How to restore a backup using DVD media: Step by step instructions on how to recover Windows 7 using a Backup and Restore ‘System Image’ stored to DVD media.
1) Boot from the ‘System Repair’ disc.
2) Verify the keyboard input method and click ‘Next’. Windows will attempt to find any existing operating systems on your hard drive.
Since you are going to use a set of image backup DVD’s to restore your computer you can simply ignore what the scan finds. The assumption is that the backup will be restored to the same computer it was created on.
3) Select the ‘Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier’ option located in the lower left and click ‘Next’.
4) A scan for system images that are on your computer or a USB drive (if one is connected) will begin. Since the image backup was made using DVD media you can expect to see a message to the effect that: “Windows cannot find a system image on this computer. Attach the backup hard disk or insert the final DVD from a backup set and click Retry. Alternatively, close this dialog for more options”
5) Remove the ‘System Repair’ disc and insert the last/final DVD in your backup set. Wait a few seconds and then click the ‘Retry’ button. A scan will begin, this time you will be asked to ‘Select a system image backup’.
6) The ‘Use the latest available system image’ button should already be selected.
You will also see information pertaining to the Location (DVD Drive), the Date and Time of the backup set and the name of your computer. Click the ‘Next’ button.
7) Choose additional restore options: Place a check mark in the ‘Format and repartition disks’ box.
If you have any additional disk drives you should use the ‘Exclude disk …’ option to eliminate any possibility of restoring the image to the wrong hard drive. Click the ‘Next’ button.
8)Your computer will be restored from the following system image: Verify that the Date and time, Computer name and Drives to restore entries are correct (place the mouse cursor in the drive to restore box and use the right arrow key to see the destination drive letter).
9) Click the ‘Finish’ button, the ‘Re-image Your Computer’ window will pop up.
You will see a message stating that “All disks to be restored will be formatted and replaced with the layout and data in the system image. Are you sure you want to continue?”. Click ‘Yes’ to continue.
10) The progress bar will be display along with a message that “Windows is restoring your computer from system image. This might take from a few minutes to a few hours.”.
In a few seconds you will be prompted to “Please insert the following disk:” and list the disk you are expected to insert by DVD Label (Computer name, Date and Time, Disk #) which would be the first disk in the backup set (Disk #1).
11) Remove the DVD labeled Final/Last from the DVD drive and insert the “First/ Disk #1” DVD. Wait a few seconds and then click the ‘OK’ button.
12) The progress bar will indicate that it is “Restoring disk (C:)…” .
13) Next you will be asked to insert disk #2. Start by removing disc #1, then insert disc #2, wait a few seconds and then click ‘OK’. The progress bar will again be displayed.
14) Each time you are prompted, remove the current disc and insert the next disc in the backup set until you see a prompt “Do you want to restart your computer now?”.
Click the ‘Restart now’ button or wait until the timer reaches zero.
15) Your computer will reboot, so sit back and wait for Windows to start and then logon as you normally do, then remove the last/final disc in the backup set from the DVD drive.
Conclusion: Using Windows 7’s built in Backup and Restore is relatively easy method to use when creating and storing the image backup to DVD media. Is it extremely important that you label each disk properly or you will play a guessing game as to which DVD is the last disc in the backup set. Equally as import is the creation of a ‘System Repair’ disc as without that disc or as a substitute your original Windows 7 DVD the backup is worthless.
The only minor drawback is the length of time and possibly the number of DVDs it takes to restore Windows when compared to using an external USB drive.
On a fresh installation of Windows 7 however this is a great way of creating recovery media that can save you the effort of reinstalling Windows or upgrading from Vista all over again should something go wrong when installing Windows Updates or new applications.
However if you plan to do this on a frequent basis I suggest you look into purchasing an external drive to use for backup storage as a time saving and ultimately cheaper method of creating backups.