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I bought a Lenovo IdeaPad with Windows 7 preinstalled. The laptop has a "OneKey Rescue System" which is able to restore the factory install of the OS. As I understand the files necessary for this restore are on the hard disk. What happens if the contents of the hard disk are deleted for some reason? Can it restore the OS install in that case? If not, shouldn't Lenovo has enclosed an install DVD with the computer which is not affected by a HDD crash?

Or should I create such a DVD myself? What happens with my Windows 7 product key if the installation files are lost?

What steps do you do to make sure you can reinstall the factory OS in case of a serious crash?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

you can take matters into your own own hands and backup your IdeaPad with EASEUS ToDo Backup.

It also works with BartPE via USB stick (WinToFlash) so you don't need a DVD drive to boot from.

Here's a tutorial.

All programs mentioned are freeware.

You should also keep a backup of your Windows 7 Activation files:

How to Backup and Restore Windows 7 Activation Status (Activate Offline On Reinstall)

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Thanks, I'll check it out. But sometimes a clean reinstall is needed if one has too many stuff on the computer, so I'd still like to know how to create a proper install disk for my laptop. –  Tom Jan 25 '10 at 20:34
    
Well, if Lenovo didn't provide a Windows 7 Installation DVD you should contact their customer service and ask for such a disk. –  Molly7244 Jan 25 '10 at 20:40

I'm fond of using System Rescue CD to take a complete (bit-wise) image of the drive. I usually use an external USB drive and I use dd to make the image. This isn't fast, and it requires the external drive be larger than the internal, AND that the external be formatted with something that can take large files, but it's reliable - you don't have to worry about some idiotic recovery utility building the files wrong, or something being unable to activate or whatever - turn the new machine on, get your OS activated (for Windows systems) and then shut it down and take an image.

You'll never have to worry about what to do if the HD eats itself, you can ALWAYS fall back to original install.

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Typically you cannot recover the so called restore-partition if you lose your hard drive. Not even from the restore DVD created by the "DVD restore creator program". –  Vokuhila-Oliba Jan 25 '10 at 20:48
    
The other thing this method lets you do is delete the recovery partition (after taking the image!) and then use that space. Kind of nice to have everything you paid for, really... –  Michael Kohne Jan 25 '10 at 21:48

It happened to me that I couldn't restore from DVDs that where created form the vendor provided "Rescue DVD Creator Program".

Thus I would recommend that you use something like Acronis Home, see: http://www.acronis.com

... and: yes, Leonovo should have enclosed a restore DVD. But unfortunately the lack of a such a 50 cent DVD seems to be common practice by all the vendors I know ...

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Alot of OEMs bundle a way to create your recovery discs on the hard drive. I'm not familiar with Lenovo so I cannot say for sure, but on HP there is a start menu option to "create recovery discs", maybe this is the case for your computer as well.

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