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Windows 7: Help Restoring Windows 7 Recovery Disk to External Hard Drive or USB

11 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Pro 32bit
Help Restoring Windows 7 Recovery Disk to External Hard Drive or USB

I have an Acer Iconia W500 that came preinstalled with Windows 7 32bit Home Premium. I made recovery discs from the tablet before installing Windows 8 on it, which runs great. What I would like to do, if possible, is to use those Windows 7 restore discs and restore them to an external hard drive and be able to boot from it and run the original Windows 7 that came preinstalled. The reason I am wanting to do this, as there were some programs, drivers, and other things that I cannot download from Acer or retrieve from the restore discs, and can only access from the OS if it is actually running. Thanks, ahead of time, for any help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Jul 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


This is why many WIn8 previewers keep the old OS in a Dual Boot so it is readily accessible by booting or via Explorer. It would have also been better to back up a Windows 7 backup image which could be virtually mounted in Disk Mgmt. to access any files. Recovery Disks are not that flexible and will only recover the machine to exact factory condition on the internal HD.

What drivers or other needed software is missing from the Acer Support Downloads webpage for your model. These can often be found via Google. I have never seen a problem with Acer in countless Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro 32bit

First off, thanks for the response. This is a tablet, which I am sure you are aware of, and only comes with a built in 32GB SSD (that is 'almost' impossible to upgrade). I have about 2GB of room left on it now with software testing that I have been doing. I have an HP Z600 Workstation that I dual boot 4 OS's, which includes Win8RP, so I am well acquainted with dual booting an OS. Just was not an option on this tablet.

Restoring a disk and partition backup to an external HD is something that I have never attempted, and was wondering if it is possible to perform in this particular situation. The list would be lengthy, but the files I am needing access to are only accessible through the OS when it is loaded. Searching for these files was the first thing I attempted, and they are not available and are specific to this tablet.

A last ditch effort would be to restore the tablet with the discs, retrieve the files, and then reinstall Win8RP, but you seem experienced enough to know what a hassle and time consuming that would be. Has to be a way to do what I am asking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Jul 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


May I ask which files you're seeking, and what the need is? There may be workarounds.

If forced to factory recover to obtain them, you could save Win8 in a system image using free Macrium of the premium Acronis app which comes free with any WD or Seagate drive. I haven't tried Win8 backup imaging but it should also work.

There is also a way to mount most factory images but it would be specific to the image file itself if you can find it. For example had you made a Windows 7 backup image it's vhd file is easily mounted to retrieve data like this: Virtual Hard Disk - Create and Attach VHD
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Help Restoring Windows 7 Recovery Disk to External Hard Drive or USB

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