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Windows 7: Advice on Restoring System from Back-up

08 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7
Advice on Restoring System from Back-up

Hi All,
My wife's laptop crashed and will not boot. I tried all options from sys recovery/ repair disk to no avail. I tried to restore from back-up saved on E: partition but it won't work- I get an error message that the back-up resides on the disk, and windows needs to format the disk. I re-installed Windows 7 Pro (64x) from OEM disk and tried to replace with the back-up saved on E: partition, but received same error message. I have restored from seperate partition before.

What is the best way to restore from the back-up? Do I need to burn the back-up to disks and then run Windows 7 system restore utility? If so, is there a proper way to burn the back-up so it will be usable/ recognized by Windows 7 when running the restore utility? Any assistance is much appreciated

My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Feb 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Did you try restoring from the repair disc command line?

I have a better idea - do you have access to another windows 7 computer (preferably 32 bit )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP


Copy WindowsBackupImage to external or another HD then boot Repair CD to reimage your System HD.

You can also mount the image VHD file in any Windows 7 Disk Mgmt using Option One here: System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management

Now you can image with another imaging app like Acronis' free WD or Seagate apps which will reimage to same HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Feb 2011   #4

Windows 7
Difficulty Restoring System

Hi All,
This is my second attempt for advice. I have done some research but haven't found an answer. I found the tuturial on restoring Windows 7 from a back-up image and followed without success. To recap, my wife's laptop crashed after i resized partitions. I am trying to restore using a back-up I created using the Win back-up/ restore utility and saved to e: partition. When I try to restore using Win 7 system restore utility, i receive an error message that the HDD needs to be formatted and cannot be restored from e: partition.

I copied the WindowsImageBackup folder to a USB. However, when I run the Win 7 restore utility, the WindowsImageBackup on my USB does not show up as an option to restore from. I am at a loss and need to restore the laptop. Should I burn the WindowsImagBackup to discs? If so is there a recommended procedure and/ or program to ensure the discs would be recognized? Any advice is much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP


Placing the image on external is best. Is it named only WindowsImageBackup and nothing else, and it is placed in the root of the drive as it must to be detected?

I don't know if you inquired previously about restarting Windows 7 when it fails during partitioning. We use free Partition Wizard here which doesn't fail as all others can besides Disk Mgmt. Sometimes when they fail you can restore the boot files and start Windows 7 by booting the Windows 7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots. Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

Make sure Windows 7 partition or its 100mb System Reserved boot partition is marked Active first. You can see how/if the partitions exist now using free Partition Wizard bootable CD, run it's Recover Partition Wizard if not, as well as mark Active and attempt to Rebuild MBR from Disk tab before doing the Repairs: Free Download Magic Partition Manager Software - Partition Wizard Online
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2011   #6

Windows 7

Thanks Greg,
The backup image I saved to USB is the only thing on the USB and it is titled WindowsImageBackup.

I have since re-installed Windows 7 on the c: partition to at least get the laptop up and running, but I need to get it back to the state it was in before I screwed it up. I just can't figure out a way to restore from the backup image from the e: partition or USB. After some research, could it be that the USB image was saved to a different root drive? I have read that if an image is moved, it needs to be moved back to the drive it was originally stored. This doesn't make sense to me for obvious reasons, but I am a novice.

If I format the system partition from a command prompt prior to attempting a restore, will this eliminate the error message I received before- warning- the image you're attempting to restore resides on the HDD that windows needs to format, please select an image in another location (or something to that effect)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP


Moving the image shouldn't matter as long as it is placed intact in the root of the drive.

Try running the backup utility from your new Windows install using Step Two here: System Image Recovery

Next try copying the backup to your HD, then reformatting the external NTFS Primary if it isn't already. Then copy the image back.

If you have a Seagate or WD HD you can use their free Acronis imaging apps located on their Support Downloads webpage which will reimage the same HD from another partition. Just change the file type in the browser box to "all" and browse into the .tib file to load image into utility.

You can also mount the image's .vhd file in Disk Management, then image the virtual drive it creates to the external using Macrium Reflect which many have reported works better: Virtual Hard Disk - Create and Attach VHD
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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