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Windows 7: Backup from non-booting system disk

16 Jul 2014   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Backup from non-booting system disk

Hi,

How do I best backup user settings and files (including user registry entries) from a working but non-booting HDD and restore it to the new Windows 7 Pro install?

The back story: system came to me non-booting, had to replace the motherboard, of course the new M/B has a different chipset. Of course there is no user backup. I've created a disk image backup, but Recovery fails and trying to do an Upgrade install results in a blank Compatibility Report.

The old system hard disk is OK and filesystem is fine, so I just need a procedure to get files, settings, and user registry settings (but not registry references to device drivers) off it it and then back onto it after a clean install. The user will already need to reinstall all of the applications, a situation I can usually avoid, so I need to make everything else as easy as possible for them.

I think I have all the resources I need: COA, install disc, a USB to Sata adapter, thumb drives, file server with disk space, other working Windows systems, etc.

In this case "best" means most complete for the user, not easiest on me.

Thanks!
HF


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jul 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Might be easier to get it working first.

Fix the mobo change with this, quick and easy :

Make Windows 7 bootable after motherboard swap

Then see if you can use startup repair/commands from pe to fix whatever the original problem was.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Wow, thanks! I'll try that tonight. I was looking for a how-to like that the past few evenings and tried a few, but didn't find the Paragon how-to.

BTW the original problem was that the motherboard failed, and I replaced it with something with a different chipset (from nforce to AMD). The system disk is actually in good shape, it just has all the wrong drivers trying to load.

I did try basic recovery, running sysprep from recovery CMD after the fact (got a missing dll error), I also tried the dism command, kind of worked loading the new drivers but didn't get it to boot, even tried loading the hive and disabling old drivers, but nothing worked.

Thanks again, I'll try it and Paragon is definitely a tool that I will keep in my toolbox... but I am still hoping for an answer to my original question.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jul 2014   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Paragon didn't work... at best it created a boot problem earlier in the boot process, that System Repair booted from DVD offered to fix, and did. So I would like anyone's thoughts on backup from non-booting system disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

First time I have heard paragon not work in all these years.

I expect there is something else wrong there.

Quote:
even tried loading the hive and disabling old drivers, but nothing worked.
Perhaps there is problem there.

If you can find a copy of the system hive in system32\config\regback, try copying it to system32\config.

Then try paragon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2014   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thanks, config/RegBack is there but is empty. This has to be the unluckiest upgrade I've ever done.

Even if we get Paragon to work I'd still like an answer to my original question.

Update: To simplify things I found another HDD and installed to that. Now the old system disk is available to copy from... though I recall last time I tried that Windows tried to inject some bogus "privacy" and stop me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Backup from non-booting system disk




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