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I regularly format my system and perform a fresh install of Windows 7. Yet the most annoying thing is having to install every update and reinstall all my programs.

I've been trying to find out how I could create an ISO of my fresh system, so that I can load that instead of having to go through all the hassle to install every update/program. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any methods. Has anyone else tried to do this?

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You can try creating backup and restore. Burn backup to a DVD.. – niry Oct 4 '13 at 11:48
@Pradip, that will not help him to restore programs. And the question is clearly about programs! – Dave Oct 4 '13 at 11:52
@DaveRook Ok. Thanks for the information. – niry Oct 4 '13 at 11:53
WEll, there's ninite if you're looking for a simple way to manage and update apps. Limited list, but it covers a lot of useful apps. If you want a full-blown package manager (like homebrew or apt-get), you can give chocolatey a try. It's still in a state of progress, but it works and has many more packages than Ninite. – Ehtesh Choudhury Oct 5 '13 at 14:34
up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is called taking an image of your system at a specific point (for example, fresh install, main programs and drivers on).

Click on Start go to Getting Started and then select Back up your files.

Next click on the Create a system image hyperlink.

Decide where you want to save the image. You can choose an external drive, burn to multiple DVD’s, or store it on a network location.

You can include other drives if you want as well but remember that will add to the size of the final image.

At the confirmation screen notice the amount of space the image may take. If something doesn’t look right you can still go back from this point and make adjustments.

A progress meter is displayed while the images is created and backed up. In this example a disk of about 15GB in size took under 20 minutes backed up to an external drive. Times will vary depending on your system and where you’re backing it up to.

After the process is complete you get the option to create a system repair disc which you should do and make sure to save it in a secure location.

When it comes time to restore the image, you will be able to use the System Recovery Options to get the system back.


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Oh wow ... I feel like an idiot now. – CustomX Oct 4 '13 at 11:51

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