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I'm building a computer. How do I create a "factory reset" (recovery/re-install) image on a partitioned drive? Is it just a matter of copying the Windows install DVD to the drive?

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If you want a custom Windows 7 recovery partition similar to what OEM's use see this… – Moab Feb 28 '12 at 20:45
I would post this as an answer but there is no good way to reproduce the article here on Super User, posting an answer and only linking to another site is frowned upon here at SuperUser. – Moab Feb 28 '12 at 20:49
up vote 0 down vote accepted

If you install the OS and get everything setup the way you like you can either use the built in tools for Windows 7 to create an image or you can use an off the shelf type product like Acronis to create a full image of the drive, partitions and all.

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I think what the OP is looking for (or maybe I should ask this separately) is how to create an alternate booting partition specifically for reloading the OS (with pre-install environment and all), like the ones that many OEMs pre-load on their systems. – Iszi Feb 28 '12 at 20:39
Windows already has that built in System Restore in Accessories >> System Tools >> System Restore. Windows can also create a complete system image which allows you to save the image as a DVD, on a network location, or on another drive. Go to Control Panel >> System & Security >> Backup and restore. If you want to store the image on another drive then the second option would be best – xXPhenom22Xx Feb 28 '12 at 20:47
System Restore is not quite the same as "Factory Reset". Regarding the Backup Image, can you restore the image just by booting from that DVD? – Iszi Feb 28 '12 at 20:49
Yes you can, you would just boot the dead machine up using a Windows DVD then instead of selecting the install option you can go to Advanced and then select Restore from Image. – xXPhenom22Xx Feb 28 '12 at 20:52
For what your trying to do I wouldnt do the System Restore, instead create a full system image using the tools Windows has. Control Panel >> System & Security >> Backup and restore >> Create System Image – xXPhenom22Xx Feb 28 '12 at 20:57

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