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Windows 7: How do I backup & restore system and program files to a new OS install

19 Dec 2012   #1

Win 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1 Desktop, 32bit Laptop
How do I backup & restore system and program files to a new OS install

Hey all,

I recently purchased a new Toshiba 1tb HDD. My old WD 1tb HDD has been giving me trouble of late. I occasionally get the BSOD. Also, on occasion, when I reboot the computer it automatically runs the chkdsk program and reports several bad clusters. However the chkdsk program never seems to flag the bad clusters, so periodically, when I reboot, it runs and reports them again.

I would like to image or backup all of the files on my problem HDD, then do a fresh install of Win 7 Ultimate 64bit (my current OS) to the new HDD, then restore the cloned or image system and program files to the new HDD. I don't want to have to go through the process of reinstalling everything again, when everything seems to be working okay. Since the Win 7 image program makes and exact image of the HDD, then to use that program would cause the new install of Win 7 Ultimate 64bit to be overwritten by the image restore. Therefore, if there should be corrupt data under a bad cluster from the old HDD, that data would not be transferred and my existing problem would be transferred to the new HDD.

On the other hand, if I do a disk clone, I am not sure that the existing programs would continue to operate on the new HDD, and would require a fresh install of each program after the fresh install of the Win 7 OS! I would have then wasted my time doing a transfer of program/data files to my newly formatted and freshly installed OS.

Does anyone know of any program (Acronis True Image, Paragon, Norton Ghost, Macrium Reflect, etc.) that will let you image or clone the program and data (incuding the necessary operational files such as: Win32 system files, activation files, etc.) so that they will work correctly on the fresh install of the OS?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Have a great day.
Ed Wood

My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Dec 2012   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1

Ed, sorry to break this to you but you can not restore an image of your old C drive to a new fresh install of Windows 7 without overwriting the fresh install. It would be a waste of time to install a fresh install and then overwrite it with an old image.
It is possible to image using Acronis to an external drive and the restoring it to a new hard disk.

You can either backup your data to an external drive and then restore to a new system but not the programs and windows special files.

I believe that Acronis won't backup bad sectors if they are giving you problems. But if your BSOD's are because some system files are on a bad sector. You might be out of luck.

I also believe that there are commercial programs that will move your programs and data to your new hard disk but haven't used any.

Maybe someone else can jump in on one of them.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2012   #3

Win 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1 Desktop, 32bit Laptop


Thanks for your response.

I will run the OS repair disk on the imaged files to see if anything is missing or corrupted and hope for the best! Since Acronis TE will not transfer bad cluster data, maybe I got lucky and everything will work as it should with the repair disk fix.

Interesting thing. After imaging my old C: drive then disconnecting it to verify that the new drive would boot and operate successfully, I reformatted the old C: drive, then ran a chkdsk and disk repair on the newly reformatted drive. IT DID NOT SHOW ANY ERRORS on the drive after the reformat. I am beginning to wonder if I somehow picked up a trojan horse that did it's dirty work on the old C: drive? The reformat would/should have removed any trojan horse/virus so that I have a perfectly healthy drive now.

I guess that's a subject for another thread.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1

ED, glad that you are doing good with this..
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I backup & restore system and program files to a new OS install

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