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Win7 system recovery choices: detailed differences? (system restore, image restore, repair disc)

    Question

  • Can someone provide some detail about the differences in content between Win7 system repair disc, system restore point and system image?

    And perhaps I should add Dell ISO recovery image to the list.  I don't know (yet) if that is different from the Win7 system image option, or if the latter invokes the Dell ISO recovery image program instead.  If it matters, I have a Dell Precision 5510 laptop.

    At the very least, is each option a superset of the other, perhaps in the order that I specify above?

    Ideally, what are the folder names that each contains, if indeed their content can be described by complete folders?

    I am trying to determine which of those options I need to create in order to have complete recovery capability.

    I have read the following support.microsoft.com articles:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17423/windows-7-create-system-repair-disc
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17101/windows-7-system-recovery-options

    Those descriptions are indequate for my purposes, in part because of differences in terminology.

    For example, the System Recovery Disc option "can help you repair Windows", whereas the System Restore (Point) option "restores your computer's system files".

    In that context, are "Windows" and "system files" synonyms content-wise; or is one a superset of the other; or do they have some non-overlapping content?

    I suspect that the System Recovery Disc contains only "Windows" as it was installed initially.  And I know that might be different from the latest System Restore Point.

    But if I create a System Restore Point immediately after starting Windows for the first time, will that initial System Restore Point include all of the same files as the System Recovery Disc?

    That is, is there a way to create a System Recovery Disc that includes the latest System Restore Point, not just the initial "Windows" files?  In other words, a bootable media that would return the system to the state of the latest System Restore Point?

    Also, if I create a System Recovery disc [sic], must it be a physical CD or DVD, as the webpage says?  Or can it a USB thumb drive?

    Finally, I know that a System Recovery Image includes user files, whereas a System Restore Point does not.

    But does a System Recovery Image contain all of the content that is in the latest System Restore Point, if I create the latter immediately before creating an image?

    I hope one or more people can address each question.  TIA.

    Thursday, June 1, 2017 5:03 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    System Restore is a feature in Microsoft Windows that allows the user to revert their computer's state (including system files, installed applications, Windows Registry, and system settings) to that of a previous point in time, which can be used to recover from system malfunctions or other problems. First included in Windows ME, it has been included in all following desktop versions of Windows released since, excluding the Windows Server. In Windows 10, System Restore is turned off by default and must be enabled by users in order to function.

    Image Restoration is the operation of taking a corrupt/noisy image and estimating the clean, original image. Corruption may come in many forms such as motion blur, noise and camera mis-focus. Image restoration is performed by reversing the process that blurred the image and such is performed by imaging a point source and use the point source image, which is called the Point Spread Function (PSF) to restore the image information lost to the blurring process.

    A recovery disc is any of various media containing a backup of the original factory condition or a favored condition of a computer as configured by an original equipment manufacturer or an end-user. OEM supplied recovery media are often shipped with computers to allow the user to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system and pre-installed software as it was when it was shipped.

    Best Regards,

    Tao


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    Friday, June 2, 2017 4:38 AM
    Moderator