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Windows 7: System Image has overwritten older version, any way to restore?

16 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 x64
 
 
System Image has overwritten older version, any way to restore?

Hi all

I recently rebuilt my Windows 7 64bit laptop, but before doing so I created a system image on an external drive, so if I encountered any problems I could restore it to it's previous state.

The rebuild went fine but after a week or so I realised that I had not copied some of my photos I wanted to transfer.

I thought if I created another system image I could restore to the older version, grab the photos, then restore back using the most current image and all would be well.

I began creating the new system image and was warned that it 'may' overwrite older versions if there was insufficient space on the drive. Well as there would have been about 300gb free even after adding this system image I didn't think it would be a problem. I imagine you can guess what happens next.....it's overwritten my original system image.

So what I am desperate to now know is.....is there any way to recover the original system image from the drive?

Thanks in advance.

Barry

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Jan 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Hello Barry and welcome to Seven Forums. My usual disclaimer: I'm not an expert in anything.

I believe that once a system image is overwritten you can't recover the original data. Microsoft says that once a system image is made, "...you can't choose individual items to restore, and all of your current programs, system settings, and files are replaced with the contents of the system image."

What is a system image?

I believe that trying to recover the old system image would be trying to selectively pick and choose individual items. I could be wrong on this and if so others will probably jump in to correct me.

Could you still use this new system image as your "master"? It should be called WindowsImageBackup on the external hard drive. You could rename it to something like WIBMaster011612 so it won't get overwritten again. The next time you create a new system image it will then be called WindowsImageBackup and your external drive will show two files ... WIBMaster and WindowsImageBackup. If you ever need to restore to the "Master" just name it back to WindowsImageBackup and select it from your choices.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Thanks marsmimar.

I did think it was unlikely, but as completely deleted items can sometimes be restored I wondered if there would be an option in this instance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


16 Jan 2012   #4

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

If you used the Back up they should be there. The Backup of your files is accessible.
You can restore them without a reimage.

Option One of this tutorial. Which opens your back up drive.> http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/648-restore-backup-user-system-files.html

Then read thru Step 7.
You want to go to Step 9 and pick your back up by DATE.
Not the new one you made but the older one you made before the rebuild.
Keep reading the tutorial steps and restore your files you want or all of them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Hi Hopalong X

But now that my original system image (which had the photos I'm missing) has been overwritten by the new version, I'm trying to find a way to recover that deleted system image. Does that make sense?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2012   #6

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Another way.
Hook up the back up HD.
Open the window on the left.
Then your back up HD should be shown at top where mine shows "G" your drive designation will possibly be different.

Click where I marked yellow "Select another backup to restore".
The window on the right will open. edit.

See how they are dated?
Hopefully you will show the new one you just made and the old one you need by date made.
If the one you need is listed highlight and click NEXT in the bottom right corner and follow prompts.
This should restore the old photos etc. to the new install but not Windows.
itself.

This is all I got. The only suggestion that will work if the Back Up is listed.
I have had it work well for others to recover pictures and music files before if the Back up is listed.

Good Luck
Mike


Attached Thumbnails
System Image has overwritten older version, any way to restore?-backup1.png  
Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Thanks. So what you're saying is, the actual files I created (images, documents etc) and the operating system/programs are backed up separately?

When I go on to my external hard drive and 'WindowsImageBackup' there is just one main file which has yesterdays date as part of it's name. None of the others are large enough to contain a backup.

Any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2012   #8

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

It can be accessed seperately at least. They could be in one folder. I never looked inside the files on my backup HD.

What does yours show in the window on the right above after you follow my above steps?

How many dates are listed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2012   #9

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Thanks Hopalong X

I will try tonight and feedback here. Eitherway, many thanks for your detailed responses.

Barry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2012   #10

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Okay hope it helps it is all I know to try.

Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Image has overwritten older version, any way to restore?





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