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Windows 7: Recover Windows 7 from a recovered drive

01 Jun 2012   #1

windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
Recover Windows 7 from a recovered drive

Hello All,
I'm hoping someone can answer this question for me. I've done various searches but I can't find my answer...

About a month ago my hard-drive crashed which contained my windows 7 OS as well as all of my other files. The heads would no longer move so I could not read any of the data off the drive. I sent the drive in for recovery services and managed to get back all of my data except for 2 files that are not windows 7 related. They put the data on a new hard drive for me.

My question... Can I somehow recover my windows 7 OS and start booting from this new drive? I am actually not in possession of the new drive yet, I should be receiving it today.

Thanks for your help!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2012   #2

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1

Welcome to Windows Seven Forums...

Recovered files copied from a damaged HDD will be copied to a new hard disk without any boot information. To boot windows you need an active partition and boot information and boot files to boot in to the windows.

The only way you can start the windows is to recover the serial number from your COA, take a backup of all the recovered files either on DVDs or another external HDD, keep the HDD inside the system and reinstall the same version of windows from a DVD. You can get the image file (.iso) from Digital River website. Download the required image, burn it to DVD and reinstall Windows 7 with the help from one of the tutorial.

How to Clean Reinstall a Factory OEM Windows 7

You will find similar tutorials on this website's Tutorial section.

If you have the recovery DVDs for your system, you can recover windows on a blank HDD. This will reinstall windows quickly and also activate automatically.

The applications from the old HDD will not work on this new disk. You need to get setup / install files of all your programs to reinstall.

Only the data files, like .doc, .xls,.txt, .ppt, .pdf, pictures and music files etc. can be directly used on the new HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP


Terry -

How would we know if this is retail or OEM? Did you make your Recovery disks or save a Win7 backup image you can boot to reinstall on the new HD?

If not everything you need is here to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

However first make sure whether they reinstalled the OS to the new HD. If not and they placed your data in the root of the new HD you'd need to first slave it to another machine to copy out the data.

Or you can boot free Partition Wizard bootable CD to shrink the partition they made from the left to install Win7 onto another primary NTFS partition you create in the shrink space. Partition Wizard Move/Resize Partition Video Help.

Note that the PW Home version or any other partition manager installed version or boot disk can fail losing data - only PW boot disk or Disk Mgmt will not fail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Jun 2012   #4

windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

To answer gregrocker's question. This is an OEM installation. I have an MSDN subscription and so I do have access to the serial number. But upon reading the Clean Reinstall guide (thank you for the link), it appears that this solution is not that much different than a complete new installation on a new hard-drive, then copying the files that I need from my recovered drive.

Is there something I'm missing?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Recover Windows 7 from a recovered drive

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