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Windows 7: Perform system restore on an external HD?


07 Apr 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Ultimate 64-bit
 
 
Perform system restore on an external HD?

Hello all,

This is going to sound like a display problem, but it ends up being related to system-restore: I promise!

I recently replaced the screen on my HP Dv6t 6c00 laptop. The new screen lit up, but no image appeared, so I tried to change some settings in Windows using an external monitor to see if I could force Windows to display on the new laptop screen.

I ended up (foolishly) disabling the integrated video adapter, and now I can't see the external monitor, either! (oops). The only thing I can think of now is disconnecting the HDD, connecting it to another computer, and trying to do a system restore--unless someone knows a way to re-enable the graphics while blind...

I've already tried resetting the CMOS memory, using a magnet to fool the laptop into thinking its closed, and hitting Fn+F4/Windows+P to switch to the external. I haven't been able to find a way to view the BIOS screen on the external,, either; it doesn't seem to be possible on an HP laptop. If there's a setting to change in the BIOS to allow this, I can't get to it because I can't see anything.

To summarize, my questions are: given the above information, how can I either re-enable the graphics card or do a system restore on my HDD while it is connected to another computer? I would prefer to connect the HDD by USB (I have a SATA-USB adapter). The most convenient machine for me to use would be my girlfriend's macbook pro, although I could probably borrow a friend's laptop if necessary.

Any ideas? Thanks for reading!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Apr 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Welcome to Seven Forums dwj88.

I doubt if a Restore would help since the graphics adapter would be disabled in the BIOS, not the OS. If you do connect the HDD to another (Windows only) machine, windows Update would likely start loading drivers for that machine and maybe make the install invalid.

Have you re-checked you work on the new screen?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

I replaced the cable on the new screen, too--checked it over a couple times. If there's a problem with my installation of the screen or cable, I'm not skilled enough to see it. You can tell it's hooked up, because the light comes on and the screen flashes at the appropriate moments--it just doesn't display any images. It goes from black to dark grey.

If it helps, I disabled the graphics adapter in the device manager--not sure if this makes a difference on whether or not the card is disabled in BIOS (I'm really still a learner).

What if I link the HDD to another device with internet connectivity turned off? Or if I just boot from that device, and use the HDD as a USB drive--is there a way to reverse the device manager change through that method? (possibly in the registry? A wild guess).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Apr 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Since you can't see an image on an external monitor, which should work by plugging it in, you may have done something wrong in replacing the screen. The external video feed would, I think, have to go through the same feed as the built-in one.

You can't boot Windows via a USB attached HDD. If you attach it to another motherboard I think any changes you could make would be to that computer. It may not even boot since hardware would probably be very dissimilar. I doubt any changes you would make in another PC would not carry back to the laptop.

I'll ask for some others to have a look in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2014   #5

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Welcome DWJ to SF.

I'm not sure if you tried this, but reset the CMOS. This should help...
How to Clear Your Computer?s CMOS to Reset BIOS Settings
This will fix any issues with the BIOS being set to the wrong value.

If that doesn't fix it, do you have a Windows Installation DVD, stick it into the drive and reboot.
Can you see anything from the DVD? If you do, use the Repair function.
It can't hurt.

If you are still scratching your head, try booting into the Safe mode.
This should bypass the standard drivers.
If none of these help, then I'll start scratching my head.

Good luck

PS - Hi Britton
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2014   #6

Windows 7 Home Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for your replies, everyone!

The first thing I think I should clarify is that the external monitor stopped working because I disabled the integrated graphics in the device manager, not realizing this would be so hard to reverse. Before that, I had an external that started working after windows booted, but I was unable to access the BIOS because the main screen didn't display. Now neither screen displays.

As for the other suggestions, I've tried resetting the CMOS memory, but it didn't seem to help--I think because I disabled the integrated graphics in the Windows device manager, not in the BIOS menu. I've never been able to see BIOS in the external monitor--it would only start displaying after Windows booted. That's why I was looking into a system restore via another computer--but it doesn't look like that's viable.

The Window's installation DVD is a good idea--provided it will display on the external monitor so that I can select "repair." I don't have one right now, but the drive has a restore-partition and from what I understand these disks aren't so hard to make--right?

As for Safe Mode, I've been having a hard time entering it because I can't see anything on startup. If anyone knows how I can do so blind from this BIOS, I'd be willing to give it a shot: HP Notebook System BIOS Update | HP® Support

Thanks again for your replies!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2014   #7

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

As for the Safe mode, boot up with the Delete Key depressed and sustain the depressed key until something shows on the screen.
This has nothing to do with Windows drivers.

If you can't see the BIOS, then it sounds like a hardware issue. Since you live in the USA, recommend you take the laptop in to Staples. They have fixed issues with my laptop, and they should at least be able to give your laptop a clean bill of health.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2014   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dwj88 View Post
The Window's installation DVD is a good idea--provided it will display on the external monitor so that I can select "repair." I don't have one right now, but the drive has a restore-partition and from what I understand these disks aren't so hard to make--right?

Thanks again for your replies!
For the Windows ISO file, you can go to this site Windows 7 Direct Download Links, Official Disk Images from Digital River You will need to go about half way down the page to get to the English versions. Be sure to get the correct version for your PC (Home Premium, Pro, Etc) and also the correct 32-bit or 64-bit. Burn the ISO to a DVD and you will have your Windows 7 disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2014   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

I will ask you to double check the ribbon connection from motherboard to display - on both ends. These are notoriously tricky to insert properly all the way in. You feel like you are going to break something and you have to apply equal force all across the connector. There will be a "snap" of sorts when it finally seats, but this is not an obvious or loud snap - more like a thud.

You do not say whether the display is CCFL or LED backlit, but in either case you can get power to the backlight without data from the graphics chip. So just because it lights up does not mean it is connected properly.

Disabling the graphics chip in Windows only affects Windows. Your BIOS screens are completely independent of anything you do in Windows. So you should get the BIOS screen on an external monitor.

I am not familiar with your method of resetting the BIOS or attempting a ClearCMOS. I suggest you try this on a laptop:
Power off, remove the power supply/charger, remove the battery.
Press and hold the power button down for at least 30 seconds
Put everything back together and start up.

If that does not work you may need to do all the steps above but then remove the 3v motherboard battery also.

Let's see if any of that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2014   #10

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

bigmck - as a side note, your Sig image is not fair. Now I've got to go get a burger. Your looks just to good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Perform system restore on an external HD?




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