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Restore Windows 7 From Windows Backup

Posted on 2013-11-26
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Last Modified: 2013-11-27
Hi,
  I have a complete backup of my windows 7 OS in an external USB HD.
  I wanted to test "a complete restore from the USB Drive", so I created Windows 7 Recovery disc on a DVD. I connected an another hard drive to the same computer, put the recovery DVD in the DVDROM, and started the computer.
  I loaded recovery process, choose keyboard, display "System Recovery Options" windows where I choose "Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier".
 It scans the computer and finds "FreeAgent Drive (E:) dated 11/26/2013" as "latest available system image(recommended) and I click Next. It displays additional restore options such as Exclude disks, Install Drivers, Advanced and I click Next.
 On the "Re-image your computer window", it says "Your computer will be restored from the following system image:
Date and Time: 11/26/2013 ...
Computer:          XXX
Drives to restore:  \\?\Volume{17b 18 1a9 ....}, C:
When I click [Finish], it display a warning message "All disks to be restored will be formatted and replaced with layout and data in the system image. Are you sure you want to continue?". When I click [Yes], it say "The system image restore failed. No disk that can be used for recovering the system disk can be found". There is a detail button. When I click it, it displays 3 possible reasons/suggestions.

What have I done wrong?
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Question by:sglee
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Expert Comment

by:Frosty555
ID: 39679677
The new hard drive you connected to your laptop to test the restoration  - is it at least as large as the original disk? Is it the same type (e.g. SATA)? Is it completely wiped and blank (e.g. no partition table or partitions defined)?

Usually this error means that Windows for one reason or another considers your new hard drive to be unsuitable for restoration. Sometimes this can occur if the target disk is smaller than the original, if it is some unsupported technology like a motherboard-RAID without proper drivers present, or if it has system partitions on it that Windows is unwilling to delete.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-system/no-disk-that-can-be-used-for-recovering-the-system/e855ee43-186d-4200-a032-23d214d3d524
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39679684
@Frosty555
HD size: both 160GB
HD Type: both SATA
Blank: No, I partitioned it for160GB partition
Computer: it is the same computer, just different HD with the same size (formatted/partitioned)

 "if it has system partitions on it that Windows is unwilling to delete."  ---> This may be the case. Let me delete the partition on 2nd HD and will try to restore.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39679699
I tried to restore after deleting a partition off 2nd HD, but I ended up with the same error.
When I click [Exclude] button, I see my 2nd 160GB HD (Disk 0) listed under "Select disks to exclude from the restore process. These disks will not be formatted or repartitioned." Also at the bottom, it says "The disk "Seagate FreeAgent Desktop (Disk1)' is already excluded as it contains the system image to be restored".

So theoretically it should work and use that 2nd un-partitioned/un-formatted  HD as a target drive.
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Frosty555 earned 500 total points
ID: 39679829
I agree, it sounds like it really ought to work. Your procedure is exactly the same way I would have gone about trying to do it.

Perhaps this is one of these very subtle issues where the first 160GB disk is very slightly larger than the other 160GB disk due to some subtle differences in disk geometry? You wouldn't happen to have a larger disk you can test with, even just temporarily?
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39680477
Yes I have larger HDs that I can try.
Let me ask you this. Should the new HD be in certain condition like unformatted, unpartitioned, Basic vs Dynamic, GPT ... etc? or it should not matter it will partition and format before recovery begins?
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39681265
@Frosty555
I tried to restore it to 1TB HD and it worked. There must have been something wrong about that 160GB HD even thought the size did match.

It was very simple. Love Windows backup.

Thanks for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39682521
160 GB drives may vary in size. You would need to know the number of bytes, because for some, 1GB equals 1 billion (=10^3)^3 bytes, for others (that "like it binary") it equals (2^10)^3 bytes, which is roughly 7% more.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39682693
Did not know that. Thanks for the info.
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