Cloning Hard Drive in Windows 7

Posted by Chris on March 3, 2011 in Tech Blogs |

Well years ago I was setting up 10 Dell Optiplex’s. I decided to use Norton Ghost to make a clone and just set up 1 master computer and set up the rest from that. Easy right? Well… yeah it was easy and it saved me a lot of time and if I ever just wanted to wipe a computer back to original I could do it easy as 1,2,3!

Move forward about 5 years and I am in the same situation except this time my computers are running windows 7. So I bought a copy of the latest Norton Ghost and sat down to give this a shot. I tried creating a copy of the disk, but no luck. To make the long story short after searching around I found fixes but they were all a huge pain!!!! Really!

So what is my solution? Who came to my rescue? Holy Crap it was Microsoft! Yeah for real!

There isĀ  a feature in Windows 7 that lets you create an image of your HD. Pretty sweet and it actually works and works well!

There are a few ways to do it, but here is how I did it in my situation. If your reading this then you have a clue what you are doing so you will figure it if your situation is a bit different.

First thing is to setup up your master computer like you want it. Duh

Creating the Image

  • Next you want to go to Start>Control Panel> Backup
  • Click on Create a System Image “You have options… I chose network”
  • Let this run and after that it will ask you to create a system repair dvd.
  • Create the repair DVD and you are ready to rock!

Setting up the other computers

  • Boot the computer up with the System Repair DVD
  • You want to restore from image
  • It will say cannot find system image.. so hit cancel
  • Check select a system and hit next
  • Select Advanced then search on network
  • Are you sure? Hit Yes… wait a bit….
  • Select your image and your good to go… Will take awhile depending on size.

Like I said your situation might be different. I chose to do this from network, but I am sure if you have this much info to go on you will figure out it.

Please let me know how you make out with this and leave some comments if you run into any bugs!


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