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Windows 7: Win 7 reinstallation after hard disk failure made it invisible in DOS

15 Feb 2016   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (ver 6.1.7601)
Win 7 reinstallation after hard disk failure made it invisible in DOS

Hello all,
I need to reinstall Win 7 on my pc after my HD failed. I am thinking of using a SSD as the new primary drive.
Here are a few questions/doubts that I still have after doing a lot of research online:

1) From my understanding, the only way to reinstall the OS on a new disk without having to reinstall all the programs is through an image, is this correct?

Since, the other questions are about a possible way to get an image of my failed HD drive, I think a little background might be needed.
After the failure occurred, I was not able to boot into Windows anymore (nor normal, nor safe mode, nor last known good configuration). The only way I could access the hard drive was through the command prompt in the recovery environment, which allowed me to back up the contents of MY Documents. I was able to run chkdsk which showed no problems on my boot partition (C:) and a few problems on my Windows partition (D:) which ostensibly disappeared after running chkdsk a few times. However running sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c: /offwindir=d:\windows\ resulted in Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.. The attached file sfc3.txt contains only the lines of CBS.log showing potential problems.
Unfortunately, I also decided to run the Western Digital HD analyzer Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS whose Quick Test terminated with "Seek not complete Error/status code: 0108". After that test, I cannot see the HD anymore from the DOS prompt, both C: and D: are now non-existent drives in the recovery environment DOS prompt. During the boot (from a recovery DVD), I get a screen that says Auto-Detecting SATAII_1...IDE Hard Disk but further down 3rd Master Hard Disk Error. In the BIOS Setup Utility, I can see the Hard Disk in the Storage Configuration menu, but it completely disappeared from the Boot Devices menu.

Given this background, my questions are:

2) Is there any way that I can "force" DOS through command line tools to recognize my HD again? If I do so, I might be able to get a HD image through a third party tool like Macrium Reflect.

3) If 2 is not possible or the image is corrupted, and only a full new installation of Win7 is possible, is there anything else useful I can try to extract from the old HD before trashing it? (that is, besides the contents of My Documents, which I already saved).

4) In a full reinstallation of Win7, shall I use the Recovery Disk that I got with my computer from the OEM or is it better to use a downloaded standard Win7 .iso image burnt on a DVD? Would my product key work with that?

I know I am asking many questions, please redirect me to already existing material if necessary.
Thanks in advance

Attached Thumbnails
Win 7 reinstallation after hard disk failure made it invisible in DOS-bootupmessage.jpg   Win 7 reinstallation after hard disk failure made it invisible in DOS-bios_storageconfiguration.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: txt sfc3.txt (49.2 KB, 2 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2016   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (ver 6.1.7601)

Update: I was able to start imaging the two partitions of the old HD by booting with a rescue DVD created with Macrium Reflect. I will try to restore these images on the new SSD and see how the system works.

I strongly suspect that my crash and failure to boot are originally related to a Windows 7 update involving some kind of Windows 10 feature. I had Automatic Updates selected and the first time I ran Startup Repair after the crash, it gave me the result:

Root cause found:
A patch is preventing the system from starting.

Repair action: System files integrity check and repair
Result: Failed. Error code = 0x17
Time taken = 160525 ms

This "patch" might have caused the original boot problem and my running chkdsk several times might have compounded the problem by messing up the HD.

Has anyone ever seen something like this happening?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2016   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

It`s best to put a clean install on the new ssd, you will waste a lot of time trying to salvage an image off a dead drive, and it will never be right on the new ssd. Do it right, setup the new ssd by creating a Primary partition out of the entire ssd, format it, align it and set it Active.

All can be done with Diskpart or even easier with a Partition Wizard Boot CD, any questions just ask.

Bootable Partition Manger | MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable Edition

DISKPART : At PC Startup

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Win 7 reinstallation after hard disk failure made it invisible in DOS

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