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Windows 7: Problems after restoring a Windows 7 system image

29 Jan 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Problems after restoring a Windows 7 system image

I'd appreciate some advice please. I'm finding problems after installing a new hard disk on my Dell desktop PC and transferring everything from the old disk using Windows' system image creation capability. My question is, are there any ways I can confidently fix the problems that I am having with the new set up, or should I give up trying and so a clean installation of Windows?


For some time there has been a fairly minor issue with my system, which usually worked but occasionally crashed, turning off without warning as if someone had pulled out the power cord and then immediately rebooting. This was happening fairly infrequently, perhaps every week or two. In addition, even less frequently, the system would set off a CHKDSK on booting up. Apart from this, there didn't appear to be any problems. As far as I could see, all my software was running as it should be.

I ran a diagnostic test on Dell's website, which said that the disk was in danger of failing and should be replaced. So I bought a replacement from Dell, the same size and specification to the original disk, but now made by Seagate instead of Western Digital.

To avoid having to reinstall Windows and all my programs, I tried to clone the old disk onto the new one, using Macrium Reflect Free and then EaseUS Todo Backup Free. Both of these failed each time I tried. Reflect came up with a Read error caused by a "broken pipe". I tried both its "intelligent" and sector by sector methods of cloning. EaseUS also failed (after trying for a few hours!); I forget the exact error.

So finally, I decided to try Windows' own facilities, creating a system image from the old disk onto an external hard drive, and then restoring back onto the new one. This completed, apparently successfully.

However, over the last two days, I have spotted a few things which suggest that all is not right.
  • Windows Update will not run because "the service is not running" - using Windows Update Troubleshooter has not fixed the problem, with Windows Update Error 0x80070057;
  • The MS Office programs are unable to load Help;
  • On my genealogy program, some of the settings have changed to a non-standard version, and the system will not allow me to change them back.

These are the ones I have discovered over the last two days. I expect that others will emerge over time.

So, as I said at the start, are there any good ways to sort out my problems, or should I cut my losses and reinstall Windows from scratch?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2015   #2

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by charlesactuary View Post
I ran a diagnostic test on Dell's website, which said that the disk was in danger of failing and should be replaced. So I bought a replacement from Dell, the same size and specification to the original disk, but now made by Seagate instead of Western Digital.
Making an image of a potentially damaged HDD may be rolling over a problem. If you don't have a clean older system image I'd be tempted to backup all your data and do a clean install assuming you have the disks to do this. Once all your software is reinstalled I'd make and keep the clean install system image. If you then keep routine system images, deleting some when you think you're getting too many, you will never need to worry about this again. I keep both Windows inbuilt and (free) Macrium images. If I was going for one imaging program I'd pick Macrium but make sure you have a working rescue pe CD or USB.

Also, if you need replacement or additional internal HDDs you shouldn't need to go through Dell unless it's a warranty claim.

Other members may have some other suggestions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thanks mjf, I was afraid that would be what you said. Oh well, that will give me something to do for the weekend.

All the best, Charles
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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