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Windows 7: Booting an image from USB HDD Windows 7 Ulitmate

17 Feb 2011   #1

Ultimate windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Booting an image from USB HDD Windows 7 Ulitmate

Hey all, I got a new 500GB hard drive for my laptop as my current one works fine but is slow and crashes from time to time. So I imaged my OS Windows 7 Ultimate onto my 500GB External USB HDD. Now I put my new hard drive in 500GB WD and I am trying to boot from my USB HDD but with no sucess. How can I make this work? I was next going to get a Sata USB cable and put my old hard drive with the OS on there on boot to that and try to transfer it to my HDD in my laptop. Please HELP!!

Is this even possible without a DVD drive or disk? What is the sense of imaging a drive if you cannot boot from it or transfer it to a new HD?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Feb 2011   #2

Ultimate windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Gateway 4GB RAM Intel Cetrino PRO
M-6849 Model Num
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You can't boot from an image file.

You have to boot to some other drive or disc and then RESTORE that image file to the new drive.

For instance:

Make an image of C and save that image on an external drive.

Install a new empty drive.

Boot using a Linux recovery disk and navigate to the saved image on the external.

Restore that image to the new empty drive.

That's a scenario of how you would do it with Macrium Reflect if you wanted to replace your original hard drive.

Some image programs will allow you to restore without using a separate Linux boot disc. Others won't.

Your Gateway may not support booting from an external USB drive for all I know. Even if it did, you aren't going to be able to boot from the image file on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Feb 2011   #4

Ultimate windows 7 64 bit
 
 

great thanks...Can i do it the second way i was thinking? with a Sata cable to USB.or docking station..My internal DVD is not working...I have an external LG Drive i can use. I never thought I had to make a boot disk. Why the hell do they have to make it so hard for normal people to do this. Windows 7 Ultimate is supposed to be the easiest at doing this sort of thing. If you know what you are doing you can get around it I understand. But I can install networks and hardware but this is a whole different level.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

If you are using Windows built-in imaging, someone else will have to help you. I gave up on it.

You could certainly download Macrium and do what I mentioned in my first post. You would need to make the Linux disc--you do that in Macrium and it takes a few minutes.

I'm not sure I understand your intentions with the USB cable, but here are some key points:

You have to be able to boot and find the image file you have created.

You have to be able to choose the new drive as the destination when you "restore".

Image files by themselves are useless until they are restored.

Imaging is not foolproof. Worst case scenario, you reinstall everything from scratch.

You can run into problems if your new C is not larger than the original C that you have imaged.

You might try your USB idea and see if it works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2011   #6

Ultimate windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Thanks! What am thinking with my usb is...I get the docking station and put my orginal HD with the OS and all the programs on it and boot to that externally like normal. Then I go and copy that old HD to my new HD (Which is already installed) and then boot up with my old hd again and recover the NEW HD image and I should be good? My problem right now is I have an image on a USB HDD and no OS no bootable file on either the new hard drive which is installed or the USB HD. When i get that docking station USB to SATA i can put my old HD that is working fine and boot from that. I want to avoid making a disk. There is a way around this!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2011   #7
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Your external LG DVD is fine for booting the system repair disk.
So
1) make a system repair disk (or 2). From the "Backup & Restore screen" - a button click over on the left.
2) Make a Windows system image to your external HDD. Include other data partitions if you want.
3) Remove your old HDD. Put in the new HDD (no need to do anything to it).
4) Boot from the system repair DVD on the LG. You will need to temporarily change the BIOS boot order to select your LG as number 1. Or the appropriate function key for a BIOS device select boot if you know it.
5) Select restore image. Don't expect the LG DVD device drive letter to be the same in this boot situation. Browse for your image.

If all goes well your PC will simply boot up after the restore like it was when the image was made.

Edit: Windows imaging worked/works fine for me but if it plays up. Follow the similar procedure with Macrium free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kpk704 View Post
Thanks! What am thinking with my usb is...I get the docking station and put my orginal HD with the OS and all the programs on it and boot to that externally like normal. Then I go and copy that old HD to my new HD (Which is already installed) and then boot up with my old hd again and recover the NEW HD image and I should be good? My problem right now is I have an image on a USB HDD and no OS no bootable file on either the new hard drive which is installed or the USB HD. When i get that docking station USB to SATA i can put my old HD that is working fine and boot from that. I want to avoid making a disk. There is a way around this!!
Can you boot from docked drive?? I have a dock, but don't know if booting from one is possible.

You state "Then I go and copy that old HD to my new HD...." How??? What do you mean exactly? If you simply drag installed programs from one drive to another, you are going to have problems.

All I can suggest is try whatever you think you have in mind.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2011   #9

Ultimate windows 7 64 bit
 
 

It should be the same as booting from a EXT USB DVD Drive or USB HDD? No? Im going to image my OLD HD to my new One after booting up with the dock. That way i have an operating system to work with on my EXT HD enabling me to get in and recover that image on the new HD that i just created. I will try this and if I run into a problem ala no booting from a dock...back to square 1 or making a boot disk. As i said there has to be a way to get this done. There are plenty
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

If either HD is Seagate or WD you can install their excellent free Acronis Cloning programs to simply clone the old HD over to the new one. These premium programs also have imaging capabilities.
WD Support
| Seagate

If you've already make a backup image with Windows 7 imaging saved to your external, I'd just boot the repair disk and image to your new HD. System Image Recovery
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Booting an image from USB HDD Windows 7 Ulitmate




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