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Windows 7: System Image Recovery


23 Nov 2008   #199
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 
System Image Recovery

How to Do a System Image Recovery in Windows 7


...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

14 Jan 2011   #200
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Unfortunately excluding D: which is the adjacent data partition to C: (boot,...) is not an option.
System Image Recovery-dsc_0056r.jpg
Note the wording "......exclude from the restore process....."
Disk 0 is the disk I'm restoring to, containing the 4 partitions
factory recovery; system reserved; C: , D:

It's not an issue for me because I don't tick the Format box and have never had a problem.
The only time it forced me to have it ticked was restoring to a new disk which is fine.

If for some reason I want to format partition C: before an image restore I'll do it manually.
So these are the sort of words I'm thinking of saying to people:
When restoring to the same disk containing data partitions. The format option may format data partitions as well. If this is the case and you have the option to leave the format box unticked then initially attempt your image recovery with the format box unticked. If recovery is unsuccessful, repeat the process with the format box ticked.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

14 Jan 2011   #201
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Added.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #202
slimer110

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

So if any of this was covered in the previous 21 pages of this forum, I apologize as I did not read them all.

So I have a few questions, and they're probably all going to blend together, so I'll try to make this as organized as possible. I had a catastrophic SSD failure yesterday, and lost most of my data. I have been good about backing data up, just never really organized about it like creating images and such. So I decided to go out today and get a 2TB HDD purely for backup purposes. As I started testing and familiarizing myself with the Windows Image Recovery program, I left myself wondering a few things.

1. I have 4 physical drives that I use regularly. Five now with the 2TB, and that will only be for hosting my images (and hoping I never "clean" the wrong disk in DISKPART before restoring). I got my PC back up and running, and did a full system image backup using the utility. I understand that the drive(s) you are restoring to have to be the same size or bigger than the original. I'm wondering how the recovery program will determine which backed up drive is restored to which disk? For example, if you had one of each 250, 500, and 1000 GB hard drives, and replaced the 250 with another 500, how will it know which disk to restore the backed up drives to? I know that sounds redundant, but I want to be clear.

2. I know the response to this is more than likely going to be something like, "you're crazy, do a fresh install", but I like to live on the edge. So when I was setting up my system today, I wanted to prepare it so that when I get my SSD back from Kingston, (which if you have a Kingston SSD, check their site as there is a critical update out which could prevent it from bricking (certain models)), I can pop it in, do my restore and be up and running. So my two Storage drives and External drive are being left intact. However, I split my 500GB into two partitions. The OS is installed on a 60GB partition (which will be replaced by the 64GB SSD, hopefully), and the rest is for what the 500GB will be dedicated to when I get the SSD back (applications and programs). I would assume that if simply I put the SSD in with all the other drives before restoring, it will probably ignore it and repartion the 500GB like it was before I did the backup. So I was wondering if I could put the SSD drive in the machine by itself, disconnecting all the others or selecting to exclude them during the recovery, and just restore the system disk to the SSD via the checkbox option in the recovery utility, would that work? (Aside from the table structures of the drive being wacked) I could then use the command line in the repair utility to delete the 60GB partition, then expand the 440GB partition to the drive's full capacity once it is up and running and the OS is on the SSD. I think it sounds good in theory, but perhaps there is something I'm missing, and I would hate to be doing all this work only to have to reinstall from scratch. I have also read that there are some tools for fixing the table structures of SSDs that are imaged from a HDD. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #203
Shadowjk

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 ; Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
 
 

Can I do the System Image from a Network Attached Drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #204
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Josh,

Since you can backup to a network location in the Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions can, you should also be able to do a system image recovery from a network location. I have not tried this myself, so I do not know the exact steps for how to do so. I would imagine that you would need to use Select a system image and possibly have to type in the network path if not already listed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #205
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Slimer, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Answers inline.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by slimer110 View Post
1. I have 4 physical drives that I use regularly. Five now with the 2TB, and that will only be for hosting my images (and hoping I never "clean" the wrong disk in DISKPART before restoring). I got my PC back up and running, and did a full system image backup using the utility. I understand that the drive(s) you are restoring to have to be the same size or bigger than the original. I'm wondering how the recovery program will determine which backed up drive is restored to which disk? For example, if you had one of each 250, 500, and 1000 GB hard drives, and replaced the 250 with another 500, how will it know which disk to restore the backed up drives to? I know that sounds redundant, but I want to be clear.
Usually, it goes by the current driver letters and device ID number to know which drives to restore to. In a case where you replaced a HDD, you can use step 9 to exclude any HDD that you did not want to be included in the restore process, and/or just unplug any HDD that you do not want included to be extra safe.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by slimer110 View Post
2. I know the response to this is more than likely going to be something like, "you're crazy, do a fresh install", but I like to live on the edge. So when I was setting up my system today, I wanted to prepare it so that when I get my SSD back from Kingston, (which if you have a Kingston SSD, check their site as there is a critical update out which could prevent it from bricking (certain models)), I can pop it in, do my restore and be up and running. So my two Storage drives and External drive are being left intact. However, I split my 500GB into two partitions. The OS is installed on a 60GB partition (which will be replaced by the 64GB SSD, hopefully), and the rest is for what the 500GB will be dedicated to when I get the SSD back (applications and programs). I would assume that if simply I put the SSD in with all the other drives before restoring, it will probably ignore it and repartion the 500GB like it was before I did the backup. So I was wondering if I could put the SSD drive in the machine by itself, disconnecting all the others or selecting to exclude them during the recovery, and just restore the system disk to the SSD via the checkbox option in the recovery utility, would that work? (Aside from the table structures of the drive being wacked) I could then use the command line in the repair utility to delete the 60GB partition, then expand the 440GB partition to the drive's full capacity once it is up and running and the OS is on the SSD. I think it sounds good in theory, but perhaps there is something I'm missing, and I would hate to be doing all this work only to have to reinstall from scratch. I have also read that there are some tools for fixing the table structures of SSDs that are imaged from a HDD. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
That sounds perfectly fine. I would recommend to unplug all drives but your SSD and the HDD that contains the image backup before doing the restore though. Since the other partition was only 60GB, you will have 4GB of unallocated space left on the SSD when the restore is finished. When finished, you can then just extend the 60GB SSD partition into the 4GB unallocated space to recover that space to use all 64GB again.
Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #206
slimer110

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Slimer, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Answers inline.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by slimer110 View Post
1. I have 4 physical drives that I use regularly. Five now with the 2TB, and that will only be for hosting my images (and hoping I never "clean" the wrong disk in DISKPART before restoring). I got my PC back up and running, and did a full system image backup using the utility. I understand that the drive(s) you are restoring to have to be the same size or bigger than the original. I'm wondering how the recovery program will determine which backed up drive is restored to which disk? For example, if you had one of each 250, 500, and 1000 GB hard drives, and replaced the 250 with another 500, how will it know which disk to restore the backed up drives to? I know that sounds redundant, but I want to be clear.
Usually, it goes by the current driver letters and device ID number to know which drives to restore to. In a case where you replaced a HDD, you can use step 9 to exclude any HDD that you did not want to be included in the restore process, and/or just unplug any HDD that you do not want included to be extra safe.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by slimer110 View Post
2. I know the response to this is more than likely going to be something like, "you're crazy, do a fresh install", but I like to live on the edge. So when I was setting up my system today, I wanted to prepare it so that when I get my SSD back from Kingston, (which if you have a Kingston SSD, check their site as there is a critical update out which could prevent it from bricking (certain models)), I can pop it in, do my restore and be up and running. So my two Storage drives and External drive are being left intact. However, I split my 500GB into two partitions. The OS is installed on a 60GB partition (which will be replaced by the 64GB SSD, hopefully), and the rest is for what the 500GB will be dedicated to when I get the SSD back (applications and programs). I would assume that if simply I put the SSD in with all the other drives before restoring, it will probably ignore it and repartion the 500GB like it was before I did the backup. So I was wondering if I could put the SSD drive in the machine by itself, disconnecting all the others or selecting to exclude them during the recovery, and just restore the system disk to the SSD via the checkbox option in the recovery utility, would that work? (Aside from the table structures of the drive being wacked) I could then use the command line in the repair utility to delete the 60GB partition, then expand the 440GB partition to the drive's full capacity once it is up and running and the OS is on the SSD. I think it sounds good in theory, but perhaps there is something I'm missing, and I would hate to be doing all this work only to have to reinstall from scratch. I have also read that there are some tools for fixing the table structures of SSDs that are imaged from a HDD. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
That sounds perfectly fine. I would recommend to unplug all drives but your SSD and the HDD that contains the image backup before doing the restore though. Since the other partition was only 60GB, you will have 4GB of unallocated space left on the SSD when the restore is finished. When finished, you can then just extend the 60GB SSD partition into the 4GB unallocated space to recover that space to use all 64GB again.
Hope this helps,
Shawn
Thanks Shawn, I appreciate your response. That is the reason I partitioned the drive at 60GB instead of 64GB, just to be sure that the image will fit on the SSD drive when I get it back. Still confused a little bit about my first question, but then again, perhaps I am making it difficult on myself. Will the recovery tool purely rely on the devices location on the SATA and IDE bus? For example, in that scenario in my original post, if I randomly swapped the 250GB (SATA0) and the 500GB (SATA1) and tried to restore from the 1TB (SATA2), would it only restore the original 250GB drive to the 500GB disk that is now where it used to be, and ignore the other 250GB drive because it is not big enough to host the 500GB image? If that is the case, sounds like I have to leave my drives where they are at as far as SATA location, and just make sure that if I ever replace something, that it is bigger or 'the same'* size. And to your second method, if i lost a drive, and disconnected all others except for the replacement drive and the drive hosting my image, when I restore it, the recovery program will not try to put the system drive image on the replacement if it is big enough, and rely on the Disk Location? Thanks again, sorry for the confusion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2011   #207
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

When doing a system image recovery, it will restore to the exact same drives and partitions that were on the image unless you excluded or unplug the drives to have them restored to another drive instead.

It relies on the drive letter and drive's hardware ID (HID) to know which drive is which.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2011   #208
Shadowjk

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 ; Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
 
 

I am still Cautious about this whole Process ...

My Main concern is Activation .. As I have a "Retail" OEM Which is Tied to the Motherboard etc...

If it formats my HDD Will I need to Re-activate and If so will it work or not?

Sorry for the Questions,
Josh
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2011   #209
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

No you should not need to reactivate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Image Recovery




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