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Windows 7: HELP! Need to restore data from external HDD


19 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home premium x64
 
 
HELP! Need to restore data from external HDD

Hello,
I have a 64 bit Asus laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium. My laptop recently had a hard drive problem and i had to get it removed and put in another one. My original hard drive was put in a case and i can use it as an external hard drive now. I had not done any back up or anything (new here), and now i need my data on the new hard drive from the old hard drive.

Please help

Thank you in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 May 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Hello somguy. Welcome to the Forum.

If you are trying to copy your user data from the old hard drive to the new hard drive then that would just be a copy and paste operation using Windows Explorer.

But if you are trying to copy everything (OS, Programs, and all other files) then you want to use a disk management program to "clone" the old drive to the new one.

Some new hard drives come with a disk management program, but if not then you could use a free program to perform the task.

Many people here like MiniTools Partition Wizard from the bootable CD Partition Wizard Bootable CD allows user to boot computer directly to manage partition.

There is also Macrium Reflect.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by somguy View Post
Hello,
I have a 64 bit Asus laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium. My laptop recently had a hard drive problem and i had to get it removed and put in another one. My original hard drive was put in a case and i can use it as an external hard drive now. I had not done any back up or anything (new here), and now i need my data on the new hard drive from the old hard drive.

Please help
Do you have a brand new fresh Windows 7 already installed on the new hard drive currently installed in your laptop? And now all you want to do is copy the "data" from your original drive, now available as an external second hard drive for Windows Explorer or other similar file manager programs?

If that's the case, and you only want to retrieve "data", then just use Windows Explorer or other file manager products (e.g. Free Commander) to copy the data from your old drive to your new drive. Free Commander is very nice in that it has an intuitive 2-pane presentation (for source and target, during COPY/MOVE operations).

Probably much of your data is in the \Users folder (My Documents, etc.) although you might have stored it originally in other "data folders" of your own naming convention on the same C-partition when it was previously inside your laptop.

But all/almost-all programs you previously had installed under Windows 7 on your old hard drive will need to be reinstalled from scratch, to go into the \Program Files folders on your laptop's new internal hard drive.

There is one possible "wrinkle" that could occur, if you have a new userid on the newly installed Windows 7 hard drive now inside your laptop, and you get "access denied" trying to access the data folders (or \User folders) from your now external drive. You'll then have to "take ownership" of the old drive, so that you can have unrestricted access to all of your old data and folders/files.


Or... do you simply have an EMPTY hard drive now inside your laptop, and you want to literally "re-image" your old internal hard drive that is now external onto the new hard drive now inside your laptop?

This is a whole different project.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


20 May 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home premium x64
 
 

I right now have an empty hard drive, and need to get all my programs and other things into it from my old hard drive.

Please help

Thanks in advance
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home premium x64
 
 

TVeblen,
Thanks for your help. I have one question about minitool: is it safe to destroy all data from my new hard drive?
When i copy my external it takes me to choose where i want to copy it to. I select my new one, and it says that all data in the new one must be destroyed. Is it safe? what if there is some problem?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

It depends on what you mean by safe.

We don't know what the problem was on the old hard drive. The assumption is that there was a mechanical/electrical problem, but the contents of that drive are intact and in good order. In that case then you are "safe" to clone the contents to the new hard drive - everything should work just as it did before you had the mechanical problems.

But if there was an issue with the Operating System, corruptions of the data on the disk that caused problems, virus infection, or any other corruption on that old drive then all of those problems will be cloned to the new drive. That would not be "safe".

Now one thing you can consider is to create a new partition of adequate size on the old (external) drive and "image" the contents of the new drive to there. You can use the "Backup & Restore" tool that is in Windows 7 to do this (type "Backup & Restore" at the Start menu). Then if you are not happy with the performance of the cloned drive you could restore the previous contents of the new drive back onto the new drive.

If the laptop manufacturer sent you a replacement hard drive that came pre-loaded with Windows 7, and what you want to do is move your user data back and get all your settings and preferences back to where they were, then you may be better off just rolling up your sleeves and doing it the "hard way": delete all the crap-ware that comes preloaded on a new laptop, re-install your programs, copy your user data (personal files) over, and then you could use the "Windows Easy Transfer" tool to regain your settings (although I have never done this from an external to an internal this way so I can't tell you how that would work).

Of course, the quality of the advice you get here at the Forums is completely dependent on the quality of the information you give us. The more thoroughly you describe your issue, and the more info we have on "Your System Specs", the better. That missing piece of information that you thought was not important can often be the key to a solution.

Post back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #7

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by somguy View Post
I right now have an empty hard drive, and need to get all my programs and other things into it from my old hard drive.

Please help

Thanks in advance
Empty as in there is nothing at all on it, or empty as in just the operating system and none of your data?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home premium x64
 
 

I forgot to say that i had the startup repair problem when my old one was in. It used to say Startup cannot repair this automatically, and i tried going in by safe mode and other things from the internet. A computer repair shop told me i had to format it, and to keep the data i had to remove and replace it. Will copying my old C: drive also restore my programs (like will my ipod still recognize the itunes)?


FliGi7, it just has the operating system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #9

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

You will have to reinstall all of your programs, unless they were specifically portable or stand-alone. To copy all of your data back in your C:\Users\<username> folder, I suggest you use a utility called Robocopy built into Windows 7. It can preserve all permission, access, and file metadata. Or you could just copy everything via windows explorer by just plugging in the external drive and copying everything in your Users folder over.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

You do not want to copy or clone the entire drive. That old OS is toast for all intents and purposes.

You've now got to keep the OS that is on the new hard drive and install the programs again and copy everything else from old to new. You can't copy installed programs, you have to install them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 HELP! Need to restore data from external HDD




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