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Windows 7: Restoring with an external hard drive.

23 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Restoring with an external hard drive.

Just recently, my main 1TB internal hard drive crashed and is not bootable. I luckily backed up my hard drive about a month ago on an external 500Gig hard drive. Though, I am having trouble finding how to restore from my from my back up hard drive. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

What type of backup did you perform? Was it just a data backup, meaning you would have to reinstall the OS, then all apps and finally data from External, or was it an image style backup where you would restore the whole machine from the backup file?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

What have you tried to get Windows 7 started? Have you booted into System Recovery Options to run Startup Repair? System Recovery Options

Hopefully you backed up a Windows 7 System Image. If so follow the steps here: System Image Recovery

Once reimaged you can copy in the latest files if you backed them up separately.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Feb 2011   #4

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

From what I remember, it was a total data back up. So I assume, I would have to reformat my internal HDD, then reinstall windows, then use the external to restore my data?

Note: I already attempted some of the steps in System Image Recovery. Both my main unbootable drive and external backup drive doesn't appear in the list to restore. I also tried running the startup repair tool.

I do really appreciate the quick responses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Just to make sure before I reinstall, where would be image file be located on the external hard drive and how would I go about about finding it? Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

The file is named WindowsImageBackup and would be in the root of the External. It needs to be there to be detected by the Repair CD or DVD.

If you want to repair the current install, can you provide more detail about what happened. Have you tried running System Restore from DVD Repair console or Repair CD? Have you made sure Windows 7 is marked Active before running Startup Repair as it must be to repair? Partition - Mark as Active

Do you have a factory Recovery partition or disks which could be used to restore to factory condition?

If not, do you have access to a Windows 7 Install DVD for your version to clean reinstall using the Product Key on COA sticker? Here are tips for getting a purrfect clean reinstall of factory OEM: re-install windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #7

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

I do have the Windows 7 64-bit OEM disc.

I do not have the factory partition because I bought my hard drive OEM.

I am attempting to Mark the partition as active as I type this.

Update: After attempting to make my primary partition on my primary hard drive active, it will not let me select it's partition. I type "select partition 1" and it states "no partition is selected".
Note: There is an "*" next to Partition 1 when I list it. I don't know if that is an indicator of something.

I can do a clean install but I'm trying to avoid that if possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

You want to mark 100mb System Reserved partition Active first (if you have it) to try repairs. If it won't repair, try marking the Windows 7 partition itself.

Does the repair utility find an installation to repair when you boot into it?

You can get a graphic picture of what you're doing while marking Active, post back a camera snap, and from it's Disk tab Rebuild MBR using free Partition Wizard bootable CD. http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
If you want to repair the current install, can you provide more detail about what happened. Have you tried running System Restore from DVD Repair console or Repair CD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #9

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

I'm just going to run a clean install of Windows and restore in the OS from my external hard drive. It seems that its the best bet I have on getting my computer back up and running. Thank you very much for the help you have provided me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

If you've got anything else you need copied out you can use this method: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console

Be sure to wipe the HD to overwrite any corrupt or infected code. The steps are in the Clean Reinstall tips I posted earlier.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Restoring with an external hard drive.




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