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Windows 7: Can i install Win 7 from a System Image on an external hard drive

2 Weeks Ago   #1
NED11WILS

Windows 7 Starter x32
 
 
Can i install Win 7 from a System Image on an external hard drive

IE use the image to make the installation on external drive. The 320GB internal drive on my Lenovo T410 has died. Cannot be accessed in any way including external SATA cable.

I happen to have System Image stored in a folder on an external drive that has many other data folders on it. The image was created by windows Backup And Restore "Create A System Image".

Rather than purchase a new internal drive for a computer that I plan to replace in several months I would like to use the system image to install the operating system and data on a second external hard drive that I have available.

In other words is it possible to run my computer normally by installing the Image on an external hard drive? How? Thank you for your time.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
2 Weeks Ago   #2
billmcct

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

It is extremely hard to get Win 7 to boot from an external drive. Don't waste your time. Buy a new drive for the Lenovo.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #3
NED11WILS

Windows 7 Starter x32
 
 

Many thanks for your response but purchasing another drive is not a viable option considering my current financial condition. Mainly I want to get the system running again so that I can retrieve the key for MS Office that came with the computer. I can then use that on my desktop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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2 Weeks Ago   #4
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

How would you retrieve the key?


if you burrow into the system image folder, you will find a large file with .vhd extension

That can be mounted in disk management on your working machine. It shows up like another disk. You may then be able to the key get in the same way you were planning.


System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #5
NED11WILS

Windows 7 Starter x32
 
 

SIW2. Thank you much. I followed the procedure below and have a disk management screen that shows my new virtual disk drive with a blue icon designated as 'Disk 6'. However it is not initialized. The drive does not appear on Windows Explorer searches. The Initialize option is grayed-out when I right-click the blue drive in the Disk Management window.


How to mount a VHD file in Windows 7
Click on the Start Button and key in diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
Once in Disk Management, click on the Action in the menu bar and select Attach VHD.
Select the file location and check Read-only to prevent writes to the VHD file.
After you hit ok the drive will show up in Disk Management with a blue icon.
Access the drive in Explorer.



Also have tried the following but all options are grayed out:
In the Start menu, type diskmgmt.msc and click OK.
Right-click the disk to be initialized and then click Initialize Disk. ...
Select MBR (Master Boot Record) and click OK.
Right-click the unallocated space and click New Simple Volume.

If I go through Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management I do get an option to initialize Disk 6 but when I proceed there is the following error message "The request could not be performed because of an I/O Device Error.

Should I have not designated read only?

Please let me know if you have further suggestions. So far the education alone has made it worth the effort. Thanks again...



New Simple Volume is grayed out


Attached Images
Can i install Win 7 from a System Image on an external hard drive-vhd-disk-6.png Can i install Win 7 from a System Image on an external hard drive-disk-6-initialize-option.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #6
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Better unload it. Then see what happens when you trya and load it up using disk genius ( free version is fine)

All-in-one Solution for Data Recovery, Partition Manager and Data Backup - DiskGenius


Can i install Win 7 from a System Image on an external hard drive-dg.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #7
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Is that a copy of the vhd file, or is it the orginal?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #8
NED11WILS

Windows 7 Starter x32
 
 
Results from using DiskGenius as suggested

SIW2,

Thank you again. It looks like DiskGenius finds the vms file just fine. But it does not look at it as a drive I don't think. Is there a place to go looking for the key here? Magic Jellybean does not seem to be able to look into this- At least not with my limited experience with the program.

Possibly it would be best to delete the virtual drive rather than unloading it and then create a new one without Read Only.


Attached Thumbnails
Can i install Win 7 from a System Image on an external hard drive-diskgenius-virtual-disk-results.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #9
NED11WILS

Windows 7 Starter x32
 
 

I copied The VHD file over to my PC from the original System Image generated by the computer on an external hard drive. There were two VHD files:

This one was very large and I used it to generate the virtual drive: e5a5123a-4b44-11e8-ae95-806e6f6e6963.vhd

This one was also in the backup and only 47kb: e5a51239-4b44-11e8-ae95-806e6f6e6963.vhd
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #10
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

If it is a copy, you can see what diskgenius says when you load it-appears to be ok.?


1. First thing I would do:

Shrink your C partition and create another partition in the unallocated space - give it a letter, e.g. D or E.

From the loaded vhd in diskgenius, copy the windows folder onto that spare partition, then point at that partition with your key recovery program.


In your pic, you have highlighted the disk. If you click on the partition Primary 0, the contents should show up in the right pane under the FILES tab. You can then copy the entire windows folder to a spare partition.


2. another thought:
If you were to load in diskmgmt, maybe partition recovery is possible
It is also possible it got slightly damaged copying it over and diskmgmt is very fussy. Hopefully 1 above will do the job.


Quote:
Possibly it would be best to delete the virtual drive
don't delete anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can i install Win 7 from a System Image on an external hard drive




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