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Windows 7: Restore: only one system image appears in list!

21 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit on E6420, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit on other three
Restore: only one system image appears in list!

Hello everyone,

First, the machines:

1. The oldest, a Getac B300; Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, running fine.
2. My main machine, a Dell Latitude E6420; Windows 7 Professional 32-bit, running fine.
3. My most recent purchase, a Toshiba Tecra R940 I bought less than a month ago.

I regularly create system images for my machines on a Toshiba external USB drive that I use only for that purpose. The drive currently contains system images for all three machines: a 64-bit image for the B300; 32-bit, 64-bit and 32-bit/64-bit dual-boot images for the Dell, and a 64-bit image for the Tecra.

Now on to the Tecra. It came with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit preinstalled and activated, along with a Windows 8 system image on two DVDs in the box, also activated.

So, after I updated the preinstalled 7 and installed all my software, I created a system image using Windows Backup and Restore like I normally do, and decided to give Windows 8/8.1 a try. After much consternation and aggravation, I realized - again - that Windows 8 just wasn't for me, so I just decided to go back to Windows 7 and be done with it.

Except, now I can't. First, it was impossible for me to restore the machine to the system image I had created before. I installed Linux and tried to restore Windows 7 again, and that didn't work either. Finally, I reinstalled Windows 7 using the genuine DVD I had purchased for the B300 more than three years ago. I proceeded to install all the Windows updates (including Service Pack 1 and subsequent updates) and main drivers, then tried to restore the system image again.

But, to my surprise, in the recovery tool, only the B300's system image is visible, even though all other system images appear in Windows Explorer when any of the machines is running.

All system images are visible in WE:

... but only the B300's system image appears in the re-imaging tool:

So, what can I do to be able to see the other system images (particularly the one for the Tecra) in the list?

Thanks in advance,

My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Feb 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc

May I suggest, forget system image. Download the free Macrium Reflect, and make images of the entire hard drive and put it on an external, that is what I and many other members do. In our opinions Macrium works better than, is faster and easier to use. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed. BTW, you can store as many images as you desire.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit on E6420, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit on other three

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the tip. I've come across many mentions of Macrium before, but I've never thought of actually using it until now. I'll make sure to give it a try the next time around.

I found a solution to my problem, though. Here's what happened.

I was reading through this, and I came across a post that said:

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.
And that's when it hit me! If you look at the first picture above, you'll see that there's a "B300-XP" folder right after the "B300" folder in Windows Explorer. I just remembered that I had created a system image of Windows XP on the same B300 using a third-party program (for the life of me I can't remember which) a couple of weeks ago before I restored it to Windows 7. So I figured that must be it! The image restore tool couldn't read any of the folders after that one because it's not a Windows 7 image folder.

So, I cut that folder out of there, pasted it on the root and tried again, and voila! The R940's factory system is back:

As the old adage goes, you learn something new everyday!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Feb 2014   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc

That's great, glad that you got your problem sorted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Restore: only one system image appears in list!

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