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I just reinstalled XP and have it running nice and fast and bug free. I think I need to make a bootable image of the installation if I want to disable system restore to free up memory.

Is there a simple way to do this? Is it a simple case of making an ISO file out of all the folders/files then burning this to disk? Or is it a lot harder than this?

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Why do you need to make a bootable image of the installation if you want to disable system restore? –  Svish Aug 19 '09 at 10:52

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Macrium Reflect Free will do it. You can create a live clone of your system on a different hard drive or DVD, then create a bootable restore CD to restore the system to that state at any time. Keep in mind this does the entire HD, so any data you have on that HD will be erased if you do a restore.

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i think this is my option. I have my data partitioned to another drive but i just wanted a backup of all my program installation & setting tweaks etc to save me starting from scratch again! thanks –  andrew Aug 19 '09 at 12:06
    
Do you really mean the entire hd, and not just the partition? –  Mads Skjern Apr 22 '13 at 20:16

One solution would be to use a disk drive image tool, like Norton Ghost for example - after you install all your favorites programs and do all customization you want you can create a image of C:\ drive (or whatever partition you have the Windows installed).

You can use this image later to restore your system exactly as it was when you create it.

Here is Norton Ghost review.

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There are also free imaging tools available such as clonezilla although they tend to be a lot less friendly. Most of them will run from a bootable CD allowing you to recover to a new hard drive if yours fails –  Col Aug 19 '09 at 10:57

To disable system restore: Right click My Computer > Properties > System Properties > System Restore > Turn off system restore.

No need to make an image of anything. Also, turning off system restore won't free up memory, but it will free up hard drive space.

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but if i get a virus or something, I then have to reinstall windows dont i? I thought the point of a complete image was so that it was easy to restore all your programs, settings etc –  andrew Aug 19 '09 at 12:04
    
Ah, the question isn't very clear. Perhaps you should edit it to say something like "I have a clean install of XP and I would like to make a bootable restore image of it using a free utility equivalent to Norton Ghost" –  MDMarra Aug 19 '09 at 14:36

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