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Windows 7: System Recovery failing

06 Jun 2012   #1

System Recovery failing

I am attempting to transfer my system from my 250gb hdd to a new 3tb hdd
and am having trouble. I have created a system image on my usb external drive.
I then created a system repair disc (cd-rom). I rebooted my system, went into
the BIOS and put the cd-rom drive as the primary boot device and put the
new 3tb drive as the primary drive. I have even deleted the 250gb drive in the
list of drives because of some info I read trying to solve my problem. When the
boot completes I get a System recovery options windows requesting keyboard
country - US and click next. Then get a System Recovery Options window with
a message "This version of System Recovery Options is not compatible with the
version of windows you are trying to repair. Try using a recovery disc that is
compatible with this version of windows". Very confusing and don't know what
I'm doing wrong. Please help....

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #2

Win 8 RP, Win 7, XP

When repair starts it looks for a compatible system installed on disk. New disk is blank (I assume) so no system and the message.

1. Format new disk (if you want to have several partitions create them and format at least the partition for OS).
2. Copy all files from 250GB disk to new disk. (including all hidden and system files !! )
Robocopy - could do, see options.

3. Replace 250GB with new disk.
4. Run StartUp Repair from CD on new disk (up to 3 consecutive times with rebooting after each run).

If you cannot attach new disk on usb then you have to copy twice - 250GB -> usb disk -> new disk.
Check if Recovery environment can transfer whatever you put on usb disk to new disk first. (if "copying" command is available in RE)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

An unpartitioned 3TB HDD is too large for the standard MBR boot.
Try partitioning your HDD into 3x 1TB partitions and try again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Jun 2012   #4

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit


mjf has given you correct and excellent advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2012   #5


Can I use a GPT formatted drive as a boot drive or does it have to be MBR?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

The answer is sometimes. This article explains in the Q&A. Windows and GPT FAQ
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I know the reference is from MS. However, my understanding is that to use a single partition 3TB GPT drive as the boot drive and be able to use the full 3TB you need both a UEFI BIOS and Windows 7 x64 (not 32).

A 3TB GPT secondary/data drive is fine.

From a practical point of view I would think your OS partition should be limited in size for realistic imaging anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

That is what it says.

Q. Can Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008 read, write, and boot from GPT disks?

A. Yes, all versions can use GPT partitioned disks for data. Booting is only supported for 64-bit editions on UEFI-based systems
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2012   #9

Trial and error

After 3 days of formatting, re-formatting, copying, re-copying, patitioning and re-partitioning I have verified all that everybody has been posting.....

When I format the 3tb disk using MBR, I loose the last 796gb as unallocated.

I formatted the 3tb disk using GPT with 3 partitions. Copied the system over but it
will not boot. Needs to be MBR formatted.

I'm going to trade my 3tb drive to my wife for her 2tb drive and use that and I'm outta here.....

Thanks for all your help....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2012   #10

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Just for completeness this well known source states
Master boot record - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Sector indices have always begun with a 1, not a zero, and due to an early error in MS-DOS, the heads are generally limited to 255 instead of 256. Both the partition length and partition start address are sector values stored as 32-bit quantities. The sector size is fixed at 512 (29) bytes, which implies that either the maximum size of a partition or the maximum start address (both in bytes) cannot exceed 2 TiB−512 bytes (2,199,023,255,040 bytes or 4,294,967,295 (232−1) sectors 512 (29) bytes per sector). Alleviating this capacity limitation was one of the prime motivations for the development of the GUID partition table (GPT)."

Now I don't own a 3TB drive so I haven't tried it but it does say to me that an MBR can handle the likes of
3 x 1 TB partitions or say
2 x 1.5 TB partitions

without the need for a GPT.

It may be that Windows Disk Management won't do the partitioning for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 System Recovery failing

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