How do I create an OEM-style bootable recovery partition?

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Tags:
Bootable CD
clone
ghost and windows 98 without cd rom
Ghost image
image
Restore
Very simple question, but not so simple of an answer. I would like to create a hidden recovery partition on all of my companies laptops so that if/when it gets destroyed in the field, when the user boots up, they insert a cd that says, basically "press 1 to restore your system to factory defaults" or "press 2 to exit". I would of course start with a clean install of windows, with all drivers and updates, they use that image as the one to restore. We are on a no-budget budget for IT and are not looking at buying Acronis, or a license of Norton Ghost for every laptop we use. We dont have a volume copy of XP, so that blows the idea of cloning an image out. Plus it has to be "push 1" easy for the end users who may be in another part of the world. Currently we just keep the eom cd for each machine and use that, but its very time consuming to re-load it each and every time the users crash or break it. I've found some advice, but they all point to PARAGON, or Ghost, or Acronis. Or they point here, then here, then here, then when it boots change this. How do the system builders do it? All clients running XP PRO SP3, with IE7 and the basic, JAVA, FLASH ADOBE reader and a VPN client. We can either have the restore option start on multi-floppies, a boot CD or boot thumb drive.

Software/Hardware used:
XP PRO SP3 dell lattitude, inspiron, vostro laptops
ASKED: March 10, 2010  8:47 PM
UPDATED: August 15, 2013  2:19 PM

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I should I stated, this restoration is based on the fact that the hard drive is still functioning and the user may not have access to an FTP site or multi-cast environment to get another image sent to them.

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Tools needed:
1) Partition software – open source or commercial
2) Cloning software – open source or commercial
3) Customized Boot CD/USB with the cloning software to take source clone on partition to destination primary partition. (you have the option to create a clonezilla live cd and with the parameters), you can set it to automatically when the user puts this special recovery cd, it will automatically place the clone source onto the primary user partition.

I would recommend looking at the Clonezilla website to build.

Note:

The way I’ve done it before was instead of imbedded the recovery partition onto the same hard drive, I would put that “image” onto the clonezilla dvd and automatically put clone image onto primary partition with the set path. This will help with the instance that the hard drive fails. Double protection.

Discuss This Question: 4  Replies

 
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  • swinehart6803
    Thanks, I am downloading it now and will give it a go. I might need to make a "read me" file on the disk or print out some insturctions, but that may just do the trick. I had heard of clonezilla way back, but it has really improved since then.
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  • Darkstar911
    Acronis will do that for you.
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  • GadgetMan
    Im wondering if someone can help with a similar question? I would like to take a backup of the computer in its working state after windows 7 has been installed and then have a backup on a dvd that a user can then boot from the bios and click just a few simple buttons that will install the backup from the dvd and put on the hard drive when the operating system decides to fail etc. Ideally i would like something similar to OEM manufacturers used to do with providing a restore dvd that a user can simply pop in and it will restore the pc to its factory state. Ive had a look at the Acronis true image and this doesnt seem to let me do this without using their software first. Is this method somehow possible? Any replies greatfully recieved :)
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  • swinehart6803
    GadgetMan, In my process of trying all these methods out I found this one that is free (always good) and pretty easy to use. http://www.todo-backup.com/ You backup the disk to a removable media, crate a boot disk with it and restore the drive back again. I havent restored, only tried the backup to a removable drive, but it is pretty easy to use and has a GUI that most people can just point and click their way through. It didn't do the hidden partition that I wanted, but for the cost of a few dvds, I can live with the free and easy solution
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