Zinstall and zPOD

Zinstall and zPOD aren’t marketed or sold as Windows rescue tools, but you’d be surprised just how effective both can be when it comes to getting a damaged PC working again. Even if your PC has failed completely, as long as your hard disk or your copy of Windows 7 isn’t damaged, you can use Zinstall or zPOD to rescue the system, complete with all of your software, and be back up and running again quickly.

They’re slightly different types of software, but both get a copy of Windows running in a virtual machine (VM). Here’s a brief description of their primary functions.

Zinstall was designed primarily to ease the upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 by creating a VM of your copy of Windows XP to run in the new Windows 7 environment, complete with all of your programs. This means that when upgrading to Windows 7 from Windows XP, you can keep downtime to an absolute minimum and perform a clean install of all of your software and files into Windows 7 in your own time.

zPOD works in the same way as Zinstall, but it allows you to copy the VM it creates to an external USB hard disk or even to a pen drive and run Windows from that device on any other computer. Both programs operate in an incredibly simple way by allowing you to create a VM with a single click. They automatically search for your installed operating systems and then enable you to quickly and easily choose a destination. Both software packages will work with any version of Windows, including Windows 7, and can even rescue a copy of Windows from a dead PC.

To rescue a copy of Windows 7 from a dead PC, follow these instructions.

1. Plug the hard disk from the dead PC into another computer. Remember to make sure both computers are turned off and disconnected from the electrical outlet before working inside the case.

2. Boot the working computer into the copy of Windows that’s installed on it.

3. Install the Zinstall or zPOD software on the working PC, and run it.

4. By default, Zinstall or zPOD will find the main, running copy of Windows. To point the software toward the copy of Windows on the imported hard disk, press Advanced.

5. You can choose to omit certain file types. By default, Zinstall and zPOD exclude any files in the Users folder. Indicate whether to include or omit other files in the Copy Filters panel of the Advanced settings window.

6. zPOD uses 256-bit encryption to secure the VM so you can carry it around with you, safe in the knowledge that only you can access this copy of Windows and your programs. Activate this option by setting up a password in the Security Settings panel of the Advanced settings window.

7. It could take several hours for Zinstall or zPOD to create the VM. When the process is complete, a utility for running the VM appears.

The single biggest advantage of zPOD and Zinstall is continuity of productivity. Simply put, this means that, as long as there is a spare computer available that you can use, you will always be able to keep working.

Although you can’t use Complete PC Backup, you can use other disk imaging utilities, such as Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image to create an image of the rescued copy of Windows 7. You might also be able to use a third-party tool to rescue programs from the damaged Windows 7 installation that you do not have the original installers for.

Either way, you now have a rescued copy of Windows 7 and your programs that you can continue using.

Zinstall or zPOD: Which is right for you?
If you intend to use the VM only on the PC that you create it on, then Zinstall will do, since it creates the VM to run on the computer where it is created. Use zPOD if you want to use your virtual copy of Windows 7 on other computers, too.

Source of Information :  Microsoft Press - Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out

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