Shrink system image?

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  1. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,734
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #11

    paul1149 said:
    I like the inbuilt backup, though, because end users can easily access the image from the onboard WinRE.
    cereberus said:
    The MS image tool is a deprecated feature and has not been developed for years (Win7 is a clue).

    MS advise you should use 3rd party tools.

    In the end, follow this advice and use a tool like Macrium Reflect Free - you will not regret it.
    Yes, MS have been saying that System Image Backup was a deprecated feature since the Fall Creators Update
    Microsoft said:
    System Image Backup (SIB) Solution
    We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors.
    Features removed or Deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

    I stuck with using the MS system imaging for years, particularly for my test/support machine (system two in my specs below). Like you, I appreciate the ability to boot to the recovery environment to do a restore.

    All that changed when MS broke their own system imaging in the 32-bit version of 1803. This has still not been fixed for 1803 to this day, though it does work in 32-bit 1809.
    1803 creating a system image fails with RPC server error 0x800706BA - Windows 10 Forums

    That was when I first tried Macrium Reflect Free. I now use it exclusively for all my machines. Macrium has an option to add Macrium to the boot menu, which makes it just as simple to do a restore as using WinRE to restore a MS system image.
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  2. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 1,669
    trying to install win10
       #12

    MS command line imaging allows exclusions from vhd image, but that probably isn't suitable for your users.

    Either stick with the standard windows system image, or use a 3rd party imaging program. There are plenty available and they create their own bootable media.

    3rd party programs are not quite as straightforward for the user as microsoft bmr, though some are pretty easy to use. I suggest Aomei Backupper as the simplest. There are others with different features, UIs and so on.

    I will sometimes use O&O for specific reasons - e.g. excluding items from an image, or restoring to a volume while retaining files on target, etc. But all that extra functionality is not so simple for the average user.
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  3. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 1,669
    trying to install win10
       #13

    Best Windows Backup and Restore Software | AOMEI Backupper

    If you are thinking of using 3rd party, maybe take a look at a couple to help decide which is easiest for your users.
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  4. paul1149's Avatar
    Posts : 58
    MX Linux 17.1
    Thread Starter
       #14

    I always load Aomei Backupper onto each system. For a while I was loading Macrium, but I find Aomei simpler, and it also does file backups (note, though, it breaks factory recovery partitions). Aomei also has a boot option, called OneKey Recovery, I believe. It does some pretty neat partition adjustment automatically, but the free version presents a mandatory ugly boot menu that is too much work to delete.

    I also provide a Windows Repair disk, so I could make it an Aomei or Macrium disk instead, but I think the Windows disk has greater sales appeal, and utility. And most of the eMMC machines don't have an optical drive anyway, so the WinRE solution has a lot of merit.
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  5. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 1,669
    trying to install win10
       #15

    They are two different programs.

    1. Aomei Backupper is an imaging program - similar to others, but simple to use.


    2. Aomei Onekey is a different program, which creates a recovery partition to store images, and adds the boot menu option you speak of. Somewhat similar to the recovery programs provided by oems. Some users like it that way. Most prefer Backupper.
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  6. paul1149's Avatar
    Posts : 58
    MX Linux 17.1
    Thread Starter
       #16

    SIW2 said:
    They are two different programs.
    Yes. Sorry, I was unclear on that.
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  7. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 1,669
    trying to install win10
       #17

    but I think the Windows disk has greater sales appeal, and utility. And most of the eMMC machines don't have an optical drive anyway, so the WinRE solution has a lot of merit.
    Yes, as long as the vhd size isn't a serious problem. Another upside is that if you get into a mess, vhd images are easy to mount and/or restore using a variety of other tools. They are also serviceable.
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  8. paul1149's Avatar
    Posts : 58
    MX Linux 17.1
    Thread Starter
       #18

    SIW2 said:
    Yes, as long as the vhd size isn't a serious problem.
    That's the rub. On a 32GB eMMC, it's all academic anyway, I suppose. Even if I got the image down to 8GB, it's too big. I have yet to examine a factory 32GB setup to see how they do it, but I do think they have an image there. I know they turn off System Restore, which I can afford to turn back on when I fresh install. But there's not enough room for an image. A 64GB eMMC would be a marginal situation, and maybe shrinking the image would make the difference.
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  9. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 1,669
    trying to install win10
       #19

    Pretty sure the factory image will be wim format. Sony does an annoying .sn format, which is a variant of wim and a PITA to open with other tools. Mostly they just use the regular MS wim format.
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  10. paul1149's Avatar
    Posts : 58
    MX Linux 17.1
    Thread Starter
       #20

    Ok thanks. I'll look into how practical it might be to use .wim and how much space it would take.
      My Computer


 
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