Use DVD or flash drive as system recovery medium for new PC?

vbimport

#1

hi, not sure where to read or post; was ready to set up/start new sony vaio duo13 (svd13213cxb), processor (4th gen) intel core i5-4200U/ 1.60 GHz, 4 gb RAM, 128gb SSD, has two usb 3.0 ports, win8 OS.
per suggestion of store, bought DVD+R dl (double layer) discs for recovery media, w/ plans to use external cd/dvd drive.
after opened box and read the “recovery,backup and troubleshooting guide” discovered 2 issues.

  1. guide recomended for model not having built-in optical disc drive, to use usb flashdrive for recovery media; though additional mentioned “usb ports that are compliant w/ the usb 3.0 standard dont support recovery w/ usb flash drive thats compliant w/ the usb 3.0 standard” , um, and believe what meant was to use a usb 2.0 flashdrive,
  2. for model w/ built-in optical disc drive, recommended use DVD-R media because data can be accident deleted from usb flashdrive; was searching about and actual found stack of Verbatim DVD-R azo discs(made in india), though the guide said for my model to use flashdrive and not disc media.
    found Lexar jumpdrive firefly usb 2.0 8gb(guessing 8gb appropriate, per video indicating 8gb adequate for bootable flashdrive), but pack said usb flashdrive compatable up to win vista, yes, so thought of maybe testing to check if functional, tried the download H2testw_1.4 test (and couldnt figure out how to test, and existing laptop wanted to format the drive, could have messed up the drive).
    enough said and posting for help.
    d.

#2

You shouldn’t have any worries about PLUS R vs. MINUS R DVDs. PLUS R’s allow for a multi-session disk (backing up files today, then setting the disk aside, coming back in a few days and backing up more files) and there’s some argument that this being a newer ‘standard’, disks are made to a higher quality.

You should be able to use them interchangeably on most any PC you run across.

Win8 doesn’t call its Backup-Recovery process in that phrase - it’s now a System History issue. Hopefully, your new computer has a Control Panel applet that may be called Backup-Recovery and you can use that, instead. That should let you create a bootable DVD or USB, but you will probably want to go into the BIOS Setup and make sure at least one of those devices are set as Bootable. (They may be, out of the box.)

USB sticks can be prone to electrostatic issues - death - so I recommend using the formal “Safely Remove USB” options in the lower right corner of your Win screen each time. This terminates electrical current to that USB port, saving both your computer’s USB port AND the memory-stick itself. (Those sticks can be replaced at least - burn out the USB connector in the computer, though… ugh…)

Is anyone else aware of a USB 3.0 limitation on bootability? I’ve not read this or even considered it - I’d think “the device is either bootable BY the computer’s BIOS setup, or it’s not” and the data-transfer rate (which is primarily the USB 2 vs. 3 distinction) isn’t an issue. But who knows…

I’ve seen most listings say 4Gb or 8Gb are upper limits to USB bootable sticks, however, and some have said “4Gb is the limit”.


#3

to ChristineBCW, great input and much appreciated, :iagree:

You shouldn’t have any worries about PLUS R vs. MINUS R DVDs. PLUS R’s allow for a multi-session disk (backing up files today, then setting the disk aside, coming back in a few days and backing up more files) and there’s some argument that this being a newer ‘standard’, disks are made to a higher quality.

yes, from past info couldnt find real difference between minus-R or plus-R; but if sony recommends the minus-R dvd, and didnt know about the plus-R’s as multi-session discs, and maybe ths why sony prefers the minus-R’s so as the the dvd being dedicated.

USB sticks can be prone to electrostatic issues - death - so I recommend using the formal “Safely Remove USB” options in the lower right corner of your Win screen each time. This terminates electrical current to that USB port, saving both your computer’s USB port AND the memory-stick itself. (Those sticks can be replaced at least - burn out the USB connector in the computer, though… ugh…)

had learned ths some years back from my own mistake and fried a usb drive, didnt know about the risk burning out the usb connector/port, ouch, and so good to understand the cause now, thx.

Is anyone else aware of a USB 3.0 limitation on bootability? I’ve not read this or even considered it - I’d think “the device is either bootable BY the computer’s BIOS setup, or it’s not” and the data-transfer rate (which is primarily the USB 2 vs. 3 distinction) isn’t an issue. But who knows

yes couldnt make sense of ths, though ths is first time having laptop w/ SSD drive built in, and doubt SSD has relevance but dont know; and had to post b/c was odd, i mean if you have usb 3.0 port you use the usb 3.0 connector/flashdrive, but not for recovery, um, what.

using the dvd-R media for recovery appears the safe bet;
though the point made was that laptop users not having built-in optical drives and dont use them now, and the usb flashdrive was the obvious choice for recovery(and optical drives are phasing out); i wouldnt know which, or if just a preference;
and video noted 6.8 gb was the mentioned file size for win7/ or 8 bootable recovery usb drive so he used 8gb, sounds big to me, or error, but i plan to check the file size as burn the recovery dvd(s), o the fun.
again thx very much for assistance,
d.


#4

I prefer disks to USBs for backup because (1) so many PCs have disk-readers and almost all can be set to be bootable, if needed, whereas USB Boot Device abilities are limited to only the newest 2-3 generations of motherboards.

(2) I’ve had a far greater number of USBs die on me than disk “coasters” - maybe 10% of my USB drives have failed, but fortunately most of those died wihtin a few early hours/days of use, so a re-do wasn’t difficult. I doubt if I’ve had 0.001% of burned disks fail - so I perceive “disks to be far more reliable” at this point.

However, as more disk-less computers arrive, who ya gonna call?!! The USB will be the media-of-last-resort, for a while, I suspect.

A manufacturer that recommends MINUS R disks, I believe, is looking at the same issues I am - “If you EVER run across an ancient DVD Player, it might not accept PLUS R disks but all of them were made, from Day One, to accept MINUS R’s.”

So, in my mind, a MINUS R disk is the best assurance I have of ‘compatibility across all players’. But there’s only a few stops I make that have DVD players from 2004 and 2005, so I seldom have ‘requirements’ for the MINUS R. I tend to purchase those for Inventory & Re-Order simplicity.

When I get a batch of PLUS Rs, I use them as Single Session Only’s - I think a Multi-Session Disk is the real issue of “failed compatibility” anyway, not a Single Session PLUS R.


#5

[moved posts to their own thread]


#6

I don’t know because I use another method for backup.
Acronis TI .
I long ago removed the “Recovery” partition that came installed on my desktop.
I think it was 12GB.
My computer (bought new) didn’t come with recovery discs . I think I made some but these were really designed to access the recovery partition on the harddrive.
My thoughts are if the harddrive fails what are you going to access with the recovery disc ?
I also have a MS recovery disc I downloaded from the internet.
This gets into the Recovery console.

What I use myself is an external harddrive .
I usually keep 2 complete backups on it .
I also keep a cloned drive.

You have to partition the external harddrive & one of the partitions is basically a flash drive clone. This is the partition that is bootable. Once booted with it the Acronis GUI comes up.Then I can access the backups that are on a different partition on the same external harddrive.

I would have to look over the guide I have for doing this but I think the same type partition could be created for the “Recovery Media” you want on a flash drive.
If you can do it with a partition on a harddrive you will get the dependability of the harddrive.

It would be interesting to see if this is possible.
I will see if I can find a link to where I posted the guide here.
It was not written by me . I only followed it.

My drive is 2.0 so I can’t help with the 3.0 .

This is the guide:
http://www.themudcrab.com/downloads/acronis_bootable_usb_hd.pdf

On looking it over I think it would require the Acronis software at least if you follow the guide.
I think what would be done is create the "Recovery Media " you want on a bootable flash drive. Then create an Acronis image(backup) of it.
Then recover that to the bootable partition on the external harddrive.
I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. That way it would have the bootable “Recovery Media” instead of the Acronis boot.
There are probably other softwares that would be able to do the same.
Maybe Norton Ghost.
As long as it is able to create a bootable image & then write it back to the partition.


#7

I keep both partition images of my OS partition, plus a complete cloned drive

Recovery partitions are a waste of time and drive space, because most times what you are recovering from is a hard drive failure… in which case they are worthless.


#8

Among our users, it’s probably a 50-to-1 count or more that have software screw-ups (viruses? user screw-ups?) compared to very few hard-drive failures, so recovery partitions are great for those.