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  • Hanging on to Win 7 for long run

    Posted on John Gaines Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Win7 beyond End-of-life Hanging on to Win 7 for long run

    • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 10 months ago.
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      • #1912250 Reply
        John Gaines
        AskWoody Lounger

        I recently came across your piece entitled ‘How to hang onto Windows 7 for the long run’.   I have two questions: A)  Is keeping a good system image the superior option to trying to keep copies of all the individual updates (security patches) to go along with my original OS installation media?  B)  For long term archiving of the system image what is your opinion of the M-disc format/technology?

      • #1912450 Reply
        AskWoody MVP

        Hello, John Gaines!

        From my personal perspective, I keep a recent disk image so that it is easy to reinstall and move on. That way, all my programs and tweaks function just the way I’ve set them up.

        But… I also have an image done without my personal tweaks… Windows 7 Home, updated without any telemetry related updates, to December 2017, to be used for clean installs for friends or family, or even myself, in the future. People can then choose how they want to update from there. If they want to use Group A, it will install the telemetry, anyways, but is quick to do.

        Last year I did a clean install, and went through setting up Windows 7 just how I wanted it, with no extras I didn’t want, and all the things I did want… and did images for that, as I went through different steps to build it, too. Storage is relatively cheap insurance, and having different images labeled and saved for things I might want to use again, helps me relax about further experimenting or recovering from problems. I keep in mind that something isn’t backed up, unless there are at least three copies, on different media, too…

        I have my OEM disk, a Windows 7 ISO from Microsoft, and all updates without telemetry, saved, too. I don’t know everything that will happen in the future, and looked at what would give me the most flexibility in the long run. I even have copies of just my data, stored separately, so that any hardware or software problems won’t corrupt it. Over cautious, maybe… but leaving my operating system, programs, data, etc, to Microsoft to manage, or some future malware to mess with, gives me nightmares. I sleep easier knowing I have options.

        The M-DISC technology promises long term storage… but with any technology, keep in mind that with anything proprietary, you are at the mercy of the person or company that owns it. If they don’t license players to record or play them, or even make them, you will be stuck with data that you can’t really access years from now, no matter how long it is stored on a particular disk. Windows is proprietary, and many of us don’t like the direction they’ve taken, and so we will eventually be forced to move away from what we love and works for us. How many computer manufacturers are already eliminating optical drives from their offerings, not even mentioning the necessity of having an M-DISC compatible one?

        To be safe, keep at least three back ups on different media, one being your computer or NAS (local), another local back up not dependent upon internet access (separate or external hard drive, USB or DVD), and one off-site (whether cloud, or not). You may think you don’t need an off-site back up, but think about all the fires and floods and other emergencies there have been in just the last year, and plan accordingly.

        But… for those small update or malware problems, or even hard drive failures… it can be much faster to pop in a known clean image than try to uninstall or get rid of something after it has messed everything up.

        Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

        5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1934598 Reply

        I did some research once on long-term storage. There are several issues involved:
        * How long will your storage media last? M-Disk will last a very long time.
        * How long will there be devices which can read your storage media?
        * How long will there be computers or other devices which can connect with the storage devices, so that the media can be read?

        The only way to be sure that you can access your stored data at a future date is to transfer everything every five to 10 years to a storage medium that is current in all three of the above categories. Either that, or learn cuneiform and write your data to clay tablets, many of which have lasted for thousands of years.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
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