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Standard User cheshire_man
(knowledge is power) Sun 22-Nov-15 14:54:21
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Restoring Win 7 from sys. image using Windows Recovery Disc

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Pending a rebuild of my system with an HDD that might be going to die before too long I though I'd test the restore process.

Glad I did.

I already had a Windows 7 Recovery CD, I also had a system image on an external drive, both created by Windows 7.

Booted from the Recovery CD but it couldn't find an image. Found that it wasn't even seeing the external drive and realised that it was a USB3 drive on a USB3 port and guessed that USB3 drivers weren't in the recovery system. Went into the Advanced option and chose Add Drivers, fortunately as the PC's HDD was actually ok was able to browse it and locate the 2 USB3 driver setup (.inf) files on that drive (must copy them to a CD for such use - just in case) and installed them.

Could now see the external drive but couldn't get it see a system image. Rebooted to do some Googling and found that the WindowsImageBackup folder must be in the root directory of the disc - it was.


Then found this
3. make sure you haven't added any other folders in the "WindowsImageBackup" folder unless they are disk images of other computers. Any other folder (like an empty folder) that is aphabetically ahead of a Windows Image Folder will prevent all alphabetically trailing System Images from being found.
That was the problem. Because I also have a Dell laptop and have system images of that, I'd got them in the same WindowsImageBackup folder together with a couple of other folders. Moved all the irrelevant folders elsewhere and bingo, the image was found.

So two lessons learned:
  • If using USB3 connected drive either have the drivers to hand or change to using a USB 2 port.
  • Ensure the WindowsImageBackup folder is in the root directory of the drive and that the only image folder in it is the relevant one.
I continued the restore process as far as I could go before it actually started the restore and everything looked ok.

Certainly was a useful and educational couple of hours.

Mind you, I'm even more tempted to buy Acronis... smile

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