ok, i will try again. but the reason i intitially decided to do a clean reinstall was because; first, usb devices not being read and second, boot times begin to take 10mins, 40mins, a few hours etc.
i did the clean reinstall twice with same issue (cannot find restore file). i have a 'windowsbackupimage' file in my ex HD that cannot be found by the restore tool. please tell me that is the correct backup file.
my ex HD appears and has a letter (H) expansion drive. see images