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I currently have a virus that I have not been able to fix. Thus, I am restoring to the factory default of Windows 7. I have had many applications installed on my current OS image, which would be a pain to reinstall all over again. Are there any utilities from which I can create an 'image' of all my programs, and easily install them again.

I am using Windows 7 Pro x64.

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Imaging just the installed programs may cause problems, as programs leave traces in the Registry and system folders. A virus may corrupt the registry or alter these files. I suggest doing a fresh install of Windows and all your programs, and then backing up your system. – iglvzx Dec 19 '11 at 1:36
How do you plan to avoid imaging your virus and bulk installing it as well? – soandos Dec 19 '11 at 2:23
@soandos I can and have removed the virus, but its embedded in my only working system restore point which I have to use to reboot the system. (Long story, Don't ask) – liamzebedee Dec 19 '11 at 2:32
And you are POSITIVE that it will not be in the registry when you take the image? – soandos Dec 19 '11 at 2:34
The registry is corrupt. I have now decided against imaging the bad OS – liamzebedee Dec 19 '11 at 6:37
up vote 2 down vote accepted

What you are trying to is a short cut, that I am afraid will backfire on you. Remember any version of Windows is not that stable to deal with the assault that you are proposing. My solution would be to reformat reinstall one by one all of your programs. This will insure that all upgrades and files have been properly installed. With a virus you never know where it might be hiding, so shortcuts just don't work.

But here is you saving point. Once installed and properly updated then create an image of your newly configured computer. There are two free ways to do this relatively easily. One is to download an MS package of high end free utilities called SysInternalsSuite. These are programs that MS uses internally for various reasons and has made them available through their developer network. There is a program in there to create a VDI of your existing hardware and software. Then there is the Paragon Software Back & Recovery Suite (free) out of Germany. In part of their backup options you can create 3 different VM formats. I would suggest all three as they all have strengths and weaknesses. Also I like having a backup to my backup so this software will give the option of trying 4 different VM with either VMWare or Virtualbox. I like VB as when you finally set it up you can't tell the difference between VM and Physical.

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I'm going to suggest you don't do that at all. It would be difficult, and most likely give you new and interesting problems down the line, in addition to giving you a real risk of not getting rid of your virus at all.

However, in order to save some pain, you could shrink the existing partition and move it somewhere out of the way. (Or copy all the files onto some other filesystem or something) Then you can easily copy over any configuration files & c. you would like to bring along with you to your new install.

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that is what I would do, To image for virus is a pre-emptive effort, You store an image (and a spare off the computer) then get a virus :-) . Using Eroens method of holding the (bad) system off to the side is a best way to get back some stuff, and see what was installed and all. just ADD doing that Pre-Emptive Image backup on your fresh install (Plus MBR backup) before the computer sees the virus hit disk, that way you can even recover if it was one of the evil rootkit things. – Psycogeek Dec 19 '11 at 2:58

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