Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional)



  • So I had an associate bring me his computer that is saying "imminent HDD failure".

    I re-formatted a 160GB HDD I had laying around to NTFS to match the current 160GB failing HDD. Also created a DVD repair disk in the same instance.

    I then pulled the old HDD out, and put in it's place the new HDD with the image I created, and booted from the repair DVD. I got the system repair from image option and started going through that but I almost instantly get this error:

    "The System image restore failed.

    Error details: Windows did not find any disk which it can use for recreating volumes present in backup. Offline disks, cluster shared disks or disks explicitly excluded by user will not be used by windows. Ensure that disks are online and no disks are excluded by mistake. (0x80042414)"

    I've read that Windows back-up operations are shit but wanted to know, based on what I've told you thus far, if anyone had any tips about what I might have done wrong or an alternative route that does not involve third-party software. This is my first time dealing with a failing HDD and would appreciate if any of you could help as I'm really trying to learn all I can from you guys about IT.



  • @g-i-jones said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    I then pulled the old HDD out, and put in it's place the new HDD with the image I created,

    I don't follow exactly what you did here.

    You removed the old drive, check
    you installed the new drive, check

    when and how did you create an image, and how did you put it on the new disk?



  • For this specific situation, I would boot the computer with the original drive attached to SATA 0, the new drive on SATA 1, and boot to Clonezilla.

    Use Clonezilla to clone the old drive to the new drive.

    Shut down the computer, remove the old drive, move the new drive to SATA 0, and boot. Windows shouldn't even know the drive changed - with the possible exception that the size of the drive changed.



  • Alternatively, you can boot the computer from Clonezilla with only the old drive installed, then save an image of the old drive to a NAS/other PC, etc.

    Then swap out the old drive for the new one, and again boot from Clonezilla, pull the image onto the new drive, then reboot - again, windows might notice it's on a difference sized drive, might not.



  • I'm not sure that Windows backup can backup an image to another drive, i.e. clone drive to drive.

    Instead, the Windows backup creates an image file of the drive. This is likely what you have on the new drive. By default, Windows can't boot from that image file. You now need to move that image file to a different piece of media (a memory stick large enough to hold it, another HDD, etc). Then attach both the new(replacement) drive and the device holding the image to the computer, boot from recovery, choose your backup image, and you can then pick where to restore it.

    As it likely stands now, you are picking the image to be restored, but since that image is on the only HDD in the system, it can't restore over the top of itself.



  • @dashrender I plugged the new HDD in using a USB 3.0 to 2.5" SATA III Hard Drive Adapter Cable. Made an image from Backup and Restore>Create a system image just this morning. Then I physically removed the old one from inside the tower and replaced it with the new one.

    I will give clonezilla a try, thanks.


  • Service Provider

    Yes but the time to try taking a backup is not when the HDD is in a failed state. Any backup tool might struggle to properly take an image of a failing disk.

    Anyway. You need three drives, the old failing, a backup target and the new one.

    The order should be.

    Create rescue DVD on a working Win-7 machine.
    Take image via Windows backup to a third HDD
    Install Windows 7 on new HDD
    Then restore from the backup.



  • @breffni-potter said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    Anyway. You need three drives, the old failing, a backup target and the new one.

    If you are making an image, see my third post.

    You only need two if you are making a direct clone, as mentioned in my second post.



  • Use Veeam Agent for Windows. Entirely free.

    1. Install.
    2. Create Recovery Image.
    3. Backup to USB.
    4. Remove failing HDD, add new HDD.
    5. Boot to Bootable USB with the Veeam Recovery Image applied (Rufus is good for that - also free).
    6. Inset restore USB and select it in Veeam Recovery.
    7. Let it recover...
    8. Done!

    Easy. Works time after time.



  • @jimmy9008 said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    Use Veeam Agent for Windows. Entirely free.

    1. Install.
    2. Create Recovery Image.
    3. Backup to USB.
    4. Remove failing HDD, add new HDD.
    5. Boot to Bootable USB with the Veeam Recovery Image applied (Rufus is good for that - also free).
    6. Inset restore USB and select it in Veeam Recovery.
    7. Let it recover...
    8. Done!

    Easy. Works time after time.

    Just for clarification - this is a three drive solution as well.



  • @g-i-jones

    Maybe the system image restored failed due to errors found in the failing HDD.

    Why dont you just backup the data of files in :

    C:\Users
    And the other drives besides C using a light Linux Live OS (Gparted) or WIndows recovery enviroment.
    And take his browser profile, and bookmarks.

    Thats what most users need anyway.

    Installing Windows 7 or any windows from scratch takes 5-10 mins on good machines and 15-20 on slow ones. then restore the data.



  • @emad-r Yeah, I learned that there isn't any specific software he needs, so I'm just going to literally copy his user folder and maybe the Pictures, Documents, and Music folders onto a thumb drive, give him a newer tower with a fresh 7 install and just drag and drop that over. Was still nice getting all these avenues of approach.



  • @dashrender said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @jimmy9008 said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    Use Veeam Agent for Windows. Entirely free.

    1. Install.
    2. Create Recovery Image.
    3. Backup to USB.
    4. Remove failing HDD, add new HDD.
    5. Boot to Bootable USB with the Veeam Recovery Image applied (Rufus is good for that - also free).
    6. Inset restore USB and select it in Veeam Recovery.
    7. Let it recover...
    8. Done!

    Easy. Works time after time.

    Just for clarification - this is a three drive solution as well.

    Veeam Agent won't care how many drives. You do the backup and image. Replace one, two or all three. Won't matter.



  • @emad-r said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @g-i-jones

    Maybe the system image restored failed due to errors found in the failing HDD.

    Why dont you just backup the data of files in :

    C:\Users
    And the other drives besides C using a light Linux Live OS (Gparted) or WIndows recovery enviroment.
    And take his browser profile, and bookmarks.

    Thats what most users need anyway.

    Installing Windows 7 or any windows from scratch takes 5-10 mins on good machines and 15-20 on slow ones. then restore the data.

    Really? When was the last time you install Windows 7? It took over 5 hours to install all the updates.



  • @dashrender yea, those updates are ruthless for sure. Good point.



  • @jimmy9008 said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @dashrender said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @jimmy9008 said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    Use Veeam Agent for Windows. Entirely free.

    1. Install.
    2. Create Recovery Image.
    3. Backup to USB.
    4. Remove failing HDD, add new HDD.
    5. Boot to Bootable USB with the Veeam Recovery Image applied (Rufus is good for that - also free).
    6. Inset restore USB and select it in Veeam Recovery.
    7. Let it recover...
    8. Done!

    Easy. Works time after time.

    Just for clarification - this is a three drive solution as well.

    Veeam Agent won't care how many drives. You do the backup and image. Replace one, two or all three. Won't matter.

    That's not what I mean.

    To use Veeam - you need three total drives.
    drive 1 - original
    drive 2 - place to store the backup image (you can use any number of different software packages to do this)
    drive 3 - replacement drive that you will restore the image onto.

    This is what my third post suggests, just using Clonezilla instead of Veeam, and @Breffni-Potter mentioned.



  • @g-i-jones said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @emad-r Yeah, I learned that there isn't any specific software he needs, so I'm just going to literally copy his user folder and maybe the Pictures, Documents, and Music folders onto a thumb drive, give him a newer tower with a fresh 7 install and just drag and drop that over. Was still nice getting all these avenues of approach.

    Why are you giving them Windows 7? You can upgrade that machine to Windows 10 for free, why keep them on old stuff?



  • @dashrender I don't call the shots on that. I personally like 10, but everything we have at our organization is build on or with Windows 7 in mind. Plus, most of our users are older folk that if you threw a new OS at them, they would be calling me for every minor task because they hardly know how to set up a print job as it is.



  • @g-i-jones @Dashrender

    Really? When was the last time you install Windows 7? It took over 5 hours to install all the updates.

    In I.T bench world, you can tick the option to install updates automatically, and give the client the machine and it will install updates by itself. No one has to babysit the whole thing (unless you really love that person you are helping).

    Also I love system image modder by the name of murphy78, what he does is incorporates Windows 7 updates in the base installation image, without corrupting anything (and I trust him after following many of his releases).



  • @emad-r I'm gonna have to look into that, that's highly interesting, thanks for sharing.



  • @dashrender said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @jimmy9008 said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @dashrender said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @jimmy9008 said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    Use Veeam Agent for Windows. Entirely free.

    1. Install.
    2. Create Recovery Image.
    3. Backup to USB.
    4. Remove failing HDD, add new HDD.
    5. Boot to Bootable USB with the Veeam Recovery Image applied (Rufus is good for that - also free).
    6. Inset restore USB and select it in Veeam Recovery.
    7. Let it recover...
    8. Done!

    Easy. Works time after time.

    Just for clarification - this is a three drive solution as well.

    Veeam Agent won't care how many drives. You do the backup and image. Replace one, two or all three. Won't matter.

    That's not what I mean.

    To use Veeam - you need three total drives.
    drive 1 - original
    drive 2 - place to store the backup image (you can use any number of different software packages to do this)
    drive 3 - replacement drive that you will restore the image onto.

    This is what my third post suggests, just using Clonezilla instead of Veeam, and @Breffni-Potter mentioned.

    Yes, makes sense. Read what you typed differently.



  • @emad-r said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @g-i-jones @Dashrender

    Really? When was the last time you install Windows 7? It took over 5 hours to install all the updates.

    In I.T bench world, you can tick the option to install updates automatically, and give the client the machine and it will install updates by itself. No one has to babysit the whole thing (unless you really love that person you are helping).

    Also I love system image modder by the name of murphy78, what he does is incorporates Windows 7 updates in the base installation image, without corrupting anything.

    Yeah, can do this but every so often expect the call: "My PC that you repaired yesterday is so slow." - They won't appreciate it's doing a bazillion updates. IMO - should get to them up to date and ready.



  • @jimmy9008 said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @emad-r said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @g-i-jones @Dashrender

    Really? When was the last time you install Windows 7? It took over 5 hours to install all the updates.

    In I.T bench world, you can tick the option to install updates automatically, and give the client the machine and it will install updates by itself. No one has to babysit the whole thing (unless you really love that person you are helping).

    Also I love system image modder by the name of murphy78, what he does is incorporates Windows 7 updates in the base installation image, without corrupting anything.

    Yeah, can do this but every so often expect the call: "My PC that you repaired yesterday is so slow." - They won't appreciate it's doing a bazillion updates. IMO - should get to them up to date and ready.

    It all depends on the user... is the user good to you ? did he ever provided with sweets or offered food ? if not he gets the Vanilla Windows 7.



  • @g-i-jones

    You can learn that lost art yourself, but murphy78 had mad skillz in this thing. Too bad recently he stopped updating his stuff cause he moved to bad location with no good internet.

    Um research him and see how he does it, listen he is not cracker or pirate or hacker (my opinion), he uses official MSDN images and open about his methods, and he just provides you with like Windows 7 image up-to-date with .net 4.6 for example.

    Also he can provide you with Windows 10 All In One release, like Windows 10 behemoth image with 26 options to install.

    But honestly speaking I can see why it is lost art, today you Can install Windows 10
    (whatever version you like) + Cumulative update and your good to go.



  • @jimmy9008 said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @emad-r said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @g-i-jones @Dashrender

    Really? When was the last time you install Windows 7? It took over 5 hours to install all the updates.

    In I.T bench world, you can tick the option to install updates automatically, and give the client the machine and it will install updates by itself. No one has to babysit the whole thing (unless you really love that person you are helping).

    Also I love system image modder by the name of murphy78, what he does is incorporates Windows 7 updates in the base installation image, without corrupting anything.

    Yeah, can do this but every so often expect the call: "My PC that you repaired yesterday is so slow." - They won't appreciate it's doing a bazillion updates. IMO - should get to them up to date and ready.

    Exactly. Handing a unit to an end user that has hours of updates to go, not only makes the machine slow, also give the user a window to get infected by otherwise patched things. While this might be a low probability, it's just not worth it to me.



  • @emad-r said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @jimmy9008 said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @emad-r said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @g-i-jones @Dashrender

    Really? When was the last time you install Windows 7? It took over 5 hours to install all the updates.

    In I.T bench world, you can tick the option to install updates automatically, and give the client the machine and it will install updates by itself. No one has to babysit the whole thing (unless you really love that person you are helping).

    Also I love system image modder by the name of murphy78, what he does is incorporates Windows 7 updates in the base installation image, without corrupting anything.

    Yeah, can do this but every so often expect the call: "My PC that you repaired yesterday is so slow." - They won't appreciate it's doing a bazillion updates. IMO - should get to them up to date and ready.

    It all depends on the user... is the user good to you ? did he ever provided with sweets or offered food ? if not he gets the Vanilla Windows 7.

    Wow - someone has to much power.



  • @dashrender said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    It all depends on the user... is the user good to you ? did he ever provided with sweets or offered food ? if not he gets the Vanilla Windows 7.

    More like too much responsibilities and under paid.

    I support one main site with 100 machines/users (there is server that I can use to help me).
    another with 30 machines (there is server that I can use to help me).
    and another with 20 machines (no servers)
    and ofcourse the printers everywhere.

    • my servers + vendor servers + WiFi and the firewall.

    Basically everything I.T

    No assistance or helper, even when requested, they offered a good candidate I choose internally 14.10$ per month, for helping me an hour each day = true story.



  • @g-i-jones said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    So I had an associate bring me his computer that is saying "imminent HDD failure".

    I re-formatted a 160GB HDD I had laying around to NTFS to match the current 160GB failing HDD. Also created a DVD repair disk in the same instance.

    I then pulled the old HDD out, and put in it's place the new HDD with the image I created, and booted from the repair DVD. I got the system repair from image option and started going through that but I almost instantly get this error:

    "The System image restore failed.

    Error details: Windows did not find any disk which it can use for recreating volumes present in backup. Offline disks, cluster shared disks or disks explicitly excluded by user will not be used by windows. Ensure that disks are online and no disks are excluded by mistake. (0x80042414)"

    I've read that Windows back-up operations are shit but wanted to know, based on what I've told you thus far, if anyone had any tips about what I might have done wrong or an alternative route that does not involve third-party software. This is my first time dealing with a failing HDD and would appreciate if any of you could help as I'm really trying to learn all I can from you guys about IT.

    It's because the new drive you put in is slightly smaller than the one that was in.

    Use a bigger new drive.



  • @emad-r said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    @dashrender said in Windows restore from system image (Windows 7 Professional):

    It all depends on the user... is the user good to you ? did he ever provided with sweets or offered food ? if not he gets the Vanilla Windows 7.

    More like too much responsibilities and under paid.

    I support one main site with 100 machines/users (there is server that I can use to help me).
    another with 30 machines (there is server that I can use to help me).
    and another with 20 machines (no servers)
    and ofcourse the printers everywhere.

    • my servers + vendor servers + WiFi and the firewall.

    Basically everything I.T

    No assistance or helper, even when requested, they offered a good candidate I choose internally 14.10$ per month, for helping me an hour each day = true story.

    what country are you in?

    and you broke the quote :)



  • @dashrender

    what country are you in?

    and you broke the quote :)

    I will answer your question, but first:

    take a look at today job posting in my country:

    https://www.akhtaboot.com/en/jordan/jobs/amman
    You would think I applied filter on them, cause they are all NGO, but no filter applied

    But First page has 25 results of today job posting 20 of them are NGO, and not just 1 NGO that just opened... no no no no, we are talking about unique separate NGO including from today job list:

    Department of Services to Palestinian Refugees - Amman, Jordan
    MSF-FRANCE - Amman, Jordan
    Mercy Corps - Amman, Jordan
    World Vision International - Jordan - Amman, Jordan
    International Rescue Committee - Amman, Jordan
    Medecins du Monde - France - Amman, Jordan
    International Relief and Development - Amman, Jordan
    INTERSOS - Amman, Jordan
    Norwegian Refugee Council - ( Syria response office ) - Amman, Jordan
    Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) - Amman, Jordan
    University Research Co - Amman, Jordan
    Relief International - Amman, Jordan
    IMMAP - Amman, Jordan

    I see this everyday, not just today.

    You want to know what attracts NGO = corruption, that what attracts NGOs. and that is my country state.
    but it is not just it, it is the assholes managing those projects and fooling the people, sure aid work happens but at 10% rate, the rest is all tunneled somewhere. And local employees gets very little yet we witness very much.


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