Advise on system image and a boot disk.

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  1. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 29,927
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #11

    I didn't ask what a boot disk was more the difference between---.
    A recovery disk is a specific example of a bootable disk.
    As I said, bootable disks can be generated by many different means and have many possible functions depending on their content.

    will I be asked to input a product key?

    ( My Win 10 OS was a free upgrade from Win 7 Ultimate, which I have my product key for but don't know where it is at the moment without a search )
    Once Win 10 has been installed on particular hardware, there should be no requirement to enter a product key unless you make significant hardware changes other than RAM or disk to that hardware. That is because Win 10 activation is based on a hash of a form of your hardware id, held on MS activation servers.
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  2. Posts : 28
    Win10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #12

    MisterEd said:
    If I were you I would buy a 240GB SSD and clone the boot drive to it. It is not a waste as you think. Windows is constintly creating and sometimes deleting temporary files. It is good to have plenty of space for this. In fact it is probably not good to let a disk especially the boot one not get too full. I don't know what percentage that should be. I have read not to go over 60% but I am not sure about that. Certainly do not let any drive get more than 80% full because it is not good for it.
    The imaging program usually compresses the image so it should be smaller that the source. The size of the image is a percentage of the data used not of the drive itself.
    Most people now days use a USB flash drive to install or repair Windows 10. A 8GB one is plenty big enough. However, you should buy a 16GB one because they are more commonly found. You should buy a name brand one like Sandisk because you shouldn't trust cheap noname ones.
    Thanks MisterEd
    I understood everything you wrote, much appreciated.

    Don't have to tell me about Sandisk, when it comes to flash drives, one of my favorite and more reliable brands I use.

    Having read Dalchina's links I created a boot disk last night via Win 10 on an 8gb Sandisk, ( I didn't have any 16gb ones ), it went fine, I was a little surprised as it only used something like 6.2gb of space, for some reason I thought it might use more.

    Is there a method of testing if a boot drive has been successfully created without upsetting anything?

    Clone v Image, it appears there are pros and cons to both for one or the other and I see the reasoning/need for each My existing C drive is a clone from a spinner to a SSD.

    What I have done is order a branded, ( Kingston ) 120gb external SSD and will use that solely to create a system image on and every so often wipe it and re-create a system image and hope by doing so, should it arise, it will get me out of trouble.

    Is there any mileage or point in creating 2 partitions on the new drive, one say 105gb in size the other whatever gb are remaining, the system image on the larger, the boot disk on the smaller partition, would that work or keep both separate, my intention is just keeping things together and tidy?
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  3. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 2,396
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #13

    Jaylob4 said:
    What I have done is order a branded, ( Kingston ) 120gb external SSD and will use that solely to create a system image on and every so often wipe it and re-create a system image and hope by doing so, should it arise, it will get me out of trouble.
    Is there any mileage or point in creating 2 partitions on the new drive, one say 105gb in size the other whatever gb are remaining, the system image on the larger, the boot disk on the smaller partition, would that work or keep both separate, my intention is just keeping things together and tidy?
    You say system image.

    I take that to mean "not a clone".

    Therefore, the "system image" is just a big file.

    It requires no special handling or partitioning.

    It would be named something like rermdeneieeiireqww.mrimg by default.

    Save it anywhere on the 120 GB drive. In its own folder (possibly named "images") or in the root of the drive. Doesn't matter.

    When you make a new system image, you can store it in the same place if it will fit.

    You wouldn't "wipe" anything. Delete the older one if you want. Just like any other file.
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  4. Posts : 28
    Win10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #14

    dalchina said:
    A recovery disk is a specific example of a bootable disk.
    As I said, bootable disks can be generated by many different means and have many possible functions depending on their content.
    Once Win 10 has been installed on particular hardware, there should be no requirement to enter a product key unless you make significant hardware changes other than RAM or disk to that hardware. That is because Win 10 activation is based on a hash of a form of your hardware id, held on MS activation servers.
    Thanks,

    Boot drive then was the wrong term for me to use for the information I was seeking. as you write, different means, different functions.

    While reading last night I came across others who were stating, having created a system image they were being asked to input their product key, I may have misunderstood.

    Incidentally, while following your links I attempted to create a system image using a a 120gb flash drive, ( NTFS file format ) using Win 10 own system image creation tool, it wouldn't have it, kept informing me " the drive is not a valid back up location ". More reading and if I'm understanding correctly Win 10 can not create a system image to a flash drive, others are saying it can be done, anyway I have purchased a 120gb SSD, will slip it into an external HD enclosure, that should do it.
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  5. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 2,396
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #15

    Few people here would advise you to bother with the Windows imaging tool.

    It's no longer under development. "Deprecated". Frowned upon. Passé. Cranky. Inflexible.
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  6. Posts : 28
    Win10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #16

    ignatzatsonic said:
    You say system image.
    I take that to mean "not a clone".
    Therefore, the "system image" is just a big file.
    It requires no special handling or partitioning.
    It would be named something like rermdeneieeiireqww.mrimg by default.
    Save it anywhere on the 120 GB drive. In its own folder (possibly named "images") or in the root of the drive. Doesn't matter.
    When you make a new system image, you can store it in the same place if it will fit.

    You wouldn't "wipe" anything. Delete the older one if you want. Just like any other file.
    Hello and thanks for both your replies.

    No " not a clone ", a system image.

    Damn it! I meant delete, not wipe, sorry.

    I'm not making myself clear.

    I'm asking, operationally should I have a separate recovery disk and a separate system image disk or partition an external drive, have a system image on one partition and recovery on the other, would that work, keep them separate or combine them on to one drive?

    - - - Updated - - -

    ignatzatsonic said:
    Few people here would advise you to bother with the Windows imaging tool.
    It's no longer under development. "Deprecated". Frowned upon. Passé. Cranky. Inflexible.
    Third party it may have to be then, thanks.
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  7. Posts : 1,386
       #17

    Macrium Reflect, AOMEI BackUpper, EaseUS Todo Backup[something], are just three of many very good backup and restore programs, each will give info on making DVD boots or USB flash drive boots; info on making full images of OS partition (often called C drive), data partition (sometimes called D drive); info on folder and file backup; info on cloning (which I personally don't do); and of course give info on the very reason for backups -- Restore.
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  8. Posts : 1,386
       #18

    Recovery disk means to me: the DVD or USB flash drive, when booted, allows one to restore full partition images and just certain folders and files. Not too long ago, computer vendors included a recovery disk that was the gateway to a Recovery partition (returns computer to left-the-factory-condition) and often some simple to use tools for fixing the internal drive's boot sector, fixing Windows' Startup, and more.
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  9. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,652
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #19

    Jaylob4 said:
    ...using Win 10 own system image creation tool, it wouldn't have it, kept informing me " the drive is not a valid back up location ". More reading and if I'm understanding correctly Win 10 can not create a system image to a flash....

    Do not use the built in Microsoft system imaging. Apart from some crippling limitations like the one you found, it tends to be temperamental and unreliable. Don't just take the advice of a stranger on the web though. Follow Microsoft's own advice, first issued over three years ago....

    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
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  10. Posts : 1,386
       #20

    "...It would be named something like rermdeneieeiireqww.mrimg by default..." Almost.
    To counter a long long name, what I have done is name my full images something like:
    yyyymmdd_SysRes_S0x -- [x is either a 2 or a 3], yyyymmdd_[d:]_S0x -- [d:] is either C or D
    For each laptop, I average every two weeks, OS partitions onto two ext usb 1TB HDD, and then, D partition onto two ext usb 1TB HDD. Each designated OS partition HDD would two sets of full images. Each designated D partition image HDD would have just one full image.
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