Should I still create recovery disks for new laptops? Windows/Manufacturer?

  HPPCAD 15:33 21 Jan 2015

Hi I've just bought a Lenovo Z50. It had no recovery disks with it - should I still create one, or is this a thing of the past? If I should, shall I put it onto DVD or a stick? And if there is a choice of manufacturer (lenovo) or Windows 8, which would be better? There is also something called onekey recovery already on it.

This has also made me think about my OH and kids' laptops (fairly old - they get our old ones!) as I cannot recall offhand whether they have recovery disks. If I can't find any, should I also create them for these, or is it too late now that they have a lot more information on?

Thanks for any opinions and advice!

  Jollyjohn 16:11 21 Jan 2015

Yes, yes, yes make the recovery disks. Label them correctly and store them safely. Under W8 there is an option to create a system recovery, I recomend this as it is a basic tool for repairing W8. CD or usb, up to you just have a practice at booting from whichever media you decide to use, and make a note of the steps you took.

  chse 17:02 21 Jan 2015

Can you give a link how to make that recovery

  BRYNIT 17:34 21 Jan 2015

Even though you should have a recovery partition allowing you to restore back to factory default via an F key if the hard drive fails or the files become corrupt you won't be able to do this. Creating the recovery disks/flash drive will allow you to reinstall back to factory default even if you have to replace the hard drive. If you use DVD's you may need 5-6 disks and will have to label them. I would use a flash drive. It's quicker to reinstall from a flash drive as you do not have to keep changing disks. I think you may need a 32gb flash drive.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:44 21 Jan 2015

OH and kids' laptops

if you haven't got recovery disks then best and easiest option is to make an image of the drives in each machine, you can do the same for your new machine aswell.

Acronis is good for this there are free cut down versions if you have Western Digital drives.

However I use Macrium Reflect Free which will image or clone drivesas required I have images of all my drive on a couple (paranoid as I need it for work) of external drives.

  HPPCAD 19:56 21 Jan 2015

Really pleased with the helpful answers thanks! I will get onto sorting the recovery sticks and images.

thanks again

  HPPCAD 19:57 21 Jan 2015

Really pleased with the helpful answers thanks! I will get onto sorting the recovery sticks and images.

thanks again

  robin_x 03:31 22 Jan 2015

You should do everything because everything is unreliable.

"Data doesn't exist unless it exists in three places"

Recovery DVDs (and Flash) may not work after 3 or more years in a drawer. They are made from the Recovery partition, so it doesn't matter you have installed and saved lots of extra GBs.

For each of my computers, I have two sets of Recovery DVDs (I haven't done Flash copies myself).

You can usually only make one set of Recovery DVDs, but then you can clone another set using Imgburn for example.


But DVDs and Flash are just another way of doing a Factory Restore when you can't get the Recovery Partition software to work (which is common).

- As mentioned, making regular Images is more convenient for restoring. Use a large 500GB, 1TB or 2TB external USB HDD to make Images using Macrium Reflect Free.

And you have to make a boot CD or Flash to boot Macrium for a Restore of main drive.

One external drive will be OK for all computers, if it is large enough for your needs. It's best to keep two or more Images per computer at any one time. Older Images can be deleted when you run out of space. That's lots of 10s of GBs.

  robin_x 03:40 22 Jan 2015

Actually, for clean rebuilds, Vista, W7 and W8.x(?) are freely available for download to make your own install disc.

Often that is easier than a factory restore. But you won't get HP/Dell/Asus/Acer or whatever specific apps and custom software (otherwise known as Bloatware).

In most cases, that's a blessing.

As long as you can download main drivers from manufacturer's website, it's a good way to go and almost renders the Factory Partition obsolete.

Perhaps except for restoring before selling a computer on eBay.

  robin_x 03:47 22 Jan 2015

Keep license keys readable on the labels by a strip of Scotch Tape over them (not Sellotape, horrible stuff)

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