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Windows 7: Able to restore complete image of a HDD from an USB 3.0 drive?

09 May 2011   #1
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 
Able to restore complete image of a HDD from an USB 3.0 drive?

I'm new to imaging (backup) and would like to ask some questions about the Windows 7 built-in backup & restore function:

Is Windows 7 restore able to restore a complete image of a HDD from an USB 3.0 drive? I have an external USB 3.0 drive, that's why I'm asking - when I'll boot with Windows 7 DVD - will it recognise the USB 3.0 drive or will I be unable to restore my HDD?

Do I have to create that rescue CD/DVD when making an image backup in Windows 7 backup & restore program? Or would that just make a copy of my Windows 7 DVD? In short: do I need that rescue CD/DVD or can I use my Windows 7 DVD to restore my HDD as well?

I've read that when recovering an image which icludes more than one partition the user has to partition the new HDD before restoring the VHD partitions onto it. Is that true or can the restore program itself partition the new HDD according to the partitions in the VHD file.

For example: I have a 500 GB internal HDD with three partitions (C-system, D-data + the hidden 100MB partition). My C partition is 80 GB, 50 GB full, my D partition is about 400 GB, 200 GB full. Will all that get restored as it was before - with the same partition sizes and free space as before?

Thank you!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 May 2011   #2
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

That message was moved from another theme, I'm sorry for the inconvenience. Please answer me, I'm leaning towards Win7 B & R but need some more info. Thank you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2011   #3
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Quote:
Is Windows 7 restore able to restore a complete image of a HDD from an USB 3.0 drive?
You can only restore from bootable media - e.g. the dvd/repair disc - that will need to have the usb3.0 drivers installed.

Quote:
can I use my Windows 7 DVD to restore my HDD as well?
Yes, see above


Quote:
can the restore program itself partition the new HDD according to the partitions in the VHD file.
Yes
Quote:
Will all that get restored as it was before - with the same partition sizes and free space as before?
Yes
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 May 2011   #4
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I see... Well, when I installed Windows 7 on my laptop it didn't have the USB 3.0 drivers I tihnk. Because if I pluged my mouse into the USB 3.0 port during installaiton the mouse wasn't detected. If I pluged it into the USB 2.0 it was found and ready to use during the Windows 7 installation. So what does that mean: will I be able to restore my image from an external USB 3.0 HDD? Probably only if I connect it to the USB 2.0 port - meaning it will recover with USB 2.0 speed? Or not even this way?

I have an OEM version of Windows 7 - if my HDD totally fails and then I restore the system image to a brand new HDD - what will Windows 7 OEM do? Will it let me restore the image on a brand new HDD or will I have problems (because of Windows 7 activation)?

Will Windows 7 system image backup always "save" all my partitions (my whole drive) into one single VHD file? I would like it to. I don't want more VHD files (each for each partition). How do I set that?

How do I verify a system image file? How do I know that it will work when needed?

What do you think - why did that happen to this guy:
YouTube - Windows 7 System Image Recovery Failure

Again, thank you for help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2011   #5
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Based on the ads I've seen from Seagate, Western Digital, etc their USB 3.0 external hard drives are supposed to be compatible with Windows 7. As soon as the hard drive is connected to the computer the necessary drivers are supposed to be automatically installed (plug and play.) If you mouse isn't configured as a USB 3.0 device it wouldn't be detected when you plugged it in to the 3.0 port.

As long as the external drive is recognized by Windows 7 (and it should be once the drivers are installed) then you should be able to take advantage of the added speed - both uploading and downloading.

As with everything, when dealing with a previously untested device, I'd recommend making a standard system image using a known USB 2.0 external hard drive and the default Windows 7 imaging settings (or some other known imaging software like Macrium or Paragon.) At least that way you'll have an image you can restore from. Then I'd make another system image using the 3.0 hard drive and attempt to restore your computer from that image. If it works (and it should as long as the drive is recognized) then I'd feel comfortable using the 3.0 drive for future system images.

The only way to verify that a system image will work when needed is to try it. Most likely you'll get a dialog box after the image is completed saying it was successful. But trying it is the only sure way to know it works. Hope this makes sense.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2011   #6
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hi again! I finaly did the system image to an external USB 3.0 HDD. It copyed over 200 GB in an hour and a few minutes. I guess that the USB 3.0 was recognised and used because that seemed pretty fast. I also made the recovery disc. I have some questions now. Three VHD files were made (for three partitions) but a couple of other files and folders too. What are those files & folders about? I haven't tried to recover from that image yet so I don't know if USB 3.0 will be recognised when recovering using the recovery CD. Also, next time when I want to do a new image backup to my ext. HDD, should I first format the drive to get rid of the old image or just simply delete the whole WindowsImageBackup folder before making a new image? Thanx!

Here are the files and folders that were made:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2011   #7
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Can anyone tell me please?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2011   #8
truckinguy

Win7 64 Bit
 
 

I'm not a wiz but I have been using Win7 to save images to a 2nd hard drive and when I explore the image I get the same thing as you do as far as extra files.I've always clone an image in the past and with that you can see exactly what you have. Difference between an image and cloneing is not known to me. I can guess an image is compressed and will transfer faster.
When you do a restore of image to your PC all of that comes with it I guess and what you get is the exact image you created back then. I wouldn't fool with the files of the image while exploring it.
Hope this helped.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2011   #9
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Quote:
if USB 3.0 will be recognised when recovering using the recovery CD
Only if your restore media contains the correct usb3.0 drivers.

Quote:
should I first format the drive to get rid of the old image or just simply delete the whole WindowsImageBackup folder before making a new image?
If you no longer want the Windows Image Backup folder - just delete it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2011   #10
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

My restore media is the system restore CD that I made after the system image backup finished. I don't think it has USB 3.0 drivers in it. I hope it has at least USB 2.0 drivers in so that I will be able to recover the system image. What do you think?

If I use the Disk Management tool to view my VHD files - could that make my system image backup useless/damaged?

Thank you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Able to restore complete image of a HDD from an USB 3.0 drive?




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