBean key extractor.

#14 OP Az.mak

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 03:22

Thank you very much 1WayJohnny. When you said, "You will now never have to use that horrid tool again." I assume you mean I won't have to hassle with the recovery disc which would include the original OEM bloatware, yes?

#15 1WayJonny

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 03:38

Thank you very much 1WayJohnny. When you said, "You will now never have to use that horrid tool again." I assume you mean I won't have to hassle with the recovery disc which would include the original OEM bloatware, yes?


yes that is the tool i was talking about and when re installing using the clean ISO make sure you format the drive and nuke everything. I would even re partition it as well when making clean.

When reinstalling Windows 7 make sure you do the custom install NOT an upgrade. The next screen erase all your partitions so it is one unified un-allocated space. Then hit create NEW which will create one large partition also it is ok if you have 2-3 smaller partitions in front of the large one after creating this is normal. Then you can format that partition and in the end select the NEW C drive local disk and click NEXT to start the install process.

additionally make sure you back up anything important such as photos and documents off the machines before as well



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