I need/want to recondition my W7 laptop. This was written in 2014; it is quite detailed on how to rebuild a wondows 7 laptop, and not totally wrong today although there are better versions of the tools today (1/1/2023).

I plan to clean it, and back it up.

  1. Delete all non required applications, delete the trucrypt volumes.


  1. Back it up using an image copying facility, (http://clonezilla.org/ or http://www.todo-backup.com/, the latter is a bit spammy) I have also considered and tested imgburn, see below. None of these seem happy creating an image from the disk. Easetodo won’t use the USB as a target, (why not it worked fine on the SDD). imgburn does not like to a file2img from the boot disk. So I can try to use a live CD either clonezilla or linux, I can remove the hard disk and use something else as the copy host, or I could use an external hard disk. The MS “create system image” utility works on the whole disk, not the C:/ drive and needs more than 64GB.
  2. Create a bootable image on a usb stick, see unetbootin; see also  imgburn can be used to create the new bootable image, but check out this thread on their forums about Open Candy currently bundled which AVG detects as malware


  1. Create a recovery stick using windows make recovery device (this is basically a windows factory default.) Oops, it seems that Windows 7 thinks it can only create a repair disk on a DVD. (Can I fool it using Virtual Clone Drive? VCD seems to need a file, not a device.)

I need two thumb disks, and one for the replacement. I need some key rings to act as labels.


The basic plan remains good. Clone the boot device(s) and put’em on a bootable stick. Cloning the C:\ drive is not so easy. Here’s some google pages I found.

  1. http://winaero.com/blog/how-to-create-a-bootable-usb-stick-to-install-windows-in-windows-8-or-windows-7/
  2. http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?showtopic=6379
  3. https://www.raymond.cc/blog/create-windows-7-system-image-for-full-backup-and-restoration/
  4. https://www.raymond.cc/blog/installing-windows-7-system-recovery-into-usb-flash-drive/

This is proving a lot harder than I’d hoped. Slysoft’s Virtual Drive is not helping.

So today I am looking up the VMware Converter. Because I am using W8,1 & W7, I can’t do a remote, but the P2V software claims to do a local capture; but not of FAT files systems, you can see why.

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