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Windows 7: How to re-image from external USB HD?

01 Sep 2013   #1

Windows 7
How to re-image from external USB HD?

So a virus blew up my computer. I'm trying to re-image from an external USB hard drive, and I'm at the screen Re-Image your computer, and it doesn't seem to see any external HD. I have the USB active in setup, etc, do I need to install drivers for the external USB drive under "Advanced..."? When I go to Seagate's web site there are no drivers listed, it says they are not needed for Windows 7.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2013   #2

Windows 8 Core X64

What program are you using to restore the backup image?

Where is the external USB hard drive plugged in. Power down and move it to a different USB port, see if that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2013   #3

Windows 7

Just the standard Windows image restore tool (pressing F8 and then going into repair computer, image restore).

I tried different USB ports, same issue. Do I need to install the USB driver? It gives the option to install drivers, but like I said, there aren't any...

Maybe copy the image file from the external drive to the drive inside the laptop? Does that work?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Sep 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit

Have you tried accessing the system image by using a system repair disc? Perhaps the virus also messed up the recovery options through F8.

System Repair Disc - Create
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2013   #5

Windows 7

First I completely rebuilt the machine to factory state (format, etc) and then tried to reimage.
I'll have to try to see if it works on another laptop (going into F8 and then looking for the image on the external HD)...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2013   #6

Windows 7

So I tried the same process on another laptop using the same external USB HD, and it works fine, it sees the USB HD when you click on ReImage in the repair computer facility. Why oh why won't it show up on the other laptop? I looked in BIOS Setup, everything there is enabled, especially anything related to USB. If I look for drivers for the external USB HD I can't find any on the C drive (where should I look?). The USB HD works fine when Windows is running on that same laptop. I leave it plugged in when I reboot. This is just vexing! Thanks...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP


Doubtful you need USB drivers unless your using a USB 3 port.

Try using the disk as suggested.

If you need the installer it is in the Clean Reinstall tutorial below. If you donŽt yet have the Clean Reinstall then IŽd do that instead since it is the best install you can have, while factory recovery is the absolute worst.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2013   #8

Windows 7

Yes, but I have a perfect, clean image on the USB HD from two years ago when I installed all my software, all I need to do is get that onto the HD and I would be done. Oh man this is so frustrating...
The laptop functions perfectly, like I just opened it from the factory, the install worked correctly, I just wish I could figure out how to get it to see the USB HD when in Re-Image mode...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2013   #9

Windows 8 Core X64

Try what marsismars suggested here: How to re-image from external USB HD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2013   #10

Windows 7

That link takes me back to here?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to re-image from external USB HD?

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