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Windows 7: System Image on External Hard Disk Forces Freeze at Startup?

06 Feb 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
System Image on External Hard Disk Forces Freeze at Startup?

Ok, here is the deal, and I don't know why it happened. If someone can explain why this happens, I'd be grateful.

For some reason the system hung/froze at the Windows flag logo during start-up. I know what caused it, but I don't know why, and would like to understand why.

I made a backup of the system image, and backed it up on an external hard disk. I restarted the computer, and it hung at the Windows flag log. The flag animation froze and the system become completely unresponsive. The only way to shut the power down was pushing the power button to force computer to do a hard shut down. Ie started the computer back up and it booted into the Windows Error Recovery screen.

I first chose the ‘Start Windows Normally’ option, and it froze at the Windows flag logo again. I forced the system to shut down by pushing the power button, and chose the ‘Launch Startup Repair’ option when the computer booted back up. Windows was unable to repair the computer after two attempts, and the computer recommended that I use a Restore Point to fix the error. I chose the most recent restore point that I created earlier. I rebooted the computer and loaded into Windows just fine. But to make sure everything was O.K., I restarted the computer again, and it froze again at the Windows flag logo. I shut the computer down and restarted it, and the Windows Error Recovery screen appeared again. The computer failed to repair the program, chose my restore point again, and when the computer booted back up I deleted the system image on the back-up hard disk, and restarted the computer again, and it booted up just fine.

I did this three times to see if we would get the same results every time. For some reason, the backed-up system image on the external hard disk would refuse to allow Windows to boot up and load properly.

Anyone know why this happened?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2015   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Anyone have any ideas what would cause this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

All of you Windows guru's here and nobody can explain why this happened? I would really know why this happened, and I'm stumped. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Feb 2015   #4

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

What program did you use to create the system image ?
- Win 7 Built in utility, Macrium, Acronis, Aomei, etc.

How did you make the backup of the system image ?
- Windows Explorer copy n paste, Robocopy, some other utility, etc.

If you're using the Win 7 built in utility, that's the most finicky, difficult to use, and problematic, imho.
Macrium is often recommended here, I use it and Acronis, I don't use the Win 7 built in utility.
I've found Robocopy more reliable than Windows Explorer copy n paste to "backup" (copy) a system image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2015   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Hello David. I used the built-in Windows Backup utility to do it. I used the "Create system image" link on the left side of the window, and I chose my Lacie external HDD to back it up on. This is the same back-up HDD that I have all of my user files backed up on as well.

Attached Thumbnails
System Image on External Hard Disk Forces Freeze at Startup?-backup_and_restore_in_windows_7.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2015   #6

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

Guess i misunderstood when you said "I made a backup of the system image"
I thought that meant you created a system (backup) image, and then created a backup of that system image...

See if this tutorial by Brink helps:
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

I don't use the built in utility (too quirky for me), i recommend Macrium for System Images.
Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

You can post questions in the tutorial, Brink is the resident alien guru and knows a lot more than me :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2015   #7
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I don't know what exactly happened in your case, but I know that Windows imaging is very touchy. You should go with what David suggested and use free Macrium. Their images you can move around at will.

Here is a tutorial I made on how to operate free Macrium..

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 System Image on External Hard Disk Forces Freeze at Startup?

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