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Windows 7: Mid 2013 Macbook Air Bootcamp VHD restore challenge/nightmare

21 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
Mid 2013 Macbook Air Bootcamp VHD restore challenge/nightmare

I'm having a hell of a time here.

I have a mid 2013 Macbook Air running Windows 7 bootcamp. I have a VHD backup image of my W7 partition that I need to restore. I've tried the how-tos here.

Things that I've tried which failed:
  • Using Windows Repair Restore - At first this didn't work because the mid 2013 Airs have an issue where Windows won't give you any mouse/keyboard support until the boot camp drivers are loaded. No, external mouse/kb won't work either. I did find a program called Boot Runner which sort of fixes this, but I still couldn't get it to work.
  • Acronis Backup & Restore, both from the running OS and a bootable USB disk. The former simply doesn't work, and the latter tells me that the destination disk (my internal hard drive) is not supported. Not sure why.
  • I purchased Winclone 4 since it's made for this sort of thing. Unfortunately it does not recognize VHD files.

I'm currently trying to figure out a way to mount my VHD as a drive on mac OS and then use Winclone to do a drive to drive copy.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2013   #2

Windows 7 64 bit

Just an update.

I managed to get a Windows Restore USB boot disk to boot AND have my mouse and keyboard drivers using the following steps. I was kind of making it up as I went along, so I'm not sure if you have to do steps 1-2 or not, but this is just what I did...

  1. I used this guide to make a simple Windows 7 USB boot disk. However, I used FAT32 (since it plays nicely with Mac). Create a USB Memory Stick with System Recovery Tools | 7 Tutorials
  2. I compared the contents of that disk with the contents of the WININSTALL disk that Boot Camp Assitant created with my Win7 ISO image. Essentially, I copied over everything to the boot disk I created that wasn't already there. So my "boot", "sources" and "bootmgr" files weren't overwritten, but everything else was copied over. I then renamed this drive WININSTALL as well.
  3. I booted into OSX and plugged in my legitimate WININSTALL disk that I had Boot Camp Assistant previously create for me - NOT my hacked up one.
  4. I went into Boot Camp Assistant and unchecked everything except for the bottom option where it partitions your hard drive. It then rebooted (or prompted me to, I can't remember).
  5. During the power cycle of the reboot, I quickly removed my legit WININSTALL USB stick and replaced it with my hacked WININSTALL USB stick. My guess was that OSX did something to the boot sector to make it look for a drive with that name.
  6. Windows Recovery begins to load. After a moment, my mouse cursor appeared! My keyboard also worked.

You may want to try to skip steps 1-2, as I'm not sure if they are actually useful or not. FWIW, I did try to boot straight off of that boot disk by holding down option (and without doing steps 3-6), but the mouse/kb drivers never loaded.

Anyway, the bad news is, this still didn't help me solve my problem:
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Mid 2013 Macbook Air Bootcamp VHD restore challenge/nightmare

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