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Windows 7: Windows files broken after a series of unsolicited shutdowns

08 May 2013   #81

Windows 7 Professional (x64)

@greg: I just read your tutorial regarding Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 and find it excellent. You also give some indication on how to save one's user data.

However, in case I overlook something important, I'd like to have a full backup at hand so I can restore specific data from it - an insurance in other words. Can the system image function of Windows 7 backup be used in this respect, i.e., does it allow you to browse the content of the image file in order to pick individual files or directories? And can you also pull out data from all users or is access restricted? Or would the normal (non system image) backup of Windows, or some other software, be more appropriate?

In sum, what would be the best way to make sure one has a safe backup source in case after the clean reinstall one realizes that he needs some data from the old installation?

And also, what is the optimal backup scheme on a Windows machine in general (after the reinstall)?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2013   #82
Microsoft MVP


It gives the easiest and safest way to back up your User data in the tutorial, by dragging the active user folders (and any stray files) to external, another HD, or disk.

But you can also mount a WIn7 backup image if you have one to access and copy out any data. This tutorial explains how to attach the file in Disk Mgmt so it opens like a normal drive. Try it first to make sure it's intact: Virtual Hard Disk - Create and Attach VHD.

The latter method is helpful in case you leave behind some files like Quickbooks that now inexplicably stores the Company file by default in Public Documents folder which most people don't use. There are also email and other files and settings which can be stored in User AppData or Program Data folders which most users don't back up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2013   #83

Windows 7 Professional (x64)

Dear all,
sorry for the long silence. Yesterday, after backing up my user data as suggested, I went ahead with the opinion of the majority of starting all over. Hence, I did a fresh install of Windows 8 Professional following the wonderful tips in , Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 , and .

I also used this trick to move my user folders altogether to my 1 GB HDD so as to conserve more free space on the 120 GB SSD:User Profiles - Relocate to another Partition or Disk
As I read, there has to always be enough space for restore points to be created by the OS automatically.

For the first time, I also set up "Intel Rapid Start Technology" which is supported by my mainboard, a system that makes your PC go from S3 sleep mode to zero-power (essentially shut-down) S4 mode after a pre-set time, while allowing to wake up in only a few seconds. I will have to see how this works in practice.

I have not reinstalled the Intelligent Shutdown tool as I feel that the intended functionality of hibernating after inactivity is probably also well taken care of by Windows own energy settings where you set after which idle time the system goes to sleep (and then to deep sleep using Intel's rapid start tech.).

I have not experienced any new unexpected power offs yet, which argues against a hardware failure, but it's still a bit early for a final verdict. Maybe the above tool was the culprit, but I have no proof.

Overall, I found the clean reinstall tutorial by gregrocker to be a gold mine of tips about "good habits" to have to maintain your installation powerful and stable.

Finally, I am amazed how well my transition from 7 to 8 is going. I'm getting used pretty fast to doing without the start button but instead using the Windows key and the corners more often. First I thought that I would like to get one of these start button tools, but now I feel that it's better to learn to use Windows 8 how it's meant to be used. It can be used quite efficiently, I believe, see . I also opted for Office 2013 which is like to look at and fits well with the new metro style but is not a big change after all. I value the higher degree of cloud integration which I was also using before with respect to OneNote, one of my favorite tools of all.

I'm happy to keep you posted on how things go on. Feel free to ask if you have any question.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Windows files broken after a series of unsolicited shutdowns

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